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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  November 12, 2010 6:00am-9:00am EST

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got in from las vegas where i got married this week." >> congratulations, sir. there's no better place to get married than las vegas. i say. well done. what else? >> scott says, "i got up early to cancel my cruise reservations." >> probably a smart play. although our director, t.j., is a big cruise guy. he says don't let one bad apple spoil one bad apple spoil the cruise ship bunch. am i right, t.j.? even if you have to be pushed in by tug boats, eat spam and have no working plumbing, still worth it apparently. "morning joe" starts right now. the problem is that there's $5 trillion added to the debt in the last three years, from 2007 to 2010. >> all ki say when i left office the debt to gdp ratio was lower than president 42, president 41 rand almost equal to president 40. that would be ronald reagan. i really have chosen not to
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second-guess the which you're trying to get me to do. >> no, i'm not. you're wrong. >> i can only explain to you the decisions i made. most of the t.a.r.p. money we spent under my watch has been repaid. >> then why is the federal government now continuing to bail people -- >> you need to ask him, not me. i'm the retired guy. i'm the guy who has done my job and i'm now home in texas. >> but you must have a theory on it. >> you're trying to drag me into the current affairs. i don't want to be drug into the current affairs, and i don't think it's good -- hear me out. i don't think it's good for a former president to be criticizing his successor. not only that, i don't want to be. >> all right. 6:00 on the east coast. where do we begin? it is friday, november 12th. with us onset, we have national political writer for "new york magazine" john heilemann. we have -- stop, boys.
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>> global editor at large for reuters chrystia free land. and senior political analyst mark halperin. willie has just joined the ta e table. >> i want to talk about the current affairs. >> are you going to drag us into the faf oirs. >> former president george w. bush. >> we all salute him for not criticizing barack obama. >> that's what i love about the bushes, they don't do that. >> that's the right thing to do. >> do we salute him for not taking responsibility for the deficit? >> there's that. >> thank you for saying that. that was the "but." >> however. >> however, when george bush came into office the deficit was $5.7 trillion. when he left it was $11.7 trillion --
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>> the debt. did i say the deficit? there we are. 5.6 trillion -- actually it was a deficit -- what are we doing here. >> there was a surplus and it went to deficit. >> that's not right. take that down. you're confusing people. here's the deal. in 2001 we had $155 billion surplus yearly. i was talking overall debt. when he left, a trillion dollar deficit and doubled the overall national debt. and i think this just sort of underlies a bigger fact. he can't just say, yeah, i screwed up. i kind of took my eye off the ball. >> why not? >> i don't know why. peggy noonan has an op ed suggesting that barack obama still doesn't get what went wrong the past two years. >> but the numbers are indisputable. >> the numbers are indisputable. he's going to this debt to gdp
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ratio for the final year, that doesn't tell the whole story either because we fell off a cliff in 2009 because of what happened from 2001 to 2008. that's kind of like me letting termites eat my house for 15 years and nobody detects it and then i leave and the house falls down the next year and i blame it on the new owner. >> right. that wouldn't work. that actually would be -- there are a lot of issues there. >> a lot of issues here. that actually happened to my house in florida. john heilemann, are you sur pri prized. elton john told us about this, sorry seems to be the hardest word. >> if we the come up with a his store cal example of a president who looked back and said, you know, this is something i really screwed up in my administration. i was searching my brain trying to think of an example of someone who has had the courage, a president, to say i'm sorry, to look back and say this was an
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enormous blunder that i made. i can't at the moment think of one. if anybody at the table could, that would be helpful. >> i'm trying to go back, and i can't. >> has he said sorry for anything? >> he apologized -- >> i was talking about. >> clinton said over and over he regrets not doing more about genocide in rwanda. >> that's a big one. >> that is a big one. >> that's an 80/20 issue. i'd say 80% of americans -- but no. in this case i think what some presidents have done is they've avoided issues where they know they blundered and focused on another part of the record. if i were george w. bush, i would not try to defend the fact that he had, without a doubt, the worst record on fiscal responsibility of any president in american history by any
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standard. >> take it a step further. what would be the value if he actually really opened up and said, look, here is what went wrong, here is why i made the decisions i made. but looking back -- what would be the value? is there no value? i think there's tremendous value. >> there's great value. george w. bush could say to barack obama, listen, when it comes to these issues, i deferred too much to congress just like you did for the first two years. what i figured out is if you give the chairmen in the house and senate appropriations committee room to run, they'll steal all your money. >> i think the other really great impact that would happen from this thing which he's not going to say would be the impact on the republican party. if bush were able to say right now, you know what, i got it wrong and actually you do have to have a balanced budget. you have to work towards that and have to worry about both sides of the equation.
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>> such a kind of a separation between former presidents and present presidents as if you cannot criticize -- i would like to see him go to the white house and for them -- like the mosque issue, the most powerful message would have been those two presidents. but on this it could be helpful, too. >> again on the deficit, i want to underline, you can go through every part of spending and then we'll move on because there's big news today, i think positive news on the deficit front as well. if you talk about military spending, obviously it exploded at record rates. if you talk about entitlement spending and the medicare and drug benefit plan that half americans didn't want, a $7 trillion new liability, record spending expansion. if you're talking about discretionary domestic spending, exploded at the fastest rate since lbj. he failed on this issue in every single category. so i just wouldn't try defending it. and now let's move on. tina brown has taken over
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"newsweek." that's exciting. >> she had a lot going on this week. >> the soon to be news beast. >> news beast. >> they said they're going to rethink the title. i'm putting that forward. >> that's good. >> here she was on "morning joe" -- with all this going on, tina, tina, tina. >> didn't tell us. greatly appreciate that. nancy pelosi backs off her earlier statements on the deficit commission. harry reid sounding responsible. mish mcconnell sounding kind of responsible. barack obama -- i criticize him a lot, god bless barack obama he has not flinched. some of the harshest fiscal measures ever suggested by any government entity, and the president of the united states has not flinched. that says a lot. >> that's a happy friday. okay. >> no trial balloons, no whispering behind the scenes,
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the president will not, this is, blah, blah. >> it is the beginning of the new american centrism? >> i think talking about myself and predictions i make that are always accurate. i said when everyone else was setting themselves on fire, we would have a good two years. i think the economy will grow, good bipartisanship. >> a clip of jon stewart on rachel maddow with your message, the message you put forward when you created this show three years ago. i'm going to get to news now. hoping to tamp down anxiety on the issue of a possible deal on the bush tax cuts, president barack obama says he continues to believe that keeping tax cuts for the wealthy would be a mistake. >> my number one priority is making sure that we make the middle class tax cuts permanent. i continue to believe that extending permanently the upper
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income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it. and my hope is that somewhere in between there we can find some sort of solution. >> the president's comments come as the white house sharply denies a report in the "huffinigton post" that said senior adviser david axelrod indicated a willingness to accept a temporary extension of the cuts for the nation's highest earners to earn a renewal of tax breaks for the middle class. in the interview axelrod cited the political reality of having to negotiate with republicans saying, quote, somewhere to deal with the world as we find it. >> that does sound like david. later he sent an e-mail to politico saying there's not -- >> oh, joe. >> there's not one bit of news here. i didn't go beyond what we said before oovps. some democrats are fuming about the report since the deal would run counter to one of obama's promises from the 2008 campaign. on the republican side, senate leader mitch mcconnell now says
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he's willing to listen to possible compromises with the white house to temporarily extend the cuts. >> listen, what's happening is the white house showed their hand, said they're going to deal with the republicans temporarily. the left got angry. they pulled back. a deal is going to be struck. by the way, i can find a clip of president obama on the campaign trail saying maybe we don't want to stop the bush era tax cuts if the economy collapses, maybe we'll keep it temporarily. mark halperin, the deal is going to get done, right? david axelrod, maybe the gaff by washington standards where he accidentally tells the truth, but they're going to meet in the middle somewhere and both sides are going to be happy. >> joe, so little has happened since the election to give us a sense of where things are going, the deficit commission, the reaction to the proposed plan. i think, you're right,ist shows optimistic signs for people who think there should be a deal. the white house on this tax issue i think is going to lay a
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lot of ground about how they're going to deal with republicans going forward and the base. i think you're right. the reaction to the left caused david axelrod to have to rejigger a little bit. in the end, the white house is going to have to do some things that the left isn't going to like. it's the mathematics of the new congress. >> david, this happened all the time -- i kept going back to '94 for a year -- >> mark. >> mark, i'm each sorry. for a year and people got upset. the past is "prologue." this is '95, '96 all over again. bill clinton would fooit republicans and give republicans half of what they wanted and go to the base. in this case barack obama will say, you know what? i hate the tax cuts for the rich even for a year or two, but i had to do it to get middle class americans tax cuts. those bad republicans. >> but we live in a different type. if bill clinton had a left wing blogosphere, he would have faced a lot of heat. maybe he would have been able to handle it. if the white house begins this
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new republican-dominated era in the house with a compromise, they'll have to be xlit cli skillful enough to let the left understand what they're doing. >> john, i did get your name right, john? >> yes. >> we talked about it for two years, the left wing blogosphere pulled barack obama's white house too far left time and time again. they listened to the noise on the far left, just like republicans listened to the noise on the far right. i would hope they've learned to tune that garbage out by now. >> if wishes were horses, beg r beggers would ride. i don't think they have learned to opportunity out. i do think the two things we talked about are actually joined together. i think the answer for obama in the long run here is he's going to have to make this compromise. the other thing we've talked about, which is the deficit commission, he can try to put this in the longer term framework and say i'm willing to
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extend these tax cuts, but i'm doing this in the context of a longer-term plan to get the deficit in order. we cannot extend these tax cuts indefinitely into the future because it is going to rip a gigantic hole in any attempt to get the deficit under control, you can't have the upper income tax breaks going on forever. it's not going to work. >> chrystia, why this deal makes sense, it would blow a hole in the deficit long term. in the short term while we have 15% real unemployment, there are even democrats and business leaders that say, you know, this makes sense. >> there are lots of business leaders who say it makes sense because they would fall into this -- >> does this help them reconnect with the business community? >> i think it does. i think obama has been getting a little credit. i think the india trip which the left didn't like, i think the business people really liked. i think the budget stuff the business community likes. >> again, good news. coming up, we'll talk about
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tina brown and "the daily beast" and "newsweek" coming up as well. we didn't get to that. can the tea party stay relevant after the midterm elections. the story next in the politico playbook. first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> i still love that "wheel of fortune" story. the weekend looks nice if you live on the eastern seaboard. temperatures right around 26 degrees around albany. 38 in d.c. a little cool. grab the jacket and the sunglasses. no clouds today. very, very sunny all day long. as we look at the troublesome weather all through the middle of the country, this is all heavy rain from amarillo up here to minneapolis. we even expect snow this week end in areas of minnesota, especially on saturday. so your forecast for friday, gorgeous up and down the east coast. the middle of the country is the soubl some weather.
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on saturday and sunday, the eastern seaboard is the big winner with gorgeous fall-like weather. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ beeping ] ♪ my country ♪ 'tis of thee ♪ sweet land ♪ of liberty ♪ of thee i sing [ laughs ] ♪ oh, land ♪ where my fathers died ♪ land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ from every mountainside ♪ let freedom ring ♪ [ male announcer ] it's luxury with fire in its veins. bold. daring. capable of moving your soul. ♪
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the war on wealth continues. the bush tax cuts for the top 2% of earners is set to expire at the end of the year. surprise, surprise, all the people in that income bracket happen to be loaded. it's called profiling. folks, it's so disappointing because this year was really looking up for the rich. >> headline of the day from the "wall street journal," projecting record pay on wall street for the second straight year, $144 billion. >> now, now, $144 billion check sounds like a lot until you realize it's only $144,000
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million-dollar checks. >> oh, my gosh. look at that cool shot over new york city. thanks, chopper 4. let's take a look at the morning papers. "the miami herald," while paying predominantly white collar jobs that once sustained many american communities are disappearing at an alarming rate, keeping the unemployment rate high despite the end of the recession. "new york times," incoming congress will contain the highest number of members with no experience in elective off fills, including 35 members of the house and four new senators. "the seattle times," high ranking intelligence officer be theyed russia and exposed the famous secret spy ring in the u.s. before defecting. the kremlin is vowing to hunt him down. sarah palin's alaska, a hybrid of adventure, travel, documentary. despite her protest, it debuts
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on sunday. this is not "the housewives of atlanta". this is about the uniqueness of alaska and showing the rest of america why we are here and what we have to offer. let me just read quickly -- >> "new york times" has a huge piece on it. >> it's whole some, visually breathtaking and a little dull. in a way it's like "the sound of music" but without the romance, the nazis or the music. >> all right. "the or oregonian" summoning police with a silent alarm while telling the gunman she had to disable her home alarm system. her auto biography "one tough mother." >> is it gert the one who would
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have her son wear her jackets and run over him with tractors and things like that to test them. >> she has been honored as mother of the year. >> gert. >> she's gert boyle. >> if we have another child, i'm going to name the child gert. >> i wouldn't have another one if i were you. you've met your match in jack. the politico's patrick gannon. hey, patrick. let's talk a little rand paul if you like. fine-tuning a pitch for a tea party caucus actually. can the tea party stay relevant and influential enough among the republican establishment after these elections are over? >> he owes so much of his success to the tea party movement. so he wants to get a caucus between senate and house members
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to keep them in touch with this grassroots enthusiasm. it will be interesting to see how -- there's sort of this establishment versus tea party narrative playing out a bit. when we look back at michele bachmann who set up a tea party caucus in the house before this election, a lot of republican congressmen were not 100% on board with joining it. they were a little leery because they weren't quite sure how it would play out in 2008, would they be a net gain or loss given the bad press it received at rallies. rand paul is very much trying to make his campaign and now his reign in office a reminder to people that now that you're in office you can't forget about how we got here. how many people he can bring on board will be a different story. >> that's the question, pat. the tea party helped republicans take over the house of representatives. you go race by race, the tea party made it happen.
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you go to the senate, the tea party stood in the way of the republican party taking over the senate. >> with the exception of rand paul. >> exactly. so he's going to be sitting in a room. occasionally he'll open the door and maybe demint will stumble in. but demint is a social conservative. tea partiers don't want to focus on social issues. maybe you can take a couple cats over there and he can pet the kitties. who else is going to be in that room with him? you have to have more than one person for a caucus. >> exactly. that's the point. >> are you guys just making up a story here patrick? did you not have anything for deadline? >> rand paul -- this is the story. rand paul wants this to happen. he wants this bi cameral caucus. the question is, is he going to get anybody to join him? i think your point is accurate. >> of course it's accurate.
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>> the tea party may not -- >> can i stop here. why is pat atlantic being so serious? will somebody tell him it's friday. >> happy friday. >> so let's talk about candidates for this tea party caucus. i'm fascinated why anybody would want to be in a caucus that could guarantee them losing a senate race in a couple years unless it's in the south or the west. give me a name. i'm trying to think of a name. who would be in the tea party caucus with rand paul in the senate? >> are you asking me? >> no, i was asking your cat. >> that would be you. >> i think you're right to look at jim demint. he would be the natural person. i don't think that rand paul is going to have a lot of success on this. i think that when he doesn't, what's going to be interesting on how this plays out is how is the tea party grassroots effort going to respond in terms of how many of them will come out to turn out in 2012 when they see
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their main guy in the senate, their tea party candidate -- perhaps you're right, their only tea party canned can't can't get anything done in the senate, is that going to turn the tea party off in general come 2012? >> what are you doing this week snend i don't want to talk about the tea party. >> yard sales, open houses, suburban life. >> that is a good saturday. >> yard sales and open houses. >> raking leaves. >> is somebody torturing a cat somewhere? patrick -- okay. it's chris's tortured cat. patrick, i'm sorry. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> by the way, patrick is serious. he eels a great, great guy.
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a lot of times people are l write in, why are you so mean. >> looks like he's losing weight. >> looks like he's losing his sense of humor. if we're polite to somebody, that means they're up tight and have no sense of humor. >> my wife e-mails me every day, john and says nasty things about my hair. >> look pretty damn good to me. >> are you in a position to comment, john? >> yes, the perfect position to comment, position of envy. >> i put it on four. my wife did send me to the salon. by the way you can pay canseco to call him. i'll cut your hair for $5.00. e-mail us at despite a smoking ban --
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weird -- las vegas smokers are lighting up in casinos more than ever. that story is next. also nfl highlights. are the atlanta falcons for real? it's certainly starting to look that way. don't forget to sign up for the all new morning minutes newsletter. it includes the daily recap of the show, guest interviews and big stories of the day. sign up by going to name one person on the atlanta falcons. okay. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] in the event of a collision, the smartest thing you could do is cut the fuel supply, unlock the doors, and turn on the hazards. or get a car that does it for you.
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welcome back to "morning joe." "newsweek" magazine, mika, some news breaking. >> "newsweek" magazine and the website "the daily beast" are joining forces. thanks, tina, for not saying anything. "the daily beast" co-founder and "morning joe" regular, tina brown, confirmed the deal in a
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posting last night saying the joint venture will be called the "newsweek" daily beast company. we could have helped her with that. beast week. >> news beast is better. they need to get rid of the "week" part. >> tina said some weddings take longer to plan than others. what does this exciting new media marriage mean? it means "the daily beast's" animal high spirits will now be teamed with the legendary weekly print magazine. join us for the journey. >> mark halperin, animal spirit. respond. >> i'm pro anything that keeps the magazine business thriving. we welcome tina to the fray. tina is one of the great editors of our time. i'm sure she will rise to the challenge. >> chrystia, obviously very brutal times for magazines. is now the time to be doing a venture like this? >> actually i think the website plus print is a great combination.
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it's a great way to push the website into the public space. if you look at politico, the way politico makes its money actually, it's chiefly website but makes its money in print ads. >> we'll see how it hashes out. both publications will retain their separate identities with tina brown serving as editor and chief of the group, she adds the deal finally took place with a coffee mug toast between all parties on tuesday evening in a conference room atop beast headquarters. she didn't tell me anything. >> that's in barry dillard's iec build down on 18th highway. it is a beautiful headquarters. >> how many stories is that? atop beast headquarters. at least 94. >> like 12. i don't know. this morning's "wall street journal" reports that the obama administration is taking a more hands-on approach to online privacy. the exact strategy is expected to be unveiled in the coming
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weeks, but will reportedly include a push for new laws and a watch dog office to manage the effort. that would mark a break from previous governments that have in the past relied on the internet industry's self-regulation. and the "new york times" reports that despite a state ban on public smoking, las vegas casinos as smoke-filled as ever. >> amen. >> that's because nevada's powerful casino industry has won an separation for casinos with more than 15 slot machines essentially every casino on the strip. but now a group of blackjack dealers have filed a class action lawsuit against the wynn las vegas. >> what's the whining? blackjack dealers in my day -- what did schwarzenegger call them, girly dogs? mark halperin, this is the story of the morning. >> no, it's not.
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move on. >> it totally is. >> casinos standing up for the right of americans, individual rights to live as they choose. >> every great issue of our time, joe, comes together in this -- we were just out in vegas, joe. and i don't think we could have gotten through that program without a carton of cigarettes. >> no doubt about it. no doubt about it. willie, as your great grandfather said when he was a hockey player, he actually advertised -- he talked about how -- >> chain smoking hockey player. >> smoking soothed his tangled nerves. >> this was 1937, mind you. they didn't have the full body of research yet. >> calmed him down, helped him digest his food. >> is he still alive? >> no. but he would have been 120. what do you want from the guy? he had a great life. lived to 90 years old. >> i want to see that picture. >> i'm going to get that.
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two stanley cups and the hall of fame. >> arnold palmer, chain smoker. hank aaron, used to smoke in the on-deck circle. i swear to god. >> barack obama. >> barry switser. >> are you allowed to say that? >> first and nird line to power. if you want to be powerful in the chain of command. >> there's mike bloomberg. if john is right and he does become president, then las vegas casinos have no future -- >> smoking ban, indoors, outdoors, public, private. >> don't smoke. it's bad for you. >> thank you, willie. the nfl kicked off a new thursday night schedule last night. it was on the nfl network. you might not have seen it. falcons-ravens in atlanta, military personnel watching for veterans' day and prime time. deion sanders, one of the falcons' grates was honored at half-time. fourth quarter, ravens down by
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13. flacco to mason, ravens cut the lead to six. just a few minutes later, flacco one more time for eight yards. the ravens 14 points in final pin us to take a one-point lead. the falcons looked like they would steal one on the road. with under 30 seconds to go, falcons to go, they get one last chance on the arm of young matt ryan, he finds a wide open robby white in the final minute of the game. he strolls in for a 33-yard touchdown. falcons beat the ravens in the final seconds 26-21. falcons are now 7-2. >> willie, you talk about steve bar cow ski, born in atlanta, five years ago when vick leaves, i think that's the end and we turn out the lights and go upstairs. who would believe that this kid
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would come in, he's doing great. michael vick is doing great. >> works out for everybody. >> matt ryan is a great quarterback. the nfc is a little weak so the falcons could rise to the top. here is a story everyone is bored of. brett favre, jen sterger, the crotch shots. >> don't look there. just look at my eyes. >> why aren't you looking at my face? >> she talked to the nfl. her agent said we cooperated fully. >> whatever. >> brett favre also declined to comment. he said it's a league issue. >> i'm a victim. >> i'm a victim. >> listen to this. brett favre did make a different announcement yesterday. in an interview with the nfl network, favre addressed his future again. >> are you still thinking super bowl? >> we have to get small steps right now. >> are you coming back in 2011?
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>> no. >> but he says that every year. >> they asked him if he was coming back in 2001. >> he's a stooge. >> did you just call brett favre a stooge? >> is that a bad word? >> there are a lot of fat middle aged sports writers that will descend on you like wild dogs. >> isn't he the one that sent the text. >> brett favre is the guy every middle aged fat guy wishes they were. >> both players in that game are a little lame. >> he's the one that saturd"sat night live" says he wears the what, levi open fly jeans. up, jon stewart with rachel maddow. we'll show you some of the interview are rachel next. don't forget to tune in monday when tom friedman will join us on "morning joe." up next, the must-read opinion
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pages. mika is working on them right now. you're watching "morning joe." ♪ [ mom ] my son. he finally got a cell phone. ♪ we found a plan we can actually afford. he thinks we did it for him, but it's probably more for me. know, that's my baby. my five-and-a-half-foot baby. [ male announcer ] get unlimited talk and text with the new walmart family mobile plan, where families can save $1,200 a year. what will you do with your savings? ♪
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we've all bought into that the conflict in this country is left and right, liberal conservative, red-blue. all the news networks have bought into that. what i do believe is both sides have their way of shutting down debate, and the news networks have allowed these two sides to become the fight in the country. i think the fight in the country is corruption versus not corruption. extremist versus regular -- >> wow. in following his comments on this issue since that rally, i think it's fair to say we could not agree more. >> canned agree more with that
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message. >> and the people who come on this show here couldn't agree more. by the way, i want to underline something that he said because it is so true, and it is something that we say constantly. we go out on -- said this for -- remember, willie, when we went on the book tours, we would come back and say, we've got on the book tours and we find that the majority of americans are in the same place. we get all these nasty e-mails. >> or tweets. >> we also brought up the point that we deliver the same speech at the 92nd street y that we deliver at pat robertson's law school. people laugh in the same places, they applaud in the same places. >> they seem to want the same things. >> they nod in the same places. he's right, this is not a battle between red state america and blue state america. it's between the extremists -- talking in terms of the media now -- between the extremists and regular people. in some areas of the media the
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extremists dominate. that's what people hear and read and see. in middle america, 70%, 75% of americans want us to get debt under control, want us to get out of afghanistan or at least stop fighting all over the globe, want us to have leaders that are respectful to each other. jon stewart's message is so important there. >> he also made an interesting point. on the 24-hour news cycle, take a look. >> the problem with 24-hour news cycle, it's built for a very particular thing. the problem is how do you keep people watching it? o.j. is not going to kill someone every day. so that's gone. what do you have to do? you have to elevate the passion of everything else that happens that might even be what mundane and elevate it to the extent that this is breaking news, this is developing news, this is breaking developing news. the aggregate effect of that is that you begin to lose the lexicon. you begin to lose any meaning of what breaking news means or
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urgent. >> and willie, that's the thing that shocked us three years ago. this is what ticks me off so much, is that people think that intelligent conversation doesn't rate. and we found out three years ago that smart conversation -- people find it. and if you have like 15-minute interviews instead of four-minute interviews, people will find it. listen, fox still has more viewers than us, but we outrate -- we have more viewers watching this show than any other network outside of fox, and it's just a different audience. >> when i was on my book tour, people would say thank you for having a civilized conversation in the morning. it struck me as odd that people had to thank me. where i live and where you live, people aren't skreechling at each other over the breakfast table. >> you haven't been to my house.
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>> people live in the middle and they speak with respect for the other person and they don't think the person on the other side of the table is a villain. >> john, you were talking about -- john bringing up another great point. for instance, waterboarding. it's not enough to say that george w. bush and dick chain nay were wrong-headed. for instance, colin powell said these sort of policies will hurt our soldiers in the future. it's not enough to say that. jon stewart said, you have to say he's evil. that shuts down the debate. >> it is possible to disagree vehemently on a political or policy matter without casting aspersions on the person's character. it's possible to do that. >> i also think there are deeper questions that we have to look at. barbara walters brought it up on "the view." she is held to different standards as to everyone else on that show. i wonder if it's time to open things up. >> and the transparent.
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>> completely transparent. >> give up the notion of objectivity? >> let's put that in quotes. >> seriously, can you think of a journalist that is really objective that doesn't have their own viewpoints? >> i don't know what that means. >> they would have to be very shallow. week in review is next. [ wind howling ]
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to 24-hour claims assistance, we do all we can to help you move on. liberty mutual auto insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? oh, yes. not only is it time, but it's friday. >> time for the week in review. this was a critically important week. the president overseas for ten
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days having meetings, g-20 determining the future of this country, but we begin with history on the "wheel of fortune." >> l. >> one l. >> can i solve? >> at number three -- wheel contestant caitlin burke sent shockwaves through the syndicated game show world by solving a seven-word puzzle with just one letter. >> can i solve? >> okay. >> it is a prize puzzle? >> yeah. >> i've got a good feeling about this. >> that's right. >> the historic feat won the 26-year-old new yorker a caribbean vacation and stunned even a jaded veteran like say jack. >> is it just me or was that the most amazing solve we've ever had. >> while most of the country celebrated the achievement, skeptics and conspiracy
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theorists smelled something fishy. >> sbod si lying here. >> through it all, vannah remained unflappable and lovely. as number two -- >> you want me to move "the tonight show" to 12:05? forget it. >> conan o'brien returns to television again. >> welcome to my second annual first show. >> after months of relentless promotion that included an air assault from a giant ubiquitous orange blimp, he settled in on basic cable. >> already number one in tbs's demographic, people who can't afford hbo. >> but it was clear that the big redhead's year-old network wounds were still open, fa fostering. >> i named the show conan so i would be harder to replace. >> his return will feel shallow until he's joined by his trusty
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pooch. the number one story of the week. >> a lot of people didn't think i could read, much less write. >> the return of w. >> i hope i'm a success. i'm going to be dead when they finally figure it out. >> former president george w. bush went public this week for the first time since he left office nearly two years ago. >> he's drinking again. >> out pushing his new book with tv heavyweights like oprah and lawyer, bush addressed everything from the invasion of iraq -- >> definitely the world is better off without saddam hussein in power. >> to abu ghraib. >> sick to my stomach. >> to mission accomplished. >> no question it's a mistake. >> to his katrina flyover. >> huge mistake. >> even with all that the former president appeared most upset about rapper con yeah west being
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meaning to him at a telethon five years ago. >> george bush doesn't care about black people. >> called me a racist. it was one of the most disgusting moments of my president. >> i didn't have the right to call him a racist. >> i appreciate that. what i learned was she's a straightforward person. says to her teenage kid, shear is a fetus. >> there were hazy stories about the blackout years. >> i'm drunk at the dinner table. >> how drunk were you? >> well, i wasn't knee-walking if that's what you mean. >> he wasn't knee-walking, a huge fan of conway at which timity -- kanye west, sorry. chrystia, you put up with us. thank you very much. >> that's going to be my new standard. how drunk are you? i wasn't knee walking. i never knew that was the standard. that's awesome. i wasn't knee-walking. as colonel sanders said, i'm so
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drunk i can't even taste this chicken. chris tells me chrystia was at andrew ross sorkin's party last night drunk, knee walking. >> chris actually is the guy who was knee walking, but he made me go home so i would be able to get up bright and early. >> can we put foam ton runway and the walls because coming up next -- he's here. and he is wired. dylan ratigan joins us as well as the moderator of "meet the press" david gregory. they're going to sing old simon and garfunkel together. ♪
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control. we've got to reduce the pro ekt jekted shortfall over the next ten years. they have proposed a comprehensive program to do it. well, they deserve our support. we can argue about the specifics, hopefully we'll have a chance to improve the package, but at the end of the day, we need something of this magnitude to get the country back on track. >> welcome back. top of the hour. look at that. they cut it down and killed it.
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>> they have killed the -- >> it's lying in state. >> it is lies in state. >> mourners will be here later. >> for those of you who just immigrated to this country, what happens ef le year about this time -- >> it's sad. >> general electric goes out, it will be comcast next year, they troo o to find the most beautiful tree nurtured by nature, god's gift of love for a generation and they chop it down, they drag it to 30 rock so they can sell plastic items inside the nbc store. it is horrific. >> millions of human beings come and mock it, come and laugh and clap and watch them put lights on it. >> they wouldn't let me go down -- >> because we make fun of the tree. >> ge sends kill teams through out westchester county in black ski masks looking for just the right tree to assassinate. it's awful. welcome to the show.
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this show is called "morning joe" which is actually a play on my name and coffee. john heilemann is with us. mark halperin is in washington. out of sight, out of mind. >> that was weird. >> washington's own mark halperin who actually got in three words last hour. we're going to let him talk a little more. >> so handsome. >> we did get him in on the most important item of the day is how they still let you smoke inside in vegas. >> i want to hear with him on that. >> god bless las vegas. also at the table, the host of the dylan ratigan show, dylan ratigan. mika, before we go to break, i want to say to you, everybody loves bad news. >> death and destruction. >> everybody said after the election the end was near. >> democracy would be over. >> i'm excited because this deficit commission came out with proposals that were austere. they were tough. i actually think they should have been tougher on the retirement age, but a lot of
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things that are politically impossible to implement. yet, look what's happened. >> who put together this deficit commission? >> barack obama. >> look what happened. these people come out, they give their proposal, the president doesn't back off. he doesn't send trial balloons out which is a really sleazy way to kill an idea. you have an aide do something. the president has not done that. he could have very easily done that. harry reid has been responsible and said, hey, let's listen. mitch mcconnell has been responsible. john boehner has been responsible. nancy pelosi was irresponsible but she backed down. there is, it seems, peer pressure in washington, d.c. among leaders to be responsible on this issue, and i think that's very good. i'm excited. >> well, except paul krugman really is bummed out about this. >> what a shock. >> he's one of the foremost analysts of where our economy is going. >> nobel prize winner i believe.
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>> the highjack commission. >> he says they're ideologues which i think speaks volumes about paul krugman. >> dylan ratigan, we talk all the time about how washington needs to be responsible with our debt. they just put out some extraordinarily unpopular items. cut middle class entitlements and raise taxes. >> and i think as a document it is a very good conversation starter because it brings you to the tax code which is obviously incredibly complex and in my opinion highly rigged. you can buy tax loopholes. the unfairness in this country starts inside the tax code. so it starts that conversation. >> by the way, dylan, that's why -- you talk to any lobbyist on k street, they'll tell you they're not there to get money for their companies, but to punch a hole in the tax code. >> i can remember sitting maybe last fall in senator widen's office in d.c., he said do you
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want to see where all your money leaves? he said that's where all the tax loopholes are created, in that room right there. we'll get stuck in that ditch. the point is thising doment initiates some of the core flaws, whether it is the tax code, whether it is the unwillingness to engage on the entitlement program, i think those will very good things. i think you need to be careful when you don't look at the inefficiencies that playing this country and the extractions that are still under way both in the financial industry and in trade because when you're coming with austerity, when you're coming with cuts at a time when there's still an extraction going on, the behavioral economics of that can be very -- can have a lot of blowback. people feel like the game is rigged in favor of certain people. then you're creating an austerity program on the other side of the room. >> got to be fair. if you're going to take -- if you're going to take it out of
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somebody's hide, you have to take it out of everybody's hide. let's go to washington right now with mark halperin. mark, i don't think enough attention has been paid, and you agree as well, to the people that put together this document. they have threaded a needle that for the moment at least have harry reid, mitch mcconnell, john boehner and president obama all holding fire, all saying let's see what we can do. >> it flies in the face of a million things that have happened not just since the election, but over the last few years. it's an adult document. it's not perfect. it does a really smart job of spreading the pain of whatever burden is going to come with having to make hard choices. we talked before about president bush and the debt that he ran up. i think the bigger complaint or criticism you can make is he didn't confront these hard choices. he didn't deal with the entitlement programs. he didn't deal with sacrifice that's going to be necessary. so i think it's a fantastic opportunity for the president to come and lead. he's done so a little bit by not
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attacking the thing as you suggested. i think he's going to need to do more. there are going to need to be a bipartisan holding of hands, an agreement everybody is going to have to take political risks. that's hard to do. >> no doubt about it. john heilemann, it really is. it says something that barack obama is going there, that he's taking this chance when george w. bush who was still trying to defend his fiscal record -- again, there were no tough choices. we got tax cuts, two wars, the largest expansion of entitlement spending ever, the largest expansion of domestic spending, pentagon spending. no tough choices were made over the past decade. >> yes. i think in a narrow sense this is the start of the beginning of the path to political rehabilitation for the president. in the larger section, the argument he made about the last two years is i am not a left wing ideologue who expanded the size of government because i want to have a bigger role for
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the state. i did these things in response to an emergency. he has to now take this document and this process seriously if he wants to prove that that was true. nah would be the ultimate proof. he would say, look, i have to do these things. somewhere to expand the size of government in this environment, but now, as we move out of it and get towards recovery, we have to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country. that would prove, in fact, that this is not just talk, that he's really serious about that and he's, in fact, pragmatic and not an ideological leftist. >> the parallels again, dylan ratigan, if he does this and makes america fiscally sound again -- >> which i don't think is possible. >> let me just say, though, if he does -- >> with this document. >> moving from this document, they don't have to accept everything. it would be like bill clinton who was progressive in '93 and '94, but when he wrote his book about his biggest
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accomplishments, he talked about welfare reform and balancing the budget, two republican ideas that he co-authored. >> no question about it. i think you have to understand in order to talk about this version of the solution in my opinion, you have to understand the problem. and the problem -- the core problem in this country right now, the core challenge day today is obviously unemployment. you have 20% of the people in this country unemployed. that is driven by both economic policies that have encouraged outsourcing and displacement through technology and all the other barriers. that's the problem, right? you combine that with the fact that the houses are worth too much money. you all the capital, all the money tied up in all the houses and you don't have work. simultaneously you also don't have investment and you have on going money going out because of the trade policies. i can come in here and i can cut social security. i can come in here and get rid of the mortgage interest deduction. but if i don't address the fact that i don't have investment and
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education coming in, again, you're not going to get out of this by cutting. you're going to have to grow. the only way you're going to grow is if you have fertilizer, sunshine, water, which is investment, education. we have problems to solve. >> but we get investment though, mark halperin, we get investment into this country if people realize the dollar is a safe bet, not only now but will be a safe bet for the next 20, 30 years. i agree completely with dylan. i guess we need to explain this a little bit more. we've got 15% real unemployment right now. so whether we talk about extending the bush era tax cuts for a year or two or continuing to expand spending for a year or two, i think most americans realize we have to do that to get this country started again. and maybe this is a compromise that maybe all of this gets implemented two years from now, or maybe there's a trigger date when unemployment is back down to 7%. but long term it's great news. short term, it runs up against the problem that this economy is still stuck in a ditch.
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>> well, balls and simpson push a lot of this way down the road. i think one of the big questions no one can answer which is vital, if deficit reduction is pushed down the road, how would the real economy react? would that have a positive effect on wall street and investment? would people say, as john said before, obama is serious about deficit reduction? the party. >> chris: get along, washington can work. would that help unemployment or would it have no impact or maybe a negative impact oovps. we don't know. that's the risk they've got to take. >> the thing is, dylan, and you know this better than anybody, you talk about animal spirits. and you were over at bloomberg, you were at cnbc, you're here. you've followed this for a very long time, the economy does not explode because of economic theory. it's all up here. if people say, hey, if this makes sense, i feel good about investing, there's $3 trillion on the sidelines. if they see washington working, if they see fiscal restraint, i guarantee you, and you know this to be true, the $3 trillion
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that's sitting on the sidelines starts getting invested in the economy, the economy grows, people go back to work. in the end it may not be directly related to expanding the economy, but it gets people back in the game. >> two things to reiterate that point. the way an economy ultimately functions and if you look at the history in america, go back a decade, you'd say how do you feel about the next six months. john would say i'm not sure about the next six months. we're trying to get this gig. then i'd say the next five years? he'd said, next five years, i feel pretty good. you ask mika, how do you feel about the next six months? i feel good. how do you feel about the next five years? next five years i'm not so sure. that's the psychological ent intersection that we're wrestling. i would add to that that knowing how powerful the incentives are right now to take money out of this country, whether it's to
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put it into the credit gambling markets in new york which is not productive capital or take it out to china, those incentives also must be addressed. this is like an open heart surgery. yes, the deficit plan is one part, that's taking the vein out of your leg or whatever it is, i'll need a few other major things to happen which include the financial system and the trade policies. >> dylan touched on an important third point, we've got three issues here economically. number one, we do have the long-term stability, the fiscal stability, that's accounting. there are political problems, but that's basic accounting. we can do that. we know how to do that. it's math. the second thing is getting the economy started again, getting people back in shops. >> that's been an education. >> the third thing that's a great challenge that will come from america, how do we grow the pie, how do we expand the economy? how do we do what intel and
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microsoft and apple did to this country in the early 1990s? we've got expand. i personally think it's green energy. >> we don't know. it's only if we create an open competition to solve our country's problems we'll find out. coming up, mott moderator of "meet the press" david gregory joins us. the broken down cruise ship returns to land. what the passengers saying this morning. first to bill karins with a check on the forecast. time for a weekend forecast. on the east coast, the enjoyable weather. the middle of the country is where all the problems exist. friday's forecast looking just fine, just lifk yesterday from the great lakes to new england down the east coast. more of the same. now, the middle of the country is where the heavy rain is. there's snow mixed in. just got a report of thundersnow in amarillo, a thunderstorm producing heavy snow. be careful in north texas this morning. this weekend the snow will move to minnesota, minneapolis. traveling today, airport problems possible from dallas,
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kansas city and eventually into minneapolis. weekend forecast, as i mentioned, the east coast looks fantastic. no problems at all. even much on the west coast will be mild. our friends in l.a. will have a warm weekend. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪ ♪ cadillac cts sports sedan. top-tier status right now get this attractive lease offer on a cadillac cts sport sedan.
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why are they talking about that woman? >> making political hay out of the wheat field, the nbc cable town merger. who wrote this? jerry, honestly? he told reporters the merger of nbc and cable town is bad for the consumer. i don't trust their executive leadership and cable town still has an auxiliary button on their
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remote. what is that for? it makes the screen go blue. >> why is she talking about the merger. >> it's not your fault nobody watched "america's next top black guy." >> that's funny. with us from washington, moderator of "meet the press" and star of 30 rock, david gregory. you nailed it. i'm expecting an emmy. >> i really can't talk about my artistic pursuits unless you speak to my agent, i'm sorry. >> how exciting. >> that was david acting like a diva on 30 rock. >> i was putting it right out there. that was off the top of my head. i was improvising there. that was actually an attempt by me to try to lure my kids into watching me do something professionally. they still weren't interested. >> they still wouldn't watch? >> no. >> let me say, i feel your pain. >> i could set my hair on fire
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on tv and my kids would walk past the tv. >> i thought that was very cool. i thought it was very cool to be part of that. >> it was very cool. david, we were talking about the deficit commission. my gosh, i've got to say, i'm very impressed that so many players in washington are acting like grownups. >> what's interesting, joe, i think there's a big point that explains a lot of that. this commission needs 14 members that actually agree on something or else this becomes an intellectual exercise and not something congress takes up. i think that's one of the reasons why certainly you have the white house acting the way it's acting, which is not to come in on any of the specifics. you don't want to tilt the balance one way or the other and spoil republican support principally. look, whether you're a republican leader or the president of the united states, you have this commission for political cover here. that's what it's designed to
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provide. nobody wants to commit to any details yet because, as you've been talking about, these are all awful politically. >> they are awful politically. but i'm heartened by the fact that, whether it's john boehner or harry reid or mitch mcconnell, very responsible statements. the president has been responsible. nancy pelosi stepped out yesterday and said some things that were just irresponsible, but even she backed off of those. it's almost like there's now peer pressure in washington, d.c. to be rational about this long-term problem. >> this is a big moment. i think we certainly knew this was coming. next year the fight over the budget is going to be interesting. either you have the president and republican leaders standing side by side having made painful choices or each side will use an element of this to jam the other and we'll get off to the races for 2012 even sooner. i think if voters were voting their economic anxiety and expressing their extreme
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distrust and distaste for the role of government in our lives, then i think they've got to in washington, here in washington make some very difficult choices that go beyond, even the republican pledge to america, talking about $100 billion in cuts, returning to 2008 discretionary levels. that's not going to get us even close unless you take on the really tough stuff and say to the american people, look, you're not going do like, this but i have to level with you. if we don't do this, we can't fulfill some of these promises, i think there would be more political trouble. i think the american people are actually asking for a little more honesty out of washington. >> we all know this. >> i think that's absolutely it, right there. >> it's so frustrating, we all know if you're going to fix this country, you're going to have to fix entitlements, you're going to have to raise taxes. >> it's going to be hard. >> you're going to have to cut middle class entitlements, cut pentagon spending. no one ever wants to talk about this, david. let's go in the other direction
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and talk about tax cuts for a second. obviously that would increase the deficit for a year or two. but i think both sides are desperate to get this economy going again. do you think david axelrod showed his hand where the white house is going with the deal and had to back off a little bit to keep the left off -- >> we'll find out sunday. >> we'll talk to him on sunday. i mean, look, i suspect they are moving toward this deal for a couple of reasons. one, because it makes sense. as long as jobs is the dominant issue, and it is, as long as housing is a dominant issue and even though we don't talk about it as much, it is. they don't want to be raising taxes at a precarious point in economic recovery. and if it is a temporary increase on the top earners, then you can get into some of these proposals by the commission and look at both tax structure and other cuts that would have to accompany
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continuing the tax policies at these rates, they'd have to continue in the future. i think it would buy them a little bit of time. look, the president doesn't always say when he talks about the upper earners, he doesn't talk about accounting for the fact that if you extend the bush tax cuts on the middle class, there is a price to be paid for all that. there still hasn't been the corresponding cuts in spending that would account for extending tax policy on those. i know that the bush tax cuts are existing policy. i had that discussion with chris christie on the program last sunday. nevertheless, there's still the issue of how you pay for a tax policy at this level when in the course of that tax policy going back to 2001, the deficit is increased. >> we've got to be talking about a shefort-term extension. mark halperin, let me ask you about this issue. do you think in the end the white house understands that a lot of left wing bloggers got
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them in trouble during the health care deal, stopped them from making a deal that could have saved them politically and actually pass something that made sense. do you think they're going to be able to tune out the left wing bloggers and the extreme voices on the left to start making deals with republicans and moving the white house to the middle? >> well, they're going to have to tune out the extreme voices on the left. boehner and mcconnell are going to have to turn out the extreme voices on the right. >> no doubt about it. >> on the substance, i think boehner, mcconnell and the president could cut deals on all this stuff in an hour and a half. the question is the politics of the left and the right, but also the personalities. i don't think you can understate the fact that they're going to have to join hands. in all likelihood a deal like this will benefit the president more than the republican leaders. the president will have to convince them to appeal to their patriotism, fiscal discipline, whatever it is. he's going to have to make them agree that this is the right thing to do. they're going to have to trust
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him. they're much further from than than substantive deal. >> mark, i would say i think republican leaders recognize, as much as opposition to the president has been a winning strategy politically, once they have this level of power now in washington, they've got to have some deliverables as well, at least to some point. i think this is in their judgment probably an easier one. joe, you talk about the left. don't ask don't tell. is that policy going to go away in the military? it could be slipping away. i've got senator mccain on the program on sunday just back from afghanistan. he appears to still be against this. this is something that's going to be an important discussion and very important politically from the president if he can't pull this off. >> i was going to say, there's an issue that maybe the president gives to the progressive base and says, listen, i'm going to stand up and fight it because that's not why -- social issues is not why democrats lost 60 seats. it was the economy. so he moves left on a social issue like that and then, david, he strikes the deal. because in the end, david, the
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president's biggest problem is he lost independents. democrats lost independents by 18 points after winning them by 18 points in 2006. tax cuts, while it will enrage the left, will actually help him with those independents who believe he is a big government liberal. >> i don't think there's any question about it. if he's going to try to improve relations with corporations with america, with the business community, if he's going to reach out to independent voters, i want to make sure i don't do anything to jeopardize that. again, from his point of view, his principle is, look, we can do that, i will give on this, but you've got to show me in essence how we're going to pay for a continuation of tax policy that screams out for corresponding spending cuts. i think he'll be the one in the fiscally conservative position if he positions himself correctly to say what about balancing the budget? i think that's the important
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point you made earlier, joe, one of bill clinton's big calling cards as the head of the democratic party, it was a party dedicated to balancing the budget. it appears president obama has lost that virtue of the democratic party. that's something he's got to try to win back. >> who else do you have on "meet the press" this sunday? >> we've got a really strong roundtable as well, special economic roundtable. we'll have alan greenspan, newt gingrich, bethany mclayne, new author of a book about the financial crisis and harold ford junior. >> all right. david gregory, thanks very much. we'll see you this sunday on "meet the press." let's also thank mark halperin. >> i want to thank you in bringing the story america is waking up to, as you said it is -- smoking in vegas. >> awful. >> you looked like that little korean kid just now, the 10-month-old smoking baby.
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home at last. stories from the carnival cruise that became a nightmare. that's next on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] in the event of a collision,
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34 past the hour. a quick look at the news. 4500 passengers and crew members are happy to be on dry land this morning. yeah. that carnival cruise liner that was stranded in the water off of mexico is safely tied up at the dock. nbc's miguel almoguer has more on what the passengers are saying this morning. >> reporter: pulled by tug boats, the splendor made harbor at sunrise after three days adrift in the pacific. passengers raised their arms in victory as family and spectators welcomed them home. on land they shared stories and home video of a dream vacation sunning at sea. >> the bed started vibrating really bad. >> the harlands were celebrating their anniversary with their children. >> we went outside and stau black smoke coming out and they sounded the alarm. >> the ship's crew tried to calm
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passengers. candace van lowen was married saturday and made the best of a difficult situation. >> it was a disappoint on monday. after monday when we figured out we were coming back and everything was over, they were giving us a free cruise, it was great. >> not everyone shared her enthusiasm. with no power, tlfls no refrigeration. marquise horace says it was a nightmare. >> i'm ot not sure if i'll ever go on a cruise again. it felt like gilligan's aland. >> i've never seen hot dog salad, green bean sandwiches. >> michael hall planned this cruise for two years but never expected his food to be delivered by the u.s. navy, canned spam. >> we're going home, but the reagan was really cool. i got a bunch of photos of it. >> for ken king who turned 42 today, the birthday celebration began last night with warm beer. >> yesterday they actually opened the bar and were giving
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everybody free alcohol which i think helped a lot, made everybody happy. >> edward, a navy veteran has been on many ships. he loved every minute of it. >> i'd go back tomorrow. >> okay. up next, the debt stops here. can they come together over the deficit commission proposal? the former head of the government accountability office joins us next right here on "morning joe." which provided for their every financial need. [ thunder rumbling ] [ thunder crashing ] and then, in one blinding blink of an eye, their tree had given its last. but with their raymond james financial advisor, they had prepared for even the unthinkable. ♪ and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. i worry about my son playing football. which is why i'm really excited. because toyota developed this software
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the problem is that there's $5 trillion added to the debt in the last three years. >> all ki tell you when i left office, the debt-to-gdp ratio was at lower than president 42, president 41 and almost equal to president 40. that would be ronald reagan.
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i really have chosen not to second-guess the president which you're trying to get me do. >> no, no, you're wrong. >> i can only explain to you the decisions i made. >> all right. welcome back to "morning joe." almost 40 past the hour. dylan ratigan is still with us. >> we've got an update. chris licht, i understand we were not able to go to the ge corporate tree this year that they slaughtered and brought here so kids from across america -- >> the commerce tree. >> and buy plastic goods and see the nbc experience store. i understand al roker was allowed to go down. >> here come the mourners. >> safety concern, too many people down. >> too many people down there. >> that's where we would have been. >> this was how it looked when we wanted to take a picture of the ge commerce tree. >> i can see the concern. >> i can see the concern, too. it's frightening. >> masses of people.
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>> they were worried if you went down there, that there would be such a crowd of screaming young boys. >> boys? >> screaming young boys? >> is that your fan base. >> i have a bieber like effect on people. >> we're going down there. chris, rig us up a unit. we're going down there. the former head of the government accountability office and president and ceo of a great organization, the peter g. peterson foundation, david walker, also the author of "comeback america," turning the country around and restoring fiscal responsibility. we've been talking since i wrote a book in 2004 talking about how irresponsible washington is on spending and actually went after george w. bush. i hear george bush trying to defend his fiscal record. i wonder what numbers he's looking at. >> well, unfortunately he's not
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very good at math and recalling the numbers. he was probably the most fiscally irresponsible president in the history of the united states. now we are still out of control and hopefully we're going to be able to regain control here in the near future. >> we're excited to hear, at least i am -- i don't want to speak for anybody else, about the deficit commission. it seems like a lot of leaders in washington are actually behaving rationally. talk about your initial thoughts of this commission report and the response to it. >> well, i think the co-chair's proposal is commendable. it's comprehensive. it's constructive. and i think most people on the hill are dealing with it in a responsible fashion. with all due respect to speaker pelosi, her comments were irresponsible yesterday. hopefully she's changed her course now. the real key is where do we go from here? no matter whether they can get 14 out of 18 votes for some of these recommendations, the president must lead. he must choose proposals from this co-chairman's mark from the
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peterson-pugh commission, and lead on this issue. that's what a president is supposed to do. >> dylan ratigan. >> i'm interested in your perspective on how effective any cutting of any kind, more a tax reform, entitlement reform, i don't care where you cut, defense. how do you create the jobs that are going to be necessary to support the future of this country, the integrity of its housing market, the integrity of its social fabric and the future tax collections that would pay for teachers, cops, judges, et cetera, and does this deficit commission in your mind go anywhere near that. or is this uncorrelated and do we still need a meaningful renovation and all the rest of it to create jobs? >> first, i think you make an excellent point. we have to differentiate between the short term and the structural. in the short term we need to take actions to make sure we don't have a double-dip recession, to invigorate
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economic growth, to get unemployment down. the current deficits and debt levels are not the real threat. then we have to have a plan, which is what the deficit commission is doing, to deal with the structural deficits. that's why you have to phase in any tax increases and end spending cuts so you don't undercut recovery. we're going to need a period of relative austerity combined with targeted investment, renewed innovation over a number of years to put us back on a growth trick because we've been eating our seed corn for too long. >> yes, we have. joe, in terms of what dave walker was saying about how the president has an opportunity here to lead -- it certainly seems like everybody is taking a look at it. harry reid saying the bottom line is he looks forward to the commission's full recommendations and to working with my colleaguing on both sides of the aisle to address this important issue, we're hearing that. that's good. how then does the president lead with this? what's the opportunity for him?
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is it something about both sides being a little less pleased? >> he's got a great opportunity. he actually has to underline exactly what dave walker just said which is, john heilemann, there are two issues we face. first of all, we face our short-term concerns. we don't want a double-dip recession. we can't raise taxes and cut spending at the same time right now because we will do that. but structurally for this generation and the next, we've got to stop eating our seed corn. we've got to over the long run fix these problems. that's how he does it. >> the real challenge for him is going to come, if the chairmen of this commission are not able to get 14 out of 18 votes and there are already members of the commission, i heard jan schakowsky last night on the radio attacking certain elements of their proposal, if he's not going to try to weigh in until the commission reaches its conclusion. if the commissioners don't get 14 out of 18, the president at that point is going to be in a real bind where he's going to
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have to step up and provide guidance. until there's an outcome of the commission, he can lay back. then he may have to step forward. >> dave, he's going to have to talk to a couple members of his own illinois delegation. jan schakowsky came out and said something quickly, senator durbin was critical too early out of the game. everybody has got to be responsible. >> joe, you need to have a plan an implement it in a phased fashion. for example, we need a budget. we don't have a 2011 budget that takes a tough line on spending, that freezes across-the-board pay increases. we need to have a temporary moratorium on earmarks. we need to decide what to do on the bush tax cuts. next year, in addition to that, we need to reimpose tough budget controls, reform social security and establish a task force that can help bring the government into the 21st century. big issues like comprehensive tax reform, next round of health care reform will probably have
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to wait until 2013. let's develop a plan and let's start implementing the plan to avoid a super subprime crisis. by the way, i'm now with the come back america initiative which is going to be much more aggressive about seeking solutions here. >> i love it. >> david walker, thank you. >> good to be with you again. coming up president andrew jackson rock star, you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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♪ we'll ruin the bank and trickle the courts ♪ ♪ take on the world through america's sites ♪ ♪ we'll take back the country ♪ we'll take ♪ we'll take ♪ and we'll take >> that's ac/dc. >> that was from the new broadway musical "bloody bloody andrew jackson." joining us now the director and cowriter, alex timbers. >> congratulations. >> thanks so much. >> that was andrew jackson. that's different from the one john tells me about. tell us about the play. >> the play is -- it looks at andrew jackson as seventh president, the first president that's a commoner, like one of us. the first one not born in massachusetts and virginia. he was the first one from humble
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stock. and the people really saw themselves in him. >> and he looked like ac/dc, apparently. >> let me tell you, what drug were you on when you -- at 3:00 in the morning you turn to your friend and said, dude, i'm going to do a rock out about andrew jackson. how did that come to you? >> i had been really interested in emo music and emo culture. i was talking to the composer, i know you love historical features. >> can you explain that to mika? >> mika, here you go. emo music, i characterize it as like over rock, punkish music written by like 27-year-old guy about the girl who broke their heart when they were 15. so it's so sort of like over sincere that it's silly. but it also can be so simple that it's deeply moving. like musical theater can be silly. >> i get it now. thank you. >> as billy said on "the
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simpsons," ah, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. >> oh, wow. >> go ahead. you decided to do an emo version of andrew jackson's life. >> yeah. andrew jackson, to me, is the guy who was, you know, you know, if you look at the election of 1824, which was stolen from him, he was the kid classically shoved in the lockerbie the jocks and the bullies. in his eyes were the washington elite, monroe, calhoun and clay. >> never accepted it? >> no. in 1824 he tried to jock something back. >> he took over the jail. >> yeah. >> seriously, he changed america. it was a revolution. >> yeah, he brought america into its adolescence. our version, it's a hormonal angsty adolescent. >> oh, my god, again. >> i know john meacham goes every night. sits on the front row with his a ac/dc t-shirt on.
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>> we tried to make it a tiered layer of accessibility. the humor is "south park" or will ferrell. it's been a collection of teenage girls and boys. then up through sort of a more intelligent new yorker reading crowd, people in their 50s and 60s. it's been fantastic. >> it's really weird and wonderful. >> yeah. i mean, he brought in -- there are few people that can bring in "south park," "the new yorker," i'm not going to say teenage girls, and john meacham. >> a high brow/low brow mash-up. it's been fun. >> did you explain how you came to this concept? serious seriously, who does that and are there drugs involved. >> do you know who plays a character, martin van buren. >> oh, my gosh. >> you've got to talk -- >> you've got to talk about the martin van buren character. how does he come across? >> we tried to do it in this
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"schoolhouse rock" kind of way. john calhoun is a suave southern senator, rhett butler like, and john quincy adams is a entitle nepotistic. and martin van buren is a twinkie eating fop. >> i'm going. >> you so desperately -- he so desperately chases new york intelligence. >> the tag line for the show is, history just got sexy pants. >> oh, yeah, baby. >> i like it. >> alex timbers. >> ironically that's what "the new yorker" said about meacham's biography. >> this is exciting. we're all going to show up. >> please come. >> i'm going. >> when we show up we expect to be taken backstage. >> i'll show you the hall backsta backstage. >> we can wreck the dressing rooms. >> bring guitars? i want to do that. >> just like jackson's
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inauguration, they tore down the white house, they were so excited. come backstage, wreck the place. >>al election, serious. >> this might actually happen. >> we lie to everybody. oh, yeah, we're going to do that. we're actually coming. >> we're going to do that. >> he doesn't believe me. >> alex, thanks. congratulations on the play. "bloody bloody andrew jackson" is on broadway now. up next, eugene robinson. plus, i was just voted in for his second term, he's only 29d years old. >> shocking! it's shocking! >> hold it right there. go back to gene, there is your bipartisan ticket for 2012. >> gene robertson and eric schock next.dicare p scription dn called the humana walmart-preferred prescription plan. it's a new plan that covers both brand and generic prescriptions and has the lowest-priced national premium in the country of only $14.80 per month and in-store copays as low as $2.
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we've all bought into that the conflict in this country is left and right, liberal/conservative, red/blue. all the news networks have brought into that. what i do believe is that both sides have their way of shutting down debate. and the news networks have allowed these two sides to become the fight in the country. and i think the fight in the country is corruption versus not corruption, extremist versus regular. >> welcome back to "morning joe." live look at times square on this friday morning. it is friday. >> look at that exciting message. can we go back to times square for a second? >> yes. what's that?
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>> the sandwiches are coming. that's exciting. >> that is not exciting. >> i don't know what that means but i'm hungry. >> at 30 rock? >> bring the sandwiches to me. >> at 30 rock? >> they are coming. >> mourners are gathering around, well, it was slaughtered. sad. >> fell. >> throngs of people. >> they are lining up in much the same way that russians lined up -- >> wearing black. >> saying their good-byes so many years ago. >> who cares. love the environment so much and when it's murdered, well -- all right. >> anyway. welcome to "morning joe." i explained last hour what the show's title means. it's a play on words. >> tell me about it again. >> joe, also known as coffee, morning joe. >> brilliant. >> pete thought that up. >> thanks, pete. and the table, republican congressman from illinois, 18 years old, aaron schock. from washington pulitzer prize
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winning co inning columnist, ge. quickly, aaron, before we go to news, the deficit commission. >> yeah. >> it came out. had a lot of tough proposals. do you think that all politicians should just back off and give this commission a chance before trying to kill it in the cradle? >> a couple of things frustrating. number one, the other 18 commissioners haven't even weighed in on the proposal yet. we just heard from paul ryan who is going to be chairman of the budget committee and dave camp who is going to be the chairman of the ways and means. two powerful guys in the next cycle. they're just now weighing in. i think it's what's wrong with washington, d.c. if there's any message heard in the last election, it's that you're in the listening. why don't we let the american people take a look at this 50-page document and then we as representatives do a job representing them and hear from them. a lot of fourth quartelks, they in tough shape but the 50-page document outlines why we're in bad shape, the reality of
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entitlements and why they're not sustainable at the current levels. >> gene robinson, it's interest that the president has sat back, as we've been saying, he could have killed it already by having people leak negative comments about it. but he's reserving judgment. harry reid is acting responsibly. mitch mcconnell, john boehner, all acting responsibly. nancy pelosi was not acting responsible but backed off yesterday, accuseding them of killing seniors. like 2-year-old jack retired. 65 years from now. but it sounds like washington at least is being mature and letting the president's commission have a chance. >> yeah. as congressman schock said, at least let the rest of the commission weigh in on these ideas and let the commission come up with something before you then kill it. you know, some of these ideas are going to, as you know, have
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tough sledding in washington. but anything that is meaningfully attacks it, the deficit, is going to have a tough road in washington. and so, you know, everybody keep calm and carry on. >> there you go, baby. >> let p commission do its work. >> the message is spreading across the globe. keep on acalm and carry on. >> i like that. let's get to some news. your piece next yet? >> no. >> you can hear us but you can't hear gene? >> that's right. >> corrupt media. it's a corrupt media. >> trying to undermine you. here you go. don't worry, aaron. we'll tell you what he said. president obama is speaking out about the possible deal on bush era tax cuts. >> hold on. gene, you can't say that about a congressman. >> really. >> he's a sitting congressman, for god's sake. >> nice kid. >> i cannot believe he said that. you know what? even though he's a public figure that is slander. i'm sorry, go ahead. >> we've got your covered. >> attack his wardrobe and his
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parents. >> he's adorable. and his parents. >> i'm sorry. go ahead. so let's go on. president obama says he continues to believe that keeping cuts for the wealthy would be a mistake. >> my number one priority is making sure that we make the middle class tax cuts permanent. i continue to believe that extending permanently the upper income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can't afford it. and my hope is, is that somewhere in between there we can find some sort of solution. >> all right. before i go on to the whole david axelrod angle to this which theed getting a little convoluted, bottom line it here for us. >> the deal is going to be done. you're reading the tea leaves, it looks like the deal is going to be done. david axelrod was sending a message to the left when he went to the huffington post and said, we've got to deal with reality. a lot of bloggers on the left didn't deal with it just like the bloggers on the right don't.
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they've got to do a deal. they're going to do a deal. at some point the left is not going to like it but the president, he didn't lose independence by 18 percentage points because the left wasn't with him. he's got to get those independents back. if democrats want to run washington two years from now. >> i think the thing that strikes me just in listening to this conversation so far is the compulsion to deal with reality, whatever reality is in this paper or whatever it is. and i think that while true, is a dangerous path in the sense that your reality and my reality and his reality can change. unless we truly comprehend not just what the -- >> what about my reality? >> i guess it's one thing to do with the reali the of our liability. $70 trillion in unfunded liability over a decade is a real problem. but, to call that the only reality without acknowledging, like i said, the flaws in tax policy, the flaws in the
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incentives in the financial system. >> that's what the tax cuts are about though. this is a short-term situation. >> i understand. what frustrates me a little bit about all of this is that it's easier for the media and politicians to sit around and have a fairly intellectualized conversation about how you're going to renovate a financial architecture that doesn't work. it's an entirely different thing to deal with the reality right now of a trade policy and investment policy and tax policy that is not serving the job creation and economy in this country today. >> okay. >> easier to go off to 2015 -- >> in terms, sharon -- sharsharon. in terms, aaron -- >> gene was calling him sharon. >> really. >> really? >> did gene call him sharon, too? >> no. >> you can hear me, right? >> you can hear me? >> come on. >> so we're talking about tax cuts here. this isn't a structural issue. this is getting people back to work. >> right.
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>> would you agree that trying to make the bush tax cuts permanent is going to be hard to pay for. but if you're just talking about extending tax cuts for a year or two when we have 15% unemployment, maybe that's the compromise you make, extend it out a year or two years until working class people in your district has jobs again. >> if you're asking me, as john boehner was asked before the election, if this is the only vote that we're going to have on the house floor, obviously i would support it. but this is what no one is really talking about when they say the president is open to compromise or david axelrod said this or that. the fact of the matter is the president has already within rolled, prior to the election, the congress, 38 house democrats came out and said we're not going to vote with you, speaker pelosi, on a partial extension. president obama, you haven't won us over in your case for the american people. >> great. you're going to pass this easily, whatever you want to fasz through the house you can pass through the house just like nancy can pass through cap and trade but you've you're going to have to get 51% in the
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republican. you're not going to get a deal unless you compromise with the president. at the end of the day, do you think you guys and the senate and the president can come together and maybe extend it for a year or two as a compromise? >> well, i think we have to do something. and so at the end of the day if the senate is not willing to go along with the full extension, obviously compromise means you don't get everything you want. >> right. >> at the end of the day we've got to do something because businesses are holding back. when i toured my district during campaign season, every small business guy said you're killing me. i don't know what my cost to capital is going to be, i don't know what my estate tax is going to be. make a decision. >> it's amazing. gene, what aaron says is what i've been hearing. what the congressman says is what we've all been hearing. i'm sure you've been hearing it as well. you've got cfos, small business owners, ceos saying, i'm just not exactly sure if i can invest back in the economy. do you think we're going to see over the next two years, with divided government, a little
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more stability so the three trillion dollars sit to think sidelines will get reinvested in the economy? >> that would be nice. that would get the economy going again. you know, i frankly think that they're going to start spend that money, investing that money, when they see a demand for their goods and services. when businesspeople see demand for their goods and services. and then i think they will forget about all this, oh, we're so uncertain, we don't know what to do here, we don't know what to do there. in fact, if they saw a demand, they would know exactly what to do, they would make more and do more and hire more people. >> do you think it's going to be a year or two they'll extend the bush tax cuts? >> i think they probably will. i want to point out one other thing i've been hearing from the american people. i've been kind of going around on book tour and doing some speaking and this and that. there are a lot of progressives out there who are the american people, too, who are, you know,
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who feel strongly about this issue as a matter of fairness, as a commitment to progressive taxation. and as, you know, not some sort of absolute line in the sand. but something by which they are really looking at the administration and democrats in washington and how they stand up for what they say are their principles. and i'm hear that from regular folks. so while it's -- a deal, i think, is going to get done in washington, because a deal has to get done. it's going to have, you know, whatever the deal is, it's going to have consequences. one of those consequences, if it is an extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy, is going to be more disillusionment upon the democratic base. >> gene, you would agree that the president's party lost the election not because they lost progressives but because independents bolted 18% to the
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republican party. there was a 36% swing among independents from 2006 to 2010. that wasn't because they thought the t. put was too moderate. >> well, basically, you're right. you know, surely that's the -- that's the big reason why they lost. but there were other reasons why they lost, too. one other reason why they lost, one contributing factor was an inability to mobilize parts of the base, including all those first-time voters, young voters, minorities in numbers sufficient to make a difference in some important races. >> dillon. >> i tell you, you know, this is not just kind of, you know, washington pundit talk. it's just -- it's what i wrote about this morning because it's what i really have been hearing for fr a lot of liberals in the country. i realize that's not a huge majority of the country, but it's a significant bunch of people who need to be excited.
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>> yeah. >> they're still 20% of america. they need to be listened to as well. >> seriously, i love progressives. >> except for ones that block. >> go ahead. >> a question for you. all these policy conversations are either about saving money or trying to release money in some way, whether it's a tax cuts or deficit commission, whatever it is. and there's lots of ways to do that. at the same time, once the money has been created, whether it's released through tax cuts or whatever it is, or the federal reserve, i don't care where the money comes from, the system for those who have the money, whether it's wealthy or tax cut or whatever it is, the incentive is to what i do with that money. i can invest it in america, hire people, we can start a business, or i can take that money out of the country in some fashion and invest it in brazil, china, all these types of places. at what point do we deal with not just how we create money,
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tax cuts, austerity, the incentive to what happens to money once me, you, a corporation, i don't care who it is, has possession of it because right now tin sentives appear to at the time me if i have my money, well, yoo you're going to make more. >> i said it was going to be a quick question. >> ironic, you were cleared for landing. >> you may land the plane. >> your question is? >> yes. >> how do you create incentives to push money into this countrys a opposed to taking it out? >> why is money leaving? >> policies. >> all sorts of trade. >> in all fairness to dillon, he raised several interesting points. >> do i get like ten minutes to respond? >> yes. >> several points, not all of them were interesting. >> dave camp and paul ryan who are going to be leaders in tax issues have said we need to find ways to incentivize people to invest their money here. that's in order. second, i think it's important to note that harmful policies, i would argue, like cap and trade,
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incentivize a manufacturer to say, you know what, if you're going to raise my -- >> i don't disagree. let's back it up a little bit and -- it could exist and it would trade money to brazil and the rest of it. let's look at the policy that does exist. i run caterpillar right now. china is charging me a 30% tariff to take it out of my country, so my incentive now is to take my money and jobs to china to make the tractor there's. is jim owens a bad guy at caterpillar for doing that? probably not. is the policy because china has a very different trade policy than america incentivize to do that and does that cost us jobs and productivity? yes, it does. there are -- >> you just answered his question. >> the fact of the matter is this, aside from japan, every major country is a tax haven to the united states because we have the highest corporate tax rate outside of japan. should we look at our competitiveness in the world? absolutely. should we look at ways to keep a company like caterpillar invest here? the fact of the matter is, we
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have to be open about our competitiveness, our trade policies. >> no one disagrees with that. have you talked to dan domico, largest steel company in north america and ask him how the frae trade agreements have affected his business. if there's a steel contract in brazil, a steel project for a major building development in china, he does not allowed to bid on that. he is forced to compete with everybody else. >> bottom line it. >> we're going to bottom line it. the bottom line, is there a lot of americans that hear washington worship the alter of free trade? they go, wait a second, explain to me why we should let other countries beat the hell out of us with these tariffs. >> absolutely. we shouldn't. but let's look at what's on the table. colombia, panama and south korea. colombia right now, we buy the majority of our flowers from there, a lot of coffee from there, tariff free. under the emerging markets act. so you know, when you look at a company like caterpillar, for example, and my hometown they say, wait a minute, if i want to sell my tractor there i have to
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pay a tariff. if we buy -- the argument that -- but, wait. the argument of passing a trade agreement, the misnomer out there is that somehow puts our companies and competitiveness disadvantage when in reality by us doing nothing we are already at a come pet i6ness. >> totally agree. >> other countries like canada, for example -- >> we're being abused. >> gene, it's interesting when you bring up the issue of trade like dillon has, repeatedly this morning -- >> critical, bringing money -- of course, it's critical. >> wie can cut all day. >> when you talk about trade you really do connect with voters from, as chris matthews said, from scranton to oshkosh, those reagan democrats that went democratic in 2006, went republican in 2010. those are the voters, the swing voters that seem to be flopping wildly, looking for a party to believe in, looking for a candidate to believe in.
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>> yeah. those voters have serious doubts about free trade as they understand it and as it's been practiced. they really do. and you know, kind of an invest in america first and bring back jobs or slogans that resonate and ideas that resonate. and so if the fight is over that demographic, over those people, then that's the way people are going to be talking in washington. >> and gene, let's say oh let's talk about your column. where's the democrats' fighting spirit, with a question, why don't they fight back? are we going to be going into some pretty dark days for progressives in america now? >> you know, i don't know. always darkest before the dawn and all that. this is such a political time
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that, you know, i tend not to believe things are quite as gloomy as some other people believe. but it's going to be an interesting period and, you know, the administration is going to have to define itself, i think, somewhere along that spectrum. and more clearly and more sharply than people feel it has done so far. >> all right. >> it's not going to be a dark time for progressives. it's not. >> it's not? >> it's always over stated. it's always a back and forth. >> dillon, thank you very much. >> make sure you watch the dillon ratigan show. it's at 4:00 today. wild hunch, he may be talking about trade. >> he may make a few terrifying points. eugene, thank you. >> representative schock, thank you as well. >> aaron, thank you for being here. >> sorry about eugene, it was
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tough. >> sorry gene said terrible things about you. >> aaron, i like the way you're dressed. i like your shirt. and i don't know if you can hear me, but i think you look great. >> thank you, gene. i look forward to 2012. >> all right, baby. coming up, can republicans find any democratic allies in their fight to repeal president obama's health care legislation? that is next in the "politico playbook." plus, from president bush's book to conan's return. willie takes a look back at the top stories of this week. but first, bill karins with a quick look at the forecast. north east looks just fine today. mid atlantic, you, too. temperatures near 60 degrees for a high. lots of sunshine. the problem spots, the middle of the country. i mentioned last hour, thunder, snow in am ril low, texas. the roads are slushy. one to two inches of snow has fallen in north texas. watch out today from kansas city to dallas, oklahoma city, rain for you. east coast looks fantastic.
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even into saturday and sunday, no problems on the east coast. minneapolis, though, you have a chance of a snowstorm on saturday. if anyone on the west coast is waking up early, you are looking tranquil. no weather concerns. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ]
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here, ladies and gentlemen, former president of the united states, george w. bush. good evening, mr. bush. welcome to the show. nice to see you. thank you very much for being here. could you tell us a little bit about the process of writing the
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book and the reflecting on your eight years in office? excuse me, mr. president. bus it your idea to make the book based around decisions you made while president? mr. president, excuse me, are you okay? >> just not fair. >> but it's funny. >> all right. they get one more day. now they have to move on. >> must be time, the cat is in the cradle. >> that's just wrong, too. >> patrick, you know, we don't control the music. i wanted to start this off on a serious note. >> i thought we would at least get 30 seconds before that song busted? >> we're already on a downward slope here. should we try it anyway?
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>> go hard, go home, let's do it. >> let's talk about republicans, looking to recruit some of their democratic allies in a quest, to quote, repeal obama care. who do you think they can pick off, patrick? >> the senate, joe manchin from west virginia who campaigned aggressively against a lot of what the obama administration got through on health care. but i would say they need more than that. what they're really looking at is a handful of democratic senators up for re-election in 2012 and either purple or red states. looking at jim webb down in virginia, ben nelson, you're looking at john tessa. these are people that sort of have two qualifications for republicans to want to pick them off. up for re-election in tough states. the other reason is that they, during their own debates and public statements, have criticized various elements of the health care proposal. they're going to go after them in hopes of getting somebody --
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i think to a large extent, mostly as a pr effort. if you can just get one democrat to support what a lot of republicans are doing you can therefore claim it's bipartisan. >> jim webb, going to be in a rough fight for re-election, to side with republicans? >> oh, my gosh, yeah. jim webb, seriously. and this is when a party gets beaten the way the democrats got beat rn a couple days ago or last week, they become mature. and they realize they've got to let some guys go. so they can save the senate. i mean, jim webb, the guy just won by 1,000 votes or so in 2006. a tidal wave for democrats against george allen who just ran a terrible campaign. so, i mean, what did george allen not do wrong that year? so webb is in big, big trouble. and he's going to have to side with republicans. do you agree? >> i think he's going to probably have a tough
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re-election fight but who knows who his opponent will be and i think actually webb has done a lot over the course of his term so far, in the course of the past four years to put himself in a better political position than when he was running at that point of a democrat with no record. he had record but not a record of four years in the senate. you know, he's actually been pretty centrist for the last four years. he's not been a liberal. he's not done much. >> no, he hasn't. >> he's in a strong position to run as a democrat in virginia and he'll -- >> just a rough, rough climate for democrats in virginia. willie, let me ask you a question. >> yes, sir. >> can you think of any national figure, republicans and democrats, can you think of anybody who is actually scared to come on "morning joe." >> i think there are a couple of them. >> why would someone be scared to come on "morning joe"? >> because they can't speak in complete sentences. >> can you name them? >> i'm wondering.
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maybe bobby jindal. >> sarah palin. >> this is a fascinate that you bring that up because we've got a segue here. >> really? >> turns out governor jindal of louisiana has written a book. >> good, maybe he'll come on for the book. >> he'll do it on his book tour. >> we will not make the kenneth oh page comparisons. >> very interest that jindal, patrick, is lashing out at president obama about his handling of the gulf oil spill just a couple of months after they were working together. tell us about it. >> that's interesting. >> he's sort of tried to carve himself out as a super reasonable republican that democrats like. sort of like a david brooks, republican, that doesn't lob a lot of spitballs to the opposition. but in this book, "leadership in crisis" which is coming out, he actually has some tough things to say about the obama sfraigs administration when it comes to his response about the gulf oil spill. saying that barack obama and the white house was almost solely or way too focused on the political ramifications of this, about image, even at one point suggesting that perhaps the
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white house had helped stage this moment where obama was sort of tough talking to bobby jindal. so he had some really harsh things to say about the administration, saying that all they really cared about was the political fallout and didn't care about the human element. >> it's interesting he says that, patrick, because he talked to valerie jarrett every day. i mean, they talked on the phone every day for the most part. and they would have good conversations and then he would go out and trash the obama administration in the afternoon and then talk the next day and not bring up any complaints. >> what's he doing here? >> that's why this book is a surprise because this book to a certain extent is his real big national introduction, or speculation that's the case. he's very much strong align to say what happened in the gulf oil spill between himself and the white house. >> do you think jindal in '12? >> i think he needs to go to a weight room first. >> okay. you know what? >> no? >> listen, if he can't go on
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"morning joe," if he's afraid to go on "morning joe" and if he looks like kenneth due page when he differs the republican party's response to barack obama -- >> that's just not nice. stop. >> he is a very bright guy. >> yes. >> gifted politician. and people that work with him are all impressed. >> yeah. >> we're just not. >> he's just afraid of you. >> no, he's not afraid of me. i'm easy. >> patrick, you have a great weekend, my friend. >> thanks. you, too. >> you're dismissed. >> patrick, we love you, man. >> the love goes mutual, baby. right back at you. >> all right. >> he doesn't mean that at all. >> he does, too. we go out to presidency of the united states. >> that wasn't authentic. ♪ >> the red hair and the whole thing. >> there you go. >> new story about the russian spy. >> that's great. uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently
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welcome back. there's a new twist in a story that got a lot of attention when it first broke over the summer. that real life ring of russian spies living in america. well, nbc's andrea mitchell reports on the double agent who blew their cover and is now on the run. >> he is credited with recruiting the bond woman of this tale anna chapman and nine
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others, to live under deep cover in the u.s. until they were arrested and sent home by the fbi. russian newspapers identify their spy master as colonel, a double agent who apparently defected to the u.s. last summer. now reportedly under fbi protection from a russian hit man kno man, so named from the secret police who stabbed leon with an ice pick in mexico in 1940. >> when ever an important defector comes to the united states, of course he worries about his security. but the cia is very good at resettling these people, giving them false identities and hiding them. >> reporter: prime minister vad plir putin, once a spy himself, sounded deadly serious about the double agent this summer. telling reporters the russians had been betrayed by a traitor. putin added, sellouts always end up in a ditch, either drunk or drugged. the other day one such traitor
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kicked the bucket, exactly like that, abroad. but in this country experts say the defector would be given a new identity by the fbi and cia. for them, a double agent is a huge prize. >> it means that the head of counter spy operations for these -- for the russian intelligence service, you know, the old kgb, has defected to the united states. and if that's true, that's a big blow to the russians. >> reporter: making the most of her role in the cloak and dagger drama is chapman, now a celebrity back home, posing for russia's edition of "maxim" magazine, luxury boutique and app so people can play poke we're a virtual anna. she even has her own action figure. >> that was andrea mitchell reporting. >> she's got a new pair op slacks. >> really? >> what politician on both sides
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in this whole health care debate, i am reminded of the story that was told about senator monahan who was in, i guess, an argument with his colleague and his colleague was losing an argument and he got a little flustered and said, i'm entitled to my own opinion. senator monahan said you're entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts. i think that's the key to a successful dialogue. >> welcome back. that was president obama quoting scholar and former senator daniel patrick monahan. joining us now, editor of a new book, a portrait in a letters of an american visionary. steven wiseman joins us.
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thank you very much for being on the show this morning. >> thank you for having me. >> what would daniel patrick moynihan mack of president obama at this point? >> wow. first of all, senator moynihan was a skeptic of government as well as a supporter of government. he got into a tangle with the clinton over health care, and that might have repeated itself. but i think the one thing that senator moynihan would have brought to our current situation is that he understood the essential yin and yang of american politics p. he had a foot in both camps. he sympathized with skepticism of government and the support of government. not only that, he thought this was healthy. you know, we think these dae ebs are appalling and taearing us apart. his contribution was the interaction between these two polar positions was healthy for our country and made us a better
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country. >> i couldn't agree more. >> yeah. >> john? >> steve, i'm wondering what you think, not just what senator moynihan would have thought of president obama but the current day senate. he was a giant among some pretty serious senators. he was a giant. seems like now the senate is composed of much more. i pip squeaks and what do you think he would have to change now in order for it to be functionable again? >> it's a good question. you know, pat moynihan had what i call a tribal approach to politics. he grew up in irish clubhouses of the hell's kitchen and really believed that there was a culture of politics. i think he also blooelieved tha there was a culture in the senate. he understood that the guy or the person you're fighting against today was going to be your ally tomorrow. and he didn't take so seriously the discordant notes.
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there's a great clip of him on "meet the press" when tim russert asked him, is this going to be the fight to the death over taxes? he said, goodness gracious, you fight to the death over a woman or god, but not over taxes. he understood -- he understood that there was also a tribal culture to politicians and to politics. i think the thing he would have missed the most in the senate today was that people didn't work together across the aisle. and that people don't today and that they weren't friends and they don't appreciate that -- these alliances and these divisions shift over time. and that everybody is trying to accomplish a goal to make the country better. >> steven, it's willie geist. just to take that a step further off your "meet the press" story. step back further outside the senate but to the general political climate. you have the extremes on both sides, whether it's on tv or on
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the internet, running to ideological corners, not really a lot of room to meet in the middle. what would he make of that and what do you think we could do about it? >> the first thing he would make of it is that it's rooted, it's been developing a long time. i mean, this is a book of letters starting in the early 1950s, going through the turbulent '60s and '70s with nixon and ford. both republican administrations that he served. there are some great letters in there to nixon warning him that both parties were in danger of being taken over by extremes. he worried about what he called the authoritarian left and the authoritarian right. and that was just magical to people in the white house, but they ignored when pat moynihan, they ignored him when he tried to tone down the nixon administration. and he tangled with agnew when working with nixon, a harvard
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professor who joined the white house staff and was kind of a fish out of water, didn't hesitate to say, you know, agnew is taking us in a wrong direction here. i think he would have seen that these extremes taking over what -- i think he would also worry about extremes and non-compromising positions on the democratic side, too. >> it sounds, mika, like a message that's needed now more than ever. i know when we were up at harvard john meacham quoted from this book talking about -- what we were talking about, the need for all of us to isolate the extremes and work together. and what great perspective. that's the thing i was just talking to aaron schock, when he came on, the past is always p prologue in washington. the guy you're fighting against today is the guy who will put you over the top tomorrow.
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for some reason in washington, they have forgotten that. >> thank you so much. the book is "daniel patrick moynih moynih moynihan." up next -- >> what's a portrait. >> read the book. willie's weekend we view is next. this was me, best ribs in nelson county,
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but i wasn't winning any ribbons managing my diabetes. it was so complicated. there was a lot of information out there. but it was frustrating trying to get the answers i needed. then my company partnered with unitedhealthcare. they provided onsite screenings, healthy cooking tips. that's a recipe i'm keeping. ( announcer ) turning complex data into easy tools. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. i worry about my son playing football. which is why i'm really excited. because toyota developed this software that can simulate head injuries and helps make people safer. then they shared this technology with researchers at wake forest to help reduce head injuries on the football field. so, you know, i can feel a bit better about my son playing football. [ male announcer ] how would you use toyota technology to make a better world? learn how to share your ideas at
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another week of hugely conversatio news from both here and abroad. you won't find a single bit of it here this week. >> l. >> one l. >> can i solve? >> okay. >> at number three. >> wheel of fortune! >> wheel contestant caitlin burke sent shockwaves through the syndicated game show world by solving a seven-word puzzle with just one letter. >> can i solve? >> okay. >> it is a prize puzzle. >> yeah. >> i've got a good feeling about this. >> that's right. >> reporter: the historic feat won the 26-year-old new yorker a caribbean vacation and stunned even a jaded veteran like sajak.
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>> is it just me? >> reporter: while most of the country celebrated the achievement, skeptics and conspiracy theorists smelled something fishy in the improbable wheel solve. >> that is a total scandal, willie geist. >> yes, it is. >> reporter: but through it all, vana remained unflappable and lovely. at number two. >> you want me to move the "tonight show" to 12:05? forget it. >> conan o'brien returns to television again. >> welcome to my second annual first show. >> reporter: after months of relentless promotion that included an air assault from a giant orange blimp, conan settled in this week to his new home on basic cable. >> we're already number one in tbs' key demographic, people who can't afford hbo. >> reporter: but it was clear that the big redhead's year-old network wounds were still open, festering and probably infected. >> i would name the show "conan," i did it so i would be
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harder to replace. >> reporter: conan's return, however, will feel shallow to many viewers until he is joined by his trusty pooch. and the number one story of the week -- >> a lot of people don't think i can read, much less write. >> the return of "w." >> i hope i'm a success. i'm going to be dead, matt, when they finally figure it out. >> former president george w. bush went public this week for the first time since he left office nearly two years ago. >> right. drinking. >> he's drinking again. >> yeah. >> reporter: out pushing his new book with tv heavyweights like oprah and laur, bush talked about everything iraq to a babu ghraib. >> sick to my stomach. >> no questions from the state. >> reporter: to his katrina fly-over. >> huge mistake. >> reporter: but even with all
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that, the former president appeared most upset about rapper kanye west being mean to him at a telethon five years ago. >> george bush doesn't care about black people. >> call me a racist. one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency. >> i didn't have the -- >> i appreciate that. i'm not a hater. i didn't hate ckanye west. >> it wasn't all hurricane. >> 13 kid, here's a fetus. >> reporter: hazy stories about the blockout years. >> i'm drunk at the dinner table. >> reporter: how drunk were you, mr. president? >> i want me to walk in if that's what you mean. >> so he was drunk but he wasn't knee walking. got to love that guy. up next, what, if anything, did we learn today? [ male announcer ] in the event of a collision, the smartest thing you could do is cut the fuel supply, unlock the doors, and turn on the hazards. or get a car that does it for you.
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mika, i'm still upset that we're not allowed to go out and take a shot of the nbc commerce street. >> serious rules here at the network. >> safety concerns. >> safety. >> so just -- >> can you hear me? >> yeah. >> really? >> willie. >> this is the only access we could get.
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exclusive access with the other people out here. we've got our shot of the tree. bon jovi is playing in the background. >> willie, tell me what you're seeing and describe the injuries, please. >> there's a giant truck here, looks to be a mack truck, idling at such a sound, it's really contributing to the christmas spirit. you can see the street is lying in state, waiting to be erected. >> how are the people handling it? >> willie, first of all, we just want to say be careful out there. obviously the people that own this say your safety would be at risk if you went down there because of the crushing. it does look like a who concert from 1978. are you -- do you feel in danger? >> you know, there's literally a bon jovi concert going on right now on a morning show here at nbc. the crowd is not focused on the tree, let's just say. they're more focused on them. >> god speed, willie geist. >> take cover, will