tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 26, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
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we are winning. >> right now, a live look as hundreds march on the national mall protesting america's spy tactics. good saturday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. those protests come as top german officials plan a trip to the white house to demand a no-spy deal. they'll also be asking more questions about whether we spied on the german chancellor herself. >> we've got people working overtime 24/7 to boost capacity and address these problems every single day. >> the one word in the title that's true is patient because if you logon to the website, you have to be very patient. >> healthcare.gov is fixable and functional. >> while the administration promises changes and soon to the obama care website, the nsa website goes down last night, prompting rumors of hacking. what officials are saying about that claim today. also, texas senator ted cruz
is hunting for pheasant in iowa. and maybe votes, too. it's his third stop in the hawkeye state in three months. he's preparing to speak to supporters this hour. we'll take you there live. need blind? a private university opens up about a misleading admissions process that actually favors wealthy students. we'll talk to the college student who broke the story. it's fun being in this wheelchair. i never heard of this before. >> and smart wheels, a dance instructor's design helps the disabled move in ways they never could before. it's today the "big idea". we start on the road to the 2016 election in, where else, but iowa. that's where ted cruz is on the hunt today, literally. his morning began with pheasant hunting with local congressman steve king. and casey hunt asked him about
those rumors that he's in iowa with presidential aspirations. >> in 2011, governor perry did this with the congressman when he was running for president. are you here for that? >> that's a very dangerous comparison on a lot of fronts, not the least of which is governor perry is a lot better shot than i am. i'm going to avoid making that comparison on every front. >> ted cruz set to deliver the keynote address this hour in lamars, iowa, where casey hunt joins us live now. casey, how is he being received out there so far? >> reporter: hey, craig. so far he's being received well. he actually did go pheasant hunting this morning with congressman steve king who's now hosting this lunch. i actually went with him for several hours. we were traipsing through the brush. cruz flew his own shotgun with him here from texas on united airlines. he checked it in his luggage. he spent a lot of time just sort of talking as they walked
through the brush with many of these supporters of congressman king, many of whom are conservative activists in the state that you'd want to court and get to know should you be interested in mounting a 2016 campaign. so what he's doing here is really starting -- it's a slog to campaign here and to actually win. and you have to start building the networks really at the ground level. and voters here really want to hear directly from the candidate. so he's a little bit behind some others who have run here in the past. and he has to get started on that if that's what he does intent to do. what we've seen this weekend is kind of the beginnings of that sort of effort. >> casey, what is he saying about his shutdown of the government and what are folks in iowa saying about that? >> reporter: he addressed last night the reagan dinner, a fund-raiser for the iowa gop here. and he laid out really a defense of the shutdown strategy. he says that it energized the grassroots and that that especially heading into 2014 is
what the republicans need to win. he says they're not going to win elections by trying to moderate themselves but rather by trying to get their most interested and most aggressive voters to the polls. he traded it overall as a success that way. the voters i've talked to here in iowa say while the shutdown might not have been popular, they appreciate cruz's willingness to take a stand and not back down. that's a trait, as i've talked to people here about him, that they highlight as something that they view really positively. >> casey hunt in iowa for us on a saturday, we of course are going to bring you a portion of ted cruz's speech when that happens live. casey, thank you. meanwhile, demonstrators on the march on capitol hill today. they are protesting u.s. government surveillance programs which they say infringe upon privacy rights of people all over the world. some of america's key allies are saying the bonds of trust between them and the united
states have been stretched thin after revelations that the u.s. government has been eavesdropping on officials in great britain, in france, in italy and germany, specifically listening to the cell phone of german chancellor angela merkel. i want to bring in david rode. always good to see you. thanks for coming in on a saturday. >> thank you. >> you wrote this week's disclosures reveal something about our fight against terrorism globally. what? >> that we're essentially overreacting. that our fear of al qaeda is actually hurting us more than al qaeda itself. there have not been major attacks in the united states -- there's been two, boston and the shooting on the military base in texas. we are now global eavesdropping. we're alienating our allies. covert drone strikes are making us incredibly unpopular in pakistan and yemen. and then this tsa screening in u.s. airports, they're now
mining private and government databases that show your property records, your tax identification numbers and looking at that before you go on a domestic flight in the united states. >> and here's the thing, these are the efforts that we know about. these are the efforts that journalists like yourself have uncovered so far. there's no telling what else is going on out there that we don't know about. there's the report that emerged this week which revealed that the nsa monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another u.s. government department. how badly could these revelations specifically damage our relationships with our allies? >> the big issue is germany. and people consider not to worry about germany, we work more closely with the brits. germany was critical in turning an iranian scientist and helping slow down their nuclear effort. the germans are furious. we're overdoing this
out-of-control eavesdropping that's hurting our counterterrorism operations because there's pressure on merkel now from the german public to stop cooperating with the u.s. >> what about this argument out there that all countries do this, especially all of the civilized superpowers out there? is all of the outrage that we're seeing and hearing, is it legitimate or is some of this more for the domestic audience? >> some of it's for the domestic audience. but one of the things that specifically happened was in france, the nsa followed -- at least got the phone numbers for 70 million phone calls in france. other nations aren't able to do that. so we're dealing with a new era and new technology where the nsa is essentially scooping up data from all over the world. it's really alienating europeans. it's backfiring. we're kind of overdoing it. >> as i talk to you, we're showing folks at home what's happening right now in our nation's capital. hundreds if not thousands of people taking to d.c. to protest precisely what we've been talking about here.
what's the tipping point? >> i think this tsa thing that came out, "the new york times" reported it. there's always been a prescreen they did on your date of birth and other information, but limited information. now they're just going through these huge databases and looking at anything, your past travel itineraries, personal records, even your physical characteristics, it appears, are where they're looking at as they do deeper data grooifz. and civil liberty groups say americans don't understand the data mining that's happening about their personal lives in the name of stopping terrorism. >> these latest revelations come from the nsa files leaked by edward snowden. the state department said, quote, more allegations will surface. what might these allegations that they are talking about look like? >> it's hard to know. there was even one report that there is another tranche of tens of thousands of documents that snowden has hidden somewhere.
every time an american official goes to another country, there's an embarrassing story. secretary of state john kerry was in france when the report of the 70 million phone calls came out. i don't know where this is going to lead because no one knows what the nsa has been doing. everyone's shocked at the level of eavesdropping they're carrying out everywhere, inside the u.s. and outside the u.s. >> sounds like this could just be the tip of the iceberg. david, always good to see you. >> thank you. topping our saturday headlines this hour, a man who led police on a wild chase through the mojave desert has been killed in a shootout with police. police say the 39-year-old shot at passing drivers and tried to run cars along the road as he spun along 30 miles of desert highway with two hostages in his trunk. he was caught when he was stopped on the side of the road and started firing his gun into that trunk. about 100 people turned out for a memorial service friday for colleen ritzer, the popular math teacher allegedly killed by
her 14-year-old student this week in danvers, massachusetts. her family's set up a scholarship fund in her honor. a peaceful protest in brazil turns violent as demonstrators outraged over transit fare hikes set buses on fire in sao paulo's main terminal. that group has been demonstrating against bus fares since 2004. and the race to find two americans kidnapped by pirates off the coast of nigeria intensifies this saturday. the ship's captain and chief engineer were taken wednesday in the gulf of guinea. u.s. officials say that ship is now in port but they still do t not know where the americans are. first, nsa workers now fixing the obama care website, what contracting out the work of our government really means. that's next. then later, islam's influence, how the muslim faith
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the website problems that have prevented an untold number of americas from registering for health insurance should be fixed by the end of november. that's the word from the white house. friday, the administration hired a tech contractor to oversee the work of 47 other contractors who already worked on healthcare.gov. jay engoff, norm ornstein and
clay johnson join us. good to see all of you. clay, i want to start with you. this isn't the first time the government's use of contractors has been called into question. we were just talking about edward snowden and his disclosures of the nsa surveillance activities. snowden, of course, a government contractor whose security clearance was granted by another government contractor. why is there so much reliance on outsiders? why can't government workers do these jobs? >> well, i think government workers can do these jobs. the problem is that the hiring and firing policies inside the federal government are pretty hard to manage and deal with. it takes a long time to get someone inside of the government. oftentimes it takes longer to get them inside the government than it does to get them to do
the actual work. with something like healthcare.gov, i'd estimate a standard company could probably build something like healthcare.gov with 50 to 100 bodies. that would take a long time for government to hire up all those people. what government should be doing is hiring some really great talent, centralizing them and having them work across different agencies to help them with their different technologies. >> why don't we do that? >> how? >> why don't we do that? >> we should do that. that's what my "new york times" op-ed yesterday said. the uk did do that just a few years ago. they created a government digital services that centralized technology inside of a cabinet office and works across various offices and agencies inside the uk government. they've saved billions of dollars doing it and more importantly are delivering effective services to citizens that work. >> norm, the sunlight foundation issued a report on the contractors chosen to build the
healthcare.gov website. it found that of the 47 contractors chosen, some 17 aca contract winners reported spending more than $128 million on lobbying in 2011 and 2012. 29 had employees or political action committees or both that contributed some $32 million to federal candidates and parties in the same period. norm, that smells funny to me. is it sinister or is this merely another example of the way modern washington works? >> it's more an example of how the modern washington works. on the surface, if you have a company that is big and active in politics, i don't have a particular problem with that. where i would have a problem is if you're getting sweetheart contracts or sweetheart deals. i don't see any sign of that with the contractors at this point that have been involved with building healthcare.gov. i think the problems are of a different order.
and they're really some of the things clay has pointed out numerous times. it's really not having a kind of coordination and not having the talent together inside the government that is up enough on modern tech policies to be able to coordinate these things. you want to watch this stuff and make sure you're not dealing with people who are simply clever at doing the requests for contract bids and know how to file them. you want people who have expertise. but the rest of it is not the greatest concern. >> jay, are these glitches -- are they going to merely be a flash in the pan or is there a real possibility that these glitches have a lasting effect on the long-term viability of obama care? >> well, there are big stakes here. if it's fixed by the end of november, this will all be a footnote. we'll be able to joke about how terrible it was when the system
first came up and everything will be great. in fact, it might even be a little better because there's been so much publicity about this now, if the system is fixed, everyone knows about it. so that's great. on the other hand, if it's not fixed, it will be terrible for obama care but it will also be terrible for the government, for the anti-government crowd, the people who hate the united states government will use this as an example, as an argument anytime the government wants to do great things. they'll point to this. so the stakes really are very big here. >> from now until the end of time. clay, your company developed the president's 2008 campaign website. but when asked to work on healthcare.gov, you said, quote, i want to make sure i get this right, according to the article, it was a project i wanted to steer clear of. why? >> well, because 94% of these projects fail. the -- >> what kind of projects specifically? >> the standings group earlier this week issued a report that
said federal i.t. projects of greater than $10 million have a 94% chance of failure. 94% of them fail. so that's a staggering number. i think that working on projects like this and the way they're being managed and the way they're being contracted out clearly has to change. the federal government spends $80 billion a year on information technology. and now we're looking at a staggering level of failure. and it's clear that we as a country, the congress, we all have to figure out how to make a system that works better. >> norm, you wrote in "the national journal" this week, in part, it was the remarkable lack of concern with managing the government, seeing the effective implementation of the laws as important as their passage. that is the key here and the buck stops and starts with the president. how do you think president obama should have handled this from the beginning, norm? >> well, i think we needed -- now we have jeff sinz, who's a
terrific guy and someone who can coordinate this from the top. that didn't happen. you had people in the white house, people in h.h.s., outside contractors that were not working together, coordinating together. they didn't put together the front end and the back end. a lot of it is the kinds of problems that clay is talking about. but the larger point of my piece was i think the biggest failure that we've seen in the obama administration and the obama white house is there's been much less concern with public administration. running the agencies, making sure the laws you get passed -- remarkable success at passing the laws -- actually get implemented well. and this is the prime example of that failure. >> jay angoff, norm ornstein and clay johnson, big thanks to all of you for that valuable insight. thank you. a north carolina republican party precinct chairman resigning after making some controversial comments on "the daily show" earlier this week.
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said he was also an early possessor of the cell phone. he got a bit animated when describing a friend seeing him use it for the first time. >> he opens the door and it was like that old "snl" skit, the wild and crazy guys, whoa! you've got a phone that you can walk around with? as we've mentioned, senator ted cruz is in iowa this weekend. "the des moines register" uncovered fun facts about the texas congressman. he told the paper, he's a, quote, huge movie buff. his favorite flick "the princess bride." insert joke here.
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cuomo and residents of a long island community celebrated their new boardwalk. massive waves from sandy destroyed it. but the community rebuilt the boardwalk at a cost of about $40 million. i'm craig melvin. here's a quick look at some of the other top stories making news on a saturday afternoon. jp jp chase reaches a deal with the federal government. the bank agreed to pay some $5.1 billion to help resolve claims that it misled mortgage agencies fannie mae and freddie mac. to put this in perspective, jpmorgan has over $2 trillion in assets. and food safety for pets, ensuring companies that make pet food follow better manufacturing practices to prevent footbordbo
illnesses. the price of tuition, room and board at george washington university in d.c. is nearly $50,000. for decades, students applying to the school thought their financial aid needs were not being taken into account in the admissions process. they were wrong. this week, the school student newspaper revealed that g.w. is not blind. they do favor certain students based on their financial situation and the school is only coming clean about that now admitting, quote, what we're trying to do is increase the transparency of the admissions process. how common is this deception? jeremy diamond is the assistant news editor at "the g.w. hatchet." and sarah lipka joins us.
jeremy, you broke this story after an interview with an enrollment administrator at g.w. did you also suspect that your school had been dishonest about their policy? >> well, i had been looking into this for a little while, starting to talk with some financial aid and admissions experts. and it was weird to me because g.w. has a much smaller endowment than a lot of people that are need blind. and it seemed strange that they were need blind and didn't consider some students' financial needs and somehow end up under their financial aid budget. i did have suspicions. looking into it in the interview, lori kohler was transparent and said, we do consider financial need. later it was revealed that they always have. >> were you surprised at the answer that you got? >> i was surprised that it was so straight and so direct. but i had my suspicions. so i wasn't surprised completely. >> sarah, how common is it that a school that purports to be
need-blind really, truly is? >> i think most colleges really are trying to communicate their admissions and financial aid policies accurately. they can be complex things to explain. but i think most of them really are trying to do a good job. i think colleges that can afford to be need-blind are probably clearer about those kinds of policies than ones that aren't. >> is there any kind of oversight to make sure that admissions offices are transparent in how they admit or deny students? >> there's a national association for college admissions. they have a statement of good principles. and according to those principles, the college admissions offices are supposed to provide accurate information to prospective students and families. and i think for the most part, they really do. >> sara, when a school says that it is in fact need-blind, we know it means they don't take a student's financial aid needs into consideration. but what does it mean about what kind of tuition help that the
school commits to? >> that's a good question because colleges can be need-blind, meaning that they make all of their admissions decisions without considering how much a student can pay. but there's only really a very small number of colleges that can afford to then meet all of the financial need of the students they do accept. so you can have tuition and, say, full cost of attendance of $50,000 and you have the family can pay $20,000 and there's another $20,000 in financial aid. some colleges will leave that extra $10,000 as a gap. and the student will have to then decide to go to another place or decide to take on debt. but there are just -- the colleges with large endowments as jeremy mentioned, the colleges that really have the money to say, we'll let in anyone who's qualified and we'll fully support them financially. >> jeremy, what's been the reaction like on campus? what's the reaction been like and what's been the reaction from other colleges in general? >> well, on campus we've been
hearing two primary things -- first of all, we've been hearing students are kind of surprised, shocked, outraged that g.w.'s policy is in fact need-aware. from current students to prospective students to alumni, they were all under the impression that g.w. was need-blind. the second thing we're hearing is really a sense of distrust. student association leaders that i've spoken with, alumni who say that they're not sure if they'll donate again because they don't know if they can trust g.w. after this scandal and last year when the university was unranked after inflating admissions data. >> sara and jeremy, thank you so much. >> thank you, craig. members of congress are calling for an overhaul of this country's child welfare system amid reports that show that many children are the victims of sex trafficking. 60% of underage sex trafficking
are foster kids. at a hearing lawmakers heard disturbing testimony from survivors, including one who was forced into sex work at the age of 10. >> due to the over 14 placements i've endured, the most consistent relationship that i ever had while in care was that of my pimp and his family. no one looks for us. i really want to make this clear. no one looks for us. no one keeps us on their radar. this system makes no effort. >> this is the young lady that we just saw in that clip there. she is now a board member of the human rights project for girls. i understand that you go by the name "t." that's what i'll call you. >> yes. >> how does this happen? how did you get pulled into sex work? >> i wouldn't say sex work because the term work implies that it was something that i wanted to do. i would say it was a multiple
level of things. first of all, within the foster care system, i was more susceptible coming into it with abuse and within the system, i endured various levels of abuse. so a lot of the things i speak of is how foster care -- just being there for financial purposes. also many people fluctuating in and out of your life and it's never really clear who's in control. all of these things made me more open when i was approached by a trafficker. >> and that's why foster children especially are so vulnerable to sex trafficking, right? >> definitely. i think there's a couple of things. first is that we are oftentimes being cared for by caregivers who only want the check at the end of the day, for the monetary purposes. and then the fluctuation of people coming in and out of our lives. we are always trying to gain some sense of control and we want it to be clear to us who is in control. lastly, a lot of times what happens within the group homes or certain caregivers' homes is
that the children will be missing but will not be reported because it's often assumed that they have run away and oftentimes it won't be reported just to avoid the interruption of payment. >> as i understand it, why are the victims in many of these cases -- why are they treated as criminals? >> i think it goes back to we need to change the laws and terminology in our societal lens in regards to dealing with these youth. they are victims. they themselves might not see their victimization. they'll be 14, 13 and they'll tell you, stay out of our lives. it's often because they really have been trained and undergone with this ideology that what they're doing is correct. so it's about changing our lens in society. it's also about changing our laws. these young people are not prostitutes or prostituted children. i say that because the term prostitute cindicates that you gave consent.
>> your testimony this week really caught our attention. we appreciate the work that you're doing. thank you so much for coming on. >> i appreciate the invitation to be here, craig. right now, we understand that ted cruz is about to take the stage there in iowa. when that happens, we will, of course, bring it to you live, in addition to bringing it to you live, i'm also going to invite fact my friend, norm ornstein, after the speech to break it down, based on what the senator might say there. right now, let's flash back to 1774 when the very first continental congress adjourned at carpenter's hall in philadelphia. every colony but georgia sent delegates to draft the declaration of rights and grievances toward the british. also on this day in history, in 2001, in response to the september 11th attacks, president george w. bush signed the patriot act into law,
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and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight. so i switched to purina cat chow healthy weight formula. i just fed the recommended amount... and they both loved the taste. after a few months max's "special powers" returned... and i got my hero back. purina cat chow healthy weight. developing right now, lamars, iowa, a live look there. ted cruz addressing a group of supporters. we are going to let you listen in in just a moment here. after we listen in to the texas senator for a few moments, we'll dissect a bit of what he says on the other side. right now, though, when congressman keith ellison first took his oath of office in 2007, it was a history-making event, not only because ellison was the first muslim elected to the u.s. congress, he was sworn in holding a copy of the koran that was owned by thomas jefferson.
a new book "thomas jefferson's koran" examines the effect on our nation's founders. the author joins us now. denise, how was it that thomas jefferson came to own a copy of the koran? >> well, he bought the koran in 1765, 11 years before he wrote the declaration of independence. at the time he was a law student. and so his interest in the koran like many other christians was from a perspective of the book as a source for law. but he was clearly also interested in the religion. >> you write that when the constitution was drafted, there was more latitude given to religious differences than those of race, than those of gender as well. why was that? >> well, debates about the
constitution also include debates about the issue of the ablution of a religious test. and the question was raised whether a muslim or a catholic or a jew might be president. and, of course, that's all possible based on the fact that we don't have a religious test in the constitution. >> there were of course not many muslims living in the country at that time. but u.s. involvement with the islamic world dates back to the days before the nation's founding. what was america's experience with the islamic world in the 18th century? >> in fact we did have muslims living in the country in the 18th century. in fact, islam has been here because of west african slavery and the fact that some people who were enslaved in west africa were muslim. so the irony of jefferson being a supporter of muslim civil rights very early on in 1776 is that he may well have had muslims on his plantation. but we have no idea he knew
that. in terms of foreign involvement, jefferson is interesting, too, because we had a problem with north african pirates. but jefferson never saw the conflict in religious terms. we saw the pirates as lawless and saw it as an economic and political problem. in fact, we met a muslim ambassador in london and negotiated with him and he entertained the first muslim ambassador in washington. in his private letters to muslim rulers even in the midst of our conflict with tripoli now in libya, of course, he wrote about these people as great and good friends and he invoked god's blessing on them in the close of his letters, not just in his letter to tripoli but in his letters to a ruler of tunis in tunisia. so he had knowledge of the koran that he employed in diplomacy in this way, even though he criticized the religion in other places. but so did he criticize
christianity and also judaism. >> the book is called "thomas jefferson's koran." thank you so much, fascinating read. >> thank you. right now, we take you back to iowa where texas senator ted cruz is speaking to voters there. we'll take a listen. and after this, i want to bring in norm ornstein. >> why is it that congress is held in such low regard? well, when you spend a little bit of time traveling, whether it is traveling the state of texas, my home state, or traveling the country, you very quickly understand why it is. we've done over 75 town halls events all throughout the state of texas. it doesn't matter in texas where you're in east texas, west texas, the panhandle or down in the rio grande valley. texans' top priority is overwhelmingly jobs and economic growth. nothing else comes close.
that's true across this country. doesn't matter what part of the country you're in. doesn't matter if you're talking to republicans, independents or democrats, you get the same answer, jobs and economic growth is the top priority. i've got to tell you, in the ten months i've served in the u.s. senate, we have spent virtually zero time even talking about jobs or economic growth. it simply isn't a priority in harry reid's u.s. senate. we spent six weeks talking about guns and taking away people's second amendment right to keep and bear arms. and no time talking about fundamental tax reform, about regulatory reform, about stopping the burdens from washington that are strangling small businesses and killing jobs all over this country. and growth is foundational to every other challenge we've got. you look at every other priority, whether it's
unemployment, whether it's our national debt, whether it's maintaining the strongest military in the world to protect our national security, with growth, we can do all of that. without growth, we can't do any of it. the problems are insoluble without economic growth. so how do you get growth? it's not that complicated. cause and effect is a principle that those in washington have a difficult time understanding. but president obama's fond of saying he inherited the worst economy in the history of the universe. seems when he says that, he doesn't have a whole lot of historical memory. any of y'all in this room remember the late 1970s? >> texas senator ted cruz in lamars, iowa, talking to a friendly crowd of supporters there, spending some time talking about what he thinks will help growth in this country, spent some time talking
about his friends in the media, tongue in cheek. and also spent some time talking about the conversation in washington, d.c. over guns. i want to bring in norm ornstein. here's the thing, norm, he did allude to this, that he's been in washington -- he's been in the u.s. senate for ten months now. this is his third visit to the hawkeye state since he's been a u.s. senator. is it obvious at this point to assume that ted cruz wants to be president of the united states? >> well, duh, craig, yes, it is. i w iowa is quite a distance from texas. what's obvious is he's a very quift gifted orator. he speaks in conversational tone. he's chosen a different theme than we've seen him choose before. but it's also pretty laughable. if you want jobs and economic
growth, shutting down the government at a cost of $23 billion to $24 billion, increasing unemployment along the way and having interest rates go up as you threaten to go to default all is the opposite of getting jobs and economic growth. so it's a very interesting tactic that he's using and it's a persuasive one. and you have to take the guy seriously as a kennedy. >> norm, is it persuasive, thou though? is it really that persuasive? you hit the nail on the head there. we listened to him for maybe 2 1/2 minutes. and in that span, we heard at least three things that we know not to be completely true. >> absolutely the case. i mean persuasive for the audience he's speaking to. and that audience is the steve king audience, which is the radical right of the republican party. but whenever i look at ted cruz, i think of the book that i did that's called "it's even worse
than it looks." nobody represents that new politics of extremism and what it's done to our constitutional system and it's not good things, than ted cruz does and steve king right along with him. >> norm ornstein, thank you so much. always appreciate your insight. >> thanks, craig. good to be with you. want to switch gears here quickly. a chair that is giving the disabled more freedom to move and more freedom to express themselves through dance. that's today's "big idea." it comes from the rolling dance mobility chair project. that project's founder and also the chair's designer and inventor, a dancer herself, mary lynn morse, joins me live from texas. good to see you. what motivated you to design the chair? >> really two motivations. one was, i was a caregiver for many years with my mom. my dad had a severe car accident which left him with physical
complications as well as a brain injury. so that caregiving experience l really prompted my interest in the issues of having to do with disability. he had about eight chairs of all different kinds that i've had to maneuver around, my mom and i. a second motivation was predominantly -- i'm actually working in a dance company with dancers with and without disabilities. and as a choreographer and a dancer, being able to see some of the restrictions the devices had and realizing that from a design perspective, those devices are really only created to get a person from point a to point b. they were not created with the idea in mind of expression and connection with others. >> we were just showing our viewers at home some pretty cool pictures of you and your father as well. this rolling chair prototype is really different than anything currently on the market. can you explain what it is that makes it so different? how does it work? >> sure, sure. i can give you a little bit of an explanation of that. in manual chairs, typically the
individual is using their hands to operate the wheels. so they have to do that to move through the space. in other chairs, typically the individual is holding a joystick to operate the chair and move in the space. in this particular chair, it enables more possibilities because the chair is actually a wireless control. it's controlled via a smartphone. so if you tilt the phone forward, the chair moves forward. if you tilt the phone back, the chair moves back. side, side. rotates, rotates and moves on diagonal directions as well. it's completely omnidirectional. and the phone can be attached to the body so you can be completely hands free. as you lean your torso or even attached to the head in some manner, almost any idea of how it could attach to the body to free up the hands to express and work with other dancers. so it's omnidirectional, moves in every direction, based on the wheel design, the control system is very mobile and allows a lot
of possibilities. there's also height control, seat rotation and interchangeable seat possibilities. so very much created from kind of a universal design perspective, looking at multiple kinds of disabilities. >> merry lynn morris, it is a fantastic concept, a wonderful design. thank you for stopping by to share it with us. if you are watching and listening and you have a big idea that's making a difference, we'd love to hear from you. tell us by e-mailing us. there it is right there on your screen. up next, is woman suffrage being rolled back in the lonestar state? what's happening in texas? i'll talk with a judge who faced some additional steps just to vote in her own courthouse. and team for change. the new player and the fight to change the name of washington's pro football team. this is msnbc. [ male announcer ] welcome back all the sweet things your family loves
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business execs, conservative leaders, even members of the clergy are all headed to d.c. in just a few days armed with one message for republicans -- reform immigration or lose our cash. good saturday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. we did not fight so hard for this reform for so many years just to build a website. >> today, the president trying to calm frustrations among americans who want obama care while also trying to calm fears within his own party. are democrats in disarray? i was surprised that what i had done for 49 years was not sufficient to vote at this time. >> and blocking the woman vote. a new texas voter id law presenting a serious challenge for women, especially who are heading to the polls. one elected official ran into major roadblocks in her own
courthouse. i'm going to talk to judge sandra watts life. this was a little shocking to me that i couldn't remember my daughter playing youth soccer. >> hard hitting, retired quarterback brett favre, just the latest player to admit that he's got some serious health problems now. what does all of this mean for younger players? it wasn't going to be our typical nor'easter or typical brush with a hurricane. this was going to be a worst case scenario, something we'd always heard about for years and years. >> plus, hurricane sandy, one trying and tiring year later. now a film is helping storm-battered survivors move forward. we start right now in d.c. where large crowds have been protesting this afternoon, demanding an end to the government surveillance programs. the coalition behind the rally chose today specifically because
it's the anniversary of the patriot act signed into law back in 2008 by president george w. bush. nbc's kristen welker is live at the white house this afternoon with more. first of all, what's the background on this rally and are there any lawmakers involved as well there today? >> reporter: well, craig, we know there are going to be lawmakers there today including representative of michigan, dennis kucinich, gary johnson and others, as well as tens of thousands of people who have come out to protest the government's surveillance programs. that is the backdrop to today's rally. as you mentioned, it is basically a coalition of 100 public advocacy groups calling themselves "stop watching us." this comes against the backdrop of revelations of the surveillance program. these latest revolutions suggest the united states has tapped
into the cell phones of 35 world leaders. that has outraged some of the united states' closest allies, germany and france demanding answers. we know that german officials are set to travel to the united states in the coming weeks. they're going to talk to u.s. officials about all of this. but, craig, it's a problem for the obama administration because it really complicates its efforts at foreign policy dealing with issues like iran and syria. of course it needs its allies like germany, like france. so infed stead of working on th issues, those issues overshadowed by the surveillance program. >> another issue the president would like to get to, immigration. the immigration debate is expected to heat up again next week when a group of mostly republican activists say they plan to lobby lawmakers. but according to to "the new york times" this morning, a growing number of republicans privately say they see no political advantage for the party to move ahead on immigration legislation right now. they do not expect it to be a
critical issue in the 2014 midterms and they say it simply needs to be dealt with before the 2016 presidential election. what does that mean for this white house? >> reporter: well, it means it's really going to be an uphill battle. they knew that from the beginning. one of the things that they are counting on is the fact that there is a stronger coalition of people who want immigration reform. business leaders, faith groups, people who have vested interests in the republican party who are calling for immigration reform. but having said that, craig, all of these sides are still very far apart. you have sort of a broad immigration bill that passed through the senate. the house wants to take up immigration reform in piecemeal efforts. they want to pass piecemeal legislation. the white house democrats saying that's not the way to do this. john boehner's spokesperson says, we're not going to pass an obama care-size package on
immigration reform. so using the current issues with the president's health care website to talk about immigration reform. what you have is all sides really far apart. the conventional wisdom is this is going to be really difficult to get done before 2014. still it's one of president obama's key second-term priorities. he wanted to get it done in his first term. that didn't happen. he said he's determined to do it this time around. but you have all these other issues the white house is dealing with, including the glitches with healthcare.gov. >> kristen welker from 1600 pennsylvania avenue on a saturday afternoon, thank you. >> thanks. this tuesday, texas' controversial abortion law will go into effect. it is the same law that senator wendy davis famously filibustered this summer catapulting her to the national stage. davis planning to run for governor of the lonestar state, a race expected to hinge heavily on women's issues. but could a brand-new voter id law keep a key voting bloc from
the polls? early voting for this november's election kicked off this week in texas. and under the strict new law, all voters must provide id that reflects their current name. if they can't, they have to provide several other forms of id, all of which must match exactly, must match exactly the name on their birth certificate. what happens if you get married or divorced as well? according to a study by the brennan center for justice, only 66% of women have an id that reflects their current name. texas district court judge sandra watts is one of them. judge, thank you for coming by. >> good afternoon, craig. >> you voted smoothly in every election for the last 49 years. but that changed this week. walk us through what happened when you went to vote in your own courthouse? >> well, you always presented a
voter register certificate that is mailed to you every two years by the county, if you have resided in the same residence. the new law now requires you to present also a voter photo id, which had never been requested or required in the past. i presented my voter register certificate that bears my legal name on my birth certificate of sandra lee -- my married name is watts. sandra lee watts. and i also presented my driver's license, which has never been suspended, never been -- it is a valid driver's license, which i have had for 52 years. and it says, sandra matheson watts. at that point, an election worker made a determination that my name was not the same. and i said, i am presenting to you under the law a photo id for verification. and in the training he told me is that it requires it to be identical.
and at that point, i said, well, that is just ludicrous. but you can sign an a.k.a. affidavit, an affidavit that says, i am one in the same person. i said, i have been voting for 49 years. i've never had to attest that i am a.k.a. one in the same. but it is that election official that makes that determination as to whether you're going to get to vote by signing an a.k.a. or whether or not you're going to -- he's going to say it is not substantially similar and they're going to give you a provisional ballot which means that that ballot -- you have to go through several procedures and it could at the end not be counted. what's interesting in the law, craig, is this -- i have a constitutional, a fundamental right to vote. and that is required and should be fostered in any democracy. the new photo id law says when i go to the polls, i am offering
to vote and i present to an election official the actual credentials or a -- so that he can verify that the photo id matches in effect the register. it is that election official, according to the law that has to decide whether i'm going to be accepted to vote. that in effect rankles the constitutional right that we have to vote. and in my -- >> judge, you're hot about this. you're hot about this. >> in my opinion, anything that hinders, detracts from or reduces our right to vote, i think needs to be seriously looked at and perhaps challenged if indeed it results in a democracy someone not being able to exercise their fundamental right to vote. >> the law also stipulates that voters have six days, i understand it, to present proper identification in order for
their vote to count. ari burman of "the nation" wrote something we found interesting. voters must first pay for the documents to confirm their identity. the cheapest option being a birth certificate for 2s, otherwise known as a poll tax. but there are no dmv offices in 81 of the 254 counties in texas, with some voters needing to travel up to 250 miles to the closest location. it seems like a lot of work. is six days enough time to even obtain those documents? >> well, according to the law, i think they list eight separate photo id documents that would be acceptable. and, of course, the most predominant would be your driver's license. what it states is that if indeed you are provided a provisional ballot, within six days, you must present yourself at the location given to you with the appropriate or proper voter id. here's the problem.
it would be very difficult to change your voter register and/or your driver's license in six days and present yourself with that photo id. >> right. >> i will state there is another little interesting clause in the law that states that if you follow all of the procedures for a provisional ballot, there still is no guarantee that that ballot will be counted. >> last question quickly. is this a law in texas specifically that discriminates against women? >> you know, i can't tell you whether the legislators in austin sat down and said, this is a way that we are going to try to discount the women vote. i can tell you this -- that it disproportionately affects women. a man is born under a name. generally his birth certificate is going to reflect his death certificate at the end of his life. women, however, get married, they assume the sir names of their husbands. they in effect will hyphenate their name. they might in effect adopt both
names without the hyphenation. and i grant divorces every single day and restore maiden names. so at any given time, a woman's name during her lifetime is changing. so this law definitely is going to adversely affect, as far as numbers are concerned, women over men. but more importantly, women are being asked to do additional things in order to exercise their right to vote. a man probably does not have to sign an a.k.a. affidavit because his name is going to be the same. a woman may have to sign the a.k.a. affidavit in order to exercise the right to vote. and that determination is made by an election worker as you present yourself and offer to vote. >> the honorable judge sandra watts of texas, judge watts, thank you. >> thank you very much. topping our saturday headlines this hour, man suspected of wounding a federal immigration officer and three other local officers friday is in custody. samuel nathan durand surrendered
after an hours-long standoff. two of the officers are listed in stable condition. this is clearly obviously not the right video for that story. but i can tell you the third officer is listed in serious condition. workers started demolishing sandy hook elementary in newtown, connecticut. the school was the site of a mass shooting last december where 20 children and six staffers were killed. the demolition site is under tight security to make sure that no one tries to take any items as souvenirs. and barney's in new york and the new york police department are under fire for alleged racial profiling. two black shoppers came forward saying they were discriminated due to purchases they have made at barney's. one's filed a lawsuit against the store, the city and the nypd. the other filed a complaint with the city's police watchdog. barney's has retained a civil rights expert to lead a review
of its policies and procedures. and legendary music producer quincy jones is suing michael jackson's estate, according to a "usa today" story. jones claims he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of jackson's biggest hits. the music producer also claims he should have received a producer's credit for the music in the movie "this is it." up next, bearing the brunt. shutting down schools affects children of color most. dangerous walks, a lack of supplies, how the impacts of cost-cutting go far beyond education. and meeting face to face leaders from a native american tribe and the nfl set to talk about the controversial name of d.c.'s football team. what could come from that? ♪ turn around
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it's become a national trend, mass school closings. some local officials say it's because of underperforming schools. others say it's because of budget issues. two of the closings are happening in chicago and philadelphia. 50 in chicago, 23 in philadelphia. tremaine lee joins us. in broad terms, what are you finding around the country right now? what's happening in terms of these school closings? >> in chicago, 50 schools. philadelphia, 23 schools. thousands of students, our most vulnerable communities, are
being further destabilized. not only the schools closing. but because of crippling budget cuts, schools in philadelphia don't have school counselors, nurses on duty every day. the situation in philadelphia with our most vulnerable students, particularly black and brown students in our most economically depressed communities. >> in the 23 schools that closed in philadelphia, 81% of the students affected were black. 11%, latino. 4% are white. 93%, low-income students. these closings as you just indicated are disproportionately affecting black and brown students. why is this happening in those neighborhoods? >> a number of factors. some say in these major urban communities the school districts have been mismanaged. but you have charter schools and private schools siphoning away students. it happens there because it can
happen there. you'll see it in the economically depressed communities. these schools have been underutilized to a degree because students have been siphoned over to other schools. >> dawn, how have the school closings in philadelphia affected you an your son personally? >> well, with me and my son, my son used to go to l.p. elementary. his school was shut down. so he has to walk four blocks in a horrible drug-infested neighborhood. i'm just concerned not only for my son's safety, for other children's safety. they are asking our children to walk in neighborhoods that they know nothing about. and here in my neighborhood, it's horrible. our crime rate is a little higher. and i'm concerned. i'm very concerned about our children, very concerned. >> what goes through your mind when you have to make that trek
to school that your mom just talked about? >> well, what goes through my mind actually is there's barely anybody walking to school. it's me and my group of friends. what goes through my mind is the unsafe neighborhood i have to walk in. and i thank god that people who have volunteered crossing kids across the street because there would be bigger kids bullying the younger kids. be a lot of confusion. >> dawn, mayor michael nutter made a public plea for donations because of the lack of funding for school supplies. if resources are so short in philadelphia, how are kids there getting the things that they need? >> well, truthfully and to be honest, they are not. our children is not a charity case. our governor took $1 billion from our children's education, asking our teachers to repay
back the things that he did. he's the one that took that money from our children. our children are suffering. a little girl just lost her life due to not having a nurse -- she had an asthma attack. we just did a candlelight vigil for that little girl due to no nurse in the school. a little girl lost their life. we constantly keep talking to s.r.c., our city council, our state representatives. it's like they do not care about our children. our children do want to be educated. our children do want to be safe when they go to school. our children need counselors. my son starts high school, it's no counselor. who's going to fill out the paperwork? it's just so much trouble and chaos in our system. we're not getting no help from neither our state
representative, our coweuncillo or our mayor. >> before i let you guys go, she hit on a number of things there in philadelphia. in your article, these mass school closings. but folks not following what's happening with public schools in this country's fourth largest city, it really is -- it's a shame. >> they fired nearly 4,000 staff members, including crucial hall monitors and support system staff. every secretary was fired. i went to the philadelphia schools for the first day of school, you had dozens of freshman not even registered for class standing around waiting for their rosters. you have kids who half don't want to be there anyway, trying to get through and they learn the institutions aren't there to support them. so what's next? the pipeline to prison and poverty, that's the end result. we're going to see it more and more. >> i want to add that they're not done with philadelphia closings.
we have 64 schools on the list. they're not done with us. i'm encouraging the parents and the communities and community archives, start getting involved, start helping out children. our children are on attack and we need to start getting our parents involved with this fight. if you want to join this fight, you can look up www.xunited.org. it's an organization for low-income families as me, as a parent, other organizations, we're in germantown, west philly, north philly, south philly, we're all over. get involved because if you don't, if our children aren't educated, they're going to jail. that's just point-blank, period. it's a system bill that our governor took that money from our children's education and built prisons with it. wake up, people. wake up! >> thank you so much. thanks for helping wake us up. >> thank you, god bless you. >> we'll be right back.
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i think after 20 years, god only knows the toll. that's what 44-year-old brett favre said in a radio interview earlier this week. the legendary green bay quarterback was talking openly and candidly about what concussions have done to his memory. he went on to say, it was shocking he couldn't remember his own daughter playing youth soccer one summer. brett favre, the one-time poster boy for the national football league says more than two decades of hard hits have had long-term effects. he can't remember stuff, important stuff. favre is the most prominent player so far to come forward and say what doctors have warned and so many parents have been worrying about. playing football for years can be harmful for your health, really harmful. the nfl lived in a state of denial for a long time, arguing
correlation but not causation. that's changed in recent years with new rules about where and when you can hit players and some equipment modifications as well. then in august, the nfl and thousands of former players and their families who sued the league for concussion damages reached a $765 million settlement. it sounds like a lot of money. but the more we learn about the sheer number of affected players and the kind of long-term care required for them, it won't be adequate compensation. strong and fast grown men who compete for our entertainment have made a choice. there's glory and there's consequence. but that's not what this is about. this is about the thousands of kids who play, watch and worship football. it's about parents who now choose to stand on the sidelines, hold their breath and hope that their 8-year-old's current passion doesn't hurt him
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get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends october 31st. for details, visit vwdealer.com today. nfl leaders, officials are scheduled to meet with the leaders of the oneida nation indian tribe next week to talk about the naming of washington's pro football team. the tribe says the nickname is a racial slur and have called for the team to change it. according to "the washington post," more than 2,000 black clergy members from d.c. will also be joining in the fight and push for the name change in their pulpits over the next few weeks. meanwhile, the team's owner, dan snider, has vowed the name will not change. tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of hurricane sandy's landfall on the east coast. that storm killed at least 71
and caused an estimated $35 billion in damage to new jersey alone. landfall, the eyes of sandy, it's a documentary that tells the story of the people devastated by the storm on long beach island. it's also a movie with a goal as well, helping the areas affected rebuild. >> everyone counted it out. no way it's going to happen. >> all those spaghetti models are coming right into long beach island. >> literally got a pit in my stomach when i heard that storm turned left. >> andrew pierson is the director of that documentary. for you it was not merely a project, this was not merely a film, this was a labor of love. you are from the garden state. >> that's correct. thanks very having me on. i grew up in new jersey my whole life. during the storm, it dawned on me that i wanted to do something to help afterwards because there's much devastation along the coast. and being from there, this is my home, this was their home and i
don't have a lot of money. i have talent. i wanted to do that and capture something to make history for everyone. >> it follows homeowners and business owners trying to get up and running for their critical summer season. but one of the biggest roadblocks was not having money to rebuild. let's listen. >> i got my supposedly big check from the insurance company, and in my opinion, it's $35,000 to $40,000 light. if i didn't have volunteers to come and rip out, that's an extra $7,000 i would have had to spend. i saved that. >> where are we in the recovery and relief efforts, according to the people that you talk to a year later? >> the people that i talk to, the people of long beach island and stafford township are in a great place. they got there really fast after the storm with the help of an apparel company, they were able to get initial funds in place and getting it to the people that needed it most. not only that, they were able to come together, this community, and witnessing that over the
months that i was there, they were just able to do something so profound and get to a great place for lbi. the rest of the coast, we can't say that for sure. a lot of other places got the boardwalks rebuilt. but there's still the niches in there where they're just black holes, people aren't getting what they need. the poorer towns, that west coast of new jersey, all this aid that's sitting there and getting to the right people, some people aren't getting it right now. >> i understand that this isn't just a film. it's also a fund-raising project as well. on thursday, you held a screening to raise some money for relief. how did the proceeds go to help the sandy relief efforts? >> the idea was to make a film to facilitate a lot of donations and go back to the people on screen. we were able to facilitate over $30,000 to date right now. all that's going right back into the community. so people that go see the movie
pay a tick, by the dvd, that's helping. so people still want to help, they can do that. just a small thing as watching a film, you can do your part to help. >> andrew pierson, fascinating film. thank you for stopping by. >> i appreciate it. coming up, what did president obama know and when did he know it? we're talking about the website glitches. we're talking about a whole host of other things as well. the brain trust, they're standing by, just a few feet away, on the other side of this break. ♪
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damage control at the white house. the president in his weekly address today trying to reassure the american public that the government's health care website will work really soon. take a listen. >> the site isn't working the way it's supposed to yet. it's frustrating for all of us who have worked so hard to make sure everyone who needs it gets health care. in the coming weeks, we are going to get it working as smoothly as it's supposed to.
we've got people working overnight, 24/7, to boost capacity and address these problems every single day. >> let's get right to the brain trust. blanche lincoln, david nakamura. when we have former senators on, we always start with them. this time, no exception. first of all, put this down for us, how is it that the white house could have been caught apparently so unprepared? >> let's face it, all of us that deal with government, whether it's federal, state, local or whatever, it's full of bureaucracy. and what we don't know is what's frightening. the fact is that lots of times, it doesn't have the technology to talk to each other in terms of agencies. the fact is that even when they do have new technology, we've
seen some over at usda where they've gotten new technology but the longtime staff are so familiar with the legacy program. so it takes time. this week is going to be better than last week. next week is going to be better than this week. so there's a lot of glitches. but if you see what they're doing, they've got a new basically general contractor that's in there. it's a systems -- >> we all know that the contractors generally work these things out. >> and they've got somebody coming in that's going to be that. a systems integrator to make those subcontractors work. >> have we, the mainstream media, blown it out of proportion, senator? >> well, i look back to when i was one of 11 democrat that is voted with president bush on the prescription part d for medicare. it didn't work. it was a tough rollout. but certainly for those of us that voted for it, we worked with the president. i went back home to arkansas.
i worked with the regional cms folks. we did a lot of dog and pony shows across the state working with people, deputizing sunday school teachers and rotary folks to help teach those who needed to sign up for a prescription drug component to medicare, where they needed to start, help walk them through the problems that existed and eventually arkansas ended up being in the top ten in terms of volume of enrollment. it just takes time and people willing to work together. we haven't seen a whole lot of that in washington, unfortunately. >> david, kathleen sebelius was asked when the president first knew there was a problem with the rollout. take a listen to her answer. >> i think it became clear fairly early on. the first couple of days that -- >> not before that, though? not before october 1st, there was no concern at that point to the white house or h.h.s. -- >> i think we talked about having testing going forward.
and if we had an ideal situation and could have built a product in a five-year period of time, we probably would have taken five years. but we didn't have five years. >> david knack mnakamura, you ce white house on a daily basis. what is it about the president's inner circle that could have kept him from knowing the problems with the launch? >> the president has had criticisms from republicans but also within his own party. he has an insular group that he relies on. they're interested in protecting him politically -- >> sounds like you're saying yes-men. >> a little bit like that. you have his chief of staff who came from the campaign, really well-trusted by the president. i look back at stories we wrote in the early summer and denis mcdonam mcdonough said, i'm spending two hours a day going through -- the
controversies, the irs and benghazi -- but even during that, denis mcdonough says i'm focused every day on health care. it does not seem like there was the urgency going on in recent weeks to sort of portend this. in the white house they were saying, we were distracted by syria and then the government shutdown. so the president's attention was elsewhere. they do somewhat regret that. but it's hard to believe that no one was able to raise these red flags for him. >> matt, accountability and responsibility, secretary sebelius has caught a great deal of flak over the past few weeks. is it all justified? >> you know, i think she should be fired just for the sound bite that you just played. >> here's the thing, people say that -- >> we talked about having testing going forward. no, seriously, they didn't test the website as of september 26th, according to "the new york times" reporting on that. five days before and the same
day that the president gave a speech attacking the misinformation about this health care rollout. so for that reason alone. but the responsibility goes much further than kathleen sebelius. she's definitely a convenient target. there's definitely problems the way this was done. but there were political decisions made at the white house all through this to delay certain technical specs on this because they didn't want to give the republicans more ammunition. >> david, here's the thing, people have been calling for kathleen sebelius' head. the white house obviously isn't going to fire for. there's no way they get anyone else confirmed to run h.h.s. >> that would create another circus and show weakness that they acknowledged that this was that big of a mistake. there's a sense in the white house that she's not the only one to blame. you have all these things going on. they're focused on not letting that story line take control but the story line that we're going to take control by fixing this.
they have to immediate the end of november deadline. they are bringing in people to help manage this. and the president is trying to look like he's in charge. i think if they can get it fixed by then, they'll be able to recover from this. i think that hard deadline at the end of november is one that they can miss at this point. >> the glitches forcing some lawmakers to distance themselves from the program and the obama white house. we'll talk about that right after this. l right. that's ok. (dad) put it in second, put it in second. (dad) slow it down. put the clutch in, break it, break it. (dad) just like i showed you. dad, you didn't show me, you showed him. dad, he's gonna wreck the car! (dad) he's not gonna wreck the car. (dad) no fighting in the road, please. (dad) put your blinker on. (son) you didn't even give me a chance! (dad) ok. (mom vo) we got the new subaru because nothing could break our old one. (dad) ok. (son) what the heck? let go of my seat! (mom vo) i hope the same goes for my husband. (dad) you guys are doing a great job. seriously. (announcer) love a car that lasts. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
the vernon trust is back. former democratic senator from arkansas, white house correspondent for "the washington post." matt welch, editor-in-chief. hill.com reporting five democratic u.s. senators who could be vulnerable to upcoming challenges are now seeking this delay in the implementation of obama care. how much of this is about
politics, senator? how much of this is about these particular senators being legitimately concerned about obama care. >> i think so much of it is politics. i mean, it doesn't come as a surprise people are distancing themselves from the affordable care act. the pact is you people can no longer distance themselves from the fact that, you know, what we are spending in this country on health care is a percentage of our gdpings is enormous issue in our economy. so -- you know, maybe they dent like the affordable care act. but what are their alternatives? the fact is that it is not a perfect bill. until people come together and start a -- start to try to right the wrongs, and deal with the things that need to be improved in it, and make it into something that people can live with and think it is going to be good for this country, we are going to keep chasing our tails. it is ridiculous. >> here is the thing we were talking about this during the
commercial break. the piece today in "new york times" about precisely what this could mean for the viability of the program itself going forward. healthy people get on the website and try to sign for obama care. they have no luck. and the folks that do sign up -- >> the white house -- explained to reporters, including ezra klein, the most important thing about obama care on october 1 is getting young, healthy people to sign up right away and to show it is popular and good because you immediate those people basically to subsy diz the sicker people. if it is only the sick people and people in great need who are going to sign up at first and young people do not want to, that leads to a cost death spiral as they cause it. that has huge implications. this is how the white house itself looked at it from the beginning. we have good stories to tell from october 1. not a series of bad stories that we have seen so far which is going to disincentivize healthy young people for sign up for obama care. >> what's the mood now in -- at
the white house in regards to this? what are you hearing. >> all hands on deck now. have you the president himself using his weekly devil rays to talk about this. i think the bigger thing here is you talk about democrats are peeling off on this issue. yes, if this gets fixed, website, by the end of november, that will go away. i think the big narrative here is that you come out of that of the government government shutdown where they forced the hands. you quickly have the -- big shift and democrats are on the defensive. going forward, this is what the republicans want to see. this is warning they made. now it is coming true. i think the white house is putting everybody they can on this. talked about jeff, someone they trust, in managerial position. the post reported today there are 100ite oems the punch list they need to fix on the website. it is not an easy task. >> this interleft debate that's broken out over the way that the
media has been covering the obama carrollout. joan walsh writing on salon.com as predictably as night follows day the media establishment pivoted away from extremism and civil war to the train wreck that's allegedly the affordable care act. liberals helped lead the pivot. ezra klein, firing back in "the washington post." there has been a rash of commentary from some on the left that decided the real problem with obama care isn't the crippling technological issues that have made it impossible for almost anyone to run in the exchanges but media's coverage of those problems. what does it say? what does this say about the level of debate when journalists start lashing out over what should or should not be covered? >> to me it says that some people on the left are threatening to do what the right did several years ago which is getting to a place that people will -- were describing closure. on the right. popular kind of a slam term on
republicans kind of living in a dream world and thinking about strategy all the time and not thinking about actual facts as they are laid out. this is happening more on the democratic side the more we have gone lou the obama a minimum of people constantly positioning themselves and thinking about the political implications and punishing others who are not helping out the political agenda at the expense of actually punishing people who are trying to sort out a real problem that exists in the world. i think it is -- health dwri debate is happening. but i would just say to the joan walshes of the world you better watch out. you are going to wear your -- your enemies have gone previously. >> i want to come back to you quickly here because as has been noted this week, i have noted this myself, there were problems when we rolled out medicare in the early '60s and problems, as you indicated, when we rolled out medicare part d a few years ago. what, if anything, is different this time? >> i think -- the only thing that is different really -- we still have a lot of politics. it is everything has so much
politics in it. as opposed to rely thinking these things through, understanding the -- being realistic, things will have their fits and starts. you know, you -- you just got to work through it. and -- you know, we have to figure out where we want to go and i do believe, though, you know, that the budget debacles and debt ceiling and all of that has really brought washington back to the point where they realize it is mandatory we start building coalitions and figuring these things out. i am hoping that's where we go to in the next six to eight months. we have to put the economy back on track. and dealing with health care is part of that. so many other things. but people are going to have to work together and try to extract some of the politics from it. i think. >> we did not get to that because matt was going to talk to us about the war on
halloween. perhaps we will do it next weekend. thanks for watching. i will be back tomorrow at 3:00 eastern time with my guests include hawaii's governor, neil abercrombie. karen finney is standing by. she is ready go. she is wearing the top she is in that picture. that's the exact same shirt. ♪ ...when the world called for stealth... ♪ ...intelligence... endurance... affordability... adaptability... and when the world asked for the future. staying ahead in a constantly evolving world. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. so i can't afford to have germy surfaces. but a fresh sheet of bounty duratowel leaves this surface cleaner than a germy dishcloth. it's durable. and it's 3 times cleaner.
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