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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  October 3, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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day three of the government shutdown. in a speech this morning president obama called out the man who could end it all. it's thursday october 3rd and this is "now." i'm joy reid in for alex wagner. there was no budge from the president and last night's hour long meeting with white house and senate leaders and no movement from the one man able to put a stop to the madness, speaker boehner. president obama clearly knows that. this morning in maryland, he reiterated that he's happy to negotiate with republicans over anything, but only after john boehner and his caucus let the government reopen and raise the country's debt ceiling. in other words, mr. speaker, release the hostages and then we'll talk. >> i want everybody to understand this. there are enough republicans and
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democrats in the house of representatives today that if the speaker of the house, john boehner, simply let the bill get on the floor for an up or down vote, every congressman could vote their conscious, the shutdown would end today. the only things that's preventing all that from happening right now today, in the next five minutes, is that speaker john boehner won't even let the bill get a yes or no vote because he doesn't want to anger the extremists in his party. >> meanwhile the gop finds itself more and more in a behind even if some republicans appear to be completely, giddily, unaware. >> we're very energized, very strong. this is about the happiest i've seen members in a long time because we see that we're starting to win this dialogue on a national level. >> well, tell that to john boehner who because he's still pandering to the suicide caucus
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is looking for any way out of the current mess except the obvious one, brining a clean cr bill to the floor and letting it pass. he's even dusting off the old grand bargain which he brought up last night. everybody laughed at him because they heard this so many times before said a democratic aide briefed on the meeting. the beleaguered speaker is getting little empathy from the white house and little cooperation from the extremist in the conference who as "time" magazine reports live in districts drawn to exclude voices of liberals and i understand in favor of the republican base. they exist in a one-party world. now, many of the self-deluded rank and file see their demands as the height of reasonableness, witness republican congresswoman blackburn. i want $3 worth of cuts for any dollar of debt limit increase. or rand paul who thinks lopping off half of obama care makes sense. >> we started off with the position we don't want obama care. that's what we truly believe. we think it's bad for the
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country. the president wants all of it, 100 hers. i think a compromise, both sides come off their position some. >> some republicans are concerned about the increasingly kooky direction of their party. ted cruz got a tongue lashing from colleagues at a private meeting. none would go on the record because they fear the hostage takers, too. peter king, a conservative who now finds himself being portrayed as a moderate seems similarly perturbed by a party no longer tethered to planet earth. >> we can't allow ourselves to be bound by this hard right of the party. i consider myself conservative. when i see the ted cruz wing these people have no interest in keeping it going. >> joining me curt anderson, senior fellow at the center on budget, margaret, bloomberg news, white house correspondent and washington bureau chief at
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mother jones john cornyn, and washington bureau chief michael, i want to start with you. the republicans on the right, suicide caucus don't seem to have a concrete ask. what is the ask among the small group of people holding us hostage. >> right now they want something. they want to save face, go back to the district and say we fought the hard fight. it's not clear what that is. we probably won't know for another week at least. i think both parties have come to terms with the fact the best and maybe the only way out of this right now is to tie the government shutdown to the debt limit. we don't have that deadline coming for two more weekends. so that's really where we stand. no negotiations going on right now. they don't need to negotiate right now. >> i want to cut to the panel. curt, i think that is the problem now. what republicans now seem to want is just to have the white house give them something so they can go back to their super gerrymander districts and say we
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beat that guy. that's the ask. >> that can't be the ask. that would prove them to be the nonstrategic cynics that they are. in fact, if the boehner, if the grown-ups of the republican party gave in, those 30 far right republicans could go back to their district and say, my god, isn't this terrible, and fundraise off their feat. >> i don't think they want an ask. like a batman movie, they want the chaos. the government shut doup is the pleasurement, not getting rid of obama care. that would be like a magic unicorn. they aren't delusional. they are happy to bring the government and john boehner to their knees and run the show. they can go back either way and say look what we did. it's red meat when they succeed or fail. >> the only thing i add to that is, you might be right but i
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haven't heard them stock exchange solidly off their ask of obama care. to me that's their ask. >> even if millions of people sign up for me. so the ask includes -- >> it was ridiculous to start with and more ridiculous by the minute. >> essentially we are saying we will stop poor kids from going to health insurance unless you take away their health insurance. it's an insane ask. they want to end 20th century, social programs. i don't agree john boehner is a hostage. i want to go to you, margaret, on this. john boehner could put this bill on the floor, 100 votes to pass a clean cr. maybe the wall street of the world, old republican money crowd can't influence these 30 mad men. at what point do they get on the phone, we will fund a primary challenger to you, sir, if you don't put that on the floor. >> there are negotiations going
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on right now. it's just the negotiations are inside the republican party. these are negotiations among the cruz caucus, if you will, and the moderate caucus and the different sections of leadership. the blankfeins and jamie dimons and financial ceos are talking to republicans privately and publicly and telling them don't take this all the way to the debt limit. the question is -- >> they are willing not to make a stand on the government shutdown. that doesn't bother them as much. >> lets be honest, it doesn't bother president obama that much either. it's always been about a debt limit. always, always, always. >> i have to take issue with that part of the fundamental belief system of the democratic party is you don't punish people for being poor. you don't take away head start, women and children program, don't deny baby formula to people for an ideological crusade. i think this does fundamentally
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bother the president, the shutdown. >> it may bother him, prefer not to have it. he's been eggerly awaiting republicans to go forward and make this mistake. the white house sees this shutdown by the republicans as a real political opportunity for obama, for democrats. i think it could help them in 2014. in a vacuum obama would probably not have this happen. there's probably not a lot of crying at the white house this is going on. >> politically where do we stand? in terms of republicans have shown their hand. they have exposed what their belief system to see those that aren't watching right wing conservative media, how does this end for the republican party? is there anything possible? >> yes, because memories are short. i don't think it's so much they have shown their belief systems. i grant you what you said about we don't care if mothers are denied formula for babies and all that, but it's really, what it's showing, more dangerously
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and more damaging to them is that they have no strategy, no clue, no real plan. these millions of people are finally able to sign up for the exchanges. this looks good. this free market expedia-like thing, they are going to say, really, that's your line in the sand in they are going to look incompetent. >> a risk of losing the foundational part of their narrative, which is that government is the problem. that's the only thing they have had to say for years, if not decades. republicans used to do some policy, free market-based policy but really thrown that to the curb and government is the enemy. if you have these exchanges and they start to work and people start saying, hey, this isn't so bad. the government is giving me something i want at a price i can afford, it throws their race
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out the door. >> there was a time they get target the budget deficit as emblamatic of the problem. it was 10% of gdp, now 3 or 4%. it's going down. if you look out far enough we have sustainability issues in the budget we actually really need to deal w as david correctly said, you can't deal with that with the kamikaze caucus. in fact, if you look at the impact of health care reform so far, it's been helping in terms of slowing the growth of health care cost. whether that sticks, we'll have to say but it's been helping in terms of the long-term market. >> the iron y, we're no longer talking about those issues, structural deficit, long-term, that was what the bargain was about, long-term overall. that's not the discussion anymore. we're talking about junking half obama care which has affect of bringing down the deficit. it's a nonsensical conversation. >> two parallel threads that are
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interesting, republicans -- congressional republicans have set aside two narratives that might have worked in their favor if they argue them that way. what's now obama care was a republican idea. it was fashioned along republican lines to protect and uphold private insurance, the mandate, dare we say it. that's on one track. on the other trashing the sequester has forced the government to operate lower funding levels on a basic level -- >> they are the sorest winners ever. >> they do have a strategy. republicans have a strategy. but it's all about the optics, tactic, not the core message or core ask. when it came to the shutdown of the veterans memorial, they exemplified what republicans do do better than democrat. they caused the shutdown but they went out and did this. i want to play a little bit of this exchange with a park ranger and citizen at the memorial which shows really what republicans are very good at. >> park service should be ashamed of themselves. >> this woman is doing her job
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like me. i'm a 30 year federal veteran out of work. >> the reason you are -- >> no, it's because the government won't do its job and pass a budget. >> that was randy newbauer, a republican from texas. they rush out to the memorial to embrace the veterans. >> there's sort of an institutional cultural media bias here. pox on both house, washington dysfunction. why can't congress do its job, why can't washington function. really we know it's because of 30 or 40 republicans. not even in the senate. kamikaze ash lot of metaphor for the caucus. i think until the president, the democrats can make that point a little bit more stronger, they can't convince these people, maybe lloyd blankfein and jamie
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dimon. if you look at poll numbers from the '90s, government shut doup, the gap between people who believed it democrats, clinton's fault versus newt gingrich, much bigger, think it's republicans more than democrats. that basic narrative that everybody is at fault is a really important thing. >> i don't want to just go around assigning blame, because i think there's a lot to go around. >> why not? >> if your rabid dog bites me, is that the dog's fight or yours? i think who -- >> john boehner. >> moderate republicans need to come out of the closet. >> put that dog down. >> maybe the stock market decline will bring grownups -- >> i want to give the final word to mike. that brings me to my point. if nancy pelosi was speaker of the house and the situation was
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reversed, a republican, priebus would have a bus tour naming nancy pelosi as the villain. they have been pitying john boehner instead of this is the guy for hot. >> i don't know if john boehner is the face for messaging, they have tried to do that with with ted cruz. there a difference between boehner and pelosi, pelosi for the most time she was speaker was leading the caucus. boehner the most time as speaker has been following his caucus. he's not the decisive figure pelosi was before. all of this day to day tactical messaging wars, who is responsible for world war ii memorial or bigger boogie man or boogie woman for the american people, all of that, i think, as we get closer to the debt limit as the markets continue to decline because they become more nervous about this, all that is
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going to fade into the background. all these politicians in washington will have to look at themselves in the mirror and say how much damage am i willing to cause. i'm not talking 30 or 40 hard line people in the house who basically don't think default is a terrible thing or going over the debt limit is a terrible thing. leadership of the house, leadership of the senate, leadership of the white house. we will have negotiations, we will settle through this. the only unknown at this point is how much damage will be done to the country in the meantime. >> michael, i disagree slightly. i do think with the president and now harry reid start to do it, i think the target is going to be slowly surely maybe quickly turning to john boehner. "time" magazine michael scherer, thank you. leaders are holding a news conference on capitol hill. senate majority leader harry reid has discussed speaker boehner's role in the standoff. he did that a minute ago. lets take a listen.
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>> we can't perform the basic government because he doesn't have the courage to stand up to the small band of anarchist. >> more than 100 vow to give up salaries during the government shutdown. when you're not doing your job and the cause of the crisis, do you really deserve a paycheck in the first place? that's next. [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts... well muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour one on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour three. zyrtec®. love the air.
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>> you've got a job. you're getting a paycheck. so you also are getting the pride of doing a good job and contributing to a business and looking out for your fellow workers. that's what you're getting.
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it shouldn't be any different for a member of congress. >> that was president obama voiceing a common complaint of the american people. why should members of congress who refuse to do their jobs continue to get paid as 800,000 federal workers go without their paychecks. so far at least 108 lawmakers on the hill have now said they plan to donate or refuse to accept any compensation earned during the shutdown including some of the same people holding the government hostage like ted cruz and john boehner. over the course of the impasse two bills have been introduced to block all members of congress from getting paid. as a symbolic gesture, this is great. checks shouldn't come for congress while constituents suffer. it's nice local charities can be during shutdown. it's largely symbolic. the 27th amendment restricts any congress from adjusting its own pay. even if members of congress find
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a way to hold their pay, the shutdown goes on. here is what happens as they go without pay. nearly a million workers aren't getting their paycheck including a recent widow of a forest service firefighter in albuquerque who was told she wouldn't receive benefits for weeks. head start for thousands of children are preparing to close, like the head start in your county in south carolina will cancel its head start for 900 children starting tomorrow. nutritional programs for women, infants and children are disrupted. that means no baby formula or food for kids in need. disability benefits interrupted and will be turned away from national institute of health. the peaceful approach doing nothing to change. while it's all well and good why they want to share their
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paychecks most americans don't have an option. that choice has been made for them by some of these same members of congress. not to mention half these lawmakers are millionaires. they earn an in come of $174,000. that's over three times more than the median american household income. the median net worth for members of congress, it's $966,000, 14.5 times more than the average american family. while we commend those members of congress for doing the right thing and refusing their paychecks, with all due respect this is a side show. do something real. take the vote to fund the government. coming up if you think gop hostage is bad wait until they take the debt ceiling hostage. we'll discuss the looming stand off just ahead. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the new twin turbo xts from cadillac.
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the grand elusive bargain. deal making requires purity of thought, spirit and possibly the influence of a higher being. >> create in us clean hearts o god and renew a right spirit within us. deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable. >> will raising the debt ceiling require a supreme power? we'll get the lodown when cnbc's amman javers joins us on "now." . with scottrade's online banking, i get one view of my bank and brokerage accounts with one login... to easily move my money when i need to. plus, when i call my local scottrade office, i can talk to someone who knows how i trade. because i don't trade like everybody. i trade like me.
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the government may be shutdown and 800,000 workers out of work but republicans had their eye on a bigger hostage,
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the debt ceiling. the u.s. treasury lays out a default would have devastating consequences, credit markets would freeze, dollar could plummet, u.s. interest rates skyrocket, spillovers reverberate around the world and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse. wall street is already reacting. in response to the ongoing shutdown and looming crisis the dow jones industrial average plunged 170 points just today. speaking in rockville, maryland, the president laid out what's at stake. >> as reckless as a government shutdown, as many people being hurt by a government shutdown, an economic shutdown that results from default would be dramatically worse. in a government shutdown social security checks still go out on time. in an economic shutdown, if we don't raise the debt ceiling,
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they don't go out on time. in a government shutdown disability benefits still arrive on time. in an economic shutdown they don't. >> goldman sachs ceo blankfein had even stronger words. >> there's a precedent for a government shutdown. there's no precedent for default. we're the most important currency in the world, reserve currency. payments have to go out to people. if money doesn't flow in, money doesn't go out. we haven't seen this before. i'm not anxious to be part of the process that witnesses it. >> none has swayed angry birds in the house caucus. in the latest of absurd demands house republicans are demanding president agree to cuts in services quich lent to a debt ceiling increase including cuts to medicare and medicaid. congressman com cole one of the supposedly reasonable republicans in the house told "the new york times," i'm not going to give hmo a free vote
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any more than he gave the last president of the united states a free vote. default of the nation's credit, global economic calamity, apparently the only voices republicans will listen to these days are themselves. or as vice president joe biden said yesterday, it's a different breed of cat up there. joining us from washington is cnbc's eamon javers. i think the disconnect, what we traditionally believe the party and the democrats to a large extent are highly responsive to wall street. this is a new normal in which they are completely unresponsive to wall street. >> that's right. you're dealing with tea party republicans who don't look at wall street the same way republicans looked at wall street. they look at them as establishment elite and skeptical about claims against wall street titans. that's exactly why president obama brought them to the white house yesterday. hoping wall street would go up to the hill and make the case he wants to make as well and maybe
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influence make republicans on the margins. with hard core tea parties the core of this faction the president is talking about they might not have as much sway as the president would like. >> eamon is there irony wall street types typically on the hill with a lot of influence, they essentially liked the tea party. they liked the idea of their energy because they felt it would elect republican congress which it did in 2010, it would get them a republican president this they thought it would do with one of their own, mitt romney, but now it's turned on them and their core financial interest. >> wall street lobbyists i talk to in this town have always looked at the tea party as something they are cautiously embracing. something they generally like. they have always been a little skeptical and wary of the tea party as well. there's not a match made in heaven between the tea party and wall street. we're about to find out exactly how far the tea party is willing to go to an tag nice wall street. in the setup piece, consequences
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of hitting the debt ceiling are catastrophic. the problem is nobody knows just how catastrophic because it's never happened before. we're totally in the realm of economic and financial theory. nobody has any idea what would happen. everybody agrees very bad or very, very bad or very, very, very bad. >> in the very, very category, that's where you are. >> how many veries. >> multiple, before the bad like my friend eamon just said. if you think about anyone who lends money not just to the united states but across the globe will insist upon if the united states defaults, there's something called a risk premium. that means you don't lend money to someone at a low interest rate if you're worried that person can't pay you back. so if we even threaten to default, you're going to see the risk premium, interest rates on what we have to pay for our borrowing go up. right now we have a stock of debt in this country held by the public that's $12 trillion. lets say the interest rate on
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treasury bills goes up by 1%. that's an extra $120 billion in debt service. that's just government t-bills. there's lots of interest rates tied to the federal bonds as well. you're going to see interest costs go up. >> this would actually impact americans how? average americans how? >> wow, everything from investments to who is employed to -- the implications are potentially very -- >> catastrophic for interest rates. >> we're talking about -- >> i mean, look, yes. go ahead. >> recovery to recession. if you think about the shutdown, maybe it will ultimately shave half a percent of gdp, instead of 2.5, you grow to 2. you go to debt ceiling breach
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now you're talking negative growth. >> look at it long-term and historically, too. once that happens, the whole idea of trust in the united states going forward in all of its economic and fiscal implications is never the same. we have screwed up once. we have failed to earn the world confidence once. not to overstate it. argentina was about to be a world power 100 years ago, now they are argentina. >> we'll get calls and letters on that. >> the interest thing is at this point, a preponderance of the public buys this, understands this. a majority of the public believe failing to raise the debt ceiling would be bad for the nation. overwhelming. a crazy 38% i don't understand say it would be a good thing. however, we come back to this, david, the tea party caucus, those 30 people that represent 2% of the nation do not believe
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it. >> it's not surprising. they don't believe in evolution. they don't believe in climate science. they are know nothings. they are people who look at experts and see them as elites to be suspicious of because what they are saying doesn't sync up with their general view of the world. so i've been on shows with this networks with tea partiers that say there's a lot of different ways we can do that and they are willing to take that risk. the interesting thing from a game theory perspective, two years ago, i wrote a little book about that showdown, president obama yielded, had negotiations on the debt ceiling, the sequester. he was of two minds back then. in one way he wanted to prevent the economic calamity when the economy was in a worse position than today, his advisers pushing him in that direction. also he realized if i let this happen, the constitutional
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balance of power shifted. a group of republicans or opposition party members could blake mail any president down the future. this not what the framers had in mind. he's been waiting two years to refight this battle on this very strong position of constitutional principle regardless of what may happen economically, whether he can stay that way to the very end is a big question. >> joy. >> eamon, go ahead. >> let me lay out exactly what's at stake here. it's sort of the united states has this very unique position in the global economy. we are the world's reserve currency. the united states has huge advantages every since world war ii of being the reserve currency of the world. we were able to borrow at much cheaper prices, finance deficits at much lower rates we would otherwise be because we have this confidence of the world. everyone knows if you buy treasury debt, it's an ironclad guarantee you're going to get your money back. it's the default in any crisis
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financially. what do people around the world do? they buy treasuries. they trust the united states government. what a default would do is call that trust into question. what it would do is damage the unique position to finance everything throughout the economy. >> eamon, there's a line, one of the guys saying you mess with my money, you mess with my emotions. you have a congress that is millionaires. they own a lot of stock, assets at stake in a default. you have a leadership that gets a tremendous amount of money, john boehner, eric cantor that doesn't come from small tea party donations but bigger donors and on the democratic side as well. they clearly must understand what you're saying. is there a sense on the hill while they all know the calamity is coming, understand what you said, frustration with john boehner and eric cantor and leadership for not foregoing this caucus and setting this right today or tomorrow. >> i spent a lot of time on the
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hill just this week talking to some of these members and asking them about this. under the circumstances the sense on capitol hill not only are people inside the beltway democrats and republicans, they are inside the capital complex. they are very tightly focused on this fight and legislative battle and who is going to win, who is up, who is down, who said what and this and that. it's all very inside lar. there does not seem to be a broader appreciation for the large stakes here. maybe leadership does have that appreciation and trying to steer the ship to some safe harbor. you don't get that sense right now. it's very much about who won and who lost on both sides. the question is how can they navigate to get out of this cul-de-sac they are in and get to someplace they don't damage u.s.'s position economically in the world. >> margaret, it's almost like you have to get to john boehner's money manager. >> two things going on. part people inside the building even though october 17th isn't that far away don't think it
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will happen. part of it is americans don't think it would happen and don't understand why it's a big deal. the sequester was going to be the end of the world and the sky didn't fall. that's a consideration. from the president's perspective it's like how many times do i have to blink. he's concerned about his domestic agenda, the legacy of obama care and also concerned about global economics. >> i've got a number for you. 777. that's the number of points that the dow fell after congress rejected the t.a.r.p. the next day they embraced the t.a.r.p. now, we can have a big debate about the t.a.r.p., that was not my point. >> that's a pretea party congress, remember? >> again, my target is not the tea party, as i've said throughout this show. my party is not the tea party but the moderates who can say no to the tea party. so they have to wake up. i don't want to see the market tank 800, 1,000 points.
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but i do believe if we breach the debt ceiling, that is the kind of tank we're looking at. i guarantee that's going to wake people up. whether that wakes up the tea party, it won't happen. >> that's why we heard the president yesterday. you normally see both white house spokespeople and president try to calm people. he's saying now in interviews like yesterday this day is different. he's looking for preaction. >> there's a lot of people who believe eventually washington will come together and do these things and they are just hysterical kids on all sides but when it comes down to the last hour -- in part because it's happened at 11:00, 11:30, 11:59 that it's going to happen again. >> two weeks ago the government shutdown wasn't going to happen. smart money was saying, no, never. >> eamon, i'm going to glif of give you the last word. >> those words by the president i should plug in an interview with john harwood he did say this time is different. he did say the market is not
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paying attention but maybe they should be paying attention here. remember, that's also tactical for the president. he benefits if there's a stock market decline from this brinksmanship. that gives him political leverage. in a way, the president would not mind some falloff on the dow if not precipitous because gives a little muscle, leverage in washington. >> something has to wake them up thank you, cnbc eamon javers. >> to staying with wendy to run, wendy, run as texas state governor gets set for plans for her future, we'll look at her chances of a future going to the governor's mansion next. lyrics: 'take on me...' ♪ ♪ 'take me home...' ♪ 'i'll be gone...' ♪ 'in a day or...' man: twooooooooooooooooo! is that me, was i singing?
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will answer some of your questions and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. o0 c1 so i can reach ally bank 24/7, but there ar24/7.branches? i'm sorry, i'm just really reluctant to try new things. really? what's wrong with trying new things? look! mommy's new vacuum! (cat screech) you feel that in your muscles? i do... drink water. it's a long story. well, not having branches let's us give you great rates and service. i'd like that. a new way to bank. a better way to save. ally bank. your money needs an ally. wendy davis, the texas state senator who became an overnight sensation in june with her 11 hour filibuster of a reproduction rights bill is expected to jump into the governor's race this afternoon
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taking on republican attorney general greg abbott. so does she have a chance? no says new republic, democratic changes might break republican siege of those poor liberals in austin but now there isn't a path to victory for progressive democrats. gives a shot, albeit a long one saying davis needs a perfect campaign and abbott needs to make mistakes. she won't get great odds in vegas but neither can ann richards. she left in 1995. red states are too daunting for gifted legislature. they note republicans have won 100 statewide elections in a row, half of white voters are evangelical christians and obama carried just 26 of the state's 254 counties in 2012. still, davis, a single mother at 19, who went from living in a trailer park to college and then to harvard law before rising up the ranks of texas politics has beaten the odds before.
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>> obviously when you think about doing something this big and that may seem improbable, you want to make sure you're not doing something foolhardy. i've been through a lot of tough fights in my life. i've learned to weather them. i've been in political office. as you know, i fought for my seat twice really hard. i fought a very difficult redistricting battle that everyone said we could not succeed in, and we did. i've leathered up a little bit over that for sure. >> davis, who has been called abortion barbie by her opponents can expect plenty of nastiness seeing as how her opponent had amassed a war chest of $25 million. still polls have her trailing just eight points with over half voters undecided. she may face a tough path in the lone star state but she's
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overcome the odds before. davis announcement set for 4:00 p.m. today in ft. worth. after the break, as weapons inspectors enter syria, the assad regime continues the military campaign and assurance campaign. the latest with ammann mohyeldin next. 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. [ 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 aflac.com.
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international weapons inspectors arrived in war-torn syria yesterday as part of the u.n. mission to dismantle the country's stockpile of chemical weapons. in a staple the inspectors said they hope to complete the initial inspection by november 1st. experts are warning the process could take a lot longer. as a pro government syrian journalist told "new york times" the inspection could take over the year long timetable imposed and could take international forces to guard inspectors for
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any weapons or materials that have to be moved. the mission comes after u.n. security council passed last friday an historic binding resolution for the chemical stockpile. after heated negotiations between the u.s. and russia. in an interview airing this morning on the "today" show u.n. ambassador samantha power assured americans the threat of military force is still on the table. >> first of all, we wouldn't be in this discussion about getting rid of syria's chemical weapons without the threat of credible military force. he has not taken that threat off the table. russia is aware that threat still exists, syria is aware it exists. >> joining us is aimon mohyeldin. how much confidence is there on the ground they will actual cooperate and this will work? >> well, the on us is put on the team of experts there yesterday
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in their statement released to the media. they said their responsibility to dismantling it begins and ends with the syrian government. today they did say there was progress some some of the initial documentation the syrian government has been getting inspectors declaring their arsenal and some of the locations of these sites of where the chemical weapons arsenal is reportedly being stored at the time being. they are at least saying or suggesting the syrian government is cooperating. from the syrian government's perspective, this is a victory. they say these weapons are a deterrent to nuclear weapons. they have also made the argument in the past these weapons are immoral, they would not be using them. more importantly this national diplomatic effort to try and avert a u.s. military strike on syria as a significantry for the syrian government you're saying they are nonchalant but also confident and very defiant in the face of this stepped up pressure by the united states and its allies. >> one of the things you didn't
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mention, ayman is they are fighting. there are reports there's violence between rebel groups and each other and also violence from the regime to these groups. >> absolutely. there's been no letup in the violence. the violence seems to be entering a new phase. this is one you mentioned between the rebels themselves, rebels that are fighting to topple the regime are divided among hard core islamists, perhaps moderate defectors of the syrian military and syrian government. they, too, are beginning to express not only ideological differences but fighting for ground control key entry points from syria and turkey and elsewhere. but the syrian government has not let up any operations against both of these groups. they continue to argue they are all one umbrella organization labeled as terrorists and they continue to not only use their air force to bombard areas in control of the rebels but also in and around the capital of
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damascus they do continue to maintain their army and ground operations throughout the past several weeks. >> all right. continue to keep an eye on this. thank you so much. nbc's ayman mohyeldin. thank you to kurt, jared, margaret, and david. joined tomorrow by guests, on "now." aishl is next. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. ght spots. and more space so that you always have your favorite stuff. and, just for good measure, an incredibly efficient 40 mpg highway. so that when you're doing more, you're spending less. the all-new nissan versa note. your door to more. now get a $139 per month lease on a 2014 nissan versa note. ♪
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