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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  November 30, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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the good thing about when you're done is that usually you've got nowhere to go but up. >> exactly. >> optimistic about obama care. good afternoon. i'm t.j. holmes. craig melvin is off today. you are watching msnbc. countdown to the deadline. officials promised a fix to the obama care website by midnight tonight. so what's the status now? we're live at the white house. we're carrying out rescue operations at the scene. >> right now, search and rescue, a police chopper crashes into a scottish pub on a crowded friday night. eight people confirmed dead. the country in shock on their national holiday. saying "sorry." north korea releases video of an american war hero held captive for more than a month. but did he really apologize for
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the korean war? shopping local. today is small business saturday. even the president is taking part. can the movement help mom-and-pop shops compete with the big chains? and america's attic available to everybody. smithsonian's digital efforts to share and preserve their treasures. that's today's big idea. let's go to the white house now where administration officials are preparing to announce whether they've met their self-imposed deadline for improving the deadline is midnight tonight. and the centers for medicare and medicaid services says the obama care website is close to supporting 50,000 users at one time. let's go to nbc's kristen welker at the white house. kristen, hello to you. and what is the measure? how do we know if a particular deadline has been met? how has this website improved? >> reporter: well, t.j., the administration says their goal by midnight tonight is to make sure that the website can support 50,000 users at one
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time, as you point out, the administration saying they're close to that. they tell me they are going to meet that goal. critics say having 50,000 users at one time is not necessarily the metric that we should be looking at. you need to look at how quickly those users are moving through and how quickly those users are able to enroll. but, look, the administration says this website which by all accounts was a disaster when it was first rolled out has made a lot of progress thanks to those tech experts who have been working to improve it. some of the progress they are citing, they have significantly decreased the error rate. initially when this website was first rolled out, administration officials say the error rate was at 6%. it's now dropped to less than 1%. they say the website is operating much more quickly. it used to take eight seconds for a page to load. now that is measured in just milliseconds. still, critics say that's not
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fast enough if they are going to get those 7 million people to enroll, which is what they're hoping to do by the end of march. the administration, we should also point out, trying to lower expectations. you have h.h.s. secretary kathleen sebelius blogging that this is not a magical date. this is not going to be a relaunch of the website. top officials saying there are still going to be problems with after today. but, again, they say, look, this is going to be a significant improvement. we expect to get an official update from the administration during a conference call that they'll hold tomorrow. that's when we're hoping to get some metrics so we can actually determine how much success there has been. >> that success and also you mentioned critics. some critics will criticize no matter what this president does. but in large part, does the administration think once you get the website, this overhaul, if you will, quote, unquote, it starts working properly, that some of the falling poll numbers and some of the president's woes attached to the website will go away?
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>> reporter: absolutely. and president obama spoke to this point during an exclusive interview with abc's bar ra walters. he says he thinks he's on the right side of history with this. he says once the glitches are worked out this is going to be an important legacy issue for him. but this is a legacy issue for him. and it all starts with the website and getting it fixed. so this deadline is really critical. the other critical deadline, t.j., is december 23rd. that is when folks need to enroll so that they can actually get covered by january 1st. that's such an important deadline because the website, if it can support 50,000 users today, needs to be able to support, according to tech experts, many more people on the 23rd because folks are going to start to really flood the website when you get closer to that december 23rd deadline. back to you. >> kristen welker, thank you so much. let's get more on this big question, is it ready? want to bring in sarah cliff,
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health policy reporter for "the washington post" who's been living and breathing obama care for the past several months. also, christina bellatoni, political editor at the pbs news hour as well as juliet alprin. sarah, i want to start with you. i think it's important to always point out what we're seeing here and the problems and the headaches with the president, it's been a technical one. it's been a technical problem. so once the technical problems go away, do you feel that the american people will then start to embrace the affordable health care act in a much different way? >> it's hard to know for sure just because, as you mentioned, there have been so many technical problems. it's been very difficult to complete the process of shopping for health insurance through what we know is in a few of the states that are running their own markplaces -- there are 14 states setting up exchanges. there's been robust enrollment.
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california has had about 80,000 people sign up. washington state where i'm spending thanksgiving has had really good enrollment. those specific examples suggest that there isn't a demand problem, that a lot of people are interested in purchasing these products. but there's technical obstacles standing in their way. we won't know if that's the case everywhere or if that's more limited to some of these states that have embraced obama care until this website really gets up and running at the rate the administration would like it to be. >> we talk about that as well, sarah, the rates and 50,000 users at a time and how quickly pages load. but for the most part, it's not a matter of 50,000 people. it's that one individual who is trying to logon to a website that's really going to make a difference in their experience. i know the white house gave this 50,000 number. but are they trying to manage expectations a little differently now than maybe they did october 1? >> i think they definitely are. you see this in a blog post that
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secretary sebelius wrote for account the huffington post" earlier this week where she said it was a great idea to shop at off-hours times. maybe earlier in the morning or later in the evening. as was mentioned earlier, the administration doesn't want to frame december 1st as the holy grail, this magic date where everything will work perfectly. when you talk to folks at cms who's running this project, they say we don't see it as turning a corner. it will improve in december, in january and we'll keep having improvements week after week and month after month. so they're not trying to raise expectations to an especially high level. i think there is some worry. and one thing we'll be watching as reporters is what happens when all these people here okay the website as fixed and a lot of them try and get on and shop, will the website be able to handle that? that's one concern for the administration and one thing to watch pretty closely over the next few days. >> juliet, you write in "the
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post," administration officials are preparing to announce sunday that they have met their saturday deadline for the website but have yet to meet their internal goals for repairing the site and it will not become clear how many consumers it can accommodate until more people try to use it. are they cautiously optimistic at this point? >> well, on a certain level, they feel comfortable that they certainly over the last five weeks have defied expectations in some ways by making the website more functional and meeting several of their goals. but in terms of the speed of the website and how it's working, they're not there. and also right now, they are just in the process of testing this critical question of how many people can register, create an account and logon and kind of start the site. as well as just this great unknown as we've been talking about, that it's one thing to have the capacity to handle tens of thousands of users. it's another thing to see how it works in real time, particularly during those kind of peak hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00
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p.m., which is why they're trying to urge people to logon at different times. >> how would you describe the mood right now? the president looked pretty upset at times publicly. you could imagine so. >> right. i think frankly people are under tremendous pressure. they're tired. they're working unbelievable hours. and they feel like they're just taking -- the way one adviser put it, as incoming. they're constantly under attack from a lot of people who don't want to see this law succeed. but really they are feeling a little better about the idea that if it can work more -- if it can work better in the next few weeks, this gives them an opportunity to move on to the train that they're comfortable with, which is grassroots organizing, getting the word out to people who are uninsured. they're much more comfortable with that as opposed to the technical side. they're eager to engage in that battle. >> feeling a little better and wanting to move on. are they feeling a little better about their political prospects as well? the poll numbers have dropped for the president as well as for
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democrats since that october 1 rollout. >> sure. you hear the president is really focused on this long term. it's not about how many people the website can support. it's about how many people enroll in these exchanges. the more young and healthy people enroll, the better the program will work. really looking at that long term, over the long haul how people judge the affordable care act on the whole. that's also why the critical state exchanges sarah mentioned are very important as a lot of states are seeing high enrollment figures when they're running their own exchange program. >> let's listen to a clip of that barbara walters interview, the president talking about his legacy and what will happen to his legacy given this rollout and this health care act. let's listen. >> are you worried that you won't be able to get things done because of this lack of support? >> well, barbara, if you remember, i've gone up and down pretty consistently throughout. the good thing about when you're
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done is that usually you've got nowhere to go but up. >> he kind of laughed there, christina, if you will, kind of a funny answer. but does he have time? is he going to be able to -- politics ebbs and flows. we were talking not too long ago that, wow, the republicans are not going to be able to come back from this government shutdown. and then all of a sudden here we go off to obama care and this is all everybody's talking about. he has time. >> definitely. and there's a twofold issue here. the president's never going to face reelection again as president. but you do have the mid-term elections not far away. congressional democrats are wary, they don't necessarily want to run again on the affordable care act. that was a big element of the 2010 republican takeover of the house. but it's not that house republicans are surprisingly popular. that's why they're applying so much pressure to the administration and democrats on the health care issue.
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with the house coming back next week, you're going to see increased scrutiny on this, hearings on not just but also on the issue of canceled insurance policies, which the president took responsibility for that. issued this mea culpa saying, i want to get to the bottom of this because i did make this promise that you weren't going to lose your plan. there's going to be far more scrutiny on insurance companies as well because they're the ones making those decisions. >> sarah, juliet and christina, thank you so much, all of you for being here. thank you for being here on this holiday weekend. fasting for families, the president and first lady met immigration reform advocates who are fasting. today is day 19 for them. and one of those fasters will join us live next. also, small business saturday. can today really boost their bottom lines? plus, romney to the rescue. no, not mitt but josh, his son.
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josh romney says he saved people from a crash. but what happened next sparked backlash. this is msnbc. now that i'm getting older some things are harder to do. be careful babe. [ doorbell rings ] let's see what's cookin'. look at this. that's a swiffer. i don't have to climb up. did you notice how clean it looks? morty are you listening? morty? [ morty ] i'm listening! i want you to know. i get out a lot...
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topping the headlines this saturday, at least eight people are now confirmed dead after a police helicopter crashed through the roof of a crowded pub in glasgow, scotland. 14 others remain hospitalized at this hour. the cause of the crash is unclear at this time. we'll have a live update from glasgow coming up. four people dead following a plane crash in alaska overnight. the plane was flying in the remote area of st. mary's when it was reported missing, according to officials, there was three miles of visibility and light snow at the time of that crash. and vice president joe biden
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will begin a trip to asia tomorrow making stops in japan and south korea. he's using the trip to press china over an air defense zone over the east china sea. yesterday, president obama paid a visit to the national mall. why? he was there to see immigration reform activists. they've been camped out there, fasting for the last 2 1/2 weeks. the president and first lady thanked the fast for families group for their commitment to bringing immigration legislation to the table, an effort he's highlighted in recent days. >> right now, i'm seeing brave advocates who have been fasting for two weeks in the shadow of the capitol, sacrificing themselves in an effort to get congress to act. and i want to say to all the fasters who are there as we speak, i want them to know, we
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hear you, we're with you, the whole country hears you. >> and one of those fasters, the president is mentioning there, you saw him mention is christian avila who is part of the group the president met with yesterday. and he joins me now. christian, thank you for being here. you tell me, this is what, day 19 of the fast? >> thank you for having me, yes. it's been 19 long days for us. >> again, for people to make sure they understand here. there's been no food, only water for the past 19 days. are you all been monitored by a physician? >> yeah, we have a great medical team that's checking us daily, checking our vitles in the morning and later on throughout the day as well. we feel comfortable with the medical team. >> christian, you are an undocumented immigrant. your parents brought you here illegally from mexico. a couple of things. where are we in this country that you, frankly, are comfortable coming on national
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tv and speaking on that and also what does it say that you, an undocumented immigrant, gets a meeting from the president? >> well, that was privilege enough to have deferred action. it was a great thing that the obama administration did. and that's how i'm able to work now. i'm able to travel -- my parents are still undocumented. that's the reason i'm fasting. the visit from the president was surprising. we didn't know it was going to happen. but it was great because he listened to us, he listened to our stories. he was concerned about our health, obviously. but the most important thing that he listened to us and he gave us great words of hope and inspiration. >> what is your hope? is it really to get immigration reform passed? do you really want congress to act based on what you're doing there or you're doing everything you can to bring attention to this matter and then maybe down
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the road something will get done? >> no, it needs to happen now. that's the reason we decided to do this fast because we needed to put the pressure on congress, especially speaker boehner, to give us a vote on immigration reform rather sooner than later. every day that passes, more families suffer every day. and that's something that we can't as a nation allow to happen. >> why a fast? there's a long history of cesar chavez, farmer, activist, would use a fast to bring attention to political purposes. is that a part of it? why a fast? >> the reason i decided to do the fast is for several reasons. for my parents and because i hear the different stories of different families that have been torn apart. i come from a strong religious family. i think the fast gave me the opportunity to look at it at a different perspective, not political, but the spiritual and just to bring the moral crisis
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that our families are suffering. >> did you get a chance or anyone else in your group get to ask the president -- a young man heckled him at an event last week in california, essentially saying, sign executive order, end deportations now. did that come up at the meeting or do you believe the president doesn't have the ability to do that? >> well, we didn't mention the young guy at the meeting. but he's mentioning that he's looking to do everything he can within his power to bring an end to this issue. but at the end of the day, we want congress to act. and we're seeking for obama's office to keep putting pressure on the congress so this can come -- this legislation can come to a reality zbll christian, how long can you keep this up without eating? >> i'm not sure. my medical team will tell me when to stop. i'm fully committed to do it until my body allows me to do
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it. >> christian avila, good luck to you. thanks for spending some time with us. >> thank you. updates on a couple of coaches behaving badly. the nfl deciding whether to display mike tomlin for that sideline slip-up. tomlin claims it was an accident. he didn't know where he was when he accidentally got in the way there on the field of play. that was during a kickoff return. this announcement from the nfl comes on the heels of the nba's decision to fine brooklyn nets first-year coach jason kidd $50,000 for intentionally spilling a drink on the court. the spill bought kidd enough time to draw up a last-minute play against the lakers. this move didn't pay off for him or for either coach. both teams ended up losing. [ dennis ] it's always the same dilemma --
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after thanksgiving dinner with mitt and ann romney or mom and dad as josh calls them, their son, josh, witnessed a car crash on his way home. according to the younger romney, josh, he jumped right into the rescue efforts. but not everyone is now viewing his actions as heroic. nbc's joe fryer with the story. >> reporter: the suv wedged inside this utah kitchen was carrying a family of four on thanksgiving night. moments earlier, police say a medical emergency may have caused the driver to exit the freeway and enter the occupied house at a high rate of speed. mitt romney's son, josh, tweeted a photo posing with the sideways car, was first on scene. he wrote, i lifted four people out to safety, all okay, thankful. >> appears both the homeowner who was home at the time and the occupants of the vehicle made it out safely. very fortunate. >> reporter: josh romney, son of
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mitt romney, declined interview requests but his tweet generated strong reactions on social media. god bless you, one user wrote, he made you an angel for those people. but there was criticism. of the five boys, josh is the middle child and is considered most likely to follow in his dad's political footsteps. he spoke with nbc news during last year's campaign. >> biggest momma's boy in the group? >> josh. >> reporter: following what happened on thanksgiving, one twitter user called the romneys a family of batmen because in 2003, josh, his dad and another brother helped rescue capsized boaters in new hampshire. another right place, right time story propelled by a single image and the power of social media. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. up next, going hungry, how recent congressional cuts to foot stamps are leaving many
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more americans hungrier this thanksgiving. plus, high-tech history. how the smithsonian is making rare collections available to whomever, wherever. it's today's big idea. ♪ ♪ you get your coffee here. you get your hair cut here. you find that certain thing you were looking for here, but actually you get so much more. when you shop at these small local businesses, you support all the things that make your community great. the money you spend here, stays here. in this place you call your neighborhood. today is small business saturday. get out and shop small.
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eight just a little while ago. do they still think they could possibly find bodies inside? >> reporter: well, t.j., the rescue mission is continuing, as you said, behind me, police are continuing to pick through the rubble describing this as a very dangerous and complicated situation. the helicopter crash landing onto the roof caused a partial collapse of the roof. obviously they need to be very careful, the rescue workers, that they don't destabilize the structure of the building any more as they go through looking for survivors or victims. eyewitnesses describe terrible clouds, choking clouds of dust when the roof collapsed. they're describing it as a mushroom cloud. it was so hard to see that in fact many managed to escape out of the building by forming a human chain, linking up arms and trying to find the exit and the way out. >> just quickly, any word on what may have caused this crash sfr?
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>> reporter: not yet. it's really too soon. but eyewitnesses say they heard the engine of the helicopter sputtering before impact. and then there was silence when it dropped out of the sky speculating there was engine failure. but too soon to know what happened. >> we'll be checking in with you a little later in the show. thank you so much. other top stories making news today, the u.s. is offering to destroy syria's chemical weapons. the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons has been under pressure to find an alternate plan to destroy the weapons after albania backed out. a u.s. navy ship is undergoing modifications to support the operations. a mozambique airlines play on the way to angola has crashed killing all 33 people on board. officials say the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers.
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there was bad weather and poor visibility at the time the plane went missing. at least 40 youth football players in las vegas for a national tournament have been sickened with flu-like symptoms. they were taken to area hospitals friday and released. not clear how the players came down with the illness. event organizers note the six teams were all staying at different hotels at the time. north korea is charging an 85-year-old american tourist and korean war vet with committing hostile acts against the state. merrill newman has been held in the country since october 26th when a north korean military official pulled him off a plane. state authorities released a video claiming the california man has admitted to committing those hostile acts and espionage against the country. nbc news's reporter has more from shanghai. >> reporter: north korea is accusing detained american veteran merrill newman of war crimes for his service during the korean war in the 1950s. the authorities released a video
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on state tv showing newman reading his alleged confession. in it he purportedly apologized for his actions. that apology was dated november 9th. in it, he also said that he has been guilty of a long list of indelible crimes against north korea. newman was in north korea legally as a tourist on a nine-day trip. he has been held captive in north korea since october 26th when he was taken off a plane heading home by authorities. newman's detention has confused north korea watchers because other american war vets have visited the country in the past without any problems. now that he has gone through this confession, there's some speculation that he could be released. but at this moment, he is still being held prisoner. not all americans were able to sit down for a traditional thanksgiving dinner this week. more than 47 million people lost some of their food stamp benefits at the beginning of this month. many found themselves looking for help to put dinner on the table.
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it's estimated that some 37 million americans turned to food pantries to help feed their families each year. i want to bring in the executive director and ceo of new york's river fund food pantry and joel berg, executive director of the new york city coalition against hunger. gentlemen, thank you both for being here. i want to turn to something you said not too long ago. let's listen to this and see if you knew what you were talking about then. >> usually, food stamps kick in for the first or second week. and then the third week, it starts to be running out. food stamps are running out of food. you take a little bit more and where are we going into one or two weeks that a family supports food for themselves, children go hungry -- >> that was right at the beginning of the month when a lot of those -- the food stamp benefits started to go away. you predicted the holidays, thanksgiving, this will be a little tough. what have you seen the past month? >> in the past month in november, the last four weekends, we've seen each
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weekend go from 700 households to 750 to 824 and last weekend, we did 1,097 households in one weekend. and we still have today that we're serving. we did our numbers in the last three years from just november. we ticked up -- more than a tick, 30% from '11 to '12. we served 10,040. this year in the four weekends so far in november, we have doubled that. we're 50% higher from last year. we served some 20,793 people. >> joel, you seeing the numbers? >> absolutely. i just met a woman putting two kids through college, raising two kids and putting herself through college. she just lost $45 a month. i talk to colleagues in washington and some people on the beltway who say this is just a statistic. these are just numbers. well, i urge them to come to new york, come to iowa, go to alaska, meet the 47 million
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americans who just got food taken out of their grocery basket. and congress is considering doing more. >> i want you all on that point -- either one of you jump in here, give it some perspective. a lot of people hear this and it doesn't sound like a lot. you said $45. but this money was taken out -- it wasn't renewed essentially. so much money came out and it meant about $36 a month less for a family of four. people hear $36. might not sound like a whole, whole lot. but give me some perspective of what $36 means in terms of meals for a family of four. >> it's a number of meals they can buy. $36 is 30 or 40 meal, a couple of dollars per meal, you're taking away from someone. in other words, someone who's struggling and you just take away on a hunger cliff $20 away from them, they've fallen into a canyon that they can't get out of. >> what do you expect the next
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couple of weeks -- still in the holiday season. you expect those numbers we talked about on his weekend to continue to go up, the numbers you're seeing? >> fortunately over the last few years, things have gone from bad to worse. since the cuts, things have gone from worse to worser. things are better in the holiday because a lot more people donate and volunteer. some january or february, it's going to be horrible and particularly if congress implements these up to $40 billion of additional cuts on top of this that they're considering. >> do you -- he just mentioned the holidays. people in the giving spirit. are donations keeping up? >> donations -- i don't know if they keep up. i think we have to hustle a little bit harder because the numbers are so hard. we give away some 32,000 pounds of food a week last week. that's 32,000 pounds of food we have to come up with. i don't care how many donations, you can never nearly keep up with the rise of people actually accessing food pantry and soup
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kitchen lines. >> you mentioned -- you've brought it up a couple of times. congress, why is it -- there are so many issues people have. we talk about the economy, all these things tie together with food security. why do we have a tough time and oftentimes the poor are d demonized? >> part of it's hypocrisy. there's a congressman from florida who received benefits himself and for his wife when they were earlier in their wife, earlier in their career and he's demonized food stamps. i sent the congressman a mirror, mailed him a mirror and said, if you want to see what the face of a food stamps recipient looks like, look at this. a congressman in tennessee hazard gotten $3.5 million in farm subsidies for his own family. this is about demonizing poor people because they don't have campaign contributions to give and they don't vote for some of these people. we know exactly what works and we're doing precisely the opposite. >> gentlemen, thank you both.
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i know i'm going to have you back. we'll be talking to you throughout the holidays. this is something we need to absolutely continue to highlight. like you said, they don't have lobbyists up on capitol hill. and you guys serve that purpose for them. thank you both for being here this holiday weekend. >> thank you as well. we're about 20 minutes away from the top of the hour. look at that. just makes you feel good to hear, doesn't it? you should see people dancing in the newsroom right now. flashback to this day in 1992. michael jackson's "thriller" was released and changed my life forever. the album containing the hit singles skyrocketed to the top of the charts. won jackson a record-breaking eight grammy awards. he was inducted into the guinness book of world records as the best-selling album of all time. also on this date in 1993, president bill clinton signed the brady bill, the new law required a background check on anyone trying to purchase a handgun. of course, it was named after
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jane brady who was shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on president reagan. also on this date in 2004, you remember this guy? yeah, the winning streak was snapped on this day. ken jennings lost after winning 74 straight games and more than $2.5 million on jeopardy!. that was a record for u.s. game shows. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo!
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[ chicken caws ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums! the smithsonian institution is known as america's attic. it's 19 museums house more than 137 million works of art or objects. one problem has been how to make the smithsonian's collection available to those who can't make it to washington. the solution? 3-d scanning and printing of museum artifacts. and that is today's big idea. the director of the digitization
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association is here. >> we want to bring these collections to as many people as possible. unlock the knowledge, the stories and the wisdom inherent in these collections. >> how does this work necessarily? you have to scan them and put them online -- how does it work? >> basically there's a number of techniques to get these items 3-d digitized. we use an arm laser scanner. you paint the laser onto on object and it captures all the data off the object. that's what we do for smaller objects. if we have a really big object, something like the cave in indonesia, we use a scanner that's on a tripod. it rotates around and captures everything it can see. these are great methods for
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capturing geometry. if we also want to capture color, then we use pho photogrammetry. we process them into a 3-d model and mesh the two together. we have the geometry from the laser data and we have the color from the photogrammetry. >> you brought a couple of props and examples you can show us. let me see what you brought with you. >> i've got two lincoln life masks for you. this is a life mask that was taken of lincoln just before he became president. he was president-elect. this is somebody putting plaster on his face and taking an impressi impression. he looks in good shape. look what the war did to him. this is the life cast that was
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taken five years later in 1865. you see on old man. a lot of people look at this and think he's actually already dead. 1865, he's still alive. but you can see the impact the war and all the trials had on this man. >> those are a couple of the examples of things that you're able to digitize and use with this new technology -- i shouldn't say new technology but the undertaking you all are doing. that's the question. how many items have you done so far? how many more do you have to go or at least want to do or think you'll be able to do? >> this is a tremendous challenge for us. the smithsonian has 137 million items in its collections. and the launch we've had to date just focused on a little over 20 items. the reason for that is that we were really not going for bulk at this point. we were really going for exploring the technology, making sure that this technology actually is a good fit in a museum setting, that it actually helps us with our mission of the
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increase and diffusion of knowledge. it's a proof of concept. but the reaction from the public has shown it this is a tremendous hit and people are really wanting to see more of this content. so we're next going to explore how we can ramp this up and create a lot more of this kind of content. >> how do you pick and choose which items to scan and to use this technology on? >> well, for the first round, we really let our museums be in the driver's seat. as you may know, the smithsonian consists of 19 museums and nine research centers. we basically asked everybody, nominate an object, a scientific mission that you think could particularly benefit from this high-end 3-d treatment. and then we worked with the curators, with the educators, with the scientists side by side in exploring what this technology brings to this particular object or this particular scientific mission. and that gave us these amazing news cases we put on line. >> say the website one more time. >> everybody can interact with this content at
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the wonderful think about that website, you don't have to download a plug-in. you go online and interact with these models. you can spin them, change the lighting on them. and really get into the content. >> that is really cool stuff. everybody can visit the smithsonian in a different way to do it now. but everybody can get there and see these artifacts. thank you so much. do you have a big idea? tell us about it by e-mailing us at the holiday season is in full swing. and this year, some very big kids are making their lists and checking them twice. a new survey found that one in six british adults admits they still write annual letters to santa claus.
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black friday, that was so yesterday. today is small business saturday. today's the day when holiday shoppers are encouraged to visit their small local retailers instead of those big retail giants. even president obama is getting in on the action. he tweeted, when our small businesses do well, our communities do well, join me and visit a small business near you today to celebrate small business saturday. he made good on his word by visiting d.c.'s politics and pros bookshop. this is video from about an hour ago. how big of a boost do small shopping experts like these really yield? let me bring in j.j. ramburg.
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can it really help the focus on a day like this? you've got the big retailers, they're opening on thursday now, thanksgiving. they've got the big push on friday. what's a little guy to do? >> it absolutely can help. think about it, the reason you're going to the big box retailers is we've heard so much about black friday. it's a marketing peg for them to have deals around it. everybody's talking about it. so we're thinking about going to small businesses and small businesses in return are rewarding us by offering us deals today, staying open late and having events. >> they don't really have the ability, i guess, to do a big marketing plan, all the video we show on the air of some big retailer and thousands trying to push into the front door. so this really is just to get you thinking about it. maybe you walk by a small business and this is on your mind now? >> exactly. and small businesses really work well, retailers, when they work together because they're small, as you said, they don't have these big marketing budgets.
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this is a way to remind us, if you don't shop at these small businesses, they're going to go away. >> to that point, how important are these small businesses? the president said it's important to communities. how much of an impact do they have on our local communities? >> a huge impact. a significant portion of every dollar you spend at a local small business stays in your community. you spend money at this boutique, they spend money at the coffee place and the coffee place spends money someplace else in the community. a lot of it stays in your neighborhood. >> $5.5 billion spent last year on small businesses during this event. it's really growing, fourth year now. >> it is growing significantly. if you use facebook just as a gauge, likes around small business saturday have tripled in the past few years. >> j.j. ramberg, good to see you. thank you so much. you can catch j.j.'s show this sunday and every sunday at 7:30 a.m. eastern time right here on msnbc. the deadline is looming to fix the troubled obama care
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website. so where do the repairs stand now? we're live at the white house. also today is, quote, a black day for glasgow. that's what one scottish official said after a police helicopter crashed into a pub. we're live on the scene next. , we'll be delivering ♪ ♪ through 12 blizzards blowing ♪ 8 front yards blinding ♪ 6 snowballs flying ♪ 5 packages addressed by toddlers ♪ ♪ that's a q ♪ 4 lightning bolts ♪ 3 creepy gnomes ♪ 2 angry geese ♪ and a giant blow-up snowman ♪ that kind of freaks me out [ beep ] [ female announcer ] no one delivers the holidays like the u.s. postal service. priority mail flat rate is more reliable than ever. and with improved tracking up to 11 scans, you can even watch us get it there. ♪ you can even watch us get it there. across the country has brought me to the lovely city of boston. cheers. and seeing as it's such a historic city, i'm sure they'll appreciate that geico's been saving people money for over 75 years.
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mmm. i love cheeseburgers. i know you do. when did you get this place? when i negotiated your new contract, it was part of the deal. cool. [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right. in terms of what happens on november 30th or december 1st, i think it's fair to say that the improvement will be marked and noticeable. >> november 30th, you have confidence in november 30th? >> i do. >> that's the day, deadline day. good afternoon, everybody. i'm t.j. holmes. craig melvin is off today. you are watching msnbc. officials say the obama care website will be working well for the vast majority of people by midnight tonight. but is there any real progress on the health of we'll have a live report at the white house.
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just a huge plume of smoke. you could hear people screaming. >> searching for survivors. a police helicopter crashes into a crowded scottish pub killing at least eight people. what went wrong? we're live in glasgow. also a standoff in the skies. vice president biden heads to asia to head off a fight over disputed airspace between china and japan. this as u.s. officials warn american commercial flights to stay away. plus, the dark guardian. he's taking safety to new heights. meet the real-tlife superhero behind today's big idea. to the white house now, nine hours away from knowing whether the administration can meet the deadline for improving we knee the centers for medicare and medicaid services say the obama care website is close to supporting 50,000 users at one time. still now the question, is that enough? nbc's kristen welker is at the white house. hello again, kristen.
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tell us, what does an improvement look like? >> reporter: well, according to the administration, an improvement would look like the website being able to support as many as 50,000 users at one time. they say that is their goal by midnight tonight. as you pointed out, they say they're close to that goal. i just smoke with an administration official who reiterated they are on track to meet that benchmark. but tech experts continue to work around the clock to make sure that actually happens. president obama talking to barbara walters during an exclusive interview, saying that ultimately he thinks despite all of these glitches that this health care law will wind up on the right side of history. he's said this will be an important legacy issue for him. administration officials say that they have made a lot of progress on the website. they point to a couple of factors. the first is the error rate. they say the error rate has been
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significantly decreased since was initially rolled out. it used to be at 6%. it's now less than 1%. they also say the website is operating much more quickly. it used to take about eight seconds to load a page. that's really a long amount of time when you're talking about a website. but now they measure that in just milliseconds. critics, though, say the website still not fast enough to meet its stated goal of having about 7 million people sign up by the end of march. so there is still more work to do. the administration acknowledges as much. they have said that november 30th is not a magical deadline, this is not going to be a relaunch. but they're saying it will be vastly improved. we have some of our crews out in the field today, t.j., talking to folks at some of the centers who are helping people to sign up for health care. and i can tell you that the reviews right now seem to be pretty positive. we talked about six people, all of them said that they had a good experience trying to logon
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to one gentleman experienced a minor glitch. but they were able to work through that glitch. it's not a scientific poll. but it certainly is a marked difference than a lot of the stories that we were hearing just two months ago. >> as you pointed out, it's not a relaunch. it's kind of a revamp, if we even want to use that word. the president will have his critics. but at the white house, do they think this will calm some of the critics if you hear more stories like the one you told, people are starting to have a better experience? >> reporter: that's absolutely right. and that is what the administration is hoping for. but it all starts with this website. if by the middle of next week, there are more horror stories come out than some of these positive stories that we're hearing today, the administration could have a real political problem on its hands. but also a practical problem because if young, healthy people -- and the administration needs about 2 million to sign up -- if these folks are
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dissuaded from getting onto the website and signing up, that could actually undermine the entire health care law. so there's a two-pronged issue here. one that's political, so they're trying to quiet those critics. but then just a practical problem. they need young, healthy people to sign on. they are hoping these changes will start encouraging people to do that. but a lot of question marks, a lot remains to be seen, particularly in terms of how quickly folks are able to get on. at peak hours, people need to be able to get on in the middle of the day and have an easy experience signing up. so those questions remain unanswered. we'll have to wait and see what happens. >> kristen welker for us at the white house, thank you so much. vice president biden heads to asia tomorrow just as tensions between japan and china are starting to boil over. it's all about a disputed group of islands in the east china sea. china announced this week that all aircraft entering the airspace must notify chinese authorities beforehand or pay the price. joining me now, david rhoads as
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well as ann gernen. the u.s. is telling commercial airliners, if you're going through the area, give them a heads-up, go ahead and comply. what is china trying to do here? assert their power. this is the economic power they've had over the decades it's gotten larger and larger. and they're challenging japan first. japan is taking a more aggressive stance. be interesting to see what happens with biden on this trip. >> what's going to happen on this trip, ann? the stakes were already pretty high. the president a few months ago had to cancel his trip dealing with the shutdown here. is this a chance to show that this region is a priority? how delicate of a dance is this going to be? >> the white house is trying yet
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again to assert that it is true to its word about the pivot to asia or the rebalance to asia and the parlance they prefer. time and again, the administration's attention gets diverted away from that project. by a crisis in the middle east, by domestic problems, by -- the list is endless. and the president has canceled trips, secretary kerry has canceled parts of his trip. secretary kerry had to fill in for obama through a long series of planned asian stops two months ago or a month ago. and so biden was already kind of playing mop-up here. when this latest crisis arose. one of the things he was going to try to do was to try to get the two close u.s. allies, japan and korea, to play more nicely with one another. now he has yet another problem with those two countries not only having tensions among themselves but both of them having separate tensions with china. >> like you mentioned, oftentimes, the president and
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the country's attention gets diverted somewhere else. one of those areas is afghanistan. let's go there now. the u.s. apologizing for this drone strike that killed a child. also it was a targeted insurgent this week is what they were targeting. a child was killed. an apology was issued. so now president hamid karzai is saying he doesn't want to sign the security deal until certain conditions are met, including no more drone strikes. how much of these drone strikes hurting the effort there is, ann? >> this latest drone strike, the death of a child, could not have come at a worse time for the united states. it's an awful thing in its own right, of course, and merited the apology in the administration's view and in the view of isaf, the u.s.-led military force in afghanistan. but it comes just as the point when the u.s. is trying to get karzai to stop changing his mind every day or so about what it is
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he actually needs in order to sign this deal and to get it done. and you see the level of frustration rising among the u.s. officials trying to deal with them. this is only the latest in a series of problems with karzai in trying to figure out exactly what it is he wants. and it comes at a point when the administration really does have to make a choice about what it's going to do next year. >> what does karzai want? is there any chance he won't sign this security deal? i read somewhere it was kind of said in jest but this guy really thinks we need this more than he does. >> that's correct. that's the problem. he's convinced the u.s. is going to keep troops there no matter what, that we're bluffing. that's why it's vital that the white house carry out on this threat to essentially start the full withdrawal of american troops in afghanistan. there will be another president of afghanistan next year. the vast majority of afghans disagree with karzai on this most of his cabinet disagrees with him on this.
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the u.n. does a regular survey and that drone strike was terrible and should have been apologized for. but the u.n. survey found that 75% of civilian deaths in afghanistan are caused by the taliban, about 10% by u.s. forces. so it's inexcusable. 10% is too high. but karzai should sign this agreement. most afghans want it. he's just gambling too much here. it's going to blow up and hurt average afghans. >> what happens? what are the option ifs he says, no more drone strikes, i don't want any of these targets -- these special operations forces -- how many options -- military options does the u.s. have? that's everything at this point. >> that is everything. that's the problem. the whole goal here is to get afghan forces out leading this fight. and afghans are performing really well in some areas. so this whole idea of a smaller residual u.s. force, no one knows the exact number, letting the afghans lead the fight, that's excellent. part of this agreement is that afghan forces would be involved in raids on houses. this is what needs to happen
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next, gradual reduction of american involvement and the afghans stepping forward. again, karzai is overplaying his hand. >> again, reuters columnist david rohde and ann gearan, thank you for being here. >> thank you. crisis control, the failed rollout of obama care and the law itself is setting up for a brutal battle for the president. the impact for him and democrats, that's next. plus, no superpowers, no problem. one man is protecting his community, inspiring others and he's one of today's big ideas. they're not really looking. not at the rings. i can feel them looking at my thick, flaky red skin. do i tell them it's psoriasis? do i speak up and say it's not contagious? or do i just say... have a nice day!" when your psoriasis has gone from uncomfortable to unacceptable, visit to connect with a psoriasis patient advocate from abbvie for free one-to one education and support.
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topping the saturday headlines, four people dead following a plane crash in alaska overnight. the plane was flying in the remote area of st. mary's when it was reported missing.
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according to officials, there was three miles of visibility and light snow at the time of the crash. also as we approach the one-year anniversary of the deadly shooting spree at sandy hook elementary school, support continues to roll in. roughly $25 million has been raised in response to the shooting. half of that has gone to the families of the six adults and the 20 first-grade students killed. another $3 million used to cover lost wages and mental health services for the community. hurricane season officially over although forecasters predicted a busy year, it was one of the quietest seasons on record. the only storm that made landfall in the u.s. was tropical storm andrea that made landfall in june. the october launch of the website, failures just the latest stages in a brutal political battle over the new law. what's next? let's take it to our political war room, crishris cofinis and
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keaton dalton. thank you both for being here. let me put something up on the screen. a line here, politico said, the white house needs to give these democrats something. gives them nothing to brag about. no evidence that the site is actually better, just as some of the most vulnerable democrats are getting ready to blast the administration if they're not convinced it's fixed. so, chris, is there much convincing to do? is this just a wait and see to see if it works and hope as our kristen welker reported that there are more and more reports that the site is working fairly well for some people? >> i think the proof is going to be in the pudding, if you will. if people go to the website and they're having a good experience, this kind of pretty bad rollout is going to be put in the back of people's minds. people will focus on the positives and democrats will communicate that and put republicans on the defensive
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about the fact that they really don't have any new ideas about health care and this is basically them chiming from the corner. that being said, if the next week or so we start seeing the same kind of problems, same crashes, then we've got some political problems. but it seems like we're starting to turn a corner and i think we'll know really well in the next few days. >> and it sounds like -- say we do turn the corner here, caden. what are you going to talk about leading into next year if we don't have these stories and it's no longer this disastrous rollout, even by the president's admission? >> the president's got numerous problems. there's a 2,000-page-plus bill with a lot more in it than the website. just the website being broken and everybody focusing on it isn't really what's going to end up being the story. the story's going to be the people that were left behind, the people who lost their insurance and couldn't get it, the individual small businesses now that the president came out before the holiday weekend to
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announce that they were going to push that past the laeshgs cycle on mandating their insurance. so there's numerous things that are going to sit there. i would contend they're waiting on budget deficit talks again and changing the conversation away from health care. what republicans should be doing and will be doing is giving some decent solutions. but what we all have is a march filing date coming up. one thing the president has been doing is getting ready to pay his i.o.u.s back to his party that he's sunk in the last couple of weeks. raising $22 million for all these committees. he's doing what a politician can do when you're president which is fill up the coffers. they're going to need every penny to try to convince the american public that this bill was a good bill, was orchestrated well. they're going to fix the website. they set the bar so low, t.j., at only 50,000 hits versus skype who does 500,000 at a time.
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the bar is set really low for them to succeed. i contend they'll get by next week. the problem is this is going to linger around and linger around because there's a lot more to it than we're just seeing today. >> you say a lot more to it. i want to move on from that. but 50,000, i think a lot of people will agree, thiessen aen improvement. i think maybe the deadline and so much focus on a headline and a deadline -- but improvements has been made every day. our kristen welker said they have people all over, we have people essentially all over right now at some of these centers and they're having a better experience today. not a scientific poll there. i want you all both to listen to new york's cardinal, timothy dolan, an interview that's going to be aired on "meet the press" tomorrow. listen to what he had to say about the whole health care law. >> we said, and wait a minute, we catholics who are among the pros when it comes to providing health care, do it because of our religious conviction and because of the dictates of our conscien conscience. now we're being asked to violate
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some of those. that's where we draw back and say, mr. president, please, you're really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. >> chris, that's timothy dolan there. but still, had democrats on yesterday, members of congress -- how badly does the president need these people who have been by his side to continue to not just be by his side but be vocal about supporting this cause and supporting the affordable care act? >> you want more supporters than you want detractors. part of the thing -- this is the difficult reality of any type of significant policy change. you're going to have these kind of -- unfortunate way to put it but hiccups and issues. you saw it with prescription drug plan part d anderson president bush. you saw it with medicare, medicaid, social security. any kind of significant policy change, in the beginning, there's going to be issues. the problem i think the republicans have -- they sit there and talk about health care
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like they actually had any significant ideas about health care reform before this. they didn't. so they can go out there and criticize democrats and criticize the president. that's fine. that's the name of the game. but you're not going to beat something with nothing. and the american people, i think we've seen it the last few elections, are not going to sit there and go, okay, republicans are great because they criticize. you have to have proposals and ideas. >> katon, tell us what that something is. >> the one thing the president does -- you said the president doesn't have anything to lose. what he has to do is set up his party so they can have some success on those nine targeted senate seats we're looking at right now. >> what are the republicans' ideas? >> give me your something. that's always the criticism. what is it? >> let's look at the heritage foundation's program. the one the guys had early on in this debate about having cross-state competitive insurance, a lot of different things and trying to control the health care cost. but the political reality is
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there are an awful lot of people in this country that were voting americans that supported the president that were satisfied with their insurance. so still at the end of the day, he has entangled himself with voters that supported him that are now losing their insurance, having it readjusted, looking at a catalyst for 2018 and small businesses. >> it doesn't sound like nothing. sounds more like nothing. >> let me leave it there. chris and katon, gentlemen, thank you both for giving us a little something today. >> thank you. a little later, group healing. more patients are sharing doctor's appointments because of obama care. why some say it's actually beneficial. that's ahead. but first, a glimmer of light in the sky that indicates the comet ison once anticipated to be the comet of the century survived its close encounter with the sun. astronomers prematurely announced the comet's death, thinking it disintegrated. but the comet lives on and could
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be visible from earth tomorrow. you're watching msnbc. it's estimated that 30% of the traffic in a city is caused by people looking for parking. that's remarkable that so much energy is, is wasted. streetline has looked at the problem of parking, which has not been looked at for the last 30, 40 years, we wanted to rethink that whole industry, so we go and put out these sensors in each parking spot and then there's a mesh network that takes this information sends it over the internet so you can go find exactly where those open parking spots are. the collaboration with citi was important for providing us the necessary financing; allow this small start-up to go provide a service to municipalities. citi has been an incredible source of advice, how to engage with municipalities, how to structure deals, and as we think about internationally, citi is there every step of the way. so the end result is you reduce congestion,
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you reduce pollution and you provide a service to merchants, and that certainly is huge.
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you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. if all it took to be a superhero was putting on a brave front and maybe a little face paint, would you do it? in today's "big idea" craig melvin talked with self-proclaimed dark guardian chris pollock who encourages others to look inward in order to make the world a better and, yes, safer place. >> there's not enough heroism. there's not enough focus on going out there and making a difference. that's what i'm trying to do. >> what's the big idea here? >> the big idea here is to inspire others to do good. i'm trying to create a counterculture of heroism and individuality. i think we need more people to step up and do something different to protect their communities and help people in need. i've done things like report things, get descriptions, give it to the police. but not enough was happening. so i decided to take a step
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further and start confronting them and making a scene and getting them out of the park. there was a real big guy who was out here all the time. she was selli he was selling hard drugs. after i went in there with a camera with a friend at my side and i told him he's got to go. >> do you ever see any of these guys that you get busted? do you ever see them after the fact? >> i have seen some. some of them just don't want to deal with me, which is great. some of them look at me or threaten me or things like that. but i'm doing all right. i don't think people should get dressed up and chase around bad guys. but you should call the police, help somebody when they're in need. don't ignore the problems otherwise it's going to get worse. around the city, there's probably around 10, 20 people doing something similar to me. we're trying to make a difference. >> there's only one dark guardian? >> there is only one dark guardian. >> do you have a big idea making a difference? tell us about it by e-mailing
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say it with milk-bone. a rescue and recovery operation is still under way in glasgow, scotland, where eight people are confirmed dead and 14 others are injured after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a packed pub. one man who escaped the bar spoke about that moment of impact. >> it was like a couple of seconds of stillness. and the pub collapsed. everything collapsed. >> annabel roberts has the latest for us. >> reporter: the rescue efforts are ongoing. authorities are describing it this as a challenging, complex and dangerous operation. it's not known or they're not
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saying whether they believe that anyone else is still trapped beneath the rubble. but as the helicopter landed on the roof of the bar, the roof collapsed. and there is concern that the rest of the structure of the building may collapse. so they're going very carefully, picking through the rubble and really waiting for the helicopter to be removed before they can say kons vincingly whether or not anyone else is trapped. as you said, we know that the three people who were traveling in the helicopter, the pilot and two officers were killed. also two people in the building. 14 other people are being treated in hospitals across the city in very serious condition tonight. >> we appreciate the update, thank you so much. other top stories making news now. north korea has released new video showing a u.s. war veteran who has been held captive in the country more than a month in it. 85-year-old merrill newman apologizes for alleged crimes during the korean war.
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nbc news is unable to verify the authenticity of that video. at least 40 youth football players in las vegas for a national tournament have been sickened with flu-like symptoms. they were taken to area hospitals friday and released. it's not clear how the players came down with the illness. the event organizers do note that the six teams were staying at different hotels at the time. and freshman clashes between police and protesters today in egypt. security forces fired tear gas and used batons to break up crowds in central cairo. activists are upset about a new law that puts tough new restrictions on protests. they're also condemning the arrest of 24 activists connecting to that new law. would you want to share your routine check-ups with as many as 14 other people? it's called shared medical appointments. and it could be the future of health care. nbc news chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman, has a look
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at how one clinic is changing the way care is provided. >> reporter: laughter, camaraderie, flowers and even refreshments, this clearly isn't a typical doctor's visit. >> hi, there. >> reporter: in fact, it might be a model for the future of quality health care. it's a shared medical appointment, a unique way the cleveland clinic is providing routine patient check-ups for as many as 15 people with similar health issues, all at once. >> they take away more -- it's bang for your buck. there's value. you have extra time, extra information, extra resources, extra understanding. >> reporter: while a typical check-up lasts 15 to 30 minutes, a patient can have a shared medical appointment for as long as two hours, all for the same cost as a traditional visit. here's how it works. after a one-on-one physical examination with a doctor, everyone signs a privacy agreement, then the group meets to discuss test results. ask questions and share ideas
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about wellness, prevention and nutrition. >> it's just peanuts and oil. >> there's a lot of things that we share today with our health that are very good. and that gives me a very good feeling of a healthy community. >> you hear other people's comments and other people's questions and you might even learn something you might not have thought of asking. >> reporter: the shared appointments program here is just one of many catching on across the country as hospitals struggle with more limited resources. with the growing aging population and the expected surge in new patients insured under the affordable care act, some experts believe our country will need more countries to keep up with the increased demand for care. by the year 2020, it's estimated that the u.s. will face a shortage of more than 91,000 physicians. and on this day, one doctor saw double the number she usually can, giving patients who started the day as strangers support
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toward the common goal of better health. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news. just a generation or two ago, the majority of congressional members shared another title -- war veteran. but since the late 1970s, the number of military men and women in congress has seen a steady decline. in fact, the number who fought in world war ii is now just down to two. nbc's luke russert reports. >> reporter: the last of a generation. they served their country in the second world war then brought a sense of service to the halls of congress. republican ralph hall of texas, the navy. >> i signed up for the same reason everybody else in the united states signed up. we had a war to fight. we had an enemy. >> reporter: democrat john dingell of michigan, the army. >> it really wasn't hard to go. every american, as ralph mentioned, was proud to go. >> i flew the course there. >> reporter: one flew planes. one trained to be an officer.
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afterwards, both men felt lucky to come home to the g.i. bill and felt an obligation to give back. does it strike you guys that you are the last representatives in congress that served in world war ii? 40 years ago, more than 65% of the members of congress were veterans. today, it's less than 20%. >> i think veterans make good public servants and good citizens. >> reporter: and good friends in congress. no matter the political party. >> ralph and i had fights. but we were always friends and respected each other. and the cooperation and goodwill that we used to see here, you don't see much of anymore. >> reporter: what would you want current members of congress, especially the younger ones, to learn from your world war ii service? what would you want the lesson to be? >> discipline. that's what you really learn. there are certain things you had to do in the service. sometimes you didn't want to do it. >> i learned about the value of integrity. those are things that i think my
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friend ralph here and i would agree are important, not just to our generation but to the generations that followed. >> reporter: after 32 years for one and 57 for the other, lasting lessons from the last world war ii veterans in congress, important for their colleagues and their country. >> that is nbc's luke russert reporting. up next, managing the message from blocking photos to off-of-record chats. is the white house working overtime to protect the president's image? the "brain trust" is coming your way. i love having a free checked bag with my united mileageplus explorer card. i've saved $75 in checked bag fees. [ delavane ] priority boarding is really important to us. you can just get on the plane and relax. [ julian ] having a card that doesn't charge you foreign transaction fees saves me a ton of money. [ delavane ] we can go to any country and spend money the way we would in the u.s. when i spend money on this card, i can see brazil in my future. [ anthony ] i use the explorer card to earn miles
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piece you wrote a couple of days ago. in it you talked about the president and the white house excluding photographers from certain photoo ops. you said, you don't have to alter photographs to make them misleading. releasing photos selected to to show the most flattering -- they say it's a matter of convenience. you can't get all the photographers in one room for a medal ceremony, whatnot. if not that, what? >> they also say they're using new technologies that weren't available before. president kennedy didn't have flickr at his disposal. they're keeping professional photographers, independent photographers out of the room and having the in-house photographer taking pictures of the president and then releasing it. and these get their way into circulation. in some cases, they're actually
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doctored images like that famous situation room photo when they're going on the rate of osama bin laden. even when they're not actually doctoring it, those photos are designed to put the president in the best possible light. white house photographers, journalists are up in arms because they believe the press is being excluded and there's no sort of independent eyeballs on the president. the white house will say these are private events. but when you look at the events they're doing, they're really not private events at all. >> bob, you covered the white house for a long time. you were shaking your head and wanting to chime in. >> let's use the "p" word here. it's propaganda. we have an administration -- every president gets to the woint where he just likes the presence. and every administration tries to manipulate the press. but this is the most hostile to
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the media that has been in united states history. not only do we have this thing -- you would go that far? >> i would go that far. >> the most hostile in history. >> the most hostile. we have the situation where they are in fact shutting out the press. by the way, when they say, you can't have every photographer in, they know there's a thing called a pool. you have one representative from each of the media that represents all of them and shares the pictures and sound and all that kind of thing. that's totally disingenuous. the reason i say most hostile is because of the analysis department moves they've made. obviously they have a contempt for the journalistic process. those of us who are in journalism, of course, believe that it is vital if you're going to have informed electorate. >> which is all the more baffling when you consider jay carney who was bureau chief for "time" magazine of d.c. he knows full well what methods the white house is taking in order to censor the press and censor these photographs.
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as dana is pointing out, we're not talking about taking your own photographs and posting them on instagram while the white house photographers have their own parallel line of photography. we're talking about censorship. this white house only wants happy talk. >> dana, let me play devil's advocate. a lot of people say, look at those four journalists up there complaining about the white house and their access and this and that. and maybe to the average joe on the street, maybe they're not that concerned. they saw a picture of the president in the press room. they don't think that much about it. they might not know it's doctored. but to that point, the american public, do they care that much? they might just assume this is par for the course and what white houses often do. >> they might. i'm sure that's what many will do. i thought amy might defend the obama administration in this case. >> no chance, dana. >> i guess it was too much to ask for.
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here's the main problem. bob makes a compelling case that they've gone even farther than the worst administration clamping down on journalists. but it's hard to say whether it's worse than it was. but what's striking is this president came into office promising all this new transparency and we haven't gotten it. instead, we've gotten more than prosecuting more reporters under the espionage act than any administration back to world war i. the difference here is that this president promised something very different from what he wound up giving. >> which you can add to the list. >> first of all, i think that we really need to look at this whole history -- let's talk about the television era of covering the news, which is really what we're talking about. during the kennedy administration, of course, we've just gone through the 50th anniversary of the assassination, but the kennedy administration was very, very
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successful in manipulating the press. then along came richard nixon. and richard nixon established a hostile relationship with the press. each administration tries to clamp down on the press, tries to clamp down on what they call the message of the day that goes out. and that is not what you're supposed to have in a democracy. and it's beyond just us worried about our jobs. it is also key to the people who vote, knowing what it is they're voting -- >> what you are seeing that's different here is the press is supposed to have an adversarial relationship with the white house, trying to get to the bottom of the truth. hofk the white house is going to push back and manipulate and try to keep bad headlines off the front page. but what we're seeing is a shift in the attitude about reporters that there has been a lovefest between this white house press corps and the obama administration. they've been putting up with a lot more manipulation. now with the president's numbers going down, with obama care unraveling, we're starting to see a lot more complaints from the journalistic community.
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>> to that point, you talk about the lovefest. the president, we saw not too long ago, he had a group of liberal pundits into the white house. sometimes there are other groups. he's spoken to -- >> he even invited a conservative to it. >> to have these off-the-record talks. is that just a part of what presidents have done? dana, sounds like you want to hop in. >> it's not just occasionally. he's doing these things quite regularly. and what's going on is amy, bob and i have not been invited to these sessions so we're really sore about that. no, but he does it quite frequently. this president recognizes the importance of winning over the media. certainly jay carney as his lead spokesman understands that. but jay is sort of like the reformed smoker. he now has disdain for those people in the profession he left behind. and i think this president also -- sometimes justifiably, looks down at people in this
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line of work. and it's created an underlying hostility that bubbles up when the administration is having problems like it is today. >> and you have a president here who's by all accounts a very thoughtful person and he looks out at us riffraff and sees people who deal in superficiality. i can understand why he's not enamored by us. >> stick with us. i want to pass along something now. an update on the story we were bringing you a bit ago concerning the u.s. war veteran being held captive in north korea. national security council just released a new statement urging the communist country to release 85-year-old merrill newman immediately saying, given mr. newman's advanced age and health conditions, we urge the dprk to release mr. newman so he may return home and reunite with his family. newman has been held in north korea since october 26th. when a military official pulled him off a plane. stay with us.
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the "brain trust" will continue with this week's overlooked and underplayed stories. the united n is going to grow by over 90 million people, and almost all that growth is going to be in cities. what's the healthiest and best way for them to grow so that they really become cauldrons of prosperity and cities of opportunity? what we have found is that if that family is moved into safe, clean affordable housing, places that have access to great school systems, access to jobs and multiple transportation modes then the neighborhood begins to thrive and then really really take off. the oxygen of community redevelopment is financing. and all this rebuilding that happened could not have happened without organizations like citi. citi has formed a partnership with our company so that we can take all the lessons from the revitalization of urban america to other cities. so we are now working in chicago and in washington, dc and newark. it's amazing how important safe, affordable housing is to the future of our society.
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as we approach the top of the hour, live picture of the white house you see it there. yeah, a little something different there out front. you see a big crane helping to put up that red ribbon. tomorrow, world aids day and the white house taking a part making sure to commemorate that day. i'll come back to the brain trust now and continue with bob, amy and dana with us in d.c. dana, the vice president making this trip over to asia, leaving tomorrow. he's going to hit south korea, japan, china, as well. you know, some politics of this and policy in the current administration and is this a way for reminding people to get into the race in 2016? rememb rememb >> remember, the race isn't formally won by hillary clinton.
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everybody grips tightly to the armrest and hopes he sticks to the script and doesn't cause an international incident. he's been very well behaved recently an i think if for some reason the hillary bubble pops at some point, he is definitely waiting there in the wings. >> go ahead, amy. >> i think you are suggesting the vice president is overlooked and underplayed? >> maybe he feels that way every now and again. >> let's call this -- you mentioned the fact that hillary for whatever reason they decide that making speeches is too luke ra rative worth the trouble. you could call this the just in case tour. >> dana, you had a story that got a lot of our attention. tell us your overlooked story. >> a story down here in d.c. but i think deserves national attention. a guy that sued the local metro service for slipping on a bah in that peel.
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unfortunately, you don't want to do it in front of the video camera and you don't want to be the guy that drop it is peel you slip on so he was caught. the lawsuit is going nowhere. don't try it. it's a cliche. >> as a matter of fact, you know, the only thing better is slipping on a peel and somebody hit him in the face with a pie. >> a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving. >> amy, what is yours? >> now that i have heard that, i want to switch to richard simmons saying that he's been overlooked by the white house and the first lady because she hasn't included him on the get fit campaign but my actually story is in the "the new york times" and it has to do with medicaid and the expansion of medicaid which is now leading to ever more doctor shortages and this is something we tried to warn about with obama care and only getting more and more stories about it. >> bob? >> first of all, we haven't talked about obama care and the deadline.
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>> how did that happen? >> because you all got here late. >> so deprived. >> got here late. i'm talking about it for an hour and a half. >> the barbara walters interview and just make the point if you answer the question about barbara walters and saying where he'll live after the presidency, that's a certain indicator that he's begun the lame duck status. >> my goodness. i guess if i had to do an overlooked, it would be clearly through this conversation joe biden is overlooked. he's trying to get the attention, don't forget about my. the just in case tour. i'll have to youz that. people are talking about you to twitter to me right now. >> saying nice things? >> not necessarily. he's a good guy, folks. trust me. dana, good to see you as always. hope to see you in new york some point. amy, good to have you in, bob, good to have you here, as well. good guy. thank you all for watching.
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i'll see you back here tomorrow. first, "disrupt with karen finney." have a great saturday afternoon. there are seniors who have left hundreds of dollars of savings on the table by not choosing the right medicare d plan. no one could have left this much money here. whoo-hoo-hoo! yet many seniors who compare medicare d plans realize they can save hundreds of dollars. cvs/pharmacy wants to help you save on medicare expenses. talk to your cvs pharmacist, call, or go to to get your free, personalized plan comparison today. call, go online, or visit your local store today. a man who doesn't stand still. but jim has afib, atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts jim at a greater risk of stroke. for years, jim's medicine tied him to a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but now, with once-a-day xarelto®, jim's on the move.
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[ coughs ] [ male announcer ] can't let a cold keep you up tonight. ♪ vicks nyquil powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ thanks for disrupting your afternoon. i'm karen finney. workers fight for fair treatment. women fight for individual freedom. and liz cheney fights the changing definition of the american family. it's all coming up in this hour. >> the great fight about time is the fight for fairness in this country. >> black friday protests at walmart. >> allow us to make at least the poverty line. >> we're proud of the pay that we have, also. we pay in the top half of the retail industry. >> they seem relatively happy because they have a job. >> a living wage is important for the community. >> many retailers work around the clock today, trying to earn minimum wage. >> no one who works full-time should have to live in