tv Morning Joe MSNBC February 21, 2013 6:00am-9:00am EST
that case against oscar pistorius. at the top of the show, we asked you, why are you awake? it's a good question. j.t. with your answers. >> peter alexander, teamed up s. no snow yet, but when it comes, i'm ready. bring it. >> don't worry, i think it will be brought. as bill karins says, get that shovel ready. >> i hate to admit, peter's great. he has those conservative good looks that can't work. however, he needs to move around and saunter, et cetera. >> we'll get on that. appreciate the guidance. always been proud of my sauntering capabilities. more of that coming. thanks to you, j.t. "morning joe" beginning right now. here now is what the vatican is doing. you tell me if this is right or wrong, okay? take a look. ♪ >> pope benedict is stepping
down, and the roman catholic church needs a new spiritual leader. could it be you? announcing mountain dew's pope n win contest. check specially marked mountain dew bottles. >> hey, mom, i won! >> plus other great prizes like a pool table and movie tickets. visit mountaindew.com for complete rules. >> good morning, it's thursday, february 21st. welcome to "morning joe." >> it's a big day. >> it is a big day. a live look at times square. inside the studio here, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle. >> yes? >> are you completely buttoned? okay. whatever. >> have you buttoned everything up? >> i think so. >> it didn't look like it for a second there. msnbc political analyst and visiting professor at nyu and former democratic congressman, harold ford jr. >> we love harold. >> and he's all buttoned up. >> it's the day. >> i know, i'm getting there. i'm getting there.
it's the buildup. we also have with us democratic political strategist -- >> oh! >> -- james carville. >> look at this! >> what is this? >> more than that. >> strategist. >> he's the co-author of the book "it's the middle class, stupid!" and you're so right about that. >> thank you. >> good to have you on board this morning. this is going to be fun. i'm a little nervous. yeah. >> you'll somehow get through it. >> somehow or another. >> you will somehow get through it. i'm a little concerned, though. i brings this vile, vile sticker. what's that lsu thing you've got there? >> he's trying to insult you already? >> it's really ugly. >> i'll teach there, too. what the heck. >> a lot going on today. look at the front page of "usa today." we'll start there. new polling is showing that president obama has a strong lead over congressional republicans on a host of big issues playing out right now in washington. that's according to the you in noons from "usa today" and pew
research center. 45% of those polled say they support the president's approach to cutting the federal deficit. 38% support republicans, even a majority of republican voters endorse tax hikes as well as spending cuts. on gun reform, the president's approach polls six points higher than that of the gop. the poll also finds less than one-third of americans would blame the president if the sequester cuts kick in. nearly half of all americans would blame republicans. and on immigration, half of those polled say the president is taking the right approach. 33% endorse how republicans are tackling the issue. >> so james, if i'm still congressman in northwest florida and somebody hands me this and says, you're in trouble. i'm in trouble. i may get 79% instead of 80% of the vote, but that's what's
running the republican brand into the ground. the fact that they've got guys that are just looking at their district and saying i'm going to win anyway. i can just -- i can just ignore what's happening to the party. that's a huge challenge for them. >> it's a terrible challenge. and two things. one, it's part gerrymandering. part of it's natural clustering. i think it was a florida third where you had a guy like cliff sterns who had been in there a long time, had a 98% voting record. a guy runs against him and says you mow what? you're not conservative enough. >> right. >> by the way, when you talk about clustering, it's one thing i noticed in florida. you know when they passed the civil rights acts that made sure there were minority districts, that actually was great for a couple of minority candidates, better for republicans because you gerrymander through, like florida, for instance. >> sure. >> so you have all of these republicans, and it is gerrymandering. >> that was smart, but look, why
don't you have a district. you have an african-american district in memphis -- >> tennessee is the only state that was not covered. but your point is, it was the voting rights act. >> we'll crash your own district, fine. all the other ones sort of branch out. but what's happened of late, the democrats have just normally clustered so much in the cities that it's just become a natural thing. but no, it's terrible. when you get to the presidential election, where you are? >> exactly. and that's a problem. how does the president of the united states take advantage of this? how does he -- >> i think he is. >> i think he is. i agree with mika. you give a speech and you talk about background checks for gun cguns which people want. >> what about the sequester? >> the sequester has an advantage. this is cruel to republicans but it's true. not many people know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel.
therefore it's a republican thing. it just sounds stupid. >> stupid and cruel. >> explain to people, there's just over one week to go until the march 1st -- you're going to be tough, too, aren't you -- deadline when the automatic spending cuts take a big bite out of federal programs and the pentagon. 800,000 civilian employees have been told by the defense department that they will likely be placed on unpaid leave. with the house and senate still in recess, a number of democrats are calling for congress to reconvene to deal with this mess. secretary of state john kerry, meanwhi meanwhile, is reminding his former colleagues that actions here at home do have global implications. take a listen. >> it is often said that we cannot be strong at home if we're not strong in the world. but in these days of a looming budget sequester that everyone actually wants to avoid, or most, we can't be strong in the world unless we are strong at
home. my credibility is a diplomat, working to help other countries create order is strongest when america, at last, puts its own fiscal house in order. and that has to be now. let's reach a responsible agreement that prevents these senseless consults. let's not lose this opportunity because of politics. >> you know, mike barnicle, politics is such a cruel, cruel game. seriously. there's one guy that gets to the top of the heap. everybody else is disappointed. and even the president ends up broken most of the time. it's very rare that a guy like john kerry who has dreamed his entire life of being able to say, my career as a diplomat actually gets to live out his dream. >> he is living out his dream. >> remember what ted kennedy said to you after he saw you on the show? >> yeah, yeah. you fell into a boatload of
butter. >> you fell into a tub of butter. john kerry's fallen into a tub of butter. he is happy there. >> he's in the zone. >> but he said yesterday that congress was a bigger threat than china when it came to -- >> at this point. >> off of what james said, it's very unfair in a sense that the republicans, they are in a tough position. front page story, "new york times," gop is resisting obama pressure on tax increase. and again, i absolutely agree with james. you walk around, nobody really can define what sequester means, but they know instinctively, sequester means if you're a millionaire, you're going to be okay. and sequester's going to screw you if you're not a millionaire. that's what the sense of this is. >> i guarantee you that the wait at the new york airport and washington airport will be six hours long. >> absolutely. we were talking about it yesterday. >> jack lew is a really smart guy. he knows -- he's going to know where people get it. it's not going to be on
something that you're not going to feel. they're going to make you feel this coming out of the chute. >> if you want to fly. because the air traffic controllers, they'll lay them off. >> so james, you are -- >> all the tsa people. >> you just cut tsa. >> you cut tsa in half. >> you're going to be three hours in line. >> how would you advise republicans right now to get out of this mess? they believe that spending cuts and revenue -- no revenue, but spending cuts would be a part of this, what would you advise them? because the country seems to want a balanced approach. how would the thinker and framer of these issues advise? >> it's hard when you're a congressional party. poor joe, every day there's a republican saying something stupid. joe's going please, man. you're killing me. >> killing me. >> he's frustrated. >> it's going to take a while, but it will happen. if i'm a republican, i want everybody to run for president. and you want someone to beat somebody that stands up and
looks strong. and beating herman cain and michele bachmann don't count. that doesn't count. you know, a rubio and a jindal and john thune, whatever. chris christie. anybody that comes in and says what should i do? you say my god, man, run. >> run, man, run. >> we've got to flush this out. somebody's got to look strong. and somebody's -- that way we can do this. but if you've got all the congressional republicans saying stuff, you're just going to have your fist in your forehead every morning. >> i mean, my theory -- i've always had the "time" magazine theory of politics. the great man theory or the great woman theory when it comes to parties. you always have -- you know, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, the democratic party was dead. george h.w. bush was going to win. bill clinton wins. and republicans are dead. two years later, we come in because newt dominates. then it's bill clinton. i mean, it takes -- everybody talks about how the republican
party's in horrible shape. and they are in horrible shape, but they need one strong leader. >> oh, yeah. a good one. >> when allen west says there's 78 communists, go hey, idiot, shut up. no, they're not. when you get a republican president, they can do it. >> they can do it. and allen west knows that his phone's going to ring when he says it. >> right. so he won't say it. >> exactly. and so not until a leader emerges, you're just going to have your fist in your forehead a lot because they're just going to outdo each other. and parties go through this. we went through it. >> joe's come up with, i think, a great frame on this. you were advising president clinton, then governor clinton in '91. you talked about the middle class, frankly the values of the party had strayed from -- or at least the public view separated from the mainstream of the country. what's the central message? joe's laid this out succinctly over and over again and i think expresses frustration, but how would you advise them, and what
would be the not slogan but mantra? >> william buckley was starting it, he said you can't have the john burke society in here. this is not going to work. he slapped them back. when we were trying to emerge to take the '70s and to some extent the '80s out of the democratic party, bill clinton set up and said these kinds of lyrics are inappropriate. you can't do that. the republicans need somebody that's a leader to slap somebody back. >> right. >> by doing that, that's an indication that no, buckley said we're not that inclusive. we're not inclusive enough. >> he kicked out the john burkes, and he went to war with a lot of the ann rand types and made the movement stronger. we said it in realtime. people thought i had something against glenn beck. i just had something against glenn beck saying something really stupid and offensive. remember when glenn beck said the president was racist who hated all white people? >> that was incredible. >> we said on the show every
day, mitt romney, if you want to run this party, this is a great opportunity. stand up, speak out, knock him down, make him apologize. and if he doesn't apologize, tell him that he has no part of your party. and it would have helped him. >> right. >> but we don't have -- and you know, we've been talking about this for a couple days. mike, we've got -- we've got people on the right that are in this bubble right now. you know, david frum called it entertainment complex syndrome. i think s.e. cupp has been getting hammered because she dared to criticize talk radio people who are saying things that loses national elections. you've got to have leaders that will turn out against the crazies in your own party. and if you do, you start winning those middle -- those swing voters. >> in addition to coming up with a strong candidate, as james pointed out, they've got to do at least two other things. one is realize that the talk
radio audience is not the country. that's not the country. the other thing is they've got to drop the resentment factor that's saddled so many of them. they resent everything. they resent immigrants, gay marriage, common-sense talk, the resentment factor is so thick among some republicans. >> so much of it has to do with style, too. ronald reagan said the same things in 1966 when he was running for governor of california. that barry goldwater said in 1964. but he said it with a smile on his face. and there's always an optimistic end to a story. so much of this is stylistic. >> it is stylistic. and this is the one that drives me crazy. you hear a lot of republicans, you know, there was a time in america when we stood up when this country was great. about 60% say that wasn't my time in america. in i'm a woman in the '50s, that wasn't my golden era. if i'm a hispanic, i wasn't part of that deal. >> not getting paid. >> here are some opportunities. the nra will pressure senators, most of them democrats, who have
2014 races. the initial strategy, local newspaper ads. according to "roll call" starting today, full-page ads will go up in markets across the country including maine where republican senator susan collins is the incumbent. they will also target other states with digital advertising and full-page ads in "usa today" regional editions all part of a campaign estimated at nearly $375,000. >> which by the way, you say okay, $375,000, that's pretty impressive. digital ads until you realize michael bloomberg spends $375 million in all of those areas. whatever they put in, bloomberg's going to put in more. the giffords are going to raise more. this is a losing cause. >> why don't they say the nra might not be as powerful as it used to be now because of the forces against it? can they say that? >> you know, the thing is, you've got wayne lapierre. >> yeah. >> who really was a lot closer
to where americans are today. >> almost aware. >> than he is right now. because 92% of americans want universal background checks. i think that's coming. >> all right. meanwhile, president obama gained an ally in his efforts to pass new gun legislation in the wake of the newtown shootings. congressman joe heck, republican from nevada, backed universal background checks for firearms saying, quote, i think the idea of background checks across the board, i'm not opposed to them. and i disagree with people who say that this is going to be the first step to gun registration, which leads to gun con physician indication. c con physician >> they go through a background check. and guess what? they're not part of a national registry. >> right. >> nobody's coming to get their guns. the black helicopters around circling their house. nobody's taking their livestock. you can do this.
you can make sure that felons can't walk into a gun store or go to a gun show and buy weapons. >> this is one of the points that's been made, james and mike and you over and over again on the show. it's hard to square this with common sense. how is it that you would want someone to buy a firearm and not know if they have beaten their children, if they have robbed from something in their neighborhood, if they've attempted murder, or if they suffer from a mental imbalance? for anyone -- >> wait, hold on a second. that may disqualify you and most of us. >> we shouldn't joke about that. >> that actually is going to be the most serious part. you've got to make sure that it's not -- >> i was not joking about that. it's a very serious issue. but the fact that any republican or democrat could be opposed to that kind of check -- >> yeah. >> -- is what you speak of. it's not only style, it's substance, and it makes you sound stupid, democrat or republican. >> north florida, in tennessee and louisiana, bill clinton from arkansas says you have to be careful that you're not attacking gun companies.
>> yeah. >> what can happen is the democrats can shoot too far here. >> do you think they are? >> i don't think they are yet, but look, i've been around this joint for a long time. and they get full of themselves, and they get out there. >> is background checks too much, more how should it be tailored? >> talk about specific things you can do, and don't attack gun culture. guns are a big part of the culture in a large part of this country. where i grew up, it was. >> it still is. >> it's big here in new york state. people can drive 80 miles outside. >> we're talking about gun culture, not assault weapon culture, right? >> i agree. but once you go -- that stuff really bites back politically. i've seen it bite democrats back. there's this big thing in a poll and you become excessive in your language. >> you know it happens all the time. it's the overreach that always kills you. and i've got to say, when you talk about what the president's doing right now on sequestration, i think he's overreaching on the taxes.
he's going back to talk, we need a more balanced approach. he's saying the same thing he said before. i don't want to get off track, but that's where the great danger is. i think in this case, if you're talking about universal background checks, you're good. if you're talking about gun trafficking, you're fine. i think even middle ground, the magazines, there you get into the middle ground. and then when you get into assault weapons, it gets into this ugly fight where is it cosmetic? are we really talking about, you know, semiautomatic? that's where it starts to get a little messy. >> some the shenandoah valley, the opening of deer season is second only to christmas day. it is bigger than thanksgiving. >> yeah. >> it's bigger than anything. that is -- and that's just not an isolated thing. i'll bet you in 25% of the country, the biggest holiday in pennsylvania, those guys, they shoot people out of the tree half the time. >> pennsylvania, wisconsin, northwest florida. western massachusetts. this isn't just a southern thing. >> duck season in arkansas.
>> you've got to talk about this in a way that is not threatening. >> you never know. you never know what's going to connect. you know, when i ran in 1994, i was running against the tax increase, right? >> i remember it well. >> yeah. it was an ugly time. but you know what? you know what i found? i would go over to funiac springs, they weren't talking about tax increase. they were talking about nafta and guns. because the brady bill had passed, and nafta had passed. you know, i remember wandering around north florida, and i'm, like, nafta? why are they worried about nafta? it symbolized something very big that was happening. >> no doubt about it. >> a changing culture that they and americans, whether it's wisconsin or northwest florida, were concerned about. >> democrats need an 800 number. they have to establish an 800 number. call this 800 number if anyone threatens to come and confiscate
your guns. we'll take care of it. no one's going to confiscate your guns. call this 800 number. >> the great challenge is right now, a great challenge is just being able to explain to americans that universal background checks to keep guns out of felons' hands does not equal registration, gun registration, and nobody's coming for your guns. by the way, the second amendment tells us, scalia tells us, the supreme court tells us, they can't come for your guns. >> there's a lot of skeptics out there. still ahead, we have a lot to get to. chairman and publisher of "the new york daily news," mort zuckerman, congressman steny hoyer, gail collins and actor don cheadle will join us. also, the case against olympian oscar pistorius. the top detective is himself facing attempted murder charges? and that's not the only thing threatening to undermine the case. up next, this morning's
"politico playbook" takes us inside the major backlash to karl rove among some in the republican party. but first, here's bill karins tracking a major storm heading east. bill. >> yeah, mika, i'm starting off by telling people travel is not recommended in portions of six different states in the middle of this country, especially kansas. no one should be on the roads now. the worst of the storm is right over the top of you. this is how it's going to play out over the next 24 hours. an ice storm. portions of arkansas, southern missouri into southern illinois. a snowstorm, though, from kansas to northern missouri. nebraska, iowa and eventually tonight into illinois. so the worst of it this morning, wichita, kansas. it's just getting nailed. they've had thundersnow and sleet mixing in for the last two or three hours. i-35 almost impassable now from around the wichita area up to emporia. it is soon going to be snowing in kansas city. the morning rush hour there is going to be very, very troublesome. snowfall totals, again, this pink color is 6 to 12 inches. a very large area.
somewhere a little band just north of wichita and kansas city near topeka will end up with a foot of snow. that three to six inches is huge. it goes all the way to green bay to chicago to st. louis. my big-city snowfall totals when it's all said and done, a foot possible in kansas city. omaha, wichita, a little less than that. just a glancing blow really for our friends in minneapolis and chicago. you can probably deal a little better than your friends to the south with three to six. and everyone in new england, we're okay the next two days. i'm still tracking that potential storm for you as we go throughout this upcoming weekend. it looks like it's going to hit saturday night into sunday morning. significant snow interior sections of new england. more on that later during "morning joe." you're watching "morning joe." we're brewed by starbucks.
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at 26 past the hour, time now to take a look at the "morning papers." "the los angeles times," the white house is taking aggressive action to combat cyber attacks threatening china and other countries with trade and diplomatic actions. the announcement comes just a day after a security firm reported a unit of chinese military was responsible for stealing data from at least 141 u.s. and canadian companies. and "the seattle times" from the business section, boeing's developed a possible fix for the battery issue that's plagued their 787 dreamliner since the beginning of january. executives are expected now to present their solution tomorrow when they meet with faa officials, hopefully the battery won't cause the plane to blow up. industry officials say the plane could be back in the air within two months. pike, are you going to ever fly on one of those? >> no. >> there would have to be like a shakedown cruise for a couple years. >> maybe five years from now. >> the wings fall off. >> stop is it.
"the new york times," struggling to turn a profit and grow its subscription base, "the new york times" company is looking to sell "the boston globe." >> mike, here's your chance. >> revenue for "the globe" -- >> you and welch. >> 78% from last year. >> setting money aside. >> outside analysts estimate "the globe" could sell for nearly $150 million. >> not happening. >> that's not going to happen. >> in 1993, "the new york times" purchased the paper for $1.1 billion. >> why is that not going to happen, mike? >> the reality is the print newspaper product is in very big trouble, not only in the boston market but in every market. >> yeah. >> you've got huge pension liabilities you've got to assume in purchasing the paper. i would assume there will be someone who will line up to purchase it, but i would imagine the price would be $50 million to $75 million, not $150 million. >> we'll see. okay. and "usa today," a new study has revealed that the happiest place in america, according to twitter
trends, and they look for words like beauty and food and wine, helped napa, california, nab the top spot. beaumont, texas, came in dead last. a lot of angry tweeters in beaumont. >> a lot of swearing and profanity on the social media site aimed at the city. >> hawaii was ranked the top state. and james, louisiana was worst! >> why? >> oh, my goodness. >> why would that happen? >> profanity and swearing are part of the criteria. >> "the washington post," the battle against obesity has taken a positive turn. a new study finds calorie intake among children has declined for the first time in nearly 40 years. >> you have to be happy about that. >> well, it's moving in the right direction. a drop in sugar consumption is the leading factor. however, fast food intake among low-income families remain high. we'll have to look at that. >> i had an in n out burger this
week. that big orange, what are you talking about? >> that big drink. >> oh. they've got to bring those things east. >> oh, yeah, the in n out burger? >> there's five guys in the city now. >> let's go find it right now. >> we also need chick-fil-as, crystal's, what taburger. where is the nearest one? it's still big. former congressman jesse jackson's facing jail time after pleading guilty to misusing hundreds of thousands of campaign funds. a tearful jackson apologized to his family and friends. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams takes us through this sad case. >> reporter: for jesse jackson jr., the walk into the courthouse was the end of a slow-motion fall from grace.
he told a federal judge, for years i have lived off my campaign, admitting that he took money received in political contributions and used it to make more than 3,000 separate purchases for himself and his wife over the past seven years. a $43,000 gold watch, $19,000 for one of michael jackson's guitars, $16,000 for a pair of elk heads. tens of thousands more in furnishings for their homes in washington and chicago. total value, $750,000. >> jesse jackson jr. had the drive, the ability and the talent to be the voice of a new generation. but he squandered that talent. >> reporter: as he left, jackson was apologetic. >> it's not a proud day. i'm sorry i let everybody down. >> reporter: but his lawyer says at age 47, he still has a promising future. >> a man that talented, a man that devoted to public service, a man who has done so much for
so many has another day. there will be another chapter in jesse jackson's life. >> reporter: his wife, sandra, a former chicago alderman, was at the same courthouse tearfully pleading guilty to a related charge. jackson will be sentenced in june and will almost certainly face prison time, perhaps as much as four years. >> that was nbc's pete williams reporting. >> it's a sad story. harold, you served with jesse. as did i. >> i know jesse. it's sad. i know the family well. my prayers go out to his kids and to the entire family. and i hope there is another chapter in his life. >> i hope they can turn it around. let's go to "politico." joining us now with the "politico playbook," the editor in chief is with us this morning, john harris. and we'll start with the backlash to karl rove trying to play kingmaker in the next election, not working so well. >> that's true, mika. first off, let's underscore why this is important. the institutional republican party, the official republican party, is so weak that karl
rove, even after all these years, remains one of the top two or three people, as we discuss what is the future of this very weakened republican party. what's interesting and what maggie in "politico" this morning discusses is the way he is taking arrows from republicans. he's used to taking arrows for a dozen years from democrats, from the media, from lots of sources. now the arrows are coming from republicans. two sources, activists who don't like karl rove's establishment-based message and donors who just question whether his efforts are effective. so it's really got them on the fence. >> how much money did he raise in the last cycle and spend of donors' money? >> several hundred million dollars. i don't have the precise figure. >> everybody's got a bad election. it happens. everybody has a bad election. >> that's right. >> you're only as good as your last election. but i've got to think, it didn't help that he was so wrong on so many counts. and like dick morris, kept going on fox saying they're going to
win. even through the night. i'm just wondering, especially with that performance election night, because even bush people that ran the bush white house are whispering quietly. you know, karl always had his own numbers. he always had this alternate reality. he's getting it from all sides. >> look, over the long term, life is more fair than unfair. karl rove's greatest strength, i think, is this incredible confidence that he brings to the game of politics. i do think he's very, very skilled, operative. in this case that strength became a weakness. it removed him from the reality of the republican problems, at least in the way he talked about them. it looked like he was putting a happy face as the ship got lower and lower beneath the waterline. i don't think this is by any means the end of karl's career. i think he's going to continue to be a major force in the republican party in the 2014 election and probably the 2016 election as well. >> james, karl rove, how much
harder is it for karl to pick up the phone after 2012 and say hey, give me a couple million dollars? we're going to get it right this time. >> you know, it was harder, but sometimes in politics you need to do things and not say it. and harold, when rahm was there and was recruiting people at the committee, any good committee chairman in the house, he really tried to get the better candidates in. you try to talk other candidates out. and by the way, you could say to a candidate, you didn't run, if you get in there, i just want you to know that people are going to dump $250,000 on you. i don't know -- i'm not sure why karl had to announce they were going to do this. sometimes you can just do things in politics without kind of announcing, and you work in tandem with the republican house committee to try to get better people on the senate committee. obviously, when he did this, it was like i -- the way it came across is i, karl rove, will determine who runs for the senate in what states, and people said no.
and then you've got the whole thing where they're raising money off of it, and steve king is saying this. and another guy is saying send me money because karl rove is getting ready to attack me. it's a predictable follow-up to this kind of thing that you see. >> john harris, thank you so much. >> thank you, john. >> see you soon. coming up, an update on the oscar pistorius case where top prosecutors are now calling for the lead detective to be dropped from the investigation after he was hit with his own set of attempted murder charges. >> is that bad? >> that's not good. >> is that bad? that sounds like louisiana or boston. >> those details are next when "morning joe" comes right back. ♪ [ instrumental ] [ boy ] i used to hate eating healthy stuff. but badger likes it, so i do too. i used to have bad dreams, but not anymore. [ barks ]
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my goodness. all right. lure looking at live pictures of the considerate house in south africa where there are new questions this morning not only about olympian oscar pistorius but about the top detective on the case. that officer is facing his own allegations of attempted murder for allegedly opening fire on a van a few years back. and now top prosecutors are calling for botha to be dropped from this case. one official is calling the timing of attempted murder charges against botha, quote,
totally weird, saying the detective should be replaced. and on wednesday the prosecution case against pistorius began to unravel with revelations of a series of police blunders including a bullet that was never found and therefore left at the scene by the forensics team. investigators also lost track of a legal ammunition that was found inside the house, and botha walked through the crime scene without protective shoe coverings. >> come on. >> botha -- >> who do they think shot this woman, a kangaroo? give me a break. come on. this is just ridiculous. >> well, botha also claimed that investigators found -- >> mike, you're our south africa legal expert here. what's going on here? >> off of what we know so far, just according to reports, i would say it's going to be pretty difficult to prove, you know, premeditation. two people. two people, no witnesses. i mean, he killed this poor woman, no doubt about that.
>> right. >> but premeditation? i think that's going to be tough to prove. >> this detective also claimed that investigators found banned testosterone at the home but later said testing was still being done on the substance. he then admitted he didn't even read the whole name on the container which the defense says contained herbal supplements. and while botha said neighbors heard fighting coming from the house, he also conceded that one of the witnesses lived at least 1,000 feet away. >> do you think that botha knows inspector kluzell? >> he saw ryan braun's name on it. he just assumed. >> prosecutors believe pistorius put on his prosthetic legs and walked about 23 feet into his bathroom before the shooing and killing his girlfriend, model reeva steenkamp, who was locked in an adjacent toilet room. investigators say it appears the bullets were fired at a downward
angle, supporting the theory that pistorius had time to put on his legs. the story claims he was not wearing the prosthetics and was terrified of a possible burglar. under cross-examination, detective botha -- >> when i'm scared somebody's breaking in my house, i run and start shooting wildly through a bathroom door. >> the detective admitted there was not enough evidence to disprove pistorius' version of events. pistorius is expected to find out today whether he will be granted bail or remain in prison. >> this is a bizarre case. >> lock the guy up. keep him locked up. >> bottom line, young woman is dead. >> exactly. >> that's not in dispute. coming up next, border security takes center stage in the immigration debate. the white house says our border is more secure than ever, but republicans disagree. writer for "bloomberg businessweek" elizabeth dwoskin is here with her latest next. alec, for this mission i upgraded your smart phone.
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staples. that was easy. all right. with us now, writer from "bloomberg businessweek," elizabeth dwoswin. her latest piece, "while nobody was looking, the border gods secured." she writes this. the porous border has long been the republicans' main argument against reforming immigration laws. the last time congress took up the issue in 2007, it bogged down over the government's inability to stop the flow of undocumented laborers. this time, those looking to revive concerns about a lawless border must contend with a far different set of facts: the line between mexico and the u.s. is now more secure than it's been in decades. obama has poured money and resources into border security.
in his first term, he spent $73 billion on immigration enforcement. standing on the stretch of the southwest border between tijuana and san diego on february 4th, homeland security secretary janet napolitano declared, "i believe the border is secure." elizabeth, welcome back to the show. good to see you. >> thank you. you, too. >> what are the challenges ahead given this? >> i mean, look. we've seen, you know, as the debate -- the debate coming in, we've seen the republicans led by rubio lay down their red lines and they've said we're not going to have immigration reform without a tighter, more secure border. and if you really listen to what they're saying, they're saying 100% sealed border which is first of all, logistically impossibility. second of all, it would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. it might not be surprising, but then you realize that the border has completely transformed from six years ago when congress last debated immigration. it's a completely different border now. one of the reasons is that obama has showered resources on it, you know, record resources, $73
billion. we have nine drones, ten drones patrolling the border, 650 miles of fence. he's doubled the number of towers. >> how much more secure, how tighter can it get? >> how tighter can it get? well, it's a hard question to answer, too, because fewer people have been coming from mexico. and part of that is the bad economy in the u.s. there's just fewer jobs. part of that is a good economy in mexico. part of it's our enforcement. and of course, drug cartels and the drug war in mexico have played a huge role. >> but james, republicans are going to have to talk about border security, border security, border security to sell the other part of this. we saw john mccain and jeff flake, the two senators from arizona, having to sort of go back and forth and back and forth and slowly move their constituents along. and the way they do that is by talking tough on the border. >> yes. and this is politics playing out. right after the election, even sean hannity said well, maybe i'm for some kind of a border thing. the people in the republican party voting in these republican
primaries, they're not sold on this. and i think senator mccain found that when he went back to arizona. it's going to happen time and time again. and they do have to bring them along. >> it's going to be tough in louisiana, too, isn't it? >> very. >> mary landrieu. is mary, the democratic senator, going to talk about we need immigration reform? >> i'll let her speak for herself. the argument to make is you're rewarding people out of here illegally. that's not what you should do. there are many arguments against that that i agree with. she's right, the border, for whatever reason, it might be because of our economy. it might be because of increased security. it might be because of mexico's economy, but there are fewer people crossing the border than there have been in a long, long time. they can make that case that there's been real progress made there. >> and it's not just the republican primary voters. i mean, when you ask 70% of americans think that we should have tighter border security before or at the same time as immigration reform. that's 70% of people think that. it's not just the primary
voters. >> and it is, i mean, majority of americans do support that reform. so i wonder, is this a message that the president's going to start trying to get out more aggressively as they go into the immigration debate? >> i mean, this is his political capital. it's unbelievable that, you know, six years ago during the immigration debate, you have people who are progressives fighting border security, and the republicans had the upper hand. those people came to the white house, and what did they start doing? they started deporting record numbers of people, 1.5 million people. they've alienated -- of course, it's not surprising, but they've alienated their base. and so they're hoping that that's going to pay off now in this debate. and the question is whether it will. >> they deported a lot of people, and as james suggested, a lot of self-deportation because our economy has just not been as strong as it was back, obviously, from 2000 to 2008 when we had an awful lot of illegal immigrants coming in. >> elizabeth dwoskin, thank you so much from "bloomberg
businessweek." tomorrow we'll have tom friedman from "the new york times" and secretary of housing and urban development, shean donovan. and coming up, a dramatic cover story for this week's "time" magazine into what's really destroying our health care system and costing us billions of dollars. more "morning joe" when we come back. the patient, presented with
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in chief of "u.s. news & world report," mort zuckerman, is here. more "morning joe" in just a moment. tax refund time is here. i'm with malcom and kelly who are looking for a great new smartphone. you think you can find one at walmart? maybe. let's go see. alright. let him tell you about sprint. we've got the samsung galaxy s iii on the sprint 4g lte network for just $148! nice! wow. and -- you get a $50 gift card. awesome. we can split it. i don't think so. okay. [ earl ] see for yourself. get a $50 walmart gift card
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now that president obama has won re-election, vice president joe biden has made no secret of his desire to run for president in 2016. does you know that? joe biden wants to run. yesterday biden participated in a q&a on facebook. he started strong. in my opinion, biden ended up trying way too hard to appeal to the young facebook crowd. >> i'd like to know if you're having a party whether or not the parents lock the liquor cabinet. that's just me. there were a lot of cars like my car, a corvette i had as a young man, still have it, 1967 corvette. you should be able to go buy a flamethrower. you should be able to buy an m-1 tank. you should be able to buy a grenade launcher. buy a shotgun. buy a shotgun. >> okay.
>> wow! >> welcome back to "morning joe." >> he's fired up. >> look at the sun coming up. >> gorgeous. >> so pretty. another pretty day. it's going to be cold, though. harold ford jr. and james carville still with us. joining the set, the editor in chief of "u.s. world & world report," mort zuckerman. we have a proposition for you, a business proposition. >> yes. you're making too much money. you're making way too, too much money. >> could you please buy me "the boston globe"? >> you need writeoffs. >> what is it, 50 cents now to get it? i'll get you one. >> it's a little more expensive. >> i'll get you a week's subscription just to show you the kind of guy i am. >> that's something. >> that seems a little cheap, but okay. >> why do you think he has all the money? he didn't make all that money spending it. >> i still think it might be a good deal. >> we'll see. >> it's an idea. let's get to the news. new polling showing that president obama has a strong lead over congressional republicans on a host of big issues playing out right now in washington.
that's according to new numbers from "usa today" and pew research center. 45% of those polled say they support the president's approach to cutting the federal deficit. 38% support republicans, even a majority of republican voters endorse tax hikes as well as spending cuts. on gun reform, the president's approach polls six points higher than that of the gop. the poll also finds less than one-third of americans would blame the president if the sequester cuts kick in. nearly half of all americans would blame republicans. and on the issue of immigration, half of those polled say the president is taking the right approach. 33% endorse how republicans are attempting to tackle the issue. >> republicans seem to have all the advantages. i mean, democrats seem to have all the advantages right now, don't they? >> the republicans are on a roll. it's not easy to lose your public position on almost every issue, but they're succeeding in doing it. >> what's happening?
what's gone wrong with the republican party? >> well, two things. one is they don't have the bully pulpit. they don't have the presidency to operate from. and two is when they do present it, they present it in the narrowest of terms. there's no populist appeal to what they're doing. they've had some opportunities, it seems to me, to do better than they're doing. but you have a congressional group there that seems to be so completely focused on their own internal politics that they're losing the country. >> and focused on their one district, one out of 435 districts. james was talking about it last hour. when you don't have the big guy or the big woman in charge of everything -- >> and you have to understand, what is happening is that we are in the worst economic condition that we've been in since the great depression, and the government, in power, which is still the democrats, do not get blamed. it's the republicans getting blamed. you have to really bring some talent to achieve that. >> all right. it's interesting because there's one republican doing quite well, extremely high approval ratings. i'm going to read from your piece out of "politico." you write, "glenn beck says he
doesn't like new jersey governor chris christie, and why should he? why would glenn beck or the other right-wing talkers be impressed with a guy like chris christie? why would any member of the conservative entertainment complex want anything to do with a rino who carries around that kind of conservative record in a blue state that hasn't gone republican in a presidential contest in 25 years? this chris christie character has created a new kind of gender gap in this democratic state that has him actually winning the female vote by 23%. numbers like that have to enrage talkers like glenn beck who have spent most of their adult lives working to make women voters run away from the republican party faster than you can say government-sanctioned vaginal probe. why would glenn beck or any self-described conservative like chris christie? damn good question.
>> and you thought you were good with words. >> you know, he's cut spending in real terms from 2008 to 2013. this year's budget, he's taken on the unions. he's done all the things on pensions that republicans in washington are afraid to do. he's adjusted the c.o.l.a.s. he's cut federal employees. he's created 100,000 new jobs. business is coming back to new jersey. >> he's beloved in his state. >> guess what? 74% approval rating. >> you don't want that. >> glenn beck doesn't like him. he could go down the list whether it's dick morris, mark levin calls him a big slob. they don't like winning. >> you're not thinking. >> you're not thinking. >> you've got a republican who can get women and democrats and independents to vote for him. they want to hate that. it's like this guy is the perfect guy. >> they like to eat their young. >> they talk to themselves. christie -- i met christie in new orleans and we hand the
torch over. >> the games in new york. >> right. you can see he's a charming guy. >> right. >> you talk to him. but i don't get it. he is not surviving. he's prospering in a blue state. if we get somebody, the governor of oklahoma was a democrat, every time i'd see him, man, you're in there. that's great. we've got a democrat in oklahoma. i mean, you honor these people. >> harold ford, 74% approval rating, a republican. he's plus 21% among women in a state that is plus, i think, 14 democratic. he's defyi ining gravity. >> they should be looking at him. >> the iconic moment was he and president obama standing together at a moment the state was facing devastation, the tri-state area was in crisis. the two of them stood together and talked about government working together. remember remember that. two, there is no doubt he's willing to stand up and do the
things you talked about earlier on the show and before. stand up for what's right, even if it means taking on his party. and finally, he's ignoring these republicans -- not republican -- but these right-wing voices critical of him. the more he does that, not only will he enjoy probably an easy re-election to be governor, but he's likely to emerge as the front-runner, if republicans are smart, in this 2016 campaign. >> you know, mort, when you talk about ideology, he's not really standing up to his own party. he's standing up to big union bosses. he's reforming education. he's cutting spending. he's going in. and he's going after a retirement system in a way that could save medicare and social security for republicans in washington who are conservative to do it there, too. >> what he brings to the table, which is really quite unique, it's a level of awe then at this time. there's no bull -- about him if i may say so. >> you just did. good morning, america.
when you deal with him, you know, you just respect the guy, and you like the guy. i've had one dealing with him. he was terrific. >> right. >> he didn't agree with me, which a lot of people don't. he speaks very directly. you don't come away resenting him. you respect his views. that's true of everybody in that state. that's a rare commodity on either side of the spectrum. >> alex, did it work? >> what, i don't think they're going to seven-second delay that. got a lot of farmers saying that in western pennsylvania. that's no big deal. right? >> right. >> okay. >> all right. sure. >> so we've done town hall meetings with this guy. >> here's the thing. >> but, again, it's not -- we could talk about chris christie every day all day about him defying gravity. the story here is the fact that we've got one thing working in the republican party. >> and guess what? >> we've got one thing working. congress has, like, a 12% approval rating.
we're upside down in every -- barack obama, on all the issues, is beating our brains in. >> nobody wants to run in the republican party. except for the clown. >> we've got one thing working. >> clown patrol. >> a guy that's got a 74% approval rating in new jersey, a state republicans haven't won since 1988 in the presidential race. >> that's not nothing. >> and this conservative entertainment complex is killing him, and they're killing him in part because he undermines their central message. which is you have to confront, you have to hate, you have to vilify to win. he has blown their model to smithereens. we win by being like chris christie. being like ronald reagan. ronald reagan said famously, when they came in and told him that he was going to have to make another round of cuts, he said, i don't wear the black hat. you guys forget, i'm the guy that wears the white hat.
they don't understand, you know, it's not just substance. it's style. chris christie's got it going. >> james said, they're talking to themselves. the echo chamber, i think, is getting smaller and smaller. as people like chris christie emerge and go their own way. >> you know, christie, and something that joe and i have seen, and we've seen what happens when a hurricane hits. >> right. >> in a place you grew up or a place you loved, and it's gone. and your first reaction is oh, my god, what can i do? so the president of the united states comes in and says -- he puts his arm around him and says governor, we're going to work on this together, we're going to get people in here, you're thankful. the last thing you think when a storm surge comes and knocks something that you've seen all of your life -- >> gone. >> -- gone, just wiped out. that's a human reaction. >> these jackasses that were knocking chris christie for walking on the beach with the president trying to get as much for his people as they could, if they had done what you've done, what you've seen, what i did,
you know, my first year in congress, we had three hurricanes. and we thanked god that bill clinton who, by the way, probably had a 2% approval rating in northwest florida. but when you're walking through people's houses that are reduced to rubble and they're crying and they're on their hands and knees and they're digging through, trying to find pictures of their babies, and their entire life is blown apart. i saw this three times in 1995. it doesn't matter whether they're the most conservative person in the world. they want to see bill clinton there. >> sure. >> they want to know that somebody that is big and powerful and important cares. and i saw it in my very conservative district. they loved seeing bill clinton, even bill clinton, come there in 1995. >> oklahoma city. >> it's the same thing with christie. oklahoma city is another great example. >> in louisiana, we wanted the president down there. >> yeah. >> lk aook and see what's going. his president approval in louisiana is as low as it could be. we're saying he shouldn't have
done that. that man was devastated. he was emotionally devastated. and until you've seen what we've seen and the effect that has on you, you can't understand it. you can't sit behind a radio and microphone in something like that and say something like that. >> and be a leader. >> it's not just patting somebody on the back. you've got people that fema to take care of them. you need people that will get the power back up, gets the power for hospitals back up. we saw it here in new york. we've seen it down in pensacola. you need the small business administration coming in, helping small businesses get back on track. that's, again, that's -- you know, bill buckley said, conservatism has to be connected to reality. these idiots that are screaming into microphones every day attacking chris christie for trying to help people on the ground, they just don't get it, harold ford. actually, they may get it -- >> well -- >> they just know that's the best way for them to make money. what they're doing has nothing
to do with electing republicans. it has everything to do with them making millions of dollars because, as i said before, since rush limbaugh started, and i'm not pointing him out specifically, i'm just saying, though, he was the beginning of this conservative alternative media revolution. we've gone 1 for 5 in winning popular votes. >> keep on doing what you're doing. >> and again, i'm not just talking. i brought up limbaugh because he started the revolution of sorts on the right. and he's got all these copycats that have been copying him, trying to be mini-rushes. we've got thousands of mini-rushes, and they want to get a bigger audience and make more money. you've got to say more and more outrageous things every day, and it's hurting the cause. >> the question for republicans, do they want that model to be the model that defines their political being, or do they want to win elections and have a chance to make policy? the schism in the republican party reminds me in some ways of the schism you had to fix back in the late '80s, early '90s.
you were able to do it. i think for the body of politic overall, we benefit when there's a stronger republican party because both parties have to compete for ideas. right now my party -- and i'm happy about it -- we have a lopsided win across the country. >> by the way, james will tell you, that can go away overnight. >> if you don't understand the christie model, whether you take all of it or parts of it, is the model of victory or not. it's really about leadership. >> i'm crazy. i like winning. >> he was so visibly bipartisan. when you have a crisis, you don't want to have the kind of political infighting you have under regular circumstances. and he the president, when they got together, that helped both of them and helped that state feel, okay, they're working together to get us out of this trouble. that's not something you get out of the rush limbaughs of the world. >> by no means. >> it's so clear when something like that happens, what people expect what you have to do. it's not even what you're thinking about. the basic thing is, you know, the sewage doesn't work. the toilets don't work.
basic stuff. there's no water. forget the electricity. you don't have a house, you don't have anything. you've got sick people that didn't get far enough away. you've got people on respirators, god knows what. it's just so funny that they see this and they're able to comment on it in such an abstract way. you just look at that. my first question is, where's the humanity here? >> right. >> where is just some level of humanity that says oh, my god, these poor people. you never hear that. >> yeah. >> human reaction. i would feel the same way about democrats, but when you get a strong leader, when somebody wins, you're going to smile again. >> right. >> but right now, i know exactly how you feel. i felt that way in '85. i've been there. i've been there and done that. and every time a democrat would say something stupid, i'd go oh, my god. could somebody just shut that person up? >> james, the shoe was on the
other foot for so long. >> it was. >> democrats -- i used to sit back and just laugh at all the stupid things out-of-touch liberals would say when ronald reagan was president. and i'd just laugh. they just don't get it. they just -- and the more popular reagan got, the angrier liberals got, the crazier they got, the more stupid. yeah. >> i went through every cycle. if you remember reagan actually got to young people. >> yeah. >> all we had left at one time were like old union guys. you'd go to a democratic meeting. now it changes back and politics changes. they're going to have to try to effect a change pretty soon. >> no doubt about it. >> james carville, thank you. mort? >> i worked with reagan when our moscow bureau chief got jumped by the kgb and i worked with republicans in the white house. he was phenomenal. he got every point. he was desigsive.
everybody followed his lead. he was the easiest guy to work with. he was just phenomenal. i came away with a totally different view of him. >> he was a conservative guy. he was also very pragmatic. >> a wonderful man. he was a leader. that's right. he was a leader. that's what we do not feel. >> james, i'm crazy. talking about nick saban before. i like winning. >> he likes winning, james. >> i like winning. people go oh, you should be more worried about what's best for america. i know this may shock you, i think america is stronger when there's a conservative president. and i don't think conservatives losing for the next 30 years is good for america. we've got to start winning. >> a few, but not many. let's not go overboard. >> we kind of like it. >> for my taste. >> understood. >> the republicans don't like their party now because they're losing. when your party's losing, people in it are, like, that's their job. they're supposed to win. they're not supposed to do stupid things. a lot of people feel like that.
still ahead on "morning joe," the high cost of care. "time" magazine's months-long investigation into the exploding cost of health care in america. and up next, he says we don't have a spending problem. we have a paying problem. democratic congressman steny hoyer is standing by in our green room. he joins us next. but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill. >> mika, we're looking at at least 12 to 14 states dealing with this winter storm in the middle of the country. the worst of it now in kansas. this is wichita, kansas. i mean, these cars are just literally stranded or stuck. and the snow is coming down. by far the heaviest snowfall rates are right now around wichita, kansas, heading up there to the kansas city area. looks like that guy is going to get out of this and hopefully get home safely soon. let me show you the snowstorm, full ploen this moblown and abo in kansas city. kansas city, the upper/middle and that dark blue is heavy snow now approaching the kansas city area. it's going to probably snow
about six inches between now and noon in kansas city. by the time we're done upwards the possibility of a foot of snow. later tonight is will hit chicago with three to six. the worst of it, kansas city to omaha to wichita. as far as the forecast for the rest of the country, nothing too troublesome, but we will track thunderstorms today. this morning around dallas, this afternoon, around louisiana. but once again, don't travel in kansas if you don't have to this morning. you risk getting stranded. heavy snow and gusty winds as a major winter storm hits the area. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. i know what you're thinking...
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you having fun yet? >> you're looking sharp. >> you asked me that question. i said, have you been watching? it's not going so well. >> terrible, isn't it? >> frankly, joe, you and i served together. this is the last two congresses, the last congress and this one, the least productive, least engaged, least inclined to compromise and come to agreement. >> and why? >> that i've served in. >> well, i think because in 2010, people elected some very angry people to congress who said, look, things are really mucked up. don't cooperate. we just need a change. we need to cut spending. we need to back up, retreat. and that's what they're getting. democracy works. i think it's representative of the people's -- a large number of the public's sense that they don't want to see cooperation consensus. >> don't we need to cut spending in some areas? >> yes, absolutely. >> okay. >> we need to cut spending, raise revenues and have a balanced program, just as bowles
simpson, rivlin, ng ga of sigan. i don't know of a group that hasn't said we need to get our fiscal house in order. i agree with you. the most important challenge is getting our country on a fiscally sustainable path. >> where do we begin? >> i would guess you agree with me as well, we need to take care of the long-term debt by planning now. >> yes. >> and that gives us the freedom to invest in education in the short run, transportation, r&d. >> and that's why i think we need a big, bold, balanced plan. that's the rhetoric. we're going to have to cut back on frankly defense and nondefense. we're going to have to deal with entitlements. a lot of my party would like to pretend that we don't need to deal with entitlement. we do need to deal with entitlement. and very frankly, your party believes we can do it without revenues. they're dead, flat, 100% wrong. >> so we raised taxes before. what new revenues?
are you talking about closing loopholes right now? >> closing loopholes is like getting rid of fraud, waste and abuse. it sounds good until you have to deal with it politically. >> right. >> one loophole is going to close. >> that's what the president's talking about. >> what would be wrong with that? >> i think we ought to close loopholes. i'm for that. >> which ones would you close? >> well, i think you could close loopholes with reference to -- i'm for the 28%, for one thing. president's proposal of capping deductions at 28%. >> i like that idea. >> i think that makes sense. >> can we get enough democrats to go along with that? >> i would hope we can. i don't think we can do it all with democrats. >> should we raise cared interest? >> i think we ought to eliminate the carried interest. it's earned income. it's not capital gain. capital gain is when you take money out of your pocket, you put it at risk. and you get a premium for putting your money at risk. >> specifics. >> i know, i know. >> if i get money from calpers,
big pension program, and i invest it, what i'm doing is providing a service. frankly, i'm a lawyer. if i provide a service, i earn income, even if it's a contingen contingency, what do i pay? so i think there's a lot of things we can do. but we ought not to pretend you can do it for free. i was for the clinton rates. i'm for the clinton rates today. now, i wouldn't phase in the clinton rates immediately because the economy's still trying to get back. >> right. >> so i would perhaps go at least another year until you get the full clinton rates. >> give us two cuts. two cuts you'd make. >> spending cuts? >> two spending cuts. >> i think on entitlements, i think we need to look at cost of living adjustments. i think we need to look at -- very frankly, let me give you a specific cut that i think we ought to go back to, in effect. people are talking about, well, people can't work past a certain age. let's assume that. but previous to the '90s, when you continue to work and you were over 65 and you earned
income, you had an offset. now, if we reinstated that offset, i'm 73 years of age. i'm still working. i'm getting social security. if there was an offset, it wouldn't affect me. i'm working. i'm making an income. that can get you anywhere between $80 billion and $100 billion. >> over a year. >> no, over ten years to reinstate that offset. >> that's great. >> and then you're not arguing about can people work? are they too, you know -- >> why is this so hard? >> we need a leader like steny. >> it shouldn't be this hard. >> what's the mantra of the republican party been for the 30 years i've been in congress? >> can i answer that? >> we love america? >> no. >> that is a -- >> go ahead, steny. you give me your mantra. we love jesus in america. go ahead. go ahead. so what do you say the republican mantra is? >> joe, me, too. me, too. i love jesus, and i love america. having said that -- >> okay, i'm glad we got that out. >> lower taxes and smaller
government. that's the holy grail. that's the republican policy in a nutshell. we don't have a simple nutshell. the one i'm trying to do is make it in america, create jobs, expand manufacturing, create more jobs in america. so that's my mantra, my four words. but having said that, you've got to pay for what you buy. the tease that came on i said there wasn't a spending problem. there is a spending problem. what i meant by that was that you don't have a problem if you pay for what you buy. in the '90s, we paid for what we buy. how did that happen? you had a bipartisan agreement between george bush and dick gephardt. you had another bipartisan agreement between bill clinton and newt gingrich. and we paid for things. and very frankly, we paid for tax cuts because they're not for free. if you cut revenues -- right now in america, we are having a product that we deliver to the american people that cost 23 bucks. 23% of gdp. >> right. >> and we are collecting for that product 15 bucks. >> right.
>> 15%. >> even mike and i can figure that out. >> losing money. >> any business that does that's going to go belly up pretty soon. >> that's right. >> can i tell my joke again? it just never gets old. i mean, i'm not good at math. i went to the university of alabama, but every year -- >> that's a given. >> we count to number one. but i can even figure out the math. this is what we've been saying for some time. americans have decided they like republican tax rates, and they love democratic spending plans. >> whoa. >> and the two sides don't match up. >> whoa joe. whoa, joe. in the 2000s, it was republican spending programs that they liked. >> i agree. i've written a book about it. >> $1.5 trillion in the war, prescription drug bill, over $2 trillion long term that we haven't paid for. we didn't pay for it. what happens when you don't pay? >> you mow, a lot of democrats went along with a lot of those things as well. >> i voted for afghanistan. i voted for iraq. but the fact is, we know how to pay for that. i have three children, three
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. we ought not ask them to pay for it. >> when george bush was president, we have a $5.6 trillion national debt. when he left, it was $11.5 trillion. now it's $16.5 trillion. four years from now it will be over $20 trillion. i'm sorry, these numbers are not sustainable. >> no they're not sustainable. what president bush did, he put the iraq war on an american express card. >> right. >> and then he put other spending on his mastercard. >> medicare part b. >> visa. >> capital one card. >> then he handed them all to barack obama and spent twice as much. >> joe, let me give you some figures. >> mike has a question for you. >> let me give you some figures, though. you're going to find interesting, i know. >> i know, i'll be fascinated. >> under ronald reagan -- now, the president's the only one that can stop spending, they can veto.
never been underwritten. under george bush the first, 55%. >> you're not going to do this, are you? >> i'm doing it. >> come on. >> under this president, 41%. >> you can cite these numbers if you want. the spending, it's just like people saying hey, we're cutting spending now. yeah, you're cutting spending after four years of massive trillion-dollar deficits. every single year. >> but you don't want to listen to -- >> no, i do want to listen to it, but yeah, everybody talks about ronald reagan's -- you guys talk about ronald reagan -- hold on. >> we responded to by spending money. >> -- ronald reagan's deficits for 30 years now. barack obama rolled up more deficits in one year than i think ronald reagan rolled up in four. >> joe, give me a break. minimum wage now is $7.25, okay? if the minimum wage had been $5 25 years ago, you think the
$7.25 would be more than that? of course you don't think so. the fact of the matter is that barack obama confronted the deepest recession since the last republican president took us into recession, herbert hoover and coolidge, 41% appreciation of the national debt. in other words, increase the national debt. based upon gdp. you know, dollar to dollar, a dollar in 1900, well, now we have $1.50, so we have 50 cents more today. well, you know that's not true. the fact of the matter is ronald reagan presided over a budget increase four times that of barack obama. and furthermore, what happened was, we had this deep, deep recession. and we had to respond to it. who said we had to respond to it? george bush, hank paulson, ben bernanke, appointed by george bush. and you know who said the country's in trouble? >> it's not 2009. trillion-dollar deficit from
2009. trillion-dollar deficit in 2010, trillion-dollar deficit in 2011, trillion-dollar deficit in 2012. >> joe, you've got to learn from the past. >> the numbers are remarkable. >> what happened when we had that crisis that george bush said we had, that hank paulson said we had, and if we hadn't acted, we would have gone off the cliff. you mow what happened? two-thirds of your party walked away from their president. who made sure that we didn't go off the cliff? democrats, for and with a republican president. so there was a bipartisan response. there ought to be a bipartisan response today. >> trillion-dollar deficits four years later, we cannot continue to run trillion-dollar deficits. >> you're absolutely right. absolutely right. so we've got to deal with spending and revenues. >> from 1984 to 2007 in terms of corporate, personal and government debt, the united states ran $40 trillion in debt. that's everybody. two, i'm moved by what you've said early this morning. you've identified, unlike other members of our party whom i respect, you've actually identified specifics.
20% cap, charitable, mortgage would be good. carried interest. we could begin to process $100 billion over ten years. why can't we get that talk out of washington more? there was a great piece in "the journal" on friday, coming together, outlining some of this. i wish more of what you're talking about, more of the specificity would come not only from my party but from washington. it would not only increase respect -- >> it might move the needle and make something happen. >> i hear the back-and-forth. they want to hear the answers, which i give you great credit for for a long time. you're laying them out. >> harold, as you well know, we have an ideological problem in washington. we're dealing with a common-sense, pragmatic problem, but we're dealing with it in an ideological sense. we frankly have, i think, two large a number of people bound ideologically. i've talked to a lot of republicans, a lot. i've been working now three years with some of my republican colleagues.
who believe that you need to have a balanced program. but when john boehner says not a single new cent of revenue, you can't get there from here without that. >> is it personal? what is it? >> i don't know that it's personal. i think john boehner has clearly demonstrated he doesn't have the votes on his side. you know, he tried to compromise of his own. he couldn't get the votes. and i don't think he could get any additional votes right now. i think that's the problem. >> can you think of any other industry or business that could survive -- never mind prosper -- that could survive with the years and years of inaction and inability to get anything done as the united states congress? >> no. the only reason we can do that is because we have such deep pockets and we can continue to do this. no business would survive. and very frankly, managing from crisis to crisis every 30, 60, 90 days is an absurd way -- there's no -- i tell the press, there are 13% of americans apparently think congress is okay. i tell the press i want to find those 13% because they don't know what's happening.
i'm with the 87%. congress is not working. and congress is not working because we've got this ideological confrontation when we need pragmatic -- how does the math work? clinton said it best. you've got to do the arithmetic. and if you do the arithmetic, we can get there. paul ryan says we're going to get a balanced budget in ten years without revenues. >> yeah. >> so steny, i've done the arithmetic for you. >> he's been working the math here. pen and paper. >> you've helped me do the math here. >> good. i came on to help you, joe. >> you did. and you always help me. and i love you, steny. i always have. i'm looking at ronald reagan's deficits. >> started at $895 million. >> 221, 149, 155. over eight years, ronald reagan didn't run up deficits that barack obama ran up this past year. but even in inflation-adjusted
dollars, barack obama ran up higher deficits last year than ronald reagan did over eight years. >> no, you're correct. >> thank you. that's all i wanted. >> you're correct. >> you said give me a break. >> and why? >> we've got to fix it. >> because barack obama, first of all, was confronted with the deepest tanking economy in your lifetime and in my lifetime, and i'm almost twice as old as you are. >> really? >> really. well, maybe twice. >> you're looking good. >> thank you so much. i feel great. >> very handsome. sharp. >> steny keeps looking younger. seriously. >> it doesn't make any sense. >> you look younger now than when i served with you. >> 73. >> no, he's not. he's lying. he's lying. >> ford's got a big mouth. >> you said it. >> oh, my lord. >> we've got to go, but steny, we'd love for you to come back. i want to get into sometime about, you know, when you had us go in and talk before your group. >> we've got to do that again. >> i was struck by the common
ground that i've heard between democrats and even a lot of republicans i talk to, want to do the same thing for republicans. there are deals to be made here where we can come together. >> i'm not going to mention names because i've been working with them, and i don't want to out them, but there's some conservative republicans in conservative areas of the country who sit down with me and say yep, we need a balanced program. you know, tom coburn's been on here. >> yeah. >> he says that. frankly, tom coburn and i have talked. we can get there if we put aside the ideological constraints that we have and say, how do you make the math work for america, for business, if we got a deal -- if we got a deal, in my opinion, it would be the singest biggest stimulus package we could pass. the restoration of confidence would be magnified. i've met with ken frazier of merck, ceo of merck. he agreed. every ceo i've talked to -- >> they need the deal done.
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okay. 46 past the hour. look at that beautiful shot of the white house. >> it is gorgeous. >> on this chilly morning. >> by the way, i did the calculation. >> okay. >> over eight years, ronald reagan's deficits amounted to $1.3 trillion. >> but you know the point steny was making. >> well, yeah, but people always talk about reagan's deficits. and reagan, by the way, had a hell of a recession himself. just ask americans who are out of work then. even adjusted dollars, $2.9 trillion over eight years. barack obama has done that over the past two years. so anyway. >> can you really compare the recession? >> yeah, you sure can.
>> perfect segue. >> it's a great segue. listen, here's the big problem. everybody knows this is the big problem. >> it's the big problem. >> over the next 30 years, next 20 years -- >> the question is whether it's sustainable. we have this special investigation into why health care costs are so high done by steve grill. why is it so expensive? he follows the money. he looks at seven hospital bills from different hospitals around the country, nonprofit hospitals, and he looks at the bills item by item. and he finds, like the acetaminophen tablet on the cover, 10,000% markup on items on everything from gauze to big drugs themselves, to even -- i noticed on one bill, hospitals charge for the ink that they use to make the "x" where they operated on you. >> what market force out there -- >> that's ridiculous.
>> -- because there's not a direct patients paying for this pill? is that why drugs are able to mark it up 10,000 times? >> drug companies, service providers, hospitals themselves, nonprofit hospitals which we'll get to in a second because it is a seller's market and the buyers, us, don't pay attention. we don't look at the bills. and it's a life-and-death institution. if you're in pain, if you're in trouble, you're not asking how much things cost. i mean, part of what steve does is he urges people to look at their hospital bills. it's really extraordinary. the markup. and he talks about this thing called the charge master. there's a bill in the piece, every hospital has this thing called the charge master which is a list of charges for all their products. everything from needles to drugs to gowns. and they're marked up by, you know, six, seven, eight, ten times. >> it's a great cover because it's indicative of our universal problem. this pill is marked up how much? >> 10,000%.
>> so what american out there, what economist out there, what policymaker out there believes that the way that we fix health care is by removing market forces even more from health care? >> well, it's interesting. and you know what the irony is, joe? where market forces come into play is medicare. medicare is actually assigned by the federal government to pay only the approximate charges that hospitals really spend. medicare is bending the curve in a way that the private system ensures nonprofit hospitals are not. >> why is that? >> medicare is obligated by law to not pay more than 6% than the actual fixed cost. one of the things that brill is he looks at a procedure -- if you're 64 and you have a heart operation that might cost you $250,000, if you're 65 and on medicare, it will cost $5,000 or $6,000 because it's all priced up if you're not covered by medicare. it's really fascinating.
>> what's fascinating is you tell me that story. i know a doctor in south florida, mike, he was doing a back surgery on a guy who was 63 years old. you know, who paid him $25,000 to do back surgery. he said the next day he did the same very the same very complicated back surgery with two, three, board-certified doctors, who's a 66-year-old who had a 200-foot you're welcome acht, and the doctor ended up making $1500 for the operation by the end. >> doctors complain about how much medicare pays, but for all of us, medicare is actually a useful tool because it actually pays close to what the actual costs are. >> crazy. >> i have not read the piece. it's a lengthy piece. >> it's superlong. >> which has always added value. so i have a list here of three winners and three losers, having
not read the piece. correct me if i'm wrong on my assessment. my winners would be medical labs, drug companies, people who make mri machines and other machines that hospitals employ. the losers would be doctor's and nurse's bank accounts. >> that's very good. >> i'm sure steve didn't get into because it's another subject, but our obsession in this country, rightfully so over the past six or seven years, banks and financial institutions too big to fail, justice department, various u.s. attorneys going after them, all rightfully so. no argument there. the drug companies have gotten off scot-free. there's a 10,000% mark-up on an aspirin or whatever pill was on the cover? >> by the way, gauze pads, $77 -- >> and look at this.
>> -- charged for four boxes of sterile gauze pads itemized for $77. and then you look at this pill cost $1.50. >> where's the justice department? >> well, i think there ought to be a congressional investigation. i think the justice department should look at these things. what the story does is it rips the veneer or a system that weapon don't understand. and the overcharging of patients, the overcharging of insurance companies, the insurance companies willing to pay these high charges, nobody's really looking at the bills. >> the affordable care act, the obama healthcare plan -- >> can i just sum up quickly? >> clarify. >> this is insane. >> we've been showing pictures while you guys have been talking. you can buy one of these pills. it costs huh $1.50 for one. when you're in the hospital. if you go to amazon.com, you can buy a hundred for less than that. for --
>> but nobody looks at the charge, when you're being charged for all of these things on your bill, the mark-up is gigantic. >> this is like the late 1970s when everybody started doing those pentagon investigations about the $4,000 toilet. >> right. >> absolutely. >> what does the affordable care act do? >> there are good aspects and bad aspects, but it doesn't bend the cost curve. part of what's in the affordable care act, because congress gets, they get more money from both red and blue congressmen from the hospital industry, the healthcare industry, four times as much money than the defense and aerospace industry. so they're looking out for these folks. so obamacare doesn't bend the cost curve. medicare actually bends the cost curve. so one of the things that obamacare says is you can't actually look and test the
effectiveness of certain drugs and the cost and that's partially because of all the lobbying by the health service industry. it's unfortunate. but medicare, if there's a hero to this piece, it's medicare, and the bureaucrat there is looking at costs, trying to keep down costs, and that is good for most americans. one of the things steve advocates and counterintuitively, if you lowered the age of medicare eligibility, not raising it. i would argue if you made medicare to buy in for people under 65, that would improve the health system. >> why medical bills are us. rick stengel, this is a really good issue. rge tha >> thank you. i have something about the pensacola hospitals that i'm going to show you. you can read it off my iphone. >> fantastic. i love it. >> coming up here on set,
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good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. on the west coast, and it is time to wake up. you can't deny it. take a live look at new york city. welcome back to "morning joe." back with us on set, we have msnbc's mike barnicle, and you know you just ate a munchkin. >> i did. >> stop pretending. haired ford jr. gross. >> i didn't have one. >> are you sure?
>> not yet. >> and democratic strategyist james carville. >> james has five. >> pack of doughnuts, get out of the way. >> don't get between me and the munchkins. >> a lot going on today. along at the front page of usa today. a new poll is showing that president obama has a strong lead over congressional republicans on a host of big issues playing out right now in washington. that's according to the new numbers. and pew research center, 45% of those polls say they support the president's approach to cutting the federal deficit. 38% support republicans, even a majority of republican voters endorse tax hikes skpels spending cuts. on gun reform, the president's prints -- one-third of americans would blame the president if the sequester cuts kick in.
nearly half of all americans would blame republicans. and on immigration. half of those polled say the president is taking the right approach. 33% endorse how republicans are tackling the issue. >> so, james, if i'm still a congressman in northwest florida and somebody hands me this and says, you're in trouble, yeah, i'm in trouble. i may get 79 instead of 80% of the vote. but that's what's running the republican brand into the ground, the fact that they got guys looking at their district and saying i'm going to win anyway. i could just ignore what's happening to the party as a whole. that's a huge challenge. >> it is a terrible challenge, and two things. one, it's part jerry mandering. but a guy runs against him and says, you know what, you're not
conservative enough. >> right. >> by the way, when you talk about mccloskeyering too, it's one thing i noticed in florida. they passed the civil rights act, made sure that there were minority districts, that was great for a couple of minority candidates, better for republicans, because you gerrymander through florida, for instance. >> it was smart. it would go to look, hey, why don't you have a district. you can an african-american district. >> tennessee's the only state that was not covered by that. but your point is the voting rights. >> we'll create your own district, and you say fine, all the other ones branch out from it. but what's happened, al, of late, the democrats normally mccloskeyered so much in the cities that it's become a natural thing. it's terrible. but when you get to the presidential election, where are you? >> exactly. and that's the problem.
so how does the president of the united states take advantage of this? >> i think he is. >> i think he is, i agree with mika. you give a speech and you talk about background checks for guns, which people want. >> go on tour. talk to people. >> what about the sequester right now though? >> see, the sequester -- this is kind of cruel to republicans. the sequester, no many people know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel. it's a republican thing. it just sounds like something -- >> yes. let's help explain to people, there's just over one week to go until the march 1st -- you're going to tough too -- deadline when the automatic spending cuts take a big bite out of federal programs and the pentagon. 800,000 civilian employees have been told by the defense department that they will likely be placed on unpaid leave. with the house and nate still in recess, a number of democrats are calling for congress to
reconvene to deal with this mess. secretary of state john kerry meanwhile is reminding his former colleagues that actions here at home do have global implications. take a listen. >> it is often said that we cannot be strong at home if we're not strong in the world. but if these days of a looming budget sequester that everyone actually wants to avoid, or most, we can't be strong in the world unless we are strong at home. my credibility as a diplomat working to help other countries create order is strongest when america at last puts its own fiscal house in order. and that has to be now. [ applause ] let's reach a responsible agreement that prevents these senseless cuts. let's not lose this opportunity because of politics. >> mike barnicle, politics is such a cruel, cruel game.
seriously, there's one guy that gets to the top of the heap, everybody else is disappointed, and even the president ends up broken most of the time. it's very rare that a guy like john kerry, who has dreamed his entire life of being able to say my career as a diplomat. >> that's right. >> actually gets to live out his dream. >> he is living out his dream. >> remember what ted kennedy said to you after he saw you on the show? he fell into a tub of butter. john kerry's fallen into a tub of butter. >> he's in a zone. >> but he said yesterday that congress is a bigger threat than china when it came to -- >> at this point. >> off of what james said, the republicans -- it's very unfair in a sense to the republicans. they are in a tough position. front page new york times, gop is resisting obama tax increase. i agree with james.
you walk around, nobody can define what sequester means but they know instinctively, sequester means if you're a millionaire you're going to be okay and sequester's going screw you if you're not. >> the wait at the washington airport is six hours long. because jack lew is a really smart guy. he's going to know where people get it. it's not going to be on something that you're not going to feel. they're going to make you feel this. >> if you want to fly because the air traffic controllers, they'll lay them off. >> james -- >> or the tsa people. >> air traffic controllers there, you just cut tsa -- >> in half. >> you're going to be three hours in line. >> how would advise republicans to get out of this mess? they believe that spending cuts and revenue, no revenue but spending cuts, what would you advise them, because the country
seems to want a balance approach. >> i would say it's hard when you're a congressional party because you got everybody -- poor joe, he comes on the show, republicans are saying stupid, and every morning joe is saying, come on, don't do that to me. you're killing me. >> it's frustrating. >> it's going to take a while, but it'll happen. if i'm a republican, i want everybody to run for president, and you want someone to beat somebody that stands up and look strong. and beating herman cain and michele bachmann don't count. rubio, and whatever, chris christie. anybody that comes and says, what should i do, and you say, my god, man, run. >> run, man, run. >> because we got to slush this out and somebody's got to look strong. but if you got all the congressional republicans coming up and saying stuff, you're just
going to have your fist in your forehead every morning. >> my theory, i've always said the "time" magazine theory of politics, the great man theory or great woman clear when it comes to parties, you always had 1988, 199, 1991, the democratic party was dead. george h.w. bush was going to win, bill clinton wins. two years later we come in. i mean, it takes -- everybody talks about the republican party is in -- and they are in horrible shape, but they need one strong leader. >> a good one. >> and alan west says there's 78 communists in there, go, hey, idiot, shut up. no, they're not. we get a republican president, they can do it. >> and alan weston knows his won't's going to ring. >> so he won't say it. >> no. and until a leader emerges, you're going to have your fist in your forehead a lot because they're just going to outdo each
other. parties go through this. we went through it. >> joe's come up with a great frame, because you were advising then governor clinton in '91. you talked about the middle class, frankly, the values of the democratic party strayed away from representing the country. what's the message? joe's laid this out on the show over and over again and compresses frustration because his party can't do it repeatedly, but what would you express the slogan? >> william buckley was starting it. he said you can't have a john berke society. when we were trying to emerge out of that -- take the '70s, and some extent the ' 0s, bill stood up and said, these are inappropriate. the republicans need somebody as a leader to slap somebody back. by doing that, that's an indication that, no, buckley
said we're not that inclusive, we're not inclusive for the john berks. >> he went to war with a lot of the han rand types. >> will party senators, most of them democrats who have 24 races, according to roll call starting today, full page ads will go up in markets across the country, including maine where susan collins is the incumbent. also the digital advertising and full page ads in usa today, regional additions all at $375,000. >> that's pretty imcompressive you say, until you realize michael bloomberg spent $35 million. whatever they put in, michael bloomberg's going to put in more. the giffords are going to raise more.
>> why don't we save everyone some money and say the nra might not be as powerful as it used to be now because of the forces against it? can we say that? >> the thing is, you've got wayne lapierre -- >> yeah. >> -- who really was a lot closer to where americans are today in 1999 than he is right now. because 92% of americans want universal background checks. i think that's coming. >> all right. meanwhile president obama gained an ally in his efforts to pass new gun legislation in the wake of the newtown shootings. congressman joe heck, a republican from nevada, universal background checks for firearms saying, quote,ening the idea of universal background checks across the board, i'm not opposed to them. and i disagree with people who say this is going to be the first step to gun registration which leads to gun confiscation. >> and by the way, we have, hurried ford, we have background checks. something like 45% of americans
buy a gun, they go through a background check. and guess what? they're not part of a national registry. nobody's coming to get their guns. the black helicopters aren't sibli circling their house. >> this is one of the points that's been made, james and mike and you over and over again on the show. it's hard to square this with common sense. how is it that you would want someone to buy a firearm and not know if they had beaten their children, if they have robbed from something in their neighborhood, if they've attempted murder, or if they suffer from a mental imbalance. >> that may disqualify you and i. >> we shouldn't joke about that. >> that actually is going to be the most serious part. you got to make sure it's not invasive. >> i was not joking about that very serious issue, but the fact that any democrat or republican could be opposed to that kind of check is what you speak it.
it's not only style, it's substantive, and it makes you sound stupid. >> coming up, the star of the show-time series, "house of lies," actor don cheadle joins us. >> i've promised that when that happens, i'm going to give back a fifth of my paycheck to the treasury for those last seven months. >> all right. deputy defense secretary ashton carter promises a self-imposed paycheck at the threat of a furlough to the defense department. also gail collins from the new york times. and bail, storm brewing. >> yeah, it's already hitting kansas hard. kind of doing a before and after time lapse picture. this is wichita, kansas. the wind's blowing a little bit. 10 inches of snow in the air. the heaviest is now moving out
of the wichita area and into kansas city. this is a loop over the last hour and a half. shows you the roads are bare, and then the snow begins at the end. heavy snow and even some thundersnow in the distance now approaching kansas city. literally a thunderstorm producing snow instead of heavy rain. you'll pick up a quick two inches in under an hour. missouri's going to be a mess. st. louis this afternoon. snow and then ice. snow won't be beginning in chicago till after dark tonight. the pink shows you where it's freezing rain and sleet. as i mentioned, wichita to i-35 in kansas city, the heaviest snow right now. i-70 through missouri is about to get a big thump of snow throughout the next hour or two. we should end up with a large area of 6-12 inches of snow to kansas city, and specifically some of our biggest cities.
this will easily be the biggest snowfall of the winter season through the midwest. through tonight, all the snow will be ending. and just to rub it in because we can, this is miami beach, temperature today in the low 80s. they chose that life. we chose ours. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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these cuts, as our military leaders have made clear, changes like this, not well thought through, not phased in properly, changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world. >> 22 past the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now from washington, the deputy defense secretary ashton carter, and here on set columnist for the new york times, gail collins. good to have you back. >> the deputy secretary said that if sequester goes through, he's going to cut his pay. >> that's right. >> and won't the new york times, if they continue to have these sell-offs and if the boston globe deal doesn't go through as well as it'd like, are you going to give back part of your salary to the times? >> to the times? >> yeah. >> sure. anytime they want it. >> i don't believe it. she is a company player. >> yes, she is. >> well, secretary carter, thank
you so much for being with us. obviously you guys are staring down a fiscal gun, so to speak. what's the impact if sequester goes through? >> well, what we have to do under sequester is take $46 billion out of a cut that much between now and the end of the year, and so that's sudden, it's steep, and also we have to do it in a way that is piece by piece, account by account, spread across like peanut butter, which is from a managerial point of view, the worst possible way to do cuts. so the effect is going to be a crisis in readiness later in the year. and the reason that happens is that we have to go wherever we can get money quickly. and one of the places you can get money quickly is training. and so we'll have to stop training for army units, air
force units, stop ships from sailing. this is obviously deliterious to your national security. the world is watching and looking for us to get out of our own way here. it is damaging. >> so i'm sure then members from the department of defense have been working with members of congress to find more reasonable ways to save money, cuts that could or need or have to be made versus those that would be ridiculous at this time. so what are some of these ideas? >> that's a very good question. we should be asked all the time, how much defense does the country need? how much money does it really need? and we're embarked on a huge transition now from the era of iraq and afghanistan and our necessarily total preoccupation on them to the threats that are going to determine this country's future. we also understand that a strong defense rests on a strong
economy. so secretary panetta and all the rest of us have embarked, you'll remember last year on $487 billion worth of cuts which are on top of secretary gates' about 300, when he eliminated, when i was working for him then, unnecessary performing programs. and then as the war in iraq has ended and the war and afghanistan is winding down, that part of the budget's going down. we understand that. we're going to try to adjust and give the country the defense it needs within those resources. but this is something different. this dumb and very difficult for us to responsibly manage through. >> mike barnicle. >> mr. secretary, let's take it down from trains and planes and ships to sidewalk level. let's go to kentucky. what happens on the ground to personnel in and around that
fort and other bases like in south carolina as well? >> sure. well, they're all over the place, and let's start with the military personnel. the president has exempted military pay from sequester so that won't be affected, but the troops are affected in a lot of other ways. i talked about training. remember, that's what our guys care about is the mission and being ready for it. that's why they're doing what they're doing. if they can't train, they can't be what they want to be. then there are the civilians. and yesterday secretary panetta announced that we're going to have to furlough the great majority of our civilian employees. and most people here in washington think that a government sichb employee, a dod employee is somebody who gets in the suburbs, works in an office building. that's not who they are. our civilians are people who repair engines, work in
shipyar shipyards. and then finally they're all the employees of the industry that supports us. and people need to remember we don't make anything in the pentagon. the reason that our military is the greatest in the world is first of all our people, but secondly the weapons systems that we have. and industry makes them for us. and that industry and its people are essential to national defense. so all of these folks are going to be affected at each other installation around the country. >> harold. >> good morning. you talk about a reduction in training programs and republicans programs. can you give us specifics, and before you do, fort campbell's in tennessee. give us a specific example because i think it's easy for us to listen, i believe you, but just for the american people and those watching to understand what you mean specifically. >> sure. let me give you a few examples,
and by the way, i know that fort campbell straddles the borrowed and there's a rivally there. got it. in all seriousness, specific examples, i mentioned furlough, so how does that affect real people? we're going to have to take a fifth of their paycheck away from them in the last six or so months of the year. and that's a big deal for anybody and any family. and it happens suddenly. and i'll tell you, when we do that, even if we did that to every civilian worker in the department, we'd only get 5 billion of the $46 billion we need to find. so there are lots of other people affected. another example, if you're a soldier in a base in texas or something, the last few months of the year, you plan to take your equipment, your vehicles, your weapons and everything and go to a national training range
and get an opportunity to practice for wars that might occur in the future. you're not going to do that. you're going to sit at your base. that's a real thing for a soldier. and then in industry, almost every one of our weapons programs, we will have to slow down and buy fewer of them because we don't have the money. what does that mean economically? it means we have to go to lower and less efficient production rates. that's the kind of thing the taxpayer doesn't deserve. the taxpayer wants the best value for the defense dollar. and they're tired, and boy, do i understand this, of paying too much for things and feeling like they're not getting value for their defense dollar. this heads in just the opposite direction and makes us do things in an economically inefficient way. it's very sad. >> deputy defense secretary ashton carter, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> so gail, it's like that old 1970s movie, journey to the
other side of the sun, where the astronaut gets pulled over and goes to oppositeville on the other side of the sun. >> i missed this movie. >> you were not watching like cbs movies in 1971. i don't know what you were doing in 1971, but we'll talk about that next segment. but everything was backwards for this poor astronaut. even cologne was spelled backwards. but here we've got democrats fight be and clawing to protect the defense budget and republicans going, go ahead and cut it. >> it's opposite to me. you're right. i think the democrats would like to protect the domestic side of this thing too, but clearly where the money is. i don't know what's going to happen to like virginia and some of the other states, maybe georgia, that are heavily, heavily dependent on military spending and the pentagon if
this thing keeps going for a while. what'll happen to housing prices in these places? what this is going to do to the economy is going to be very, very troubling, whether it's crazy spending in defense or smart spending elsewhere, just pulling the plug like this is going to be bad for us. >> it's interesting the republicans don't believe in stimulus spending when it's attached to domestic programs, but you do hear people like eric cantor in virginia saying this stimulates the economy. if you cut the defense spending, it's going to cost jobs. it will also. the economy's upside down down right now. we're in negative growth this last quarter. >> it's really a bad idea right now to do this thing. and also as they were saying, it's deliberately written i guess to make it ridiculous so that you can't say let's take out one of our stupid tank programs we don't need. you can't do that. >> but that doesn't seem to be inspiring action.
i mean, i asked what are they -- what's the alternative? i'm sure that they've been working with members of congress to come up with an alternative to this. i didn't -- i hear, oh, there should be one. >> yeah. >> but i don't hear any. >> well, i've got to say," you know, a lot of people, mike barnicle, attacked the president and congress for not working together, but they did come up with a plan that would have been remarkably stupid to an act as a worst-case scenario, and they worked together to create that fail safe plan and they're going to implement it. >> but the part that i don't understand, mike, you talk about the republicans saying, well, this thing that last year we said was so incredibly horrible, we were creating only to make sure it wouldn't happen, we've decided now it's great. this could work for us. right? >> we are now at the point where one of the top political stories yesterday was the fact that the president of the united states had a phone conversation with
senator marco rubio. >> who was in israel at the time. >> that was like highlighted as this is a big deal. that's where this process it. that's where this process is. at least they did that, but i mean -- >> i'm glad they did it. >> your show may have done more to contribute so hopefully short-term, maybe long-term after what steny said today. we cap deductions at 28%. he talked about the changes to social security which would create $100 billion in retirement age. unbelievable that they can't do that together there and here we are now four, five days away from these indiscriminate, cruel cuts across the board. >> it's a big step forward for democrats. >> for the country. >> gail collins, thanks to you very much for coming today. the postal service launching a clothing line. >> this is exciting, gail, a
clothing line. have you gone out and gotten your u.s. postal service gear yet? >> many, many people are dying to look as if they are delivering the mail. >> john stewart talked about their business model. >> you can read that at nytimes.com. coming up, actor don cheadle is here. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ♪ ♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours
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i keep running into a firewall. >> yeah, well, that's a bank. they got a lot of firewalls. >> yeah, but kris work all gave us the key to the entire candy store, i mean, everything except what's behind this firewall. so -- >> so get behind -- clyde, when we touch down, she's got a fire call issue. chris is our client and he has hired us to vet any potential storm that may [ bleep ] his run
for governor. and in order for us to do that effectively, we need to get behind the firewall. >> i was just running it by you. >> that was a scene from show-time's house of lies, and here with us, the star of house of lies, academy-unemploymented and goaden globe winner, don cheadle. you like your costars. >> i do. fun to work with. >> a lot of fun to work with. even kristen bell. >> even kristen bell. >> i'm a huge fan. my wife and i both love the show. i was deciding where they are in the season, and don makes the show. i love his -- the other characters on the show as well. what's the dark guy's name? >> swartz. >> i like him. >> don, your wife might not be as big of a fan. >> why not? >> tell her not to watch it.
>> why can't she watch it. >> she does watch it. yeah. she watches it. it's difficult. you know we have to, marty khan is a mess and obviously he's into some exploits that make it tough to watch if you're don cheadle's spouse. so i try to caution her not to get into it but the show's so good, she just has to watch it. >> why is the show so successful? >> i think it's the writing, i really do, and the casting. and we were just talking earlier about how all the writing has really gone to cable. and you just have the opportunity in that frame to push the boundaries, and our show is really funny at times and then it can be really dark and tragic. so it's a big playground and we're all enjoying and it comes across on screen.
>> your character, it looks like you might be branching out, marty might be. for the real fans, can we assume there's some real intrigue there, some mystery there? >> i hope for the real fans, they assume anything that makes them want to keep watching it. but yeah, he's sort of feeling the yoke at galloway and stern and wants to have his own shop. but that's what the season's about. >> it's also, part of it, in addition to the humor, parts of it are funny and parts are very dark, but it also, i think gives the viewer a sense of this is what those people really do at that level of business. this is who they are. >> it's obviously pushed, and it's funny, because i've met a lot of consultants since the show started -- they either come up to me and go, that's exactly what my life is like, and i'm like, really. they go mostly.
i go, mostly? no, not really. we're obviously pushing the boundaries because it's cable, but sort of the mindset, i think we've got that down. >> i would agree. so i continue to be fascinated that the great writing really does seem to be on tv on cable, you've been in family man, oceans 11, crash, remarkable movies. >> thank you. >> and growing up, that's what we always talked about. we didn't talk about tv unless it was the abc monday night movie. it's totally changed. >> and i think it's because of the opportunity to be more responsive. if you're talking about paid cable, they're not worried about that first weekend. i mean, they are, they watch the numbers and the metrics help them understand what it is. but it's more about the subscribers. it's more about putting content
that draws subscribers, so you have a lot more leniency than a movie that if it doesn't sell well the first weekend -- >> it might not make sense to invest so much in hbo. of course band of brothers. everybody thought jeff buchas was crazy. he pent over $100 million on band of brothers. they had to make that decision. you look at showtime now with homeland and your series. >> quality shows. >> and even netflix, what a radical experiment. netflix was dying on the vine, and they made a big bet. these series, it pays off investing. >> absolutely, because we understand that the way we take in content is completely different now. sure, there was -- we came out of a time with blockbusters and
huge movies, but now, especially for people our age, we see something, we go, i'll have to see that at some point. >> when i have a moment. >> it's at appointment viewing for us. we'll dvr everything and watch it later. >> that's the key. you say when you have the time to see it, but with all the different platforms, in the next two or three years, google and apple will be two huge movie producers, they'll be in the business. when you have the time, it'll be anytime. >> anytime you want. on your couch. >> so can we talk about the project you want to do that harold was talking about before? >> i am -- the guy was not only an extraordinary musician, but what a tortured artist. >> yeah. i mean, i'm tortured talking about it because it's been a lot of years in -- >> we're talking about miles davis, so the viewers -- >> oh. >> it's one of the situations
where you're taking a character that is not on the face of it necessarily the most sympathetic, to be sure. >> yeah. >> but no question, he's a master in one -- one of our modern masters and one of the greatest geniuses america has ever produced 37 but it's still a question of trying to wrestle this money from people who can buy into that story and that storytelling. so that's what we've been doing for the past few years is trying to -- i'm going to do what they did and just hijack some diamonds. i got to get the money somehow. i gotta get it. >> what's your next movie in may? >> iron man 3 in may. >> all right. you can watch "house of lies" sundays at 10 pm on showtime. coming up next, "business before the bell" with brian shactman.
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's time for "business before the bell" with cnbc's brian shactman. what's going on this morning? >> it's pretty bees here. down in the markets. yesterday we had a prick sell-off. quantitative easing the bond buying might end sooner than we had expected so that spooked investors. also wall street reported earnings today. unbelievable when you think about a company that has $128 billion in revenue for one quarter. we had jobless claims today ticked up 20,000 to 362,000.
we're keeping an eye on heinz, that $23 billion deal that had to do with warren buffet and a brazilian group. the fbi is now looking into that. we're not sure if it'll hold up the deal but it's certainly something to keep an eye on. obviously it was a leak. i don't think the guys involved in the deal were concerned in -- but the story must have leaked. >> let me ask you this. we're more than halfway through february, more than halfway through the first quarter of 2013. we are obviously upside down down the last quarter of 2012. any indications of where we're going? is it economy rebounding? are we going to have another flat quarter? how we looking? >> i think the sequences is we will grow in the negative. and the stock market reflects a fair bit of optimism. the question is will the payroll
tax really affect consumer spending. walmart said the sales have been hit hard by the increase net payroll tax. we'll see if that has a prolonged impact or not. >> thank you, brian. >> next, the best of late night. with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card.
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