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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  October 5, 2009 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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what the president said in his meeting on friday in copenhagen? did he have any objection? what are you hearing from the white house about whether they were happy or unhappy that the general went so public. >> the white house is not saying much about that meeting with general micchrystal at all and not saying that the president approved of the speech given in london and this very sort of public assessment and i think you can be sure in conversations with senior advisors is that the president is looking at an array of options and it's decidedly unhelpful to have a general mcchrystal out there saying a scaled down plan would not work. his plan is the only way to go. they are looking at an array of options. the white house is saying out of this, at least publicly, but privately the defense secretary's speech was met favorably here at the white house. >> the defense secretary seems to be taking the front line and also jim jones the national security adviser over the weekend saying very publicly
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that he disagree would the call for more troops. >> no questions. so, i think what you're seeing here is sort of a predicate being built up for the president to have a number of options at his disposal and reading between the lines and following everything that is happening. the president has not told his advisors which way he's leaning, but definitely giving him room to oppose in some degree the proposal that was put forth by general mcchrystal. sort of a timeline is building up and at the end of this we'll have all the things to piece together and he has a lot of options and he is trying to make that clear. >> how nervous are they about how the congressional budget office is going to score the senate finance bill because if it's not deficit neutral, it's a nonstarter. >> i think they are nervous about this. they threw this in once before earlier in the year and that, essentially, set back the message of health care and even
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the legislation and the debate. it's one of the many reasons that these deadlines were not met in august. the white house is watching that very careful, obviously. but interesting message wise you saw the president with a bunch of doctors from all 50 states all around the country. they're still trying to grow support out in the country for this, but no question the cbo thing is a worry and a concern to them, if it does not come back deficit neutral. >> thank you very much. and the pressure is on the president to decide whether to send more troops to afghanistan. insurgents killed 17 u.s. troops in the first four days of this month alone and just yesterday as we were reporting eight americans killed on the pakistani border. adrian, good to see you. can you tell us more about this attack and the latest from the president's strategy from the point of view of what the president is about to decide. how is it viewed from kabul?
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>> good afternoon, andrea. well, the u.s. military here described the attack which took place early saturday morning as well coordinated and directed at two small combat outposts on the border between afghanistan and pakistan. it's not clear how many enemy fighters or as the u.s. military confirmed, taliban fighters were involved, but one of the bases was almost overrun. the u.s. soldiers were able to rappel them from a base high up in the mountens and the base in trouble was deep in the valley surrounded by very high mountains and rough terrain and the fighters, which u.s. military say, the u.s. military says there were about 80, but having some reports ranging from 1880 to 300 were using heavy machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades to launch at the outpost. the u.s. military, aside from those eight american soldiers that were confirmed dead the u.s. military says about 50 of the fighters were killed, possibly senior taliban leaders.
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now, this combat outpost was due to be shut down as part of this new strategy under general mcchrystal and this strategy is basically to relocate american troops international troops from these very small remote outposts to more heavily populated areas where they could focus on protecting the local population. afghan officials tonight are saying the area where the attack took place has been completely sealed off and international and afghan forces have launched an offensive. the u.s. military has denied that such a thing has taken place and there is no assault, they say, but they are monitoring the region very closely and there may still be small squirmishes happening and there are no plans to change this strategy of shutting down this outpost. >> adrian from kabul, stay safe. thank you for your reporting. the deadly attack by the taliban comes among a fierce policy divide in the white house whether to send 40,000 additional troops to afghanstep. joining us now, joe klein
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columnist for "time" magazine and the latest edition of "time" takes an inside look inside the war and retired army general currently a visiting professor at georgetown university. first to you, general migs, how unusual is it to have this kind of public debate with general mcchrystal not only having his report leaked and a lot of speculation, of course, of where bob woodward got it from, but it is assumed to be somewhere from the military, but at the same time, to take this, to give this public speech in london, white house is clearly not happy about that. >> the process got reversed here. normally the president decides on his strategic objective and then asks the field commander to develop the campaign that will achieve them. we got that backwards and i suspect that, i don't know this, but i sure ask the question was
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the presentation in london done which you understand is one in which the information is nonattributable and it's pretty hard for this commander to go to lunden and talk to allies, political and military leadership and not be brutally honest. >> i think it was on camera, if i'm not mistaken. we can check that. my recollection is i was over in geneva and i recall seeing videotape of it. it's a very public speech and not an off the record speed. joe, is there a possibility just judging from what general mcchrystal said in the past on "60 minutes" a week and a half ago, less than a week and a half ago. is there a possibility that he will resign if he does not get the troop commitment from the white house and the white house is setting the stage for not coming up with an expansion of the u.s. deployment there. >> well, first of all, i don't think this decision has been made yet and, by the way, i think it is really important that this process is going on. you know, i disagree with general migs.
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if six months into the iraq war the bush administration had looked at their strategy there and talked to people like david petraeus and other people around the country who are actually fighting the enemy, they might have revised their policies on things like debathification and their tribal policy which is a disaster for the first five years of the war. that's what the obama administration is looking at now. there are things that general mcchrystal, you know, that they aren't, like the improved intelligence about al qaeda which has helped us target their leadership in a fashion in the last six months. there's another level of the playing field, as well, which is the afghan government and what is going to merge from that very disastrous electroprocess. i think what is going on now is
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really important process. there has to be a reevaluation based on the elections and the new, on our new intelligence capability and on what we're learning out in the field. and i do think that general mcchrystal has overstepped a bit publicly. >> let's say what general jones says over the weekend, the national security adviser saying that the advice to the president should come up through the chain of command. >> ideally it's better for military advice to come up through the chain of command. and i think that general mcchrystal and the others in the chain of command will present the president with not just one option, which does, in fact, have a function but a range of options that the president can consider. >> general migs, you know the military and how unusual is this and at the other end of the spectrum, i want to ask you about general petraeus.
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with the exception of the interview with brian williams last week at a forum in washington, he has not been very public. clearly does not have the kind of relationship with this president that he had with president bush in terms of his role within the deliberations. the "new york times" saying no longer does the man who oversees the wars in iraq and afghanstone have one of the biggest voices and the change has fueled speculation in washington about whether general petraeus might seek the presidency in 2012. his advisors say that it is absurd, to send up 40,000 additional troops to afghanistan. general migs, is this an uncomfortable situation where general petraeus doesn't have a close connection to barack obama and they didn't, in fact, hit it off a year ago when candidate obama went to baghdad. and general mcchrystal is very much on the sort of outside of the policy debate with the white house right now.
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>> well, let's just say that most of us have been in the situation would rather all of this not have gotten so public. unfortunately, the leaking of the assessment that mcchrystal did kicked this thing off and i suspect after general jones' comment that things will get quieter. however, in the case of general petraeus he is doing what is wise at this point. he's waiting to see how the debate flows out and then he's probably waiting to the right time when he can have the biggest impact with whatever his position is going to be. >> this is what general petraeus had to say about all this to brian williams about the current policy debate. this was done last thursday in washington. >> it is always appropriate to go back to what's the mission and what is it that we want to accomplish and that is what is being discussed right now. we're not yet at the point of talking about resources or numbers or what have you. in fact, i have not yet endorsed the resources that is something
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i can assure you has not leaked and is exceedingly closely held although that is about to be introduced into the equation. >> now, joe, you make the valid point, a very good point that it would have been a far better, if this kind of open debate and rethinking and willingness to go back to basics had taken place during the iraq war and had taken place in the previous administration. but doesn't this give ammunition to the critics, certainly john mccain, lindsay graham, joe lieberman and others who want more troops in afghanistan. won't they really go after the president and say, look, you know, in march you named general mcchrystal and now you're going against his advice and isn't this an awkward position politically for president obama to be in? >> i think that john mccain especially has just been salivating waiting for the moment when he can pounce and attack obama on this score. can i just say about general
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petraeus and his role. when he was the field commander in iraq he was the frund man and he would come and give the testimony to congress and so on. his superior at sent com, you wouldn't see so much of. now he's at coentcom and his proper role is to be one step back. i was there last week and they are doing, petraeus' staff is doing some really valuable research and evaluation of the situation on the ground in afghanistan. they're feeding that information into mcchrystal. so, i think that his role is, you know, there's all this, we always indulge in the political speculation and all the rest, who's in and who's out. i think that petraeus is doing what is proper for the position that he's in now. obviously, this is going to be a very controversial decision, whichever way it goes. if it doesn't go for more troops, mccain and the neoconservatives will go
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berserk. if the president does double down, the left wing of his party will have some great questions. that's why we elect presidents to make very tough decisions like this and we should be happy that at least at this point, this is something mcchrystal has said publicly. happy that this sort of very close evaluation is going on. >> general meigs, do you think general mcchrystal can live with the decision if it is not to double down? >> you know, sure. look, generals and admirals normally don't get exactly what they ask for and part of the reason they get promoted to those levels is that through their creaativity and operational, they're supposed to be able to figure out unique ways of solving the strategic problem they have with the forces that they get. so, i suspect after this blows over and after the decisions are made it won't be a double down and it won't be on the other extreme either that there will
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be a strategic objective and we'll get beyond all this. >> thank you very much for joining us today. and the hold up on health care. the president hopes on getting the bill out of the finance committee by tomorrow just got dashed. live to capitol hill next on "andrea mitchell reports." into our attics and walls. let's locate the original energy source called you and turn that machine up full-blast. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. come get 50% more savings on insulation with the new lower price of just $9.37 per roll. da come get 50% more savings on insulation get wrapped up in the luscious taste of butternut squash, blended with delicate herbs. v8 golden butternut squash. from campbell's. a soup so velvety and delicious you won't be able to contain yourself. campbell's v8 soups.
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dont expect a finance committee vote on health care tomorrow as the president predicted. the congressional budget office says it needs extra time to work out the numbers for exactly how much the baucus proposal had cost. the score could be make or break for gaining support from republicans and moderate democrats. nbc news congressional correspondent kelly o'donnell is live on capitol hill. kelly, this is a timing issue, but it is a setback.
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>> really all about managing expectations. i think there were a lot of hopes and predictions that things could happen right at the beginning of this week, but in real-life practice. this is a huge undertaking for the congressional budget office to look at the baucus blueprint and to run the numbers. what will it cost? will it come in under the $900 billion target that the president has set out? what are the questions about growth of cost over time and will it have any effect on the deficit? these are big questions that need precise answers as close as they can get and we expect from senior democratic aids that it will happen probably later this week and then max balk whose chairs the finance committee who has been at the center of this says he wants to give his committee members time to read it and then they will vote. it has been a long, hard slug already and this could be so crucial because when the cbo score comes out a whole new list of reactions. if it's favorable to the
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president's plan, that sends things in one direction and if there are some surprises that make it more expensive or adds to the deficit, that gives it trouble. it's a critical point and they are moving methodically and they'll get it done as quickly as they can, but not today. >> the cbo has said in the past that they score what is real. they don't score suggestive or hypothetical improvements in the cost curve based on more preventive medicine. so, there will be a debate after that score, but that is the tiffany standard. what do the numbers look like right now in terms of how many republicans and moderate democrats they really need to bring over? >> well, there is a lot of discussion now on the democrats side they're really trying to rally their numbers and that the moderate voices in the democratic party are really being asked to come together on this and there is a lot of discussion about trying to finalize something in the next steps that go forward that those moderates can defend back home where many of them come from
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states that are typically a bit more conservative, even though they elected a democrat to the u.s. senate. there's work there. for republicans, it is still a hard sell. and they have held pretty united as we've seen and much the attention has been on olympia snowe, republican of maine, who has given the most suggestion that she will be open to supporting democrat ideas but she has not been an easy sell either. during the finance committee hearings we heard her raise many questions usually along the lines of dollars and cents and what this will all cost. >> it all boils down to that. tiffany o'donnell, our tiffany standard. thank you very much. >> you're very kind. the supreme court is in session. the first monday in october and with a new lineup on the bench, the high court faces big decisions that involves freedom of speech and religion this country. that's next only on "andrea mitchell reports." you and your tasty whole grain.
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the supreme court is back in session today starting its first term with new justice sonia sotomayor on the bench, of course, they did have a september session, a rare one. but it is the first monday in october and court watchers will look closely at the upcoming decision on current campaign finance law, that's what they argued in september regulating corporate and union spending on political campaigns. other high-profile cases this session arguments on local and state gun laws and a despot over a war memorial in the mu hobby. pete, interesting day and interesting argument today. according to the reports coming out of the high court today, justice sotomayor participating peppering a lawyer with questions and forgetting to turn on her microphone and trying to ask a question when chief justice roberts, she's no
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shrinking violet. >> justice ginsburg came under the court got excited and talking over the other justices, too. justice sotomayor comes to the supreme court with an unusual amount of experience as a trial judge and appeals court judge. she spent 19 years on the bench and more than other supreme court members and she experienced at asking questions and shoed in september that she wasn't shy and this term does bring some big cases, andrea. we'll find out what her views are on freedom of religion and separation of church and state and free speech and we'll hear argument this week in the case involving the cross in the mu hauvy desert put up after world war one singling out of a single religion for favoritism because it's on national reserve and the cross itself by congress. a question tomorrow about free speech rights and a law that
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makes it a crime to distribute laws and other depicks of cruelty to animals and the aclu and the film community says the film goes too far and as you mention the case about whether the second amendment goes nationwide and the question whether corporations and unions can give their own money to political ads and then two criminal cases, andrea, that are closely watched. one tests whether states can sentence juvenile offenders, those who were under 18 when they committed their crimes to life in prison for crimes that don't involve murder and the second case whether the federal government can determine to be or sexually dangerous persons can hold them after they have served their sentences. it's already shaping up to be a pretty big term. >> a couple other interesting supreme court related issues and one is sandra day o'connor in a very candid interview in williamsburg, virginia, over the
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weekend saying she is disappointed some of her cases and her decisions are being dismantled by the roberts court, unusual. >> yes, very unusual. you know, it's unusual for many reasons because sandra day oo'connor left when she was still very active in fine, physical shape and fine mental shape. sometimes justices leave the court towards the twilight of their lives and they're not in the position to be able to make these comments. sandra day o'connor says she is no shrinking violet and she gave, i guess, a little bit of a grace period and now she's speaking out more candidly and in terms of justices and the other questions of that would be wrong not to mention is the question we'll see if all the end of this term brings another retirement. only one clerk for next year's term and that's unusual so that is making everyone wonder whether he'll step down at the end of this term, andrea. >> he is the oldest of the justices of the sitting
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justices. >> he is, indeed, the oldest and the longest time on the bench. he's 89. >> 89, very vigorous, still plays tennis, we're told. if there are any tea leaves to be read, the fact he only hired one clerk does set off some alarm bells. >> you bet. >> thank you very much. interesting times that court. three americans are being awarded this year's nobel prize in the field of medicine and for the first time ever two women are receiving the honor in the same year. elizabeth blackburn, carol grader and joe are being honored for chromosome research that has implications for aging and cancer research. only ten women received the nobel prize and that is since the award was first handed in 1901. the clinton case. 79 interviews that were so secret the former president destroyed the tapes of them in his sock drawer. up next, an inside look at what the former president said in secret about politics. the white water investigation
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and even monica lewinsky. a trilogy of books and now the author of a new book "the clinton tapes."em and now we can actually do something about them. at wal-mart, their prices are unbeatable. over 300 prescriptions are just four dollars. four dollars. imagine that. a favorite among dermatologists? one reason, lubriderm® daily moisture contains the same nutrients naturally found in healthy skin. (announcer) lubriderm® moisture matches the moisture in your skin. skin accepts it better. absorbs it better. and has its natural balance restored for a clinically shown 24 hours. for skin that looks and feels truly comfortable.
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h1n1 vaccine available for workers in tennessee. 2 million doses will be distributed. robert bazell is chief science and health correspondent, bob, who is getting the vaccine? >> today it is going to two hospitals. one in indianapolis and the other in memphis. health care workers are on the list of people who will get the vaccine first. in other places it will be given, different states will set the priorities as it is given. more and more rolls out, we'll see millions of doses over the next several months come off the line not just the flu mist and
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also the injectible form of the vaccine. >> will it be targeted first for the pregnant women and younger people. will they decide who the high-risk populations are? >> the high-risk population is almost half the u.s. population. it's health care workers, pregnant women, people 2 to 24 years old and people with underlying healthications and people who are around children 2 years old. when you add all that up, a lot of people on the high-priority list. people not on the high priority list are the older people who seem not to get it too often and they should get the seasonal vaccine which is available in most places right now. >> can you get the regular flu vaccine and swine flu at the same time? >> if it's available at the place you're getting it, absolutely. that would make it easier for everybody. you can get it and get it over with. it will start to happen. there is more vaccine available. >> what are their risks in terms of any kind of after effects or
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side effects? >> almost always no risks. hundreds of millions of people have gotten, or hundreds of millions of doses of flu vaccine have been given out over the years. the swine flu vaccine is a different one that has come along quickly and manufactured quickly because this appeared in late april and there is no reason to think it is any different and the government has a very large monitoring system in place and if there were to be a rare adverse side effect, i think it would be picked up quickly and especially in the military, which is going to be giving out million and millions of doses and mandatory in the military and you know people in the military's health is followed very closely. >> and is there any guidance for people with kids on college campuses and universities have had to deal with it because that is one of the high-target populations. young people in their 18, 19, 20. >> twine flu unlike most people hits young people and
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particularly bad in dormitories and other situations in schools where kids exchange all kind of things with each other. >> you don't even want to know. >> that's why the epidemic has been centered in schools and in colleges and during the summer and summer camps. and, so, yes, those kids you want them to get vaccine as quickly as possible and we have to have emphasize that even with the swine flu, there are now about 100 deaths a week, about 1,000 hospitalizations a week and a tiny percentage of the people who are getting infected with it. so, for the most part, it's mild or moderate and most people don't need treatment and there are those rare cases and they're tragic where people do die from this. >> bob bazell, thank you so very much and we look forward to your reporting on nbc "nightly news" with brian williams. unexpected studies on oautism. 1 in 100 children have autism disorders, significantly higher
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than the 100, 150 previously believed. it is thought that greater awareness of the condition along with broader definitions and spotting autistic children at a younger age may explain the increase. researchers are uncertain if there are other factors contributing. according to this new estimate just over 670,000 children in this country are autistic. now, to clinton confidential. a new book taking us inside the clinton white house in real-time with the historians one-on-one account of what the president felt privately but could not say pub lackly. a result of 79 meetings with the 42nd president of the united states. meetings kept secret until now. joining us now from philadelphia is pulitzer prize winner author, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, andrea. >> how did this come about? it is an amazing access to the president of the united states late at night, brought in to the
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white house in secret. how did he first approach you? i know you knew him from years earlier from the civil rights movement but how surprising is it that he asked you to do this? >> well, i was surprised to hear from him at all. i hadn't heard from him at all. we were friends when we were 25 and then went our separate ways and he went into journalism and he went into politics and next thing i heard from him, he was president-elect and somebody askask ed me to join him at a meal and he hit me out of no where saying he was worried about the collection of presidential office before he took office and would i give him recommendations and it led to this history project that we kept secret. >> he was concerned about presidential records because he did not want people to have access realtime to his records. this was sort of one removed. you kept the notes and the records which you made after the fact so they were not part of the white house, legally part of the white house access, is that
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correct? >> well, he, he wanted, we even discussed whether or not he would go back to do what lyndon johnson and john kennedy did which was to record their telephone conversation and that has been an extipnct practice since the nixon tapes helped drive him from office and the way he was talking in private. he wanted as close to that as he could get and, therefore, the closest we could come up with was a contemporaneous dierary that we had to keep secret because we were afraid that if it got out it would get subpoena or great cry to get at it in order to solve whitewater or some controversy at the moment. >> he talked recently about the great right wing conspiracy saying he felt that president obama was affected by that kind of conspiracy. how angry was he in the real time about the white water investigation and all the other
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things that led to the sprelsh prosecutor? >> well, he said agreeing to the whitewater special prosecutor was the greatest mistake of his presidency. he said he did it because he thought it would go away and it was the great cry thing and what did he have to hide? he should go ahead and get it over with and hillary was his strongest critic saying he shouldn't do it for constitutional reasons. he thought the country was addicted to tribute that had nuthing to do with the great issues that would affect our capacity to cope with the 21st century and we were hooked on tabloid stuff and there were times when he was mad and times when he was desperately trying to figure it out and eventually he said i have to get up and go to work and tune it out as best i can. >> i know you were struck as exhausted as he was in the early years of the presidency. how did he explain lewinsky and the whole scandal?
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you didn't have the access to talk to him during those months when he was denying it and a lot of controversy after he had acknowledged what he had done. >> yeah. that was, that was quite difficult. he wound up saying he felt sorry for himself and that self-pity was his central character fault and that his resolve crack, that is his resolve not to let these infidelities that may have plagued him earlier in his marriage intrude on something as historic as his opportunity at the white house and that he was feeling sorry for himself that even though he was trying to do his best as president, there was fixation on white water and then finally on chinagate and various other things that came into his second administration. >> and he acknowledged strains with his daughter with chelsea because of how embarrassed she was at stanford university among her schoolmates when all this was coming out.
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>> yeah. he said it was almost two years before chelsea would invite him on to the stanford campus because she was embarrassed to have him be seen with her friends. and that it meant an enormous amount to him when she finally invited him back to stanford, again, and indicated by her presence and by welcoming her among her friends that she was no longer ashamed of him or she could manage it. >> you have the highs and the lows and one thing i love most is what you wrote about boris yellson. i remember particular one summit in hyde park, new york, when he was so clearly drunk as he was in naples and several other places and this is a drunken boris yelson speaking out at the white house in underwear. >> trying to get a pizza. >> of course, what else. >> trying to get a pizza at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. the context of that story, andrea, like a lot of other
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sensational things he was saying that he was trying to accomplish one of the most difficult transitions he could imagine from the soviet union to create its first markets in conditions of chaos and political besiegement from right wingers who wanted to conitute the soviet empire and to try to do that when you were a real alcoholic and not just a joll y and he illustrated it with this story. so even some of the stories that he tells are amusing or scary or funny, he would tell him in the context of the time how difficult it made serious politics. >> it's an amazing book. thank you so much for sharing. the clinton tapes wrestling history with the president especially those of us who covered bill clinton t is a great read. thank you for coming in. up next, inside the financial crisis. another drama.
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welcome back. white house press secretary robert gibbs said today that the president has no plans for a second stimulus program so ryan livva is now the washington correspondent for "the new yorker" and has a special 16-page report on the political scene inside the economic crisis and larry summers and the white house economic team and, ryan, no new stimulus package but you reported in tremendous detail and extraordinary interesting detail about what went in to the planning. what was the most surprising thing to you about learning what went on inside those deliberations? >> i mean, on the three big issues i explored in the piece, one, how they put together the stimulus and how they decided on its size. what to do with the banks whether to nationalize the size whether to do a good bank, bad bank or stick with the plan that
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geithner came up with and, three, on what to do about the car companies. i think what you find is everyone sort of played to type in a sense. in other words, you have these three key players in the piece and one is larry summers who is the white house main economic adviser and two is christy romer who is the counscil at economic advisors and led by tim geithner. so, for instance, in the bank debate, cea, the pure economists, they think textbook way to deal with this thing is good bank, bad bank and recapitalize them with government money. geithner on the other hand, much more and the folks at treasury, much more sensitive to how the markets would respond. much more sensitive to the argument over nationalization or good bank/bad bank setting off a panic on wall street that would lead to a run on these
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institutions. and summers playing the sort of traditional hard core academic challenges the premise of every argument that is brought to him just sort of hammered geithner and the treasury people and made sure they explored every other option. >> he report a conflict between him and austin in the white house over whether to bail out chrysler. >> again, austin, who is a deputy, the sort of number two at the council of economic advisors and a well-regarded economist from the university of chicago and came to the table with a pure economist argument with, look, if you bailout gm and chrysler, you'll jeopardize both companies. in other words, he believes that chrysler couldn't survive. he said let chrysler go and liquidated through bankruptcy and that's the best way to have a thriving auto industry with ford and gm surviving. and, look, the jury on that one is not out. you know, the car companies, you
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know, it's going to take a long time to figure out if they made the right decision on that one. and summers disagreed on that, absolutely. summers believed that they had a chance with a chance with that deal with fiat and they, you know, maybe it was only a 51% chance, but they had to do t and there was a lot of division over that issue. one point, summer also a meeting with eight of the principals and -- in his office and he took a vote and it was 4-4 over what to do about chrysler. they are deadlocked. >> tough choices. as you point out in the piece, the ramifications of what they decide ready still being felt politically, because those decisions may have, as you point out, pulled the economy back from the abyss, but they only will get credit if it works and they got blamed. there was a lot of blowback in august politically to all of that and also jeopardizing health care. they had very little choice. thank you very much, ryan. it was great reporting and -- >> thanks, andrea. >> you can read ryan's reporting
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from the "new yorker" on our website. check it out. what political story will be making headlines the next 24 hours? that is next on msnbc, the place for politics. into our attics and walls. let's locate the original energy source called you and turn that machine up full-blast. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. come get 50% more savings on insulation with the new lower price of just $9.37 per roll. this is onstar reporting a stolen blue chevy tahoe, south on i-75, near exit 5. we're on it. onstar, we may have that tahoe. ok, i'll flash the lights. we got it. it's in the clear. i'm sending a signal to cut the power.
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we got him. mr. ross, the police have recovered your tahoe.
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when you look at my record, it's very clear what i've done so far, and that is nothing. on my first day in office, i said i would close guantanamo bay. is it closed yet? no. i said we'd be out of iraq. are we? not the last time i checked. i said i'd make improvements in the war in afghanistan. is it better? no, i think it's actually worse. how about health care reform? hell no. >> margaret coughlin is a columnist for bloomberg news and
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joins us now from washington. margaret, thanks so much. robert gibbs has just said at the white house that one of the options for afghanistan that they are not considering is leaving. so, clearly, maybe they are treading toward a middle option but not withdrawing from afghanistan. what else do you see as the sort of aftereffect of this very public and somewhat disturbing debate with the military over what to do? >> well, i -- i take what robert gibbs said and say there were different ways to leave. you can characterize it as doing less. you can characterize it as moving off the counterinsurgency into counterterrorism. i suspect that using various reasons, one being the -- president karzai's election and the narco trade continuing and all of that as a way of saying we are not going to do anything that supports this government or the narcotics trade. and -- but it is not going to be the full complement of troops
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that general mcchrystal is asking for. >> let me ask you about chicago and the olympics, because one of the things that he has not accomplished is bringing the olympics to chicago. and it is really -- the question is how did they get it so wrong? how were they so off on the vote counting? >> you know, if you can't count those votes what, votes can you count, going all the way to be rebuffed, i was sure it was wired because why would you go? i -- i can't give you an answer, andrea, on that one. it makes no sense to me, except maybe to meet general mcchrystal along the way. >> i gave them a chance to do that but seems like the president really put himself out there for no big gain and stepped on his own positive story because this they did better than they might have expected in geneva with the iran negotiations. >> so true. >> barbara carlson. thanks for joining us. i'm andrea mitchell new york. contessa brewer is up next,
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president obama's the commander in chief and no matter what his general says, the defense secretary says they will follow the president's strategy on afghanistan, but the debate rages on. will more troops on the ground there help the u.s.? and without them, will the taliban and al qaeda win? swine flu vaccines become available this week and we get real with one mother whose child was killed by traditional influenza. the man accuse of secretly videotaping an espn reporter in the nude is exposed himself. this hour, he faces a judge in court, charged with stalking erin andrews. a mother's reunited with her kidnapped baby, only to have all of her children taken away by child welfare. what's behind this latest twist? good monday. thanks for watching msnbc. i'm contessa brewer. get right to the big story we are watching right now the clock is ticking on