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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 7, 2013 9:00am-11:01am PST

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death. a live report ahead. answering a multibillion dollar question. why the supreme court wanted no part of it and why it might end with you paying a lot more online. an iconic image of a '70s star created by an icon of the art world, why it's not at you the forefront of a bitter legal battle. hello, everyone. it's just past high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to weekends with alex wit. powerful winter weather has much of the country in a deep freeze today. the arctic blast carrying snow, sleet and freezing rain stretches from california to the northeast. the storm is already to blame for at least 11 deaths including three in california. icy conditions are making driving perilous. >> it felt like my car was kind of weaving back and forth because it was so slick. >> and texas is one of the hardest hit as icy conditions there force the cancellation of the dallas marathon today as
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well as 1600 flights at dallas fort worth international birpt airport. more than 165 now people lost power there last night. now, a second system is making its way from the west expected to bring more snow and ice with it. let's get more on the forecast. meteorologist dil condition drier, hi. >> hi, alex. it is the cold and the snow and ice we are seeing across a good portion of the countries. temperatures right now 20 degrees below zero in billings, montana. factor in wind and it feels like 37 degrees below zero. i can't imagine what that feels like. 20 below is the windchill in minneapolis. 4 below in kansas city and several areas is still without power from texas into oklahoma and arkansas. it feels like it is down around zero right now. it's not going to warm up all that much. our next storm system making its way into california. storm one is exiting the southeast where we have some rain still falling down through georgia and into south carolina. this next big storm system
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brings snow throughout portions of the highest elevations in california. and then eventually move into salt lake city and denver, as well. watch as we go throughout the rest of the weekend as the snow continues to develop. by early tomorrow morning through the plains, especially into nebraska and then eventually moving up into iowa and into wisconsin. but here on the east coast, we'll start off as snow especially through areas like philadelphia into baltimore and then eventually the rain will take hold. by 8:00 sunday evening, that's when we should see some snow in the new york city area and then that pushes up into central and northern new england. so that by monday morning, we should change over to rain for most areas for the morning commute. in southern connecticut, it could still be more of a sleet mixture. that could make things very difficult come monday morning. alex? >> take your time on the roads. that's for sure. thanks so much. for more, let's go to reynolds wolf in little rock, arkansas. reynolds, how bad is it out will? >> well, alex, i mean, if you look at the sky above slug it's
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spectacular. mostly blue skies. not a single rain drop, snowflake it, even freezing rain. on the ground, that's where you have the problems. more specifically, it's on the streets where in this thoroughfare, this leads over to interstate 630 here in little rock. we've had cars slipping, sliding up and down the road. it's been a huge mess for a lot of people. in fact, the state who i patrol has been urging people to remain off the roads if at all possible. but unfortunately, a lot of people not listening to that advice. i can tell you as bad as roads have been in little rock, they're worse in parts of the northwestern corner of the state, fort smith, places like fayetteville where roads are choked with ice, snow, shattered trees, downed power lines. it's a mess. power outages up in the northwest corner of the state. in fact, over 30,000 customers at this point without power, which may take possibly days in some cases weeks to restore. certainly a mess. we do expect cooler times through much of the weekend with a gradual warmup across the
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region by the time we get to the middle of next week. all right, cold times in little rock. back to you, alex. >> thanks so much. let's go to politics and new today, president obama is urging congress to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million workers. their benefits are set to expire just three days after christmas. >> if congress refuses to act, it won't just hurt families already struggling, it will actually harm our economy. unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways there is to boost our economy. when people have money to spend on basic necessities, that means more customers for our businesses and ultimately more jobs. >> the republicans meantime remain focused on obama care. north carolina congress woman renee elmhurst delivered the gop's response earlier today. >> families who work hard and by play the rules deserve some basic choices, fairness and relief. that's why the house has passed legislation to delay the individual mandate for all
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americans and let you keep the plan you like. these proposals are among the dozens of house passed jobs bills awaiting action in the democratic-run senate. >> meanwhile, good news on the latest jobs report to share. 203,000 of them created in november, just 1,000 shy of the number of jobs created in october. unemployment fell by.3 down to 7%, the lowest in five years. kristen welker is at the white house for us. kristin, i'm curious how the white house is interpreting these numbers. all good? >> well, look, they are touting the fact that the economy created more than 200,000 jobs in november, but they say if you hadn't had the sequester and other policies like that it, there would have been more growth. they're also calling for an extension of unemployment insurance as you pointed out. this is a big battle line right now between democrats and republicans. look, economists like these numbers. they say it's particularly surprising in the wake of the government shutdown and they say it could be an indication that
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the recovery is set to take off despite the gridlock here in the nation's capital. >> neil blumenthal launched the startup eyeglass company war by parker in new york. he sees signs is the economy is recovering. >> we've more than doubled in sales and next year, we're planning to hire about 150 people. >> that will hiring trend reflects what is happening throughout the country with news friday that employers added more than 200,000 jobs for each of the last four months. in november, many were good-paying jobs. 40,000 in education and health care, 27,000 manufacturing jobs added. 17,000 construction jobs. >> now we're getting consistent job reports that are plus 200,000. that's very positive not only for the economy but it should be positive for people should start to feel generally better. that conditions are in fact improving. >> on closer look, the unemployment rate for adult men is at 6.7%. for women, 6.2%.
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but the numbers are higher for african-americans and teenagers. still, some worry washington's upcoming budget battles could threaten the recovery. >> it's quite clear that the u.s. economy pays attention to what washington is doing. but this is an unpredictable business. makes it interesting, but it makes it hard to know sort of what the washington does in the next week, month, or year. what that means for sort of how much the economy can recover and at what rate. >> while there might be political uncertainty, for the time being, there is only good news for those like recent college grad eddie christian who just landed his first job. >> i look at this as sort of a career, not just a job. >> reporter: and allem, there are no new tax hikes or spending cuts on the horizon as a part of these budget battles. no major ones at least. so economists say that will also bodes well for the recovery. alex. >> kristin it, quick question about the president's schedule next hour. what is this, a saban forum he's
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going to be attending that and speaking? >> that's right. that is sponsored by the brookings institution. he's going to be speakinging there a forum on middle east policy. white house officials say it's up to the moderators to set the tone. i can tell you that the title of the forum this afternoon, alex, is power shifts, u.s.-israeli relations in dynamic middle east. the backdrop to this forum, the recent deal struck with iran to freeze iran's nuclear programs for six months in exchange for scaling back some of the sanctions, israel didn't like the deal. as you know, that created fresh tensions between the united states and israel. no guarantee that that will be discussed during the forum, but certainly one of the big issues in the backdrop. then of course, relations between the israelis and palestinians. >> well, an appropriate title absolutely because i know that benjamin netanyahu will be speaking as well as secretary kerry. a busy weekend. thank you, kristin. any moment the american veteran
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detained in north korea for more than a month will finally be home. merrill newman arrived at beijing's airport last night hour after his release. now his relatives are at san francisco airport ready to welcome him back. he smoke with nbc at beijing's airport. >> appreciate the tolerance the dprk government has given to me to be on my way. >> reporter: how do you feel now? >> i feel good. >> his release coincides with haven't biden's trip to south korea. it's unclear what role if any the u.s. played in his release. >> in just a moment, the first statement from the family of any son mandela out a short time ago. also, to tax or not to tax. what a recent supreme court decision could mean for how much you pay when you shop online. rs. i need more power. give me more power! [ mainframe ] located. ge deep-sea fuel technology. a 50,000-pound, ingeniously wired machine that optimizes raw data to help safely discover
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some headlines making news on the west coast. "los angeles times" front page, college shelved more assault reports. in october, occidental college said it failed to disclose two dozen semal allegations made by students in recent years. today the paper says it found 27 more allegations in a recent review of federal complaints against the school. the salts lake tribune, the headline permits for concealed guns. utah hits 500,000. 62% of the permits are going to people who live outside of utah. here's why. their permit is recognized by more states than other permits and many people want it to allow easier interstate travel with guns. a climate report on the arizona republic's front page. outlook for 2014 it, severity may lessen but drought persists. how the state isn't likely to see any relief from the drought that has gripped the state almost 15 years now. we are hearing for the first time from the mandela family.
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houghton, south africa, just outside his home. here's part of a statement by the mandel laz read by a spokesman a short time ago. >> the mandela household is no more with us physically, but his spirit is still with us. we have lost a great man. a son of the soil whose greatness in our family was in the simplicity of his nature. in our midst. a family leader who made time for all and on that score, we will dearly miss him. >> nelson mandela died on thursday. he had been fighting a recurring can lung infection. memorial services are planned all next week with a national day of prayer and reflection tomorrow. the funeral is next sunday, december 5th. joining me now the united states ambassador to south africa, patrick gas par. i'm glad to have you here.
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i'd like to ask you about the mood there in south africa and how nelson mandela is being remembered. >> well, thank you for having me on in this important period. i have to tell you, alex, though this is a somber occasion, be there is a' celebratory mood in some parts of south africa. i spent a few hours in the township of soweto outside of the home that president mandela lived in before he was arrested and taken to robben island. there was such jubilation in the streets and a sense that it was time to come together and celebrate this great leader's accomplishments and to look towards the future of freedom, justice and democracy here in south africa. so there are some somber aspects but there's also a celebratory mood, as well. >> yeah, i so appreciate the joy that is emanating from there. i have to say that i read with a chuckle about the first time that you met mr. mandela back in 1990. i want you to tell people because you were literally star
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struck. >> i absolutely was. i've been blessed to be around some phenomenal people, some great leaders, but there's no one like nelson mandela. so yes, the first time i was in his company was immediately after we had organized a glorious ticker tape for him parade down broadway in manhattan. we took him into city hall in new york, and had found myself alone with him in the mayor's office. and i didn't realize that i had been just staring at the man for probably ten minutes till i heard a voice say, excuse me, young man. can i trouble you for that glass of water. i realized that he had probably asked me several times for some water after being out in the heat and this long parade. i raced, got him the water and darn near spilled it all over him, i was so incredibly nervous and in awe of him. even though when you were around him, you were in awe, there was
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something about him that will created an accessibility, too. i never experienced both things in one person. i an remarkable human being. >> he had to ask you if you were okay because he was just like, what's wronging with this young man. anyway, but then you met him a second time in south africa. it was back in the early '90s. >> i did. >> and compare south africa then top south africa today. >> oh, it's absolutely a miracle, alex. i was here 23 years ago after after madiba was released but well before he was elected president and at a time when this country was on a razor's edge. there was some violence in the townships stirred by the security forces, and one be wasn't certain which direction the country would go in. i remember when madiba went on television, compelled his brothers and sisters to make peace and reconcile themselves and to be here 23 years later to see black and white working side
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by side, to not only forge a democracy but a strong economy, as well is absolutely stirring and you know at this moment is possible because of the spirit nelson mandela. >> yes, he was really a man who he inspired and he really kept the country together almost as if a type of a glue, and there are worries about south africa going into a tail spin financially and even socially now that he has passed. are you at all concerned about that? >> no, i'm absolutely not, alex. i will tell you that these are resill entpeople. if you could survive the oppressive decades of apartheid and come forward as the leading light in africa, you can survive just about anything. nelson mandela was confident of the great instuticians that exist in this country, an engaged civil society, a citizenry that will take
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absolutely no steps backwards and an economy that is dynamic and one in which the united states is thoroughly engaged. so i'm bullish on south africa. the over 600 companies, american companies that are here know that there's great growth coming forward and as a result of the bipartisan effort in the united states to help south africa with the hiv and aids epidemic, they've turned the corner on that crisis. and we're moving towards a healthy aids-free generation in south africa. i'm very encouraged by wla see. >> ambassador gas parred, i notice you have something in common within president obama. both of you inspired by apartheid. you said south africa occupies a central place in your preliminary development. can you explain that? >> it does, alex. you know, i was born here on the african continent in the congo, was raised in america, became a proud american, but always understood the ways in which these twos countries, south
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africa and the united states were linked. in my earliest days an of activi activism, i was engaged in the anti-apartheid movement. when i was 19 years old and we got the u.s. congress to pass the sanctions act against the apartheid act is when i first realized the power of collective action, the power of what an engaged citizenry can do and wham solidarity really means. then of course, years later when i got engaged in politics and got to meet nelson mandela and came here to south africa, i understood that u.s. cos only succeed if the sub-saharan region of south africa succeeded as a great beacon and hope for democracy. i understand the way these people are linked, these economies and values are linked. i'm so excited to be able to represent our country to this country. >> indeed, united states ambassador to south africa, patrick gaspard. thank you for your time.
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i appreciate that. >> thank you so much. the portrait of a lady and the legal fight that's getting uglier after some of the latest court testimony. i'm beth... and i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love.
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call, go online, or visit your local store today. a decision made this week by the u.s. supreme court regarding sales tax for online purchases could affect how much you end up spending on your holiday gifts this year. monday, the court declined to hear appeals by amazon and to throw out a new york state law forcing them to collect sales tax even though they don't have a physical presence in that state. c-net news maggie is joining us to explain what it means for all of us who shop online. does the supreme court's refusal to hear this case about the new york law open the door for other states to start collecting sales tax from online purchases too? >> what it will probably do is some states may feel that they can pass some laws that will do this, as well. right now, not every state that has sales tax is collecting that
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on online purchases. and some states have passed these laws and some haven't yet. >> explain that. it depends on what state you live in in terms of how online taxing works. >> exactly. what's interesting here is in new york state, for example, they did pass, they were one of the first to pass a law that you would have to have sales tax collected but then in illinois, for example, they passed a similar law and that state supreme court threw out that law. and so now you have a situation where there are some states where the laws are standing and fine and that's new york. and then places like illinois where the law has been struck down by the state supreme court. it's kind of unusual that the supreme court did not take on this case because when you have two different states high courts ruling differently, that usually signals that maybe the supreme court should step in here. but they take a lot of cases every year. there's also pending legislation that might do away with this, as
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well. >> okay. so throw out the convenience factor here. and just look at it from a fiscal perspective. do you think online retailers being forced to collect sales tax col kind of level the playing field for all the brick and mortar stores have seen all the increased competition online. shoppers are saying we want to avoid is the crowds and in some cases this sales tax. >> for some people. when you look at the bargains and convenience of shopping online, i don't know if sales tax is the first thing that people think of and say oh, geez, i'm going to order online because i can avoid sales tax. possibly on big ticket items like tvs or computers or things like that. for a lot of everyday things or a lot of gifts you would get for the holidays, i mean you really can't beat something like amazon that's going to deliver the presents right to your door within a day or two. i don't know how much that's going to hinder people shopping online or level the playing field per se. but i think what it does for states, it certainly allows them
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as more people shop online to not lose out on revenue from sales tax. >> look at it from an individual versus the cumulative perspective. nationwide it translates to billions lost for state and local governments providing public safety, education, everything else. is it worth it in the end? >> that's the state's perspective. they think you know, we need this revenue to keep things happening here locally. to pay the police force, to pay teachers even. but i think you know, really people are supposed to in a lot of states pay sales tax even if the online entity isn't charging it. for example in, connecticut, they reminded shoppers this holiday season you still are supposed to report that sales tax and pay it when you file your income tax. how many people actually do that, i think that number is very small. but i think this is revenue that states need. but as a consumer and as a shopper and as someone who grew up in the tax free state of
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delaware, you know, it's nice to not have to pay the sales tax. >> yeah. well, i agree on a personal note for sure. c-net's news maggie reardon. thanks for the story. in today's number ones, the milken institute rankings look at best performing cities. austin texas, gets the top spot largely because of its tech sector and a business friendly climate. second place provo, utah, number one for job growth. san francisco came in third followed by san jose and salt lake city. low taxes just one of the reasons ireland once again tops the forbes list of best countries for business. the emerald isle finished in the top 15% of each of the study's measurements. the "uss slipped for the fourth straight year ranking 14th this time. the so-called excessive tax burden and the fed's money pols get account blame for that. and the most popular baby names of the year. sophia is the leading girls'
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name for the fourth time. emma second for a third straight year, olivia third most popular. jackson is the top boys' name for the first time.knocking aiden down to second and liam rounds out the top three. those are your number ones. be careful babe. [ doorbell rings ] let's see what's cookin'. look at this. that's a swiffer. i don't have to climb up. did you notice how clean it looks? morty are you listening? morty? [ morty ] i'm listening! i want you to know. i don't miss out... you sat out most of our game yesterday! asthma doesn't affect my job... you were out sick last week. my asthma doesn't bother my family... you coughed all through our date night! i hardly use my rescue inhaler at all. what did you say? how about - every day?
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>> he is a man that shows what sacrifice, discipline, and forgiveness can do. many men in the 20th and 21st century were famous. few are great. nelson mandela became one of the greats. yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt? [ japanese accent ] aflac. love it. [ under his breath ] hate it. helps you focus on getting back to normal? [ as a southern belle ] aflac. [ as a cowboy ] aflac.
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[ sassily ] aflac. uh huh. [ under his breath ] i am so fired. you're on in 5, duck. [ male announcer ] when you're sick or hurt, aflac pays you cash. find out more at welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." president obama has joined the chorus calling for a higher minimum wage. in a speech this week in one of the poorest neighborhoods in washington, d.c., the president railed against income inequality and said a higher wage would benefit the greater economy. >> we know there are airport workers and fast food workers and nurse assistants and retail sales people who work their tails off. and are still living at or barely above poverty. and that's why it's well past the time to raise a minimum wage that in real term right now is below where it was when harry truman was in office. >> joining me jim mcdermott,
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senior member of both the ways and means committee and the budget committee. thanks for joining me. >> good morning, alex. how are you? >> i'm well, thanks. the president, as you know, throwing support behind the senate bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. do you think that bill has any shot in the house? >> absolutely. i think the country woke up the day after election this year. and one little town in seattle, seatac, had raised the minimum wage to $15. it's like looking out in the spring and seeing one dad deline appear in your garden and you realize, oh, my god, here it comes. the president grabbed it. it is an absolutely ripe issue and it's going to happen all over this country. the senate will be under great pressure. >> all right. your home state has the highest minimum wage in the nation right now. $9.19. of course, sea-tac taking the lead and doing a great job with that. you've also heard about airport and hotel workers being raised
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up to $15 an hour. is that feasible nationwide? >> absolutely. the people who take care of us in airports, people like myself who fly 100,000 miles a year, we know that our lunch will cost maybe another nickel or another dime or whatever. but if you don't pay those people enough money so that they can live at a sustainable level, they're not going to have any money to spend in the economy. the economy will not roll if there's not money in the pockets of the lower middle class workers in this country. we have to give them a decent standard of live. >> makes absolute sense. let me play devil's advocate because the big argument against raising the minimum wage is that it style ofs hiring. you can hire two workers at the minimum wage for the price of one worker at the proposed wage of $15 an hour. so have you seen that in washington with the higher wages there? >> no, this state is doing very well. we are -- we're not without our problems but we are hiring in
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many areas, and people are continuing -- people understand that nordstrom's does not sell to people who don't have money in their pockets. and you have to give money to people in their wages, they're working hard, some of them working two jobs to make it. you know, the minimum wage only is $290 a month. that's less than $1200 a week. $1200 a month. and people can't possibly have any extra money to buy anything except food and a place to sleep at night with the that kind of a wage. you've got to give people more than that. >> yeah. what about the cost of living differences? should that be equated all into the federal minimum wage? >> well, i think it should have been indexed to it a long time ago. the cost of living continues to go up. and even though we're using an outdated system of judging cost of living, we still ought to indicate that the minimum wage ought to follow it at least we
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ought to be able to keep up. that's why you give that statistic that we have a minimum wage that's down around where it was when harry truman was president in 1946. we have not indemed people at the bottom of the system to the way cost of living has gone up. >> the other big issue is the emergency unemployment benefits. those are set to expire in rather scrooge-like way december 28th right after christmas. the white house estimating that 1.3 million unemployed americans would immediately lose benefits, another 3.6 million would lose benefits next year. so what's the likelihood of congress getting a deal done before the deadline? >> 80s a personal irony for me because that's my birthday. we're going to put all these money out with no money just after christmas when they have to pay christmas bills. i think that the pressure will build as it has done if you go back historically, the last several years, the republicans buckle under the pressure right before the first of the year. i think we're going to do something about that.
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the concept that people sit at home and wait for a check is just nonsense. you see the unemployment rate falling, and you still have long-term unemployed people, people unemployed for six months. these people are 55, 58, are 5 years old. they are not able to retire on their social security and that i can tear pension from their job and they can't find work, and that's -- that really is -- you've got give them some help. >> i know these benefits expire december 28th. but in essence, you have to get going and get this thing done in the next six days because congress breaks on the 13th. >> that's absolutely correct. this running the government one week or two weeks at a time is absolutely silly. it's destructive for business. it's destructive for individuals. we should have passed this six weeks ago because we know we're going to do it. historically, people can't sit down and eat their christmas turkey and then say and two days
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from now, we're going to cut off benefits to 1.3 million people. you can't enjoy your christmas dinner if you haven't done something for your neighbor, for the tiny tims of the world. you've got to look after them. we're going to do it. we should have done it a long time ago. >> we hope you're absolutely right. democratic congressman, jim mcdermott. thanks so much. now the bitter legal battle between ryan o'neal and the university of texas at austin. it the university rested its case after arguing this portrait of charlie's angels star fair ral faucet estimated to be worth about $12 million belongs to them. o'neal who, of course, involved in the long-term relationship with faucet is counter suing saying the painting is his and he removed it from her home about a week aftersley died. she will bequeathed it the to her alma mater. o'neal was not included in her
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will. faith jenkins, prosecutor. it's talk about the difficulty of proving this case. two of the three people are deceased with andy end warhol and farrah fawcett. ryan o'neal clamoring about this. how do you see this playing out? >> there's a new witness that has come forward. she says she just heard about the lawsuit. so she's now coming forward saying that farrah fawcett told her that this portrait did indeed belong to ryan o'neal. and fawcett made that statement several months before she died. so the university of texas actually tried to keep this witness off the witness stand. they argued that o'neal's attorneys should have known about this witness. this is very much a surprise to them. they did not want her to testify. but the judge said no. she should be allowed to testify. she has pertinent information. this may actually be a huge revelation for this case because now the jurors are going to hear a woman who seemingly has no dog in this fight come forward and say that this portrait really
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does belong to ryan o'neal. >> interestingly, it was discussed on the reality show "chasing fair ra" all about these two portraits. let's take a listen to part of what was played on that show. here it is. >> how many did he make of these? >> two. >> two. >> well, he made probably three. where -- well, i don't know. i have two. >> does that seem kind of odd to you she wasn't exactly sure how many were made? it was a blonde moment or what was going on there? >> it does seem a little bit odd. there have been some really interesting witnesses that have come forward and testified in this case. but again, the jurors are now going to look at what i think is their best piece of evidence, which is the objective many testimony of this new wit who is going to come forth. there's a reason why the university of texas didn't want this witness to testify. most civil cases, there are no real surprises because you've had the an opportunity to interview and depose witnesses and get their side of the story on the record. so this was a big surprise.
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i'm not sure this case won't have settled if the university of texas hadn't known about this witness in the advance. >> the fact is fawcett left nothing to o'neal in her will. how do his lawyers get around that? >> by bringing forth witnesses to say this specific portrait was in fact his. does it matter what was the fact that she bequeathed her art to the university of texas is one thing. but the fact that this was not her portrait, that it actually belonged to ryan o'neal, she had it in her possession is another argument. that's the one they're making >> we have to say it's a little bit messy. for people who knew this great love affair between them, they are a son together, redmond. but it did get messy in 1997. she, farrah fawcett, caught ryan o'neal in bed with a younger woman and you know, that's when all hell broke loose and they broke up for quite an sometime. how much is all this relevant to the case because it went into testimony in court. >> right. and usually attorneys try to get
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the facts that shed their case in the best light. and so what they tried to do here was to get into their narrative what they want to argue in summation. listen, this ryan o'neal person isn't a good guy. why should you believe what he is saying? look at his past, the things that have happened in his past. you should not believe him. trust what's written on paper that will farrah fawcett wan this had art to go to the university of texas after she passed away. >> faith jenkins, we will see how it all plays out. thanks so much. if your boss has a daughter, that could mean more money for female employees. a new study sheds light on the mysteries of men and how they're influenced which the women around them. around them. ywhich the women around them. nothing says, "you're my #1 copilot," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪
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it's donut friday at the office. aso every friday morning they psend me out to get the goods.. but what they don't know is that i'm using my citi thankyou card at the coffee shop, so i get 2 times the points. and those points add up fast. so, sure, make me the grunt. 'cause i'll be using those points to help me get to a beach in miami. and allllllll the big shots will be stuck here at the cube farm. the citi thankyou preferred card. now earn 2x the points on dining out and entertainment, with no annual apply, go to foe lit cosays top aides within the gop to discuss how long they should talk to female constituents, part of a plan to make them appear for sensitive. it begs the question how are men influenced which the women around them.
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a new article takes a look at several studies on this topic. joining me now, sarah yager with the atlantic. associate editor. sarah wrote this article. >> thanks for having me. >> i'm going to make it real clear we're talking about a professional or working environment. if a woman thinks she's going to change a man in a relationship, not so much. your article says mail ceos pay their employees less and themselves more after having sons but when they have daughters they pay more giving female employees the biggest raises. what do you think it is about having a daughter that triggers generosity? >> researchers think it might have something it do with women being more other regarding than men. this is a finding that's debated in academic research. but -- >> okay. >> what's interesting here is daughters this works for, but not with sisters. right? i mean it's the opposite.
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if a man has a sister, that's not going to help. here's the quote. having a sister has the opposite effect, making men more supportive of traditional gender roles, more conservative politically and less likely to perform housework. so you'd think that a man growing up with sisters it would make the man a bit more empathetic towards women. where's the disconnect here? >> right. so researchers who did this study think that it might have something to do with chore assignment in early life. looking at longituded on that, they found that men with sisters when they're young boys tend to do a lot less housework. and that might have something to do with parents tendinging to assign typically female gender chores to girls when they have both a daughter and a son. >> do you think it also has something to do with men becoming more sensitive to women when their daughters are, i
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don't know how to say this, but they're theirs? they have brought this child into the world. it's their responsibility? was that looked at at all? >> i'm not sure that any of the researchers looked at that in particular. but that will certainly is a possibility. >> yeah. >> so here's something else that's interesting. men with lots of female colleagues actually will pick up more housework. that's kind of interesting. how does that translate? >> that's correct. and it's actually the researchers who did that study found that men who changed from a male dominated profession such as construction to a female dominated profession like teaching or nursing tended to take on more hours of housework and their partner subsequently took on less. >> yeah. wait. so men whose wives though outearn them. so the guys who are maybe even and a house husband type thing,
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they actually do a smaller share of the housework than their bread-winning peers. i mean, that doesn't make sense to me. >> right. that's correct. it's kind of a disappointing finding that even now as women are a larger share of the workforce than they've ever been, it seems like some more traditional ideas about female employment are really entrenched. researchers who made that finding thought it might have something to do with women compensating for the threat of earning more than their partners, that they tended to take on more housework to compensate for that lack of traditional femininity. >> huh. >> but importantly, that study was not longitudinal. so even though it was published this year and seems a little bit retro gressive, it's important to note that we don't know whether this effect is less strong than it used to be. >> so it's just an interesting article for all of the women how the there to read and men. sarah yager, thank you very much
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and we know that there are airport workers and fast food workers and nurse assistants and retail salespeople who work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty. and that's why it's well past the time to raise a minimum wage that in real terms right now is below where it was when harry truman was in office. >> and that was president obama speaking this week at the liberal think tank center for american progress addressing several key economic issues. joining me now msnbc national reporter suzy khimm. we heard the president advocating for a raise in the minimum wage and saw the protesters this week, as well. what do you think the chances
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are of an increaseded passing and what are roadblocks? >> basically i don't think within the current congress there's a chance this make its way through, but democrats have made it clear they're going to tell voters in 2014 this is one of their priorities. it sends a very clear message about the kind of economic justice and fairness they want to see. i think that's why they're trying to make this appeal right now and put a very big push behind it. >> i want to look at one of your recent articles why budget cuts are here to stay in which you talk about specific cuts. so share those details and how deep are we talking about? >> sure. so what's happening right now is that paul ryan and patty murray, the lead budget negotiators in congress are trying to hammer out a budget deal that would actually encompass 2014 and 2015. what's happening right now the is that it seems like they're pretty close to a deal but it would only reverse about one-third of the cuts under sequestration which are $110
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billion a year. beak we're looking at a continuation of more than you know two-thirds of the cuts going forward. so i think that that is going to have a big impact on both military and domestic programs. >> okay. and can you be a little more specific both military and domestic but who gets impacted if these cuts stick around? >> basically it's still unclear. once that they agree on the top line numbers, it goes to congressional appropriators to decide how to distribute that funding. so basically there's going to be a sort of mad scramble between different groups between transportation and housing and you know, every sort of government program to figure out what piece of that pie they're going to get. >> okay. suzy khimm, thank you very much. the american girl stealing a hit tv talent show in the middle east after a break.
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lowered this weekend looks like we'll see more ice and snow. northeast 43 degrees. minneapolis 2 degrees for a high, setting the stage for the next storm system that moves in. we'll see snow from nebraska into wisconsin. we could see more ice across eastern arkansas and snow turns to rain here in the northeast. you start at point "a." and you work hard to get to the next level.
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delivering an icy wentry wallop in many parts of the country. first statement. the family nelson mandela on the loss for their family. south africa, and the world. it's masterpiece theater and motown. a struggle to save the city's priceless artwork from the ravages of bankruptcy. and amazon's drone delivery. pie in the sky or grounded in reality? good day, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." it's 1:00 here in the east, 10:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening out there. frozen nation is what's happening. a powerful winter storm has wreaked havoc across much of the country bringing arctic air, snow and freezing rain from california all the way to the northeast. at least 11 people so far have died. in ohio, those icy roads and highways have made driving conditions treacherous there. a blanket of white covers the plains as residents try to dig
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out of the mess. texas hardest hit as 1600 flights at dal lease fort worth international airport cancelled. more than 165,000 people lost power there last night. now other storm is coming. it's supposed to bring more of the same. nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer has been tracking these systems for us. dylan, who is getting the worst of it and what's coming next? >> we are in a break right now. that's a good thing because we have the next storm system in california moving eastward. the worst of the ice this time around should be in areas like west virginia up into parts of pennsylvania and into areas in upstate new york, as well. for right now, we are talking about brutally cold temperatures. orlando, miami, that's it. those are the only places where we're seeing temperatures above average. everywhere else it's about 258 to almost 508 degrees below normal. it is 19 below in billings, montana where it feels like 34 below because of the windchill.
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minneapolis feels like 19 below. dallas 138 degrees right now. no melting of the snow and ice that fell. storm one is moving away. a couple light showers still falling in the southeast. it's this next storm system we're already keeping an eye on. lighter snow in salt lake city. it's only going to intensify as the storm moves out of the west and out of california and starts to spread snow into the rockies and eventually the northern plains like kansas into nebraska. eventually up into iowa and stretching up into minneapolis and into wisconsin, too. watch what happens. 8:00 sunday evening, we will see snow in parts of new york city and then it will continue to move up to the north with a changeover from snow to sleet and freezing rain. then eventually all rain in new york city by the commute monday morning. we'll see icy conditions along the massachusetts turnpike across massachusetts and up into central and northern new england, as well. as for snowfall totals, not that much because it's not so much snow that's an issue, it's the ice from d.c. up into philadelphia before it changes
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over to symptom rain. we are looking for temperatures on the cold side today. 12 below for a high in billings. zero in minneapolis. and then tomorrow, high temperatures back up to 37 in dallas. that should help melt some of the ice and the next storm system should stay just to the east of where we had our worst icing with this past storm. that's good news for this area. >> number 15th ranked uctf is playing smu in dals football right now. >> that's brutal. wow, that's some game. thank you so much, dylan. to south africa, as the nation plans a final farewell to her most famous son. we're hearing for the first time from the family. keir simmons is in soweto, south africa. what are you hearing? >> reporter: people of south africa have already made their voices heard. especially here in soweto. this incredible party happening
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behind me you can hear. it's important to remember, people dancing on the very streets where people died decades ago in the fight against apartheid. and now we have heard from the mandela family. releasing a statement through a family spokesperson and what they say really some of what they say is this, the pillar of the royal mandela family is no more with us physically, but his spirit is still with us. we have lost a great man, a son of the soil whose greatness in our family was in the simplicity of his nature in our midst, a caring family leader who made time for all and on that score, we will miss him dearly. so a really heartfelt tribute to any son mandela from his family, the man that south africa called the family of the nation and meanwhile, alex, the plans for the memorial's continue. tomorrow there will be a day of prayer and reflection in churches and stadiums across this country. then on tuesday, there will be a
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gathering at the soccer stadium where nelson mandela made his last appearance in 2010. that will be quite an extraordinary event. as mandela's body will then lay in state in pretoria. they plan to drive his body through the streets so as many people as possible can see him. there will then be the state funeral in which the president and a number of u.s. presidents will attend before he is finally buried at his home village, his village in qunu. >> i read the actual burial will be private. that is just with his family. correct? >> reporter: all right. we'll move on. i do believe that fact is correct. keir simmons, thank you very much. former president george w. bush and laura bush will join the obamas aboard air force one to make the trip to south africa
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for mandela's services. former president bill clinton and hillary clinton also expected to attend. no word yet if the clintons will be flying on air force one with presidents obama and bush. we've just learned a spokesman for former president carter also telling nbc he is going to south africa as part of the elders delegation. he will not be on air force one with the obamas. new today in politics, president obama is scheduled to speak this hour about u.s.-israeli relations in the current environment. part of a forum sponsored by the saban center at the brookings institute. other speakers include secretary of state john kerry, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. new today, the president is calling on congress to extend unemployment benefits set to expire on december 28th. >>. >> the nonpartisan congressional budget office predicted allowing them to expire will be a drag on economic growth next year. a report by the department of
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labor and my council of economic advisors estimated could cost businesses 240,000 jobs. and without the ability to feed their families or pay the bills, many people currently looking for work cog stop looking for good. >> republicans remain focused on obama care in their weekly address. here's north carolina congress woman renee elmers. >> for our part, republicans will continue to listen, focus on jobs, and give in this law the scrutiny it deserves. we're also going to keep pressing the president to do the right thing. if the president won't scrap this law, isn't it time for him to delay it for all americans before it does further harm? >> quoin aring me now staff writer for the hill newspaper elise viebeck and ed 0 he keefe from the "washington post." good to see you both. >> great to be with you. >> thanks, alex. >> elise, as the president spoking with chris matthews on "hardball" on thursday about
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republican obstruction. listen to what he said. >> i actually think there are a bunch of republicans who want to get stuff done. they've got to be embarrassed. the truth of the matter is they've now been in charge of the house of representatives one branch of or one chamber and one branch of government for a couple of years now. they don't have a lot to show for it. >> is there that sense in washington, elise? >> certainly, this is a charge that democrats make all the time about republicans. but to hear president obama say it was very interesting. when you think about the audience he was addressing that evening. it was young people, and certainly young people are going to be sympathetic to the idea that congress ought to be making progress on some of their key priorities like immigration reform, gay rights and other issues like that. so for president obama to make that argument, i think immediately got the audience on his side. you heard giggles after he made that point. so i don't think it's surprising at all we heard him say that. >> how do you think, ed, it might impact next year's midterm
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elections? what list of accomplishments can republicans point to? >> well, they can point to the fact that they've tried dozens of times to either roll back or completely cancel the affordable care act. >> how many times is that, like 42? >> 41, 42 depending how you count it. there's that. >> by the way, tried. tried. >> yes. >> so accomplishments, what are they? >> accomplishments you mean laws that actually got through the house and senate? they are very few and very inconsequential for the most part. remember, this is an argument that can be made either way. speaker boehner was making a similar argument this week saying that it's senate democrats who blocked at least 150 different measures that were sent over, things that would have rolled back federal regulations and authorized construction of the excel pipeline, yes, changes to the affordable care act and a few other things. there's still the possibility we'll see final passage before the end of the year. there's still the -- they still have to come up with a duth
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deal. it does look as if they're headed in that direction at that point. nobodiable clamoring to stick around closer to christmas. they might get a farm bill probably by mid-january and maybe we'll see them pass a big defense policy bill they have been passing by the end of every year. this year they risked not passing it for the first time in more than five decades. >> talk about the latest jobs report. because that's pretty good news there, elise. 203,000 jobs added last month. unemployment rate down.3% to 7%. a five-year low. how much of a boost is this for president obama? >> in a way it's a huge boost. this is the third straight month of solid growth. growth across all sectors is great for the president. however, the debate we're watching now is whether unemployment benefits will continue. republicans immediately responded to that jobs report by saying hey, maybe we need to ease up on some of this federal health we've been giving to unemployed. democrats don't want to see that happen. they're ready to see this through before the end of the year when unemployment benefits
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would expire for about 1.3 million people. that would come around the holidays which would make it very difficult. i think that's what we're watching right now, how will this unemployment benefits package be extended. will it be attached to the larger budget deal they're working on even as we speak right now. and, of course, how will republicans respond? are there conservative republicans that would ultimately vote against that package because they believe we need to be a'sing up on these benefits. >> ed, as one of my guests said earlier, what is it the republicans don't like? the peace or the prosperity? >> well, this is a tricky one for the unemployment insurance for a very sort of basic reason. they're going to need democrats in order to pass a budget deal in the house. and you saw nancy pelosi and congressional democrats this week say look, any budget agreement ideally is going to have extension of these benefits in it. but elise is right. others are pointing out if the unemployment situation is getting that much better, baby we don't need to have this anymore. i think republicans understand
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now at post shutdown, if you will, that they can't just be seen as intransgently standing in the way of everything. they've got to find a way to get legislation through across the finish line and signed by the president. the budget deal is one of those. potentially, i still hold out hope that will come the spring, there's going to be some progress on immigration because they understand it needs to be done. there's a desire to get it done. that way they can go home next fall and say we did finally tackle that big issue. whether or not they resolve it with the senate we'll see. i believe they will eventually get to it so they can say we tried tackling that one also based on the fact that most of the nation wanted them to do it. >> it's all good. thank you both. >> bye, alex. >> come by to see the tree. >> it's beautiful right outside. see you. the fight for a living wage in america. what will congress do to help millions of minimum wage workers? i'll ask california congress woman, maxine waters.
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at 15 past the hour, war going to take you to washington. the president is talking about iran and israel's national security as he addresses an the saban forum there. he started about ten minutes ago. let's listen in. >> been concerned about for quite some sometime. as a consequence, what i said to my team and what i said to our international partners was that we are going to have to be much more serious about how we change the cost benefit analysis for iran. we put in place an unprecedented regime of sanctions. that has crippled iran's economy cut their oil revenues by more than half, have put enormous pressure on their
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currency. their economy contracted by more than 58% last year. and it is precisely because of the international sanctions and the coalition that we were able to build internationally that the iranian people responded by saying we need a new direction in how we interact with the international community and how we deal with the sanctions regime. that's what brought president rouhani to power. he was not necessarily the first choice of the hard liners inside of iran. now, that doesn't mean that we should trust him or anybody else inside of iran. this it is a regime that came to power swearing opposition to the united states, to israel, and to many of the values that we hold dear. but what i've consistently said is even as i don't take any options off the table, what we
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do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically. and that is the deal that at the first stages we have been able to get done in geneva, thanks to some extraordinary work by john kerry and his counterparts in the p5-plus-1. so let's look exactly what we've done. for the first time in over a decade, we have halted advances in the iranian nuclear program. we have not only made sure that in natanz that they have to stop adding additional centrifuges, we've also said they've got to the roll back their 208% advanced enrichment. >> for how much? >> down to zero. so you remember when prime minister netanyahu made his presentation before the united nations last year. >> the cartoon with the red line?
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>> the picture of a bomb. he was referring to 20% enrichment which the concern was if you get too much of that, you now have efficient capacity to go ahead and create a nuclear weapon. we're taking that down to zero. we are stopping the advancement of the iraq facility, which would provide a additional pathway of plutonium pathway for the development of nuclear weapons. we are going to have daily inspectors in for dro anna tans. we're going to have additional inspections in iraq. and as a consequence, during this six-month period, iran cannot and will not advance its program or add additional stockpiles of advanced uranium. enriched uranium. now, what we've done in exchange
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is kept all these sanctions in place. the architecture remains with respect to oil, with respect to finance, with respect to banking. what we've done is we've turned the spigot slightly and eave said here's maximum $7 billion out of the over $100 billion of revenue of theirs that is frozen as a consequence of our sanctions to give us the time and the space to test whether they can move in a direction, a comprehensive be permanent agreement that would give us all assurances that they're not producing nuclear weapons. >> i understand that. quick question as relates to the $7 billion, if i may. >> please. >> how do we prevent those who work with us in geneva who are already descended on tehran looking for deals to cause the southern to become sovereignty? because we can control what we do, but what is the extent an
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that we can control the others? >> this is precisely why the timing of this was right. one of the things we were always concerned about was that if we did not show good faith in trying to resolve this issue diplomatically, then the sanctions regime would begin to fray. keep in mind that this was two years of extraordinary diplomatic work on behalf of our team to actually get the sanctions in place. they're not just the unilateral sanctions that are created by the united states. these are sanctions that are also participated in by russia, by china. and some allies of ours like south korea and japan that find these sanctions very costly, but that's precisely why they've bim become so effective. so what we've said is that we do not loosen any of the core sanctions. we provide a small window through which they can access some revenue but we can control it and it is reversible.
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and during the course of these six months, if and when iran shows itself not to be abiding by this agreement, not to be negotiating good faith, we can reverse them. and tighten them even further. but here's the bottom line. ultimately, my goal as president of the united states, something that i've said publicly and privately and shared every where i've gone is to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but what i've also said is the best way for us to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon is for a comprehensive verifiable diplomatic resolution without taking any other options off the table if we fail to achieve that. it is important for us to test that proposition during the next six months understanding that while we're talking, they're not secretly improving their
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position or changing circumstances inside of iran. if we can't make a deal, we're no worse off and we have greater levering and with the international community to continue to apply sanctions and strengthen them. if on the other hand, we're able to get this deal done, what we can achieve through a diplomatic resolution of this situation is, frankly, greater than what we could achieve with the other options available to us. >> let's hold hope we get that the. >> the absolutely. >> you have hosted passover dinners at the white house. >> i have. >> you know this famous saying why is this night different than any other night. in that context, i would like to ask you a question. >> please. >> with best intentions and all efforts, president reagan felt that will pakistan would not go nuclear. didn't happen. with best intentions president clinton vowed that north korea won't go nuclear.
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why is this nuclear deal different than any other nuclear deal? >> well, we don't know yet. no, we don't know yet. i think it's important for everybody to understand, this is hard. because the technology of the nuclear cycle, you can get off the internet. the knowledge of creating a nuclear weapon is already out there. and iran is a large country. and it is a relatively wealthy country. and so we have to take seriously the possibility that they are going to try to get a nuclear weapon. that's what this whole exercise is about, having said that, if you look at the history by the time we got an agreement with north korea, they essentially already had a nuclear weapon. with respect to the pakistan, there was never the kinds of inspection regimes and
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international sanctions and u.n. resolutions that were in place. we have been able to craft an international effort and and verification mechanism around the iran nuclear program that is unprecedented. and unique. that doesn't mean it's easy. and that's why you know, we have to take it seriously. but i think one of the things that i've repeatedly said when people ask why should we try to negotiate with them, we can't trust them, you know, we're being naive, what i try to describe them is not the choice between this deal and the ideal. but the choice between this deal and other alternatives. i mean, if i had an option, if we could create an option in
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which iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program and for that matter got rid of all its military capabilities, i would take it. but. >> last question. >> but sorry. haim, i want to make sure everybody understands. that will particular option is not available. as a consequence, we have to make a decision as to given the options available, what is the best way for to assure that iran does not get a nuclear weapon. the best way is to test this diplomatic path, understanding that it's not based on trust. it's based on what we can verify. and it also, by the way, does not negate the fact that iran is engaging in a whole bunch of other behavior in the middle east and around the world that is detrimental to the united states and detrimental to
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israel. and we will continue to contest their efforts where they are engaging in terrorism, where they are being disruptive to our friends and our allies. we will not abide by any threats to our friends and allies in the region, and we've made that perfectly clear. and our commitment to israel's security is the sacrosanct. they understand that. they don't have any doubt about that. but if we can negotiate on the nuclear program in the same way that ronald reagan was able to negotiate with the soviet union even as we were still contesting them around the world, that will removes one more threat, and a critical existential threat takes it out of their arsenal and allows us then to ultimately i think win them -- defeat some of their agenda throughout the region without worrying that somehow it's going to escalate or trigger a nuclear arms race
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in the most volatile part of the world. it would. so an interesting perspective in up with of his columns. he said said never negotiate with iran without some leverage and some crazy on your side. we have to outcrazy the crazies. do you think he has a point? >> well, the -- you know, tom's a very smart observer. you know, and i know that my friend bebe is going to be speaking later. if tom wants to characterize bibi the way you just described, that's his prerogative. >> i didn't say that. >> that's not my view. you know, prime minister netanyahu and i have had constant consultations on these issues throughout the last five years. and something that i think bears
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repeating. the united states military cooperation with israel has never been stronger. our intelligence cooperation with israel has never been stronger. our support of israel's security has never been stronger. whether you're talking about iron dome, whether you're talking about trying to manage the situation in gaza, a little over a year ago, across the board, our coordination on the concrete issues facing israel's security has never been stronger. that's not just my opinion. i think that's something that can be verified. there are times where i as president of the united states am going to have different tactic it will perspectives than the prime minister of israel and that is understandable because israel cannot contract out its security in light of the history that the people of israel understand all too well.
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they have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves. and we respect that and i've said that consistently to the prime minister. but ultimately, it is my view from a tactical perspective that we have to test out this proposition, it will make us stronger internationally. and it may possibly lead to a deal that we'll have to show to the world, in fact, assures us that iran's not getting a nuclear weapon. it's not as if there's going to a lot of capacity to hide the ball here. we're going to be able to make an assessment because this will be subject to the p5-plus-1 and the international community looking at the details of every aspect of a potential final deal. and we're consulting with all our friends, including israel in terms of what would that will
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end state look like. if we can't get there, then you know, no deal is better than a bad deal. but presuming that it's going to be a bad deal and as a consequence not even trying for a deal, are i think, would be a dire mistake. >> well, personally i find a lot of comfort that even though the united states and israel may have red lines in different places, we are all in the same place as far as the bottom line goes. iran will not have nuclear weapons. fair to say? >> that is more than fair. >> thank you. should we move to the israeli/palestinians? >> we should. >> okay. very obedient president i have here today. >> you know, this is the saben forum. so you're in charge. >> i wish. >> or cheryl's in charge. >> you're more on now, mr. president. >> that's exactly right. >> it is cheryl in charge.
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anyway, first of all, before i ask the first question, i would be remiss if i didn't from the bottom of my heart thank you for your continuous effort to achieve peace in the middle east. thank you so very much. >> we appreciate it. thank you. [ applause ] >> so people talk about an imposed american solution. we've heard these rumors rumbling around for a while. the u.s. has always said it doesn't want to impose. what would you propose? >> well, first of all, you know, this is a challenge that we've been wrestling with for 60 years. and what i've consistently said is that the only way it's going to be resolved is if the people of israel and the palestinian people make a determination that their futures and the futures of their children and grandchildren will be better off with peace
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than with conflict. the united states can be an effective facilitator of that negotiation and dialogue. we can help to bridge differences and bridge gasp, but both sides want -- have to want to get there. and i have to commend prime minister netanyahu and president abbas for the courageous efforts that have led to very serious conversations over the last several months. they are nos easy. but they come down to what we all know are going to be the core issues, territory, security, refugees, jerusalem, and they're not a lot of secrets or surprises at this point. we note what the outlines of a potential agreement might look like, and the question then
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becomes, are both sides willing to take the very tough political risks involved if their bottom lines are met? you know, for the palestinians, the bottom line is that they will have a state of their own that is real and meaningful. for the israelis, the bottom line is, to a large extent, is the state of israel is a jewish state secure. and those issues have been spoken about over the last several months in these negotiations in a very serious way. i know they have been participating in that and we're very grateful for her efforts there. i think it is possible over the next several months to arrive at a framework that does not address every single detail but gets us to a point where everybody recognizes better to
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move forward than move backwards. sometimes when you're climbing up a mountain even when it's scary, it's actually easier to go up than it is to go down. and i think that we're now at a place where we can achieve a two-state solution in which israelis and palestinians are living side by side in peace and security. but it's going to require some very tough decisions. one thing i have to say though is we have spent a lot of time working with prime minister netanyahu and his entire team to understand from an israeli perspective what is required for the security of israel in such a scenario. and we, going back to what i said earlier, we understand that we can't dictate to israel what will it needs for its security. but what we have done is to try
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to understand it and then see through a consultative process, are there ways that through technology, through additional ideas, we can potentially provide for that. and a signed one of our top former generals, john allen, who used to most recently headed up the entire coalition effort in afghanistan. he's retired now, but he was willing to take on this mission, and he's been working to examine the entire set of challenges around security. >> has he concluded anything? >>. >> well, he has arrived at the conclusion that it is possible to create a two-state solution that preserves israel's core security needs. now, that's his conclusion, but ultimately, he's not the decisionmaker here. prime minister netanyahu and the israeli military and intelligence folks have to make
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that determination. and ultimately, the palestinians have to also recognize. >> so we're lis fling to the president at the tenth anniversary of the saban forum at the willard hotel in which he's talking about the u.s. to bridge the gap between the israelis and palestinians but not easy conversations to have. more importantly, the president addressed both the reasons for and the details of the geneva accord two weeks ago tonight with iran. and he said we don't know how that will turn out six months from now at the end of this trial period to see what iran decides to do with its nuclear development but he very wisely said we are not going to trust anything. we are going to simply verify and see what happens there. the president addressing again the saban forum. he mentioned prime minister benjamin netanyahu will also be addressing it as will our secretary of state john kerry and the israeli foreign minister lieberman. we'll keep an ear on what's happening with the president. in the meantime, we'll take a short break and then be joined
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by congress woman maxine waters from california to talk about minimum wage. stay with us. . then i'll use a bunch of them. then how is that a bargain? [ sighs ] no, that's too many -- it's not gonna fit! whoa! cascade kitchen and math counselor. here's a solution. one pac of cascade complete cleans tough food better than six pacs of the bargain brand combined. so you can tackle tough messes the first time. that is more like it. how are you with taxes? [ laughs ] [ counselor ] and for even more cleaning power, try cascade platinum. my boyfriend has a lot of can't-miss moments. i checked out the windows phones and saw the lumia 1020 has 41 megapixels. so i can zoom way in even after i take the picture. and i can adjust the shot before i take it so i get it exactly how i want. so, i went with a windows phone. maybe i just see things other people don't. ♪ honestly ♪ i wanna see you be brave
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welcome back, everyone, to "weekends with alex witt." 408 past the hour. nationwide rallies this week by fast food workers reignited is the debate about minimum wage. president obama addressed why it was time to do so at a forum in one of d.c.'s poorest neighborhoods. joining me now maxine waters, democrat from the southern california. welcome to you. my neighboring congress woman i i shall say. in your state, you're well aware there, it is a very small handful to recently raise its minimum wage. you've heard the president's challenge to congress. they want them to do the same. in an oop ed this week, eugene robinson has said that president obama should specify a number at least $10 an hour and go out on one of his barnstorming tours. democrats should make the issue a central theme of the campaign. i believe the public would
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respond which means ultimately republicans would respond. how do you think democrats should frame this conversation around income inequality in order to get their message across? >> actually, the time has come. and it is quite evident that the low wage workers are hitting the streets. they are organizing and rallying with the support of organized labor. and there's no stopping this. the wage gap is real. these retail clerks and sales persons and low wage workers are hurting. they're coming to the federal government for food stamps and for housing subsidies and so this it is a movement now that cannot be stopped. it is inevitable, and i think the democrats understand this. and we have to it be right out there in the forefront of this. because this is our constituency that's asking this government to the help them to get a fair
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opportunity for wages that they can support their families with. >> what about all of this forcing the hand of republicans? do you think that will happen? >> well, i think when i say it's inevitable, what you're going to find is low wage workers in republican districts are going to join this. they have to. no matter their differences, this is an economic issue that's hitting home with low wage workers in democrat and republican areas. and republicans will have no choice but to step back from this. they cannot meet this head-on with a fight and resist it in the ways that they have done in the past. the issue now has come to the point in time where the workers are going to demand and we're going to have to respond. >> is it inevitable though that perhaps this needs to be taken over, ma'am, from state to state perhaps? because you saw what happened up in seattle. and the sea-tac workers are
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increasing their minimum wage to $15 an hour. they're getting it done that way. it did not happen with the federal government. >> but it's happening on both fronts. you are absolutely correct. cities and states are taking up this issue. even. los angeles, there will be a move to raise the wages of city workers to $15 an hour. and so the more the states and the cities put pressure on this issue, the more pressure will be placed on the federal government to raise the minimum wage. >> i do want to switch gears to sadly, the death nelson mandela. >> yes. >> i know he's someone you considered as a friend. >> yes. >> talk about your thoughts and remembrances. >> well, you know, i was just looking at some of the pictures that were coming over the television about what's going on right now in johannesburg where people are gathering and it is a celebration of the life and times nelson mandela. this international hero. i truly loved nelson mandela.
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i worked on his behalf to help get him out of prison. i worked to help bring down apartheid. i authored the bill in the state you have california top divest all of our pension funds from businesses that were doing businesses in south africa. it was successful. it helped to trigger divestments in states around the country. i went to jail along with many others. i was on the board of transafrica. this was our number one focus for a long time. and so il feel such a part of the change that took place because of the leadership of this wonderful and this extraordinary man who literally put his life on the line, served 27 years in prison, and changed the country, changed that nation, and helped others around the world understand that they could be a part of this struggle and help to bring about change in a way that made absolute perfect sense for all of us.
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>> well, i can hear the pride in your voice for your association with him. and i want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on both topics today. representative maxine waters, always a pleasure to have you on the show. the american veteran detained in north korea for more than a month is back home now. merrill newman was greeted by applause after walking out of san francisco airport with his son and wife by his side. take a listen to what he told reporters. >> it's been a great, great homecoming. and i'm tired, but ready to be with my family now, and thank you all for the support we got. and very much appreciate it. >>'s noel walker is at san francisco airport. let's hear about this homecoming. i mean, it got so much coverage. it was an extraordinarily long journey for him. >> it really did a crush of reporters there. in fact, so many reporters that i knew he arrived because i could hear those cheers we were talking about before i saw him.
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then he emerged with his son and his wife holding her hand the entire time. you heard him say there that he was delighted to be home. he also thanked the swedish embassy there in pyongyang. we know there was a swedish diplomat allowed to see him within the last week there. now, he did talk about the lighter things. he was asked about the support back home. and he said because of course, he didn't know when was when he was being held, he said i'm told it was very good. his wife chimed in and said yes, it was. when reporters asked him the more pressing questions about what happened when he was there and why did he go, he just smiled and backed away from the microphone there. then his son came in and said we're going to end this right now. we still have a lot of unanswered questions, alex. >> i can see that. he's a man who -- he spent a month there, and he doesn't probably ever want to go back we would think, but nonetheless, we're glad he's safe home in san francisco. noel walker with nbc, thank you
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so much for that report. rand paul drops in on detroit with a message of salvation. but does motown really want to hear from him in the big three is next. my niece. i don't use super poligrip for hold because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
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it is time now for the big 3. today's topics, push the boulder, motor city madness and best week, worst week. patricia murphy, morris reid and susan del percio join us. quite the trio. glad to have you all here. patricia, i'll begin with you. let's listen to the president on "hardball" with chris matthews on thursday. >> the interesting thing about now having been president for five years is it makes you humbler as opposed to cockier about what you as an individual can do. you recognize you're just part of a sweep of history and your job really is to push the
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boulder up the hill a little bit before somebody else pushes it up a little further. >> what a great part of that conversation. have you, patricia, ever heard such an honest, contemporaneous description of the office while in the presidency? >> i have not. i was struck how different his tone has become over the last month or two. ever since they ran into the problems with obama care and the website, something about the president seems so much more sober and even somber. it's so far away from where he was during the campaign, so much hope and change. i think he has had a real reality check and is now having to go to the constituency who help helped get him there to young people to latinos to african-americans to say, just help me finish this out. i know he's looking at his legacy. i think the tone of that really reflected that. >> morris, how far has this president been able to push the boulder up the hill? >> it all depends on the size of the hill.
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i think history will judge this president on where the voter is. that's where it comes down, just like nixon, like reagan, like the bushes and like clinton. it's all about history. he needs to keep his head down and do the hard part and focus on finishing this thing out on the strong race. >> you're absolutely right. history does allow for context ultimately. susan, is the republicans' goal just to be a roadblock to the president and trying to push up that boulder? >> they really can't afford to be if they hope to take it in 2016 because they have to show they are for something. the president in this interview, it was a great interview. and to touch on something patricia mentioned, this is legacy-building. if he wants to get anything else done, he's going to need the help of the republicans and if his poll numbers start going up, then republicans are going to have to start working with him. >> let's go to motor city madness. since we have madness, i'll go to you, morris. kentucky senator rand paul, this
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happened in detroit on friday. he also introduced an economic plan for the city which recently declared bankruptcy. let's listen. >> what detroit needs to thrive is not washington's domineering hand but freedom from big government's mastery. to thrive, detroit needs less government and more freedom. >> morris, is this man, senator paul, the right messenger to open this where 85% of the population is african-american? >> it's madness for him to say they need less when the government saved the one auto industry that keeps the thing afloat. it's absolutely crazy. it's the wrong message, the wrong messenger. and they should just not be in detroit talking about this. if you want to help this city, the government needs to help it at this point in time. >> patricia, what do you make of this visit by rand paul? >> i have to say, i was really struck by rand paul going to detroit and actually having some ideas. they might not be ideas that certainly democrats agree with
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but the rap on the republican party is they don't talk to anybody but republicans and they don't have any ideas. they're against everything but not for anything. for rand paul to at least be going into communities that republicans very rarely talk to and be offering solution that is they think are solutions, not everybody agrees, i give him credit for doing that. it's what the republican party needs to do. >> the motivation, susan, is it simply to help set himself up for a presidential run? do you see that as being at least a backdrop? >> it could be, except i guess it was just reported in the last 24 hours that his wife is very much against him running for president. so the dreams may be dashing there. but he did bring up this idea of a jack kemp enterprise zone on steroids which he rhetorically calls the economic freedom zone which is a good idea. moving forward with those kind of ideas are helpful for the party. but if they're going to appeal to minorities, you can't just drop in and give a speech. you have to stay there. >> we're going to blow through the best and worst.
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patricia, your best? >> my best is for thad cochran, turns 76 today and he's running for a seventh term. takes a lot of guts. and then my worst week, i hate to say it, sonny obama, bad dog, jumped on a toddler at the white house and created the worst christmas card of all time. >> i know. but that toddler was so cute. got right back up. she was amazing, right? morris, what's your best and worst? >> my best is my wife's birthday this weekend, so i have to give her the best week. but looking at globally, it's the best and the worst with losing nelson mandela who was a great leader. we're losing him and losing a real superstar. my heart goes out to the mandela family and the rest of the world for losing him. >> susan, best and worst? >> best goes to bill bratton who proves you can go back home again. he's going to be the police commissioner of new york city under mayor elect bill de blasio. and the worst week goes to
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charlie crist who shows sometimes you can't go home again and his campaign manager, bill aires, just quit after less than a month. >> guys, thanks so much. happy to have you all. that's a wrap-up of "weekends with alex witt." see you right back here tomorrow at noon eastern time. up next, craig melvin, about three seconds over, craig. see you tomorrow. shhhh! shhhh. [ coughs ] i have a cold with this annoying runny nose. [ sniffles ] i better take something. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil cold and flu doesn't treat all that. it doesn't? [ male announcer ] nope. [ sniffles ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. oh, what a relief it is! [ man ] shhhh! for fast cold and flu relief, day or night, try alka-seltzer plus day and night liquid gels. ♪ by the end of december, we'll be delivering ♪ ♪ through 12 blizzards blowing ♪ 8 front yards blinding ♪ 6 snowballs flying ♪ 5 packages addressed by toddlers ♪
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guys, i have more. thanks, mom. [ female announcer ] do you have enough pillsbury crescents? i'm delighted to be home. it's been a great homecoming. thank you all for the support we got. >> homecoming day, good saturday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. moments ago, freedom for the american war veteran held in north korea for more than a month now. what's the first thing that he's going to do when he gets home? we're live in california. it felt like my car was kind of weaving back and forth just because it was so slick. >> you can't get any


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