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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  January 20, 2011 5:30am-6:00am EST

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health care to nazis? and she's up on her own two feet. congresswoman gabrielle giffords stands up in the hospital. the one she's scheduled to leave tomorrow. less than two weeks after being shot in the head. the question is, how can this be possible? it's way too early for this. good morning, i'm willie geist, and this is "way too early," the show that has had longer hospital stays for athlete's foot. that woman is incredible. i'm glad you're up with us watching on msnbc or listening live on sirius xm radio. shoot me an e-mail. let me know why you're awake right now. or do what herby hancock does and text "awake" to 622639. we'll read the best responses later in the show. the next 30 minutes will be your cram session for this thursday, january 20. a lot to tell you about including poll numbers that have the white house smiling a little bit this morning.
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plus, you can call her obnoxious, call her a symbol to the end of american exceptionalism. now you better damn well call snooki a best-selling author when you see her stumbling down the street. it's true, details ahead. first, let's get to the news live at 5:30 at 30 rock in new york city. chinese president hu jintao is expected to meet with members of congress on capitol hill this morning after he was the guest of honor at a state dinner last night. in addition to former presidents bill clinton and jimmy carter, the star-studded guest list included microsoft ceo steve ballmer, actor jackie chan, olympic ice skater michelle kwan also there. singer barbra streisand and her husband james brolin. new jersey governor, republican chris christie. "the new york times'" tom freedman, and "vogue" editor anna wintour. at the request of the chinese delegation the menu was quintessentially american including some poached maine lobster, dry-age rib eye with
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cream spinach, and nothing more american than apple pie for dessert. while the dinner was part of the bigger goal of strengthening ties with china, hardly any mention of differences between the two world powers last night. particularly during president obama's toast. >> while it's easy to focus on our differences of culture and perspective, let us never forget the values that our people share. a reverence for family, the belief that with education and hard work and with sacrifice the future is what we make of it. and most of all, the desire to give our children a better life. >> serious business was completed earlier in the day when president obama gently but pointedly prodded china to make progress on human rights. that's been a source of tension between our two countries. >> reaffirmed america's fundamental commitment to the universal rights of all people. the united states speaks up for these freedoms and the dignity of every human being.
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not only because it's part of who we are as americans, but we do so because we believe that by upholding these universal rights all nations, including china, will ultimately be more prosperous and successful. >> president hu was candid saying "a lot still needs to be done in china in terms of human rights." that's about as far as he went. on trade, both presidents pressed for a level playing field as they met with the heads of some of this country's biggest businesses. there president obama announced trade deals worth about $45 billion, expected to create thousands of jobs here in the u.s. when the chinese leader heads to capitol hill today, there could be some tense moments when he meets with senate majority leader harry reid who in an interview earlier this week referred to president hu as a "dictator." aside from reed, mr. hu will meet with house speaker john boehner, who was not at the dinner. minority leader, nancy pelosi, and senator john kerry. later today the chinese leader
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flies to chicago for two days of meetings there. a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows president obama riding a surge of public support heading into next week's state of the union address. according to the survey, a majority of american now, 53%, approve of the way president obama is doing his job. that's an eight-point jump just from december when he was stuck in the mid 40s. after a five-week stretch that included bipartisan legislative achievements in the lame duck session of congress, mostly positive economic news and his well-received speech honoring the victims of the shootings in arizona, the political world appears to have taken an abrupt turn in his direction. 74% now say they approve of the way president obama handled the tucson tragedy. when asked for their outlook over the next five years, 53% of americans, a majority say they expect their personal situation to get better. 22% predict it will stay the same, and 21% think it will get worse. plus, 55% saying the president will strike the right
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balance when he deals with republicans in congress. the same number predict republicans will be too inflexible in dealing with the president. however, challenges remain, of course. particularly on health care where the country is split right down the middle on the question of repeal. the republican-controlled house did vote to repeal the health care law president obama signed last year. yesterday's 245-189 vote marks the fulfillment of a promise many republicans made in last fall's political campaigns. every republican along with three democrats voted to overturn the law, but with democrats in control of the senate, the vote as we've told you many times largely a symbolic gesture. they probably won't even take it up in the senate under harry reid. meanwhile, a democratic tennessee congressman is under fire for comparing republican attacks on the health care overhaul to nazi propaganda advance the by joseph koebles, the minister of propaganda for the nazis. >> they say it's a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like gerbels.
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you say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, repeat the lie and eventually people believe it. like blood libel. that's the same kind of thing. the germans said enough about the jews and the people believed it, and you had the holocaust. >> republicans there talking about health care, comparing it to nazis talking about geejews. the congressman says his speech is being taken out of context and highlighted for political gain. more on "morniernrning snow." and anthony wiener made headlines comparing this week's health care debate and republicans to a drinking game. >> there have been basically three formations by the argument of the republicans. first, they start by making stuff up. you have to wonder if any of them actually read the bill. 130,000 new agencies, not true. new irs agents, not true. death panels, not true.
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members aren't covered, not true. no tort reform, not true. i want to just advise people watching at home playing that now-popular drinking game of you take a shot whenever the republicans say something that's not true, please assign a designated driver. this is going to be a long afternoon. >> hours before yesterday's vote, house majority leader eric canner urged the senate to hold a vote on repeal. >> the new law is riddled with budget gimmick that double count savings, offset six years of benefits with ten years of tax increases, and rely on cuts to medicare and tax increases to fund a new entitlement. the realty is that this trillion dollar new government entitlement will lead to a one-size-fits-all cure and put our country and our states on a path to bankruptcy. >> senate majority leader harry reid says the legislation will not see the light of day in his chamber. nevertheless, minority leader
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mitch mcconnell says there will be a vote. arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords' recovery is progressing so well she's expected now to be transferred to a houston area rehabilitation center as early as tomorrow, if you can believe it. that's according to a statement released yesterday by her office. in yet another significant milestone, a hospital spokeswoman says giffords was able to stand on her own feet with the assistance of medical staff. she did that yesterday and then looked out the window at the mountains outside her hospital room. meanwhile, a federal grand jury in tucson has indicted jared loughner for attempting to kill congresswoman giffords and two of her aides. notably absent from yesterday's indictment were any charges related to the two federal officials who were killed that day, judge john roll and giffords' staffer, 30-year-old gabe zimmerman. justice department officials say they fully intend to seek an indictment on the counts but want to build more time to -- more time to build the case. one that will almost certainly result in the death penalty or seeking of the death penalty for
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loughner. less than 24 hours after connecticut independent senator joe lieberman announced his intention to retire next year, senator john mccain is now placing his support behind lieberman for a move to defense secretary. speaking on cnn last night, mccain touted lieberman's credentials saying he is "one of the most informed members of the senate on national and homeland security issues." yesterday, lieberman said partisan politics on capitol hill made it difficult for him to continue his service. >> i have never shied from a good fight, and i never will. [ applause ] >> the reason i've decided not to run for re-election in 2012 is best expressed in the wise words from ecclesiasties. to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. at the end of this term, i will have served 24 years in the u.s. senate and 40 years in elective
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office. for me, it is time for another season and another purpose under heaven. >> as for mccain's idea of lieberman as secretary of defense, remember robert gates, the current defense secretary, said he will leave his post by the end of the year. this morning's "new york times" reports at that obama administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute guantanamo detainees. the acknowledgment the prison remains open for business. according to the "times," defense secretary gates expected to lift an order blocking the initiation of new cases which he imposed on the day of president obama's inauguration. that would clear the way for tribunal officials to initiate new charges against detainees for the first time under the obama administration. charges probably then would come within weeks. a newly completed investigation of the killing of daniel pearl in pakistan nine years ago is making public new evidence that a senior al qaeda operative executed the "wall street journal" reporter.
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9/11 mastermind, khalid sheikh muhammed said that he killed pearl. but there have been lingering doubts about his involvement. the united states has not charged him with the crime. however, an analysis of the video of the slaying now corroborates that confession. the report also says that the four men currently in prison for killing pearl were not present during his beheading but were convicted of murder because pakistani authorities knowingly relied on perjured testimony and ignored other leads. still ahead on "way too early," chicago bears fan, president obama, makes a super bowl promise. we'll tell you what he said about his squad. and we'll go back to last night's state dinner and hit the red carpet to hear barbra streisand explain why she thinks she was invited to dine with the president of china. was it because she used to serve chinese food? that's what she said. that story and a check of weather.
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the energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor, we alight our country and all who serve it. and so, my fellow americans, ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. [ applause ] what are you looking at?
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logistics. ben? the ups guy? no, you see ben, i see logistics. logistics? think--ben is new markets. ben is global access-- china and beyond. ben is a smarter supply chain. ben is higher margins. happier customers... everybody wins. logistics. exactly. see you guys tomorrow. [ chuckles ] you think that is some information i would have liked to know? i like tacos. you invited eric? i thought eric gave you the creeps. [ phone buzzes ] oh. [ chuckles ] yeah. hey. [ male announcer ] don't be left behind. at&t. the nation's fastest mobile broadband network is getting faster with 4g. that's why there's lubriderm® daily moisture.
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5:45 in the morning. beautiful live picture of the jefferson memorial in washington, d.c. they're still at the after parties for the state dinner. let's check weather with nbc meteorologist bill karins. snow heading our way. >> that's amazing. traffic starts early in d.c. >> yeah. roads are -- nation's business begins early, my man. >> tomorrow, a little coating of
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snow on the roads for you in d.c. and many other areas, too. we're tracking a mini snowstorm. not a big, huge event. we can expect storms like this, but it is affecting st. louis this morning. you picked up about six inches last night. the kids may get themselves a snow day. areas around louisville, cincinnati, lexington, indianapolis, too, that's where the light snow is this morning. our snowfall forecast, the only blockbuster area was missouri. that's who got six to nine inches. now from here on out, the storm is much weaker than that. about two to four inches, areas like indianapolis, also there in pittsburgh. memphis and nashville, little rock could pick up one to two inches. even some of our southern cities. by the time the snow starts about midnight from d.c. to philly to new york, it will be over with by probably about middle of the morning tomorrow. when you go on your morning commute, we'll have about two to four inches of snow on the ground through much of southern new england down through new york, philly. d.c. will call on one or two, maybe three around baltimore. i think you get the general idea. a slippery morning commute for many people. not a big, huge event that will
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probably cancel schools. >> hitting this area around midnight tomorrow? >> midnight until 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. >> see it in the morning. thank you very much. in sports, this weekend the bears play the packers in the nfc title game. and we all know president obama is a big chicago fan. remember back in 2006 during espn's monday night football, then-senator obama slipped on the bears cap and guaranteed that his team was going all the way. they were not going all the way, as it turned out. yesterday, he didn't go that far. during a press event in the oval office, one reporter did d ask the president if he would attend the super bowl on february 6 in dallas. president obama said, "if the bears win, i'm going. no doubt." records show that no sitting president has ever attended a super bowl. the front cover of yesterday's "the new york post,"" this is yesterday's "post," jet fly-by. on the return flight home after beating the patriots, the jets players requested that the plane's captain take them close
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enough to see the only pyrost - the empire state building, which was lit up in green and white to celebrate the win. yesterday we got audio of the exchange twcbetween the captaind new york control tower. >> i've had an unusual request. it's green and white. these guys want to get as close as we can to see it. >> we will work on that. >> thank you. >> the empire state should be about 11:00, four miles. does it look lit up? >> yeah, we got 200 people looking at it. real pretty night for it, too. >> planned that. >> and really appreciate it, guys. >> glad to do it. >> there you go. the jets got their fly-by. we'll see if they get another one this weekend. how about tennis for you? kim kleisters, last year's u.s. open champion, cruised to a third-round blowout of her opponent at the australian open. her most entertaining performance came after the match. kleisters called out the man who was interviewing her, todd
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woodbridge, for a text message he sent to one of her fellow players and friends in which he speculated that kleisters maybe pregnant. >> by the way, rene stoffs showed me a text message that you wrote to her about me. in sydney. >> what did i say? >> you thought i was pregnant. >> oh, she did not! [ crowd reaction ] >> i guess we've got to ask -- are you? >> no, i'm not. let me -- let me say what was written in the message -- first of all, it said "she looks really grumpy and her [ bleep ] are bigger." >> oh, my goodness. [ applause ] >> wow! kleisters calling him out in front of the world. that's tough. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," a democratic congressman plays the nazi card in the debate of the repeal of president obama's health care law. thought we weren't doing that
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anymore. we'll tell you why see it cohen is not apologizing. and when we come back here, we'll huddle around the water cooler for a snapshot of where we are as a country. snooki is officially a "new york times" best-selling author. that's where we are as a country. we'll be right back. unless the world goes dark for all eternity before we return. ♪ [ male announcer ] not all steel is created equal. not all manufacturing processes are created equal. not all engineering standards are created equal. which is why not all luxury vehicles are created equal. the hard way means never taking short cuts.
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for some time now, this has been a big date in u.s. history. january 20 has served as inauguration day for a number of presidents including john f. kennedy, ronald reagan, george w. bush, fdr, and our current commander in chief, barack obama. it was not always this way. if you want to sound smart, tell your friends inauguration day was on march 4 from 1793 until 1933. ratification of the 20th amendment in 1933 changed the start date of the president's term in office, pushed up to january 20. every inauguration since then has fallen on this date. for the world news, let's huddle up and talk about last night's big dinner. boy, who wasn't there? you had your jackie chans were there, you had your chris christies were there, your y yo yomas, the clintons, bill
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and hillary. the list went on and on anna wintour. herby hancock. who knew he would be there? let's listen to red carpet arrivals. >> i just want to take some photos. >> are you going to show them any moves in there? >> not today. [ laughter ] >> thank you very much. >> how did you get invited tonight? >> i worked in a chinese restaurant. >> it's a great night for our country. doesn't matter whether you're a republican or democrat tonight. you're an american tonight, and we're honored to be here. >> but there's virtually no other members of your party here. what does that say? >> it just makes me unique once again. >> how about jackie chan rolling up with his own camera?
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got to love that guy. big night at the white house. this is news you might want to take the children out of the room a little bit. it does not speak well of our -- of where our country's heading. we got news that snook, snooki of "jerszy shore," and let me tell you from experience, no one can ever take this away from you. she's officially a "new york times" best seller. she will check in at number 24 with her novel "a shore thing." aificationalized -- a fictionalized report of her and j's time at the shore. >> "omg, i'm a new york times best selling author! thank you so much to my fans, family and everyone who made this possible. i love you all." this diminishes our achievements on the best sellers list. outsold by snooki. and "american idol," big show. new judges, a new deal over there. you got j. lo, stephen tyler joining the show. along with randy jackson.
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let's drink it all in. >> i am so overwhelmed. i can't believe it -- had ripped. i mean -- ♪ oh baby you got too you got to put me through ♪ ♪ hallelujah i just love her so ♪ ♪ yeah yes! [ screams ] >> oh, thank you, god! >> a lot of people expecting j. lo -- i just head this -- i didn't come up with this t. people expect her to become j. no like simon cowell, the mean one. while you were awake, your best-selling texts and emails next. [ shapiro ] at legalzoom, you can take care of virtually
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