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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  September 25, 2013 10:00am-11:00am EDT

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♪ join weight watchers online for free and get the app today. good morning. i'm chris jansing. 19 hours and counting. senator ted cruz had vowed to stay on the floor until he couldn't stand up anymore. and he is still standing and he's talked about everything from his choice of footwear to nazis. here are some of the highlights or lowlights, depending on your perspective. >> do you like green eggs and ham? i do not like them, sam i am. i do not like green eggs and ham. most americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in washington. who cares? you know, almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad hair cuts. who cares? could you, would you with a goat? i'm a big fan of eating white
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castle burgers. i am not in my argument boots, and i'll confess i really do feel embarrassed by that. >> it is important to note this is technically not a filibuster, but it is his very, very long conversation. sometimes it seems with himself, against obama care. it is not going to delay the vote on any legislation. that is going to happen this afternoon. but it is giving the tea party favorite already considered a possible presidential candidate in 2016 an even bigger national stage. >> cruz control, republican senator ted cruz is still on the senate floor this morning. >> while you were sleeping senator ted cruz spent all night arguing to defund obama care. >> one tea party senator's all-nightmare that you kn-- nig you know. >> republicans call him passionate. democrats say he's really into himself.
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>> i think he thinks he's starring in a movie. you know what i mean? it's like all about kind of him. >> ted is doing what ted needs to do for whatever reason. >> what exactly is he doing? >> ted cruz loves his countrymen. >> i think it is about cruz. i think cruz is trying to run for president. >> no, it's not a filibuster. >> i want to bring in today's company. steve kornacki, dafna linzer is managing editor of are we having fun yet, kids? here's what kelly o'donnell says, that ted cruz has not left the floor, has not taken a bathroom break. he's barely nibbled food, although he has had water to drink. of the top ten fill busters, he's talked longer than seven of them. what would you call this, steve, a legislative feat? >> first of all, it's amazing to me the lack of a bathroom break. i can't go more than two hours, i think. >> too much information. okay. >> no, it is kind of amazing.
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dafna and i were talking about this before. i think the thing that's misunderstood, there's a lot of grumbling from republicans about this. this is screwing up their message on this, this is screwing up their strategy on this and you've had some republicans overtly, especially from the house side, who have attacked ted cruz by name. but i think when the dust settles on this, the impact of this will be a lot of people outside the republican bubble, outside the republican universe will look at this and say what was the point of this? this wasn't a filibuster and didn't accomplish anything. i think within the republican universe, this will probably help ted cruz because what you're not hearing from the republicans who don't like this, they're only having a tactical argument with ted cruz. they're all sort of stipulating the point. they're all saying we're against obama care, we think it's terrible, it needs to be repealed. and so it allows ted cruz to basically say their argument with me is i'm fighting too hard for the repeal of obama care. i'm going too far, i'm too extreme that something we all agree should be a goal. you don't have republicans saying maybe we've reached a point we should be talking about
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improving obama care, improving the affordable care act, tweaking it, making it a little bit more to our like ing. i think they have conceded that point and allowed him to say i'm the purist voice against it. >> although we may be hearing one ning washington or one thing in new york, we don't know what people are saying about this in heartland. if this is about running for president in 2016, maybe it's brilliant. >> i think this is absolutely terrific for ted cruz and i do think you're right. he can say all kinds of things to people out there who are listening, who may be influenced by what he says who are confused anyway about obama care. poll numbers still say it isn't popular, so this is a great move for him to make. you know, i'm not sure you want to be on the record saying that your dad invented green eggs and ham when you're running for president. >> for those of us losers who actually watched c-span, i learned, for example, for the first time there are two ways to get green eggs. one is the easy way, ted cruz
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says, with green food coloring, the other is if you put spinach in your eggs. dana milbank pointed out that the senate chamber was pretty much empty the entire time this was going on. he writes he didn't seem to grasp that the chamber was empty because most of his colleagues didn't want to stand with him. privately republican senators spoke of their distaste for their self agrandizing colleague. there was speculation that the defund obama care effort would get more votes if it weren't identified with cruz. let me play mitch mcconnell. >> i just don't happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds obama care is the best route to defunding obama care. if we're going to repeal obama care, we're going to need some democratic votes to do it. that's the only plan i've seen in this debate that will actually get us to our common goal of undoing the law. >> so the net impact on defunding obama care is? >> this won't. but the point with ted cruz, i
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think, and the criticism of him i think misses the mark in terms of what he's trying to achieve. i don't think ted cruz is really trying to achieve anything substantive. in a perfect world for ted cruz if you said we could defund it, he'd say yes. but what ted cruz is about is positioning him as the most pure voice of conservatism. so to him it is welcome news if no other republican senators want to stand with him. it's welcome news if mitch mcconnell says this is not the way to go about it. it's welcome news if there are republican voices saying he's going about this in the wrong way because it sets him up to make the basic argument that's advanced his career to this point. i am this pure voice fighting the establishment, fighting the one who say would sell you out. the only thing they have against me is my willingness to go as far as it takes in the name of purity. they're playing right into his hand. >> let me bring in senator bernie sanders, an independent
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from vermont. it's always good to see you, senator. good morning. >> good morning. >> you know a little something about lengthy speeches on the senate floor. you were a pure voice in 2010. you talked for eight hours and 37 minutes about tax cuts. was that different than what we're seeing from ted cruz? >> well, kroou has gone on a lot longer than i did. and i appreciate very much his ability to stay away from the bathroom. that's not easy. >> what is your take, though, on him using this as a way to get out this conservative position? >> well, by definition, he is succeeding because you were talking about ted cruz and he's all over the media. but in reality if we get away from personalities, if we look at health care, in my view obama care is kind of a moderate republican piece of legislation which is working reasonably well in massachusetts. chris, we are the only nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care
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to all people as a right. and what mr. cruz and his republican friends think in terms of health care is that we should voucherize medicare, make massive cuts in medicaid and ignore the fact that 48 million americans have no health insurance at all. i think the important point to be made is not just cruz's speech is really deep down, what do these guys believe in? and if you look at something like the republican -- texas republican platform, you know what they believe in? they believe not only in getting rid of obama care, that's nickels and dimes. they believe in abolishing social security, abolishing va health care. we've got six million veterans using that. they believe in abolishing the minimum wage so that if workers in america are forced to work for two or three bucks an hour, that's okay for them. that's freedom. so i think what we really need to debate, and maybe senator cruz has helped us move in that direction, is a fundamental debate about where we want to go in america. they want to repeal every single
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piece of legislation passed in the last 80 years that protects working people, children, the elderly or the sick. i don't think the american people want to go there. >> i saw that last night you or members of your staff were prolifically tweeting about this. the one that caught my eye, today they're trying to defeat obama care. tomorrow they'll try to end social security and the same thing about abolishing the minimum wage as you just said. do you really think that that's true? do you really enthusiastthink t slippery slope in their grand plan? >> chris, this is not me coming up with some crazy paranoid idea. go. i ask go to the texas republican party of 2012. that's the most powerful, perhaps, republican party in the country. what we put out there is exactly what they are saying. these guys do not believe in the concept of government. and i want people to think hard what it means. so this is just the beginning. getting rid of obama care is nickels and dimes. see what they have to say about
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getting rid of medicare as we know it. massive cuts in medicaid. how do people live if we get rid of social security in this country? talk to the veterans out there about the privatization or getting rid of the veterans administration. so this is a very radical agenda which most people do not agree with. in my own view, i think that obama care is a step forward but it doesn't go anywhere near as far as it should. i believe in a medicare for all system, medicare is a popular program. i would like to expend it to everybody so we can have a single pair system. >> let me ask you a quick final agree because we understand there was an agreement with harry reid. ted cruz will stop talking at some point and the senate will vote at 1:00 on the house resolution. how do you see this playing out? is the government going to shut down? >> well, i think what will happen today, unless i'm very mistaken, is that the obama care section will be stripped out of the bill and sent back to the house. i do not believe that the senate is going to vote to strip obama
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care. that is not going to happen. >> thank you very much, senator bernie sanders. always good to see you on the program, sir. >> thank you. he's right about that. i mean that's the plan. but then politico is reporting that the house could then put that provision right back. so is this a matter of who blinks first? what's going to happen here? >> in a way it is. but he's right. senator sanders is right. they're going to send a clean bill. this can go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, but the senate is not going to repeal obama care. it's just not going to happen. and on october 1st those exchanges are going to come online. we saw reports even today that shows that people who are uninsured will pay lower premiums should they join than they had even expected to pay. and i think that's just a reality. what we see in congress right now is theater. >> when we watch this and i'm sure you hear it too, i hear it from people, they don't understand what's going on. normal people look at this and say what is this? i'm in the makeup room and
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they're asking me why is he talking if nobody is in the chamber. they don't get it. this is government now. a series of stunts. we lurch from crisis to crisis and that's the new normal? >> and it doesn't even end here. let's say that in the best case scenario in terms of things functioning somewhat smoothly this thing go back to the house without the defunding provision and the house passes it and we say, okay, we averted the government shutdown. what comesup in a couple weeks, the debt ceiling. the way that you can get republican votes in the house right now to let's not do the defunding obama care thing right now, the way john boehner can do that is by promising a huge massive fight a few weeks from now over the debt ceiling and say we will use that to get democrats to say let's delay obama care. things that democrats will not do. but the republicans are going to have to go all the way up to the wire on that one again. that's how boehner basically survives as speaker. that's the promise he'll have to make to republicans when this comes back to them from the senate. >> steve kornacki and dafna
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linzer, great to have boeth of you. some reports that militants hid guns inside that mall in kenya days before they took hostages. we also have a better idea this morning of what went on inside. these new exclusivemages taken during the siege show people running, ducking for cover. even a family being rescued. the militant group al shabaab says there are 137 people buried in the rubble, claiming government forces used explosions and chemical gases to level the building. the government says no one else is inside. many foreigners who escaped have returned home, including 30-year-old harvard trained lawyer from washington, d.c. she was in kenya working for the world bank. she hit in the back room of a home furnishings store until they were rescued. >> we were walking out of the store and then all of a sudden all of this gunfire starts on the first floor and there are just bullets. we start walking about 20 feet and then like within like 30
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feet of us two grenades are thrown. that part was the worst because we thought -- we thought it was over. we were like we're out of the woods. >> i could have lost you. >> well, at one point bendita texted her father, please pray. 72 hours later she was back in the u.s. [ sneezes, coughs ] i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more sinus symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh what a relief it is.
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there was no photo op handshake, no meeting between president obama and iranian president hassan rouhani at the u.n. so with those expectations dashed, the big question this morning is has there really been a thaw in icy u.s./iranian relations that have lasted for decades? in speeches several hours apart yesterday, both presidents held out hope. >> roadblocks may prove to be too great, but i firmly believe the diplomatic path must be
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tested. >> translator: we can arrive at a framework to manage our differences. let me say loud and clear that peace is within reach. >> let's bring in ambassador dennis ross, msnbc contributor and former top middle east adviser to presidents obama, bush and clinton. good to see you, ambassador. good morning. >> nice to be with you. >> let's start with the importance of optics because there was so much buildup yesterday. the white house says the politics in iran were too tough for even a handshake. but let me read for you how the "wall street journal" saw it in an editorial that they titled he's just not that into you. what the administration is trying to spin as a function of complex iranian politics was in blunt fact an expression of lordly contempt for what iranian leaders consider to be an overeager suitor from an unworthy nation. what's your take on what happened? >> well, i think the charm offensive that president rouhani
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has been on to demonstrate this is a new day in iran, this is a new leadership in iran, it's ready to reach out, ready to overcome the differences that have created sanctions and international isolation, created a sense of expectations and i think also created a sense that maybe it's possible to do something symbolic at this stage to show that there is an ability to do business together. that's what the handshake was about. it was a symbol, it wasn't more than that. it probably shouldn't have been built up to something more than that. i think what the "wall street journal" is trying to say is maybe we're a little too eager. what the administration is trying to say is that it's simply too difficult for rouhani to do something at this point that will trigger a backlash against him on something that's symbolic and not substantive. and i think the truth is at this point the handshake would have been in some ways a diversion. the real issue is are we in a position to do business right now. i think the answer is yes, but the real question is going to be -- i think this is what president obama was saying, is
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there an agreement there? the only way to know that is to begin talking. if you don't test the proposition, you won't know it. but you shouldn't assume that just because you have a new leader that sounds moderate that we'll be able to reach an agreement. >> obviously the first sign of that will be tomorrow, because we have secretary of state john kerry meeting with his iranian counterpart to discuss their nuclear program. in terms of significance, where do you put this meeting and how do you see it going? >> well, i think it's the five plus one, meaning the permanent five members of the security council plus germany meeting at a ministerial level with the new iranian foreign minister. now, the fact is zarif, the new iranian foreign minister, is someone who was educated here, who was an ambassador to the u.n., who ten years ago was in fact someone who was able to do business not only with us but with others. i think we're going to see the new style, the new tone in this meeting.
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i suspect that this meeting will prepare the ground for what will be a meeting at the political level. even this i would say is not going to be the real indication of whether or not agreements are possible. you won't know that until you get into the substance. the real question in tomorrow's meeting will be is there the beginning of an effort to identify points of commonality on the nuclear issue, and what are the key differences that have to be overcome? if there's at least what i would call a mapping of points of convergence and points of divergence, you begin to know do you have a basis on which to overcome differences and do you have enough potentially in common to reach an agreement? >> ambassador dennis ross, always good talking to you. thanks so much for coming in. >> pleasure. a small sign of progress to get chemical weapons out of syria this morning. u.n. chemical weapons inspectors arrived in syria to investigate more instances of chemical weapons use. now, the team, as you probably know already, confirmed sarin was used in an attack near damascus last month. now they're looking into at
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least six other incidents. and save the children warns more than four million syrians, many of them children, are starving. the ongoing civil war has severely limited people's ability to get around, inflation is off the charts so they just can't afford to eat. yesterday president obama announced another $340 million in humanitarian aid for syria. m: mug. stay grounded with the rich, bold taste of maxwell house coffee. always good to the last drop.
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i -- actually i thought it was a member of his own road crew. he wasn't really dressed right. actually i felt like the rock star on that occasion. >> not far from the u.n. also in new york city another impersonation, sort of. president obama says dante de blasio is essentially doing an impersonation of him in the '70s. the president endorsed his dad, bill, for his run for new york city mayor. dante became a household name after he did this ad for his dad's campaign. president obama said this is the same hairdo he had in 1978. although the president did confess his afro was never quite that good. speaking of the race for new york mayor, remember the rent is too damn high guy, jimmy mcmillan? a judge ruled he's eligible to get on the ballot in november. to celebrate, he has a new music video. so if he doesn't win the race for mayor, there he goes, he
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obviously has a career ahead of him as a rapper with the city bikes. and finally, did you hear dick cheney suffered another hunting mishap? his gun malfunctioned during a charity antelope hunting contest over the weekend. we are not making this up. don't worry, no one was hurt. if you read only one thing this morning, read this. the comments keep pouring in after a los angeles woman just weeks from giving birth posted facebook pictures of herself doing some heavyweight lifting. is she paving the way for what a healthy pregnancy can be or is she risking her baby's health so she can look good after delivery? wait until you see the photo. it's up on our facebook page at facebook/jansingco. tuscany. [ man ] her parents didn't expect her dreams to be so ambitious. italy? oh, that's not good. [ man ] by exploring their options, they learned that instead of going to italy, they could use a home equity loan to renovate their yard and have a beautiful wedding right here while possibly increasing the value of their home.
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less than a week before obama care open enrollment begins. the white house has released a long-awaited report on how much it will cost to buy a plan from one of the federally run insurance exchanges. on average the department of health and human services says
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it will cost $328 a month for an individual, which is about the price of a car payment. but costs do vary widely, depending on your age and where you live. this was the president's pr push at the clinton global initiative yesterday talking about some folks in their 20s. >> what we're saying to people is, look, just go to the website yourself. what we are confident about is that when people look and see that they can get high quality, afford health care for less than their cell phone bill, they're going to sign up. >> i want to bring in democratic strategist, communications director chris kofinis, and joe watkins. gentlemen, good morning. >> good morning, chris. >> the administration says people will have an average of 53 plan options to choose from, although the prices can vary widely. let's take a look at some of the figures they released. a family of four, annual income $50,000, would pay $600 in arizona, $800 in georgia, $859
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in new hampshire, $961 in indiana, over $1,000 in mississippi. chris, is this going to help persuade people to sign up? >> well, it's definitely going to help. any time you have a big policy being introduced, especially something that is for certain segments emotional in terms of health care, there's going to be a learning curve. as people realize -- >> tell me about it. >> that they can get good quality health care that's subsidized, especially for those families that are lower income, i think they'll be attracted to this. so i see this building for over time. >> joe, you say tell me about it. and i assume you're referring to the learning curve. >> yeah, yeah. >> but this report says $328 a month is the average premium. that's 16% lower than the estimate from the congressional budget office. so why not get behind that? >> well, the whole -- the idea
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is a very noble one. the whole hope to take care of people who don't have health coverage now, to provide it for them is the right idea. that's what we want to do. whether you're republican or democrat, that's the right idea. the problem is how do you get the information to the people who need it? i work with underserved and financially challenged communities. and i know that people don't have computers, they don't have access to information, some people don't read that well, people are challenged because they're working three part-time jobs and have no health insurance. they have three or four kids and they have no way to get the information. the challenge is, is how do you get the information to the people that need it and then are they able to afford it? because employers are cutting back. think about this now. employers in order to not be penalized by the cost are cutting back on the hours of the poorest people so there are going to be a lot of folks who are
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the plan and up. the idea is for republicans and democrats, like you and me, to actually come together and say what can we do to make this work. what can we do to make it better. how can we fix it for employers -- >> i agree with you except your senator on a pretend filibuster out there basically rallying the conservative base against fixing things. >> that is the problem, joe, isn't it? the problem is that the loudest voices are not about how do we make this work. every big rollout of every big
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new government program has had its fits and starts. let me read for you what eugene robinson wrote today in the "water post." republicans scream obama care is sure to fail but what they really fear is that it will succeed. republicans are afraid it will not prove to be a bureaucratic nightmare that americans in fact will find they actually like it. >> i think the challenge is for many americans, for people who don't dislike the health care they currently have, they're wondering why did the federal government have to come in and fix what isn't broken for lots of people. that's why you have big numbers of people who don't feel good about the bill. not because they have something against the president but they like the health care they have. if health care isn't broken for everybody, why not fix it for just the folks who have it broken. >> i'm not sure there's many americans out there that actually believe that our health care system wasn't broken. >> oh, for many americans this is the best system in the world.
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>> you had exploding rising costs. yeah, there's good quality of health care for those who can afford it. >> it's the best system in the world so why don't we fix it for the folks who can't afford it. >> republicans have a simple choice. either they'll be part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem. you have certain individuals like senator cruz who are clearly more motivated and interested in running for president than being a senator and solving problems. that's great. but don't pretend like you're going -- >> we'll let that be the last word. we are six minutes away from 20 hours for senator ted cruz. chris kofinis and joe watkins, thanks to both of you. let's check the news feed. you might not have realized this trial is still going on, but after 21 weeks closing arguments continue today at the michael jackson wrongful death case. the jackson family suing aeg live accusing the promoter of negligently hiring the doctor who administered michael jackson's fatal dose of propofol.
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>> basically he was incompetent and unfit. he caused the death of michael jackson. there's no dispute. they hired the doctor that caused the death. >> if the jury finds aeg responsible, they could have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars or what equates to lost earnings for that planned tour. emotional testimony from jennifer garner and halle berry helped push california's paparazzi protection bill into law. the new law increases jail time and fines for harassing the children of celebrities and other kids who might get unwanted attention due to their parents' profession. berry issued a statement saying she hopes this is the beginning of the end for overly aggressive paparazzi. 40 attorneys general are backing a plan to regulate e-cigarettes. right now there are no restrictions on advertising or age limits on who can buy them. in just a short time, these cigarettes have become big business and they're expected to pass a billion dollars in sales this year. the olympic torch will
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travel across the universe before it gets to sochi. astronauts leaving for the international space station today will carry it on the space walk in november, part of the relay leading up to the winter games in russia. this relay, by the way, will be the longest in winter olympics history. it will last 123 days. and it's beginning to look a lot like holiday hiring. target is looking to hire 70,000 seasonal workers. kohl's about 53,000, walmart puts its number at 55,000. toys r us will pick up 45,000 seasonal employees and ebay will hire about 2800 people to meet the holiday order rush. at way w. with unitedhealthcare, i get information on quality rated doctors, treatment options and cost estimates, so we can make better health decisions. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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dyslexia read faster and understand more of what they read when using e-readers as opposed to paper. the reason, shorter lines and fewer words on a page, making it easier to focus. >> so it is 41 past the hour and, yes, senator ted cruz just hit his 20th straight hour on the senate floor. we're going to continue to follow it. word is that he will stop talking around noon time. we shall see. meantime amazon is waging the latest battle in its tablet war with the apple ipad. it's the latest edition of kindle. kate snow got a demonstration from amazon ceo jeff bezos who rarely does interviews. >> this is our top of the line, $375, kindle 8.9 inch and also comes with a brand new feature that we call mayday. the mayday button. >> how can i help you today? >> and its on-screen tech
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support. a tech support person will appear on your screen. they can draw arrows on your screen to show you what to do. >> cnbc's mandy drury is here with what's moving your money. that actually looks pretty cool. what else can you tell us about the new kindle? >> there's nothing that i can tell you that is as cool as that. that's awesome, that mayday feature. the new kindle is significantly faster and apparently lighter than the previous generation so there's the 7 inch and 8.9 inch versions. they're much sharper and colorful displays and more pixels per inch than even the latest ipad. amazon has even cut the price on what will be its entry level 7-inch tablet to $139 from a $199 version. that makes the tablet just $20 more than amazon's latest dedicated e-reader, kindle paper wide. it is this price cut that amazon is counting on to help to
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compete better in the tablet space. just to give you some facts and figures here on where they sit. in the may to july period, kindles accounted for 17% of all tablets sold here in the u.s. and that compares to 48% for the ipad and 8% for samsung's galaxy line. that's according to npd. >> as long as we're talking about apple, archaeologists have dug up what they call the steve jobs time capsule. what was in it was pretty interesting. >> reporter: yep. pretty interesting. they were unearthed by the national geographic channel's diggers team. there's going to be an episode that will air early next year. this is a time capsule that was buried back in 1983. they were intending to unearth it in 2000 but apparently due to changes in the landscape, they kind of lost it. the exact location was unknown until now. what you've got inside this 13-foot long capsule was the house from steve jobs' first mass marketed lisa computer. do you remember the lisa? along with a mix of early '80s
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things like an eight track recording of the moody blues, a sears roebuck catalog, a june copy of "vo" vogue," a six pack valentine's beer. >> in a restaurant i saw a little kid doing a rubik's cube and everybody else had electronics. >> my 7-year-old has one and loves it. >> has he ever solved it? >> what was that? >> has your 7-year-old ever actually solved -- no. >> reporter: not a chance. he said here, mom, can you try it? i can't do it either. >> you let us know when you master that. thank you, mandy. one of the big republican talking points when they argue against obama care is it's so bad, even unions, who love obama, hate it. >> you have the three top leaders of the unions in our country saying this is not going to work, it's going to create a
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new under class of workers that are under 30 hours. >> back in july, teamsters president james hoffa did send a letter to congress warning that the law would destroy the 40-hour workweek. but in recent weeks, unions have remained silent. i want to bring in lee saunders, president of the american federation of state, county and municipal employees. always good to see you, lee. good morning. >> good morning. >> where do you stand on obama care? >> we support obama care 100%. we know there will be some kinks that have to be worked out but you have to expect that. you had kinking in the social security program, you had kinks in the medicare program, so it's up to the concerned parties to sit down and talk about the problems that exist and work those problems out. but overall we think that it's a good program, it will be a good program. it will provide health care for millions of people across this country and we support it. >> you're a huge union so you understand what the challenges are. so what do you think specifically short of repeal would get unions on board with it? >> well, i think unions are on
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board. again, we just want to take a look at some of the areas that have problems. for example, the taft-hartley plans, the private sector unions where they provide their own health insurance, they are left out and they do not get the kind of tax breaks that the profit-making plans get. those kinds of issues have to be discussed. but these are issues that can be worked out and these are issues that can be dealt with. again, we support obama care 100%. we think that it's a good thing to provide young people 26 years of age, they can still have health insurance provided by their families. it helps seniors. it's going to lower the costs. you look at the past four years. based upon obama care and the implementation, costs -- health care costs are actually going down, so we think it's a good thing and we'll continue to support it. >> another ongoing question for afsme is in detroit. you were at the white house and talked about the bankruptcy
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crisis there. administration officials are heading to detroit to meet with the governor and the mayor friday, and i think this is the first in a series of meetings. they're trying to make sure that federal resources are being made available. but how convinced are you that the white house can help those municipal employees who are in danger of losing their pensions? >> well, i think the one thing that we have to do is sit down at a big table. as a matter of fact, i'll be going to detroit on friday to participate in that meeting. we'll be participating with labor leaders, with business leaders, with white house officials, and we're going to talk about constructive solutions to deal with the real problem that exists in detroit. you don't deal with the problem by attacking those who receive pensions. the average pension is $19,000 a year for city workers for our members. you don't deal with a problem that way by threatening to cut those pensions. our people have suffered enough. our regular employees, public service workers currently on the job have given up benefits. they have given up pay increases. they have had furloughs.
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so we have sacrificed. what it's going to take to deal with this very, very important issue in the city of detroit, nobody is denying that there's a problem in that city, but it's going to take everyone to sit at the table and creatively come up with solutions. but not attack workers and not attack retirees. >> lee saunders, always good to have you on the program. thank you. >> thank you. at that's tweet of the day comes from comedian andy berowitz. quote, senate reaches bipartisan deal to shut down ted cruz. so what can i get you?
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lost in all the chaos on capitol hill right now over a possible government shutdown is the food stamp bill. last week the house narrowly passed the bill that would cut food stamps by $39 billion in the next decade. the bill now heads to the senate, but senator stabenow says the house will bill not see
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the light of day in a senate calling it a monumental waste of time. she's negotiating with the house for an alternative to the deep cuts. let me bring in tom colicchio. chef, executive producer as well of "place the table" a documentary that examines the problem of hunger in the u.s. it's always good to see you, tom. welcome. >> thanks. >> you've been so successful in the food business and the rest of the world knows you for "top chef" but what is it about hunger and now the fight for food stamps that has you worried? >> i think chefs feel a need to feed people, whether it's people coming to a restaurant to spend money or people who need help. this $40 billion cut to the food stamp program is going to cut benefits to three to four million people who are really struggling. i really think this show that say some members of the gop just have a real indifference to the plight of people who are struggling to feed their families. >> you were telling me that you and your wife have gone out with your documentary and shown it to a lot of groups. you were just in montana. that's a pretty conservative
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state. what did you find there? what were people telling you? >> people are really upset about this. people are struggling. people that are working. this is one thing most people don't understand. the majority of the people who receive snap have at least one member of the family that's working. so this is hurting working people and people who were really struggling. people in montana about 400 or 500 people watched the film and we had a discussion afterwards, and they're upset. they want their government to do more. i think the idea of pull yourself up by the bootstraps just isn't working anymore. you have to do boots on to do that and so many people don't anymore. we're hearing from people all through the government that they want their government to respond to us. >> let me play for you what the argument is from a couple of republicans. >> if you're a healthy adult and don't have someone relying on you to care for them, you ought to earn the benefits you receive. look for work. >> when unemployment declines, the number of food stamp recipients still increases. >> the point he was making is that the economy is improving, but the number of food stamp
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recipients, now at 47 million, continues to grow and we just can't afford it. >> well, we can't afford not to. i think the conversation needs to change. we need to look at programs like food stamps and wic and other social programs as an investment in the future. when kids are going to school hungry, they can't learn. we know education is the key to getting people the key to upper mobility. right now when kids are showing up to school, they're hungry and can't work. it's not they're missing breakfast, they're missing dinner the night before. it's that drastic raight now. >> it's so admirable what you have done. are you hopeful about this? >> i'm hopeful because this is a program that will take food away from seniors, from veterans returning looking for work, from children, from people with disabilities and it's just not fair. and again, i think that the language needs to change. this is about people who are working who are struggling to feed their families, not about people who don't want to work. i'm tired of hearing about fraud in the system. there's 1% fraud in the snap
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program. it's a lot lower than most government programs. this is about people who are desperate to feed their families. >> tom colicchio, thank you for coming in. that's going to wrap up this hour of "jansing & co." thomas roberts is back. >> good morning. the agenda next hour, cruising to the filibuster finish line for ted cruz. the clock is running out at noon. when time runs out what has the texas senator really accomplished? why critics on the left and the right think this is a self-promotional sillybuster. bill clinton and president obama unite to promote obama care. did their joint messaging work? and in the courts. the wrongful death lawsuit in the michael jackson case close to coming to an en. closing arguments resuming today and the jackson family is looking for a big payoff. legal eagle lisa bloom is joining me. that's coming up next. and rolls to a new e-trade retirement account.
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