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tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 21, 2013 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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president.isten in to the >> a hand full of senators. choose to abuse our tactics to block bipartisan compromises or to prevent well qualified patriotic americans from filling critical positions. >> it would reduce actions to fight women for equal pay. they have prevented more
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progress than we would have like for striving young immigrants trying to earn their citizen ship. or it's blocked efforts and tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. they have even been used to block common sense, and widely supported steps to protect more americans from gun violence. even as families of victims sat in the senate chamber and watched. they have prevented far too many americans from serving their country. it has harmed our economy, and be harmful to our democracy. and it's brought us to the point where a simple majority vote no longer seems to be sufficient for anything. even routine business. through what is supposed to be the world's greatest then rahtive body. i realize that neither party has been blameless. for these tactics. they have developed over the years. and it seems as if they
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are continually escalated but today's pattern of obstruction it just isn't normal. it's not what our founders envisioned. the deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything no matter where the merits just to refight the results of an election is not normal. and for the sake of future generations we can't really become normal. so i support the step the majority of senators took to change the way that washington is doing business. more specifically the way the senate does business. when a majority of senatorred determined by senate rule is that it would restore the long standing tradition of considering judicial and public service nominations on a more routine basis. and here why this is important. one of the president's constitutional responsibilities is to nominate americans to positions within the executive and judicial
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branches. only 20 nominees to executive positions had to overcome filibusters. >> the president's nominee for a secretary of defense, who used to be a republican senator.
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>> it is simply because they -- this obstruction gets even worse when it comes to the judiciary. the constitution charges the president with filling vacancies to the federal bench. every president has exercised this since first named justices in 70 teen 89. but my judicial nominees have waited nearly two and a half times longer to receive yes or no voights oen the senator floor than those of president obama. and the one president bush. and the ones that do get a vote are confirmed with little if any dissent. so this isn't obstruction on substance, on qualifications, it is just to gum up the works. and this grid lock in congress causes grid lock in much of our systems.
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you have seen judges across the country, say these are vital vacancies that need to be filled. and this grid lock has not served the cause of justice, in fact, it is undermined it. other the past through weeks senator republicans again denied a yes or no vote, on three highly qualified americans to fill three vacantsies on the second highest court. even though they have to support of a majority of senators. four out of five of mine have been obstructed. the vote today is that a majority of senators belief that enough is enough. the american people's business is far too important, to keep falling prey day after day to washington policies.
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i am a former senator, we value any duty to advice and consent, we take that very seriously. but -- a few now refuse to treat that duty of advice and consent with the respect that it deserves. the moss roger used in a responsible way. it is used as a tool to grind all business to a halt. public service is not a game, it is a privilege. the consequences of action or inaction are very real. telling them how terrible government is, and then
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devoltinging their time to make government not work as often as possible. now, i want to be clear, the senator has done some good work this year. bipartisan majorities have passed legislation to fix our broken system, upgrade our counters our ports. so we know there are folks there who want to get things done. and frankly, privately, they have expressed to me their recognition that the system and the senate have broken down and what used to be a sporadic exercise of the filibuster had gotten completely out of hand. i believe i'm confidence they have more space now.
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and create jobs. and if there's differences in the senator then the debate should be have, people should vote their conscious, they should vote on their constituents. but they should vote. >> that's what they are there to do. then it should be able to pass. is they expect the same from everybody that gets sent here. as long as i have the privilege of being in this office, i will keep working as hard as i know how, to make sure the economy is growing we are creating good jobs and widening opportunity for everybody. and i know that that's what the majority of folks in the senate believe as well. but the gears of the government have to work, and the stuff that the majority of the senators took today i think we will help. thank you very much, everybody, and now josh
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will answer all your questions. that is the president of the ice addressing the so called nuclear option to change the rules of the senate making history the first time now that senators can beat back a veto usually it took a vote of 60, now it is a simple majority. that is how it comes up with the phrase the nuclear option, up to this point, no one thought a u.s. president would do so, and no a u.s. president, but the senate would do so, and in fact they did today because the senate was blocking his judicial nominations. mike is at the white house, mike, what without us to this point. >> well, there are a couple of points to make here. first obviously the president has taken a beating over the last six weeks with the health kay roll out. republicans are certainly on a roll there. the president welcoming this news, almost relishing this fight, as was harry reid, the democratic leader in changing the rule they have talked about
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changing now for several months. i will let libby casey who has been up on the hill following this give you the details. but basically where you stand -- that classic phrase none truer what we are talking about today. what is senate has done is changed the rules the threshold that 60 vote threshold, of course there are 100 senators in the united states senate. for judicial nominees and cabinets with the exclusion of supreme court nominees. that will stilt require 60. that still remains in place. of course president obama -- you heard him site many of the statistics how this practice of filibustering and blocking his nominees has accelerated over his time. he named chuck hagel as the poster child, really, for cabinet nominees being blocked after all the first defense secretary to be filibusters and after all he was a republican. it bears in mind, -- at various times depending
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on if you are the minority side or the majority side, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the minority and majority leaders have switched positions whether depending on whether they are controlling the senate or not, and as a matter of fact, president obama went he was in the senate and when he was in the minority, opposed filibuster rules. now, granted it has accelerated. granted he is at the other end of pennsylvania avenue. but certainly this is nothing new. what we are talking about today. 95 years ago, it is at least being sharply curtailed. >> mike, toss the ball to you to explain to the public what is the nuclear option? what brought us to this point? democrats have been frustrated because his
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nominees for judicial vacancies have been held up. they needed to get 60 votes in order to move them forward. not enough republicans joining them with the democrats, so harry reed blew it up today, and nuclear option sounds quite dramatic, but in terms of procedure, it is. because he changed the rule to have 51 votes as simple majority to allow these nominations to go forward. senator reid explains his perspective this morning. >> during this congress, the 113th congress, the quite is wasted an unprecedented amount of time, on procedure hurdles and partisan obstruction. as a result, work of this country goes undone. congress should be passes legislation that strengthens our economy, protects american families, instead we are burning wastes hours and days between filibusters. so republicans are saying they are only doing what they are allowed to do.
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the top republican has called 24 a distraction from other issues. this is not a very proud day in the history of the senate. in order to distraction attention away from obama-care. the senate has just broken the rules in order to change the rules. >> now, in fairness, the filibuster was not used years and years ago, this is really a relatively new phenomenon. it has been used more and more, and many people see it as part of the problem of grid lock. the big thing for democrats as well as republicans is the president setting measure here. because if democrats are willing to use this simple majority, republicans could turn around and do it when they have control at some point of the u.s. senate. that's why domes are reluctant to go this far and use this, because the senate has long relied on the balance of power when one party is in power, they realize it isn't
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forever, and they look to the day when there's a minority. but senator reid moving forward anyway. this is just about judicial and executive branch nominees. we aren't talking about all laws and supreme court justices as well. >> what do you say to critics that say this is wag the dog. the 1998 movie, in which a president creates a controversy to avoided another one, andpresident obama facing a huge controversy, is he trying to change the topic on capitol hill? >> well, that's what john boehner house speaker would like you to belief, but this is coming from senator majority leader harry reid. something that both parties have threatened to do to use the nuclear option. and senator reid said he is just had enough. that the president needs his team in place. secretary hagel the defense secretary taking over a month to get confirmed. as president obama pointed out in his remark as few moments
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ago. so call it what you will, but democrats see it very differently, they say this is necessary to get the business of the country moving forward. >> libby casey on capitol hill, thank you very much. it's been a frustrating process for those nominees. it means. you work in a law firm, you could not take any cases until you wait for your confirmation. >> now to geneva. the e.u. saying negotiators from iran and six world powers including the u.s. now reviewing a draft copy of a working agreement. live in geneva, the lot rattling today by all sides is there still optimism there? >> we so know the meeting
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continue, it has been interesting to note that primarily they have been centered around the e. u. representative here. kathryn ashton, she has been the one having by lateral talks with the iranians. now other members other delegations may have dropped in and added to a trilateral, or even more, but it is primarily those two who have been working out things. we do know the united states delegation, for example, did not hold a by lateral today. we don't know whose hands it is at any one time, but we are told it is being fine tuned.
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he does support a deal now on the table to allow american soldiers to remain in his country. today urging leaders to approve the agreement. coming up on al jazeera, a big night for gamers microsoft rolling out the x box one.
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consider this: the news of the day plus so much more. >> we begin with the government
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shutdown. >> answers to the questions no one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting. >> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? food one of them was layed to rest. a funeral procession was held for 54-year-old woman who died back on november 9th. they say when the tie
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food hit, they were stranded and her medicine simply ran out. workers from people that spanning out over several mid western states determine hog will get heche after the deadly tornadoes. some of these causing an estimated $1 billion in dang. the national weather service says at least 55 twisters touched down, the most in one day this year, eight peer were killed. the dow 16,000 watch is back. stocks higher all day today, and look at it. we are now just one pick above 16,000. the dow up 99 points. this on a better than expected unemployment report. the dow trading every day this week, but it has yet to close. g.m. won't at that particular time for government motors much longer. the u.s. right now owed
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31 million shares and once held more than 900. at current prices taxpayers will lose close to $10 billion. the g.m. bail out cost $50 billion. the battle for your living room is heated up. at midnight, microsoft set to unveil its console the x box 1. stores are bracing for long lines some of which are already forming. last week rival sony unveiled its play station 4, it sold 1 million copies in the first 24 hours. up next, it is one of the most visited sites in washington. the eternal flame, the final resting place of jfk, but it wasn't supposed to be that way.
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jazeera al rear are today's headlines. it is a busy day. the u.s. senate approving changes that will have a huge impact on presidential nominees led by senate majority leader democrats vote to strike down the long standing
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filibuster rules that have been blocking the nominees of judicial appointees. afghan president offered cautious support for a deal to allow u.s. soldiers to remain in his country until 20-24. today urging tribal leaders to approval the agreement, he says he will not sign it until his successor is elected. there appears to be progress to curve the nuclear power. saying negotiators from six countries and iran including the u.s. are reviewing a draft copy of a working agreement. commenter marks 50 years since john f kennedy was assassinated in dallas. decades later we are learning new details before is after his death. like has one story it is the story of how kennedy came to be buried at arlington national cemetery. >> the asternal flame now
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draws visitors from around the world. but it was supposed to burn in boston. as the nation reeled from tragedy, some in the kennedy family wanted jfk layed to rest at home, in massachusets. but it was a stranger who play add decisive role. in 1963, paul fucol was a part time tour guide, it sits atop a hill overlooking arlington national cemetery. one day eight months before dallas, he had an unexpected visitor. >> well, it was late afternoon, early evening and cars pulled up, and gentlemen with earphones popped out, and said the president is here. >> almost unthinkable now, the president was out on a lark. >> he said he and his friend were just driving around town looking at the city, and they looked up here, and had never been here, so they thought they would come up here. >> he led them on the tour of the house, and then we came out here, and the city is incredible view. >> the words kennedy
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spoke next would loom large in november. >> we pause add little bit longer, and the city was just beautiful then. he said you know this is so lovely i could stay here forever. >> i could stay here forever. a friend with the president that day remembered those words, as the family debated the site of the burial, he told them the story. soon, he had more vip visitors there to scout it out. >> robert kennedy asked if that would be a -- could be done, could that be a grave site, and the secretary said yes, that was the army, and he could just -- convert it to that use instantly. so that was it. >> the day came. king's queens and leaders from around the world, join thing grieving widow jackie kennedy, shrouded in black. full honors for the commander in chief.
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>> but not all the military that day was american. two irish men, and hugh o'donnell found themselves at arlington. >> seem like 50 years ago? >> straight from dublin, irish cadets members of a drill team, in june of that year, they had impressed jfk during his visit to ireland. where he saw the honor court perform. >> we were very much in awe of this man. who was the leader of the free world. >> taken with their precision and discipline, once home, the president often spoke of them to jackie. when the time came she center for them. >> the stunning message was get your act in order quickly as possible, get your gear together, that we are going to the kennedy funeral in the morning to do the funeral. >> once in position, they
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were anxious, astonished to find themselves literally at graveside. >> quite a fantastic location. how do we get here, what if something goes wrong, and your mind wanders then you have to get back and say you know, you are here to do a job, simply do the job and get on with it. >> 50 years later we are sitting here and it is something that i would never forget. a young tour guide, both leaving a memory with a young president, both playing an unexpected role in laying him to rest. al jazeera, washington. >> . >> get ready for some active weather here. not much happening now, some areas of rain and snow have cleared out. but some cold air is moving in, a storm developing in the southwest that will bring warm air back on top of the the cold air, that's where you get this mix developing.
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where it is all told it is snow, once the snow melts though it is no longer snow, and it can fall into freezing air that creates sleet or phrasing rain. that can be a big problem here. in oklahoma, and texas, and that will spread east, to oklahoma city andn't cooing to move east. now, eventually that storm will clear out, and it will warm up just a little bit. but that rain continues to push east. the cold air is moving south slowly, 36 in wichita, dropped quite a bit from yesterday, down to 15, that gives you an indication of the cold air, not the arctic air. we talked about that this weekend, you see the temperatures dropping into the upper 40's. with that rain mix with maybe some sleet on saturday. and cleared out on sunday. the cold air moves south, here is the arctic air, that will move through chicago and the northeast both saturday and sunday with bitter cold wind chills. get ready for a cold blast. >> thank you very much. and thank each and every one of you for watching al jazeera america. 101 east is next, and for updates throughout the day, go to
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the dow oh so close to 16,000. myanmar, lives a creature known for centuries as the lifeblood of the country's timber business. >> if you use elephants, you don't need wider roads, or a car, or a heavy duty machine. >> with their immense strength, these elephants can haul logs


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