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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  December 12, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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this is a big day on 12-12-12. something that won't occur for another 89 years when we will be talking about the fiscal slope then. >> just call him the grinch who stole christmas. john boehner has the message. >> plenty of spirit in michigan and not necessarily the holiday variety. labor supporters have a christmas greeting for the governor. >> speaking of greetings, have you sent your christmas cards yet? >> e cards for christmas? times have changed. i remember 8-8-88 like it was yesterday. . >> labor unions are sing an angry tune in motown.
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the signature on the right to work legislation makes michigan the 24th state to enact such a law preventing them from acquiring membership and dues. it's an important strike at organized labor in a strong union state. nearly in five workers are unionized. the massive protests with 12,000 strong reflect a backlash to what's happening in other parts of the country. it's not just wisconsin or ohio. they have become the latest scott walker. >> this guy who really looks pleasant enough, maybe it won't be so bad. the phrase right to work is a positive and up living message. can it do to unions? the law probably strengthens unions. >> if this is a right to work state, it makes it illegal for unions and employers to man tateidate that employees be part of the union or pay money to that union.
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>> or destroy when they have to stay afloat. one or the other. >> kagy gray is the reporter for the detroit free press and joins us now. this happened very quickly. it looks like we have not seen the end of this fight. democrats and union activists and anybody who supports the unions about finding a way to overturn this. they have three options and is to pursue a legal challenge to how the law was passed in the legislature. the second involves beating sick snyder, the governor's race that requires them to win both houses. it looks like a long shot that looks like the boast bankable bet to collect signatures equivalent to 8% to the total number of votes cast. that means 258,000 signatures. then they can get a referendum on this. is that the best bet for people
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to overturn this? >> it's still so fresh and they are working on what the best option is. there could be recalls against some of the senator who is voted for the bill. the constitutional amendment is a long shot. they try that on november 6th and lost pretty badly. that was an initiative that was far overreaching than just right to work. that would have collective bargaining rights that failed pretty badly. >> that's so interesting to me. we think of michigan as a union state. the margin was 58-42. the same day that barack obama won the state by ten points. i wonder your paper and the detroit news has been absolutely killing them over this. the free press has been killing snyder over this and endorsed him and turned completely. i wonder if that is indicative of a backlash this is not about
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the law itself. is there a backlash about the way it's happening and he said he wouldn't do this and a lame duck session. is there a backlash about the way this happened? >> absolutely. everyone is pretty angry about that. up until last tuesday, governor snyder said this was not on his agenda. it was too devicive and didn't want to deal with it. he came back and said it's on my agenda for a thoughtful discussion and by thursday the house and senate passed it without any public hearings and input or committee hearings. people are upset about how it was passed. republican had to get it done in the lame duck. after january they may not have been able to get it done. the republicans still will have a majority in january, but they lost five seats in the statehouse. they only had a two-vote cushion for the vote yesterday and that cushion probably won't be there after january.
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>> you mentioned the proposed constitutional amendment that failed bodily on the ballot. i was wonder figure you can take us in the politics of how that went down and people think of michigan as a pro union, pro labor state with a rich history. your colleague wrote something i found interesting. reilly on the free press seemed like a theory of what unions need to do and where they went wrong. she said the 1960s and 1970s were fighting for the phone. they both called and want their culture back. they want their methods of selling the union back. they are calling now and if the unions don't answer that call with new ideas and a new program, america will be a right to work nation by the time hillary rodham clinton completes her second term. i particularly like that last part. what actually happened politically on the ground in the failure of that constitutional amendment. what did the argument look like
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there? >> well, the union decided they wanted to put this on the ballot because the right to work discussion kept bubbling up. they wanted to put an end to it. what they did instead of just saying let's not deal with right to work, let's do that and they wanted to repeal a lunch bunch of other laws too. a lot of people felt it was after overreach. even democratic party officials say privately that perhaps they bit off too much with the proposal and as a result as soon as it failed so badly, right to work came up again. >> were democrats united behind that proposition though? i mean democratic leadership and not voters. >> absolutely. absolutely. a ton of money was spent to try to get it pass and defeat it.
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it got defeated and the unions said a lot of people, even union people who again thought it was just way too much of an overreach. they should have narrowed the question much more. they talk about the power and the place of labor. that's indicative of labor losing power in a globalized world and a world where people don't stay at one job for decades and decades. where people don't get into the middle class based on the jobs. does labor and unions need to retool for the modern world or is that wrong and this is an overreach by the governor? >> they already started to retool when the auto companies were facing bankruptcy. the unions really, really sacrificed quite a bit many of them had their wages cut in
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half. they goat rid of the health and pension benefits. they made a sacrifice, but the perception of unions out there still is not great. that was at play. >> we need to talk about the perception of unions. it seems like we all accept election results and bills that get passed through the process and even if we want to do that, there is an unwilling tons accept reality. there was an effort to recall scott walker or the protests that are now turning violent or chicago schools that went teacherless for weeks earlier this year. what can you unions do to change this perception that they are just not going to get along and play well with others. >> i think there is got to be a
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huge public education effort about what unions are doing. what kind of benefits they are providing for their union members. the reality is different than the perception out there. often they are perceived as lazy. i heard the term union thugs a lot yesterday. that's the way some people think of union members. they get paid for not working. that's not true anymore. they get all these lavish benefits which was a reality a while ago, but isn't anymore. i think there has to be a better public education effort for what unions need to do to tell people what they are all about. >> kathy gray from detroit, thank you very much. straight ahead, getting a deal or stick to their principal. what voters really want from the fiscal negotiations. the result of the new poll as
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only 28% agreed with me and said leaders should stick to positions even if it means diving over or sliding down the fiscal sloping cliff thing and apparently 3% said neither. i'm not really sure that's an option. it does kind of make sense. it looked like we were on the cusp of a compromise and we have this. >> i remained the most optimistic person in the town, but we have serious differences. the president and i have frank conversation about how far apart we are. >> one step forward and two steps back. the latest dueling counteroffers, the white house lowered tax revenue target from 1.6 trillion down to 1.4 trillion and increased cuts by $200 billion to which the gop responded by having the plan we thought looked similar to the original offer. that was helpful. let's go on where we are with the fiscal cliff.
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i am becoming increasingly pessimistic that we are going have a deal done by january 1st. i don't think that's the end of the world, but basically democrats and republicans are living in two realities right now. democrats feel like we won an election and we are holding ought will cards. we don't have to compromise and want to compromise. republicans are feeling like they have leverage that i don't think they have. they think they can go to the debt ceiling and do another hostage crisis like we had in 2011. i think their hand is weak there as well. number one, the drama is gone from some of the debt ceiling crisis since we have been through it already. number two, the american people are not going to take kindly to that tactic. especially when it's being used to do things like take away people's medicare. i don't think that's going to go over very well. both of those things mean that it's going to be hard to get enough democrats and enough republicans to go along with the deal before january 1st.
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>> we have a disagreement. i agree if the republicans go down that road, it's going to be a backlash. so many of these republicans come from the general election districts where the margin is overwhelming and no such thing as too far to the right. some could have a 70% unfavorable rating and still get elected. that's why i think the debt ceiling might be the most serious. we have the second offer that withstand went back to obama. the democrats are saying that what boehner said was the current bush tax rates should be locked in permanently. obama's bottom line is they must go up. republicans are pushing back against the saying that's not in there. one of the possibilities is that baner is talking about this idea of tax reform and loopholes and may have communicated to the president that as part of tax
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reform, rates will not go above where they are right now. that might be sort of where the disconnect is here. there is two possibilities in terms of where boehner and the republicans are right now on the question of tax rates. one is that boehner who is not in a great position to tell conservatives you have to follow me. he doesn't have that much built in credibility. he needs any deal he makes with obama, he needs cover on it. is he waiting until december 26th or 27th or when we are right up against the clock. they have cred skpiblt they give him cover and say we are at the end and make your deal. maybe he is waiting for that. the other possibility is that he surveyed the republican conference and he looked and said no. there is never going to be enough support in the republican conference for tax rate hikes for me to sign off. we are talking about going down the slope starting january 1st. >> the other thing is that the rate hikes, the tax hikes that
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fund the government for eight days have been completely feddishized by both sides. they are a fetish to democrats who think or are acting like they are an economic solution. they are not in and of themselves. the gop fetishized them to sound like the end of the world. they are not. the republicans need to begrudgingly accept the tax hikes and obama and the democrats need to come with spending cuts. unless we treat this like it's an actual problem and not just political theater, all of this stuff is meaningless. totally meaningless. >> the thing i would say on that is it's less like an economic plan and more like fairness and people feeling like they are not getting the raw end of the deal. >> that's political and that's fine. i understand the political argument for it. they are acting like this is going to solve a lot of problems and it's not.
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republicans are acting like it is going to be the end of the world and it's not. we need to just swallow this bitter pill and move forward and talk about tax reform and entitlement reform and the things we need to address our fiscal problems. >> part of what we are seeing is going back to seeing an anti-government party trying to drag down government and that's going to be good for the business in general. i agree with most of what you guys said except with what you said. i'm glad you said fetish. i like when the word fetish is in any conversation about politics. i don't know if it's cool to admit this, but i'm growing tired of this whole discussion. i think we could have had the same discussion last week or the week before or the week before that. i think we did. it is important and a lot of viewers care about it. i don't quibble with any of that. it is creeping forward at a glashial pace. >> you are bored? >> a little bit. we are sort of watching this
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slow motion tango and microscopeing it in slow motion. slow motion in slow motion. >> iment a deal done and fairness for people who need the programs, but like media like we are till watching the aim thing. the for didn't move forward. >> members of congress, take note. trey bored. >> when can we talk about movies again in. >> yeah n. >> to show you how seriously we are, up next, the fiscal cliff. it could last forever apparently. the scary prediction is next in the guest spot. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque.
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>> every day we are closer to the fiscal cliff. >> solving our fiscal challenge we have now. >> the country goes over the fiscal cliff. >> stop the insanity! >> susan pouter back on the show. the end to the fiscal insanity not any time soon. an infinite loop is on the horizon. matt miller is here to explain his endless cliff hypothesis. ech for short. i want to get to the hypothesis, but we want to start with the state of play. a couple of things are bubbling up. the first is this. there has been talk about if there is going to be a deal, what obama would be willing to give to the republicans on entitlements and medicare and social security. there is push back saying you better not be raising the eligibility age. he was pointedly asking if that was something he would consider. he refused to rule it out.
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he would not rule it out in the entry. i'm wondering how nervous do you think right now progressives should be about the idea of the medicare age going up in any deal. >> i guess i don't think progressives should be nervous at all. it's not clear he is going to agree as part of the deal because of the push back and all the analysis that is coming out that shows it doesn't save any money in the near term and shifts money from one pocket of the health care system to another. it might increase national health cost fist people 66 or 67 have to go into the regular system and get subsidized under obama care. the thing that no one talks about is typically when you talk about raising the eligibility age under simpson boelgz that proposed that, it doesn't phase in the higher age for like 30 or 40 years. if that's what boehner and the republicans are talking about, people shouldn't jump out of their chair over that.
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in 30 or 40 years, people may be living to 100. we will revisit this and if that ends up being a cosmetic give that would grease the wheels for a deal and doesn't phase in for two decades, i don't think they should have a big worry about that. >> another moving piece is stimulus. there is a report from sam stein who said the white house made an initial offer and asked for a modest stimulus. i think it's the interpretation of most people is that there is their pie in the sky. if we get everything they wanted, the white house said no, this is more of a bottom line demand. any deal reached has got to include a stimulus. you have the fed coming out saying they will be doing $45 billion to offset some of the potential impact. are you optimistic it will be included in a deal if is reached? >> i hope the president holds firm because people need to
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realize the debt is not a near term problem. the massive unemployment and sluggish growth is the ek noomic problem. we need more stimulus and the idea that he did what he did, making these extraordinary commitments that you keep interest rates low from unemployment for the first time. it is going to be until unemployment is below 6.5%. we can't let the one unelected guy be responsible for carrying the weight of trying to boost demand in an economy that is reeling and coming out from under that epic bubble that burst a few years ago. the president should hold firm on stimulus and the republicans will fight that every step of the way. >> we're have been debating in particular about the debt ceiling and how much leverage republicans have there and i understand because i read your column today that you have a plan for how the president could handle the debt ceiling negotiations and be done with it for now.
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>> yes. my first choice would be as you know, we talked about this before. i would go the constitutional option like bill clinton suggest and say this thing is unconstitutional. ork bama seems to have ruled that out. if he's not going to, he has to reframe the debate. i think the most powerful way to do that is to expose the hoax at the heart of what the republican debt limit argument is. they make it sound like the debt limits, the only way to stop socialist obama from drowning us in debt when obama should say what we should do is raise the debt limit by the amount needed to accommodate the debt that every republican voted for in paul ryan's budget plan last year. this is something people don't understand. the press doesn't widely appreciate this. the ryan budget that all the republicans voted for adds about $6 trillion in debt. ryan may say that's better than the 7 or $8 trillion in obama's
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budget, but lifting the debt ceiling is not about shrink the debt in a rapid way and exposing that hypocrisy. that's the only way that obama can turn public opinion. we come talk about it and if obama made it a staple in the next few dis, it would be the center of media coverage and neutralize the republicans on this. >> a lot of people say politics is hollywood for ugly people. if you see the reaction on the screen, that's not entirely true. there is a way that this fake drama is real and becomes a way to put the guys on screen and more often and get them more screen time. make them seem to have an urgency they wouldn't have if they didn't have the thing going on. that part of the psychology is going on when you talk about the cliff negotiations that you are saying we are going to have. we want to seem urgent and be on tv all the time. this is a way to create the
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urgency in the business. >> i had not thought of that. i understand there is a lot of narcissim and ego as in hollywood, but the idea that they would be inflicting a self-induced recession on the country just to get a little more air time, i have to say that's beyond the depth of cynicism and self involvement that i would credit our leaders with. i do think almost by accident because of the way we got this polarized stuff that you guys would talk about and the republicans feel like they got elected from the majority districts and they won the election, we are at risk of entering what i call this perfectly dysfunctional political equilibrium that perpetuates itself and we may ride from cliff to cliff. even if they do some deal a couple weeks afterwards, it would be a bridge deal that lays out a framework for where we are going to go and sets up another
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cliff with serious consequences to follow if they don't make the deal. if they don't and the politics won't let the bigger deal come together now, what will change in six months that let it come together then and we could end up rolling for cliff to cliff with no end in sight. i know that makes you guys happy. >> no. end the suspense for me and steve and crystal and alleviate trey's boredom and tell us how the story will end. >> i wish i knew the answer. my wife thinks i'm an optimist and thinks it's higher is serotonin. think about the politics and so many moving pieces. all this conversation now about the deals that we are talking about and the boundaries are so narrow and nowhere equal to what we need to do. we top the keep america solvent and the advanced government
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should do. we need to renew the country and we are not even close to talking about that. you can make it very pessimistic even for this higher is serotonin optimist that we are entering a bad period for the u.s. and unless our folks coming to and get their act together. >> a lot of energy and time devoted to an artificially created crisis. matt miller, thanks for joining us. next, have you sent your holiday cards yet? if not, you are not alone. why more americans are taking a pass on this tradition. you ever notice that some people just have a knack
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sure. cake or pie? pie. apple or cherry? cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream. ♪ [ male announcer ] the sound of reddi-wip is the sound of joy. >> look at what we have here. a christmas card from lainie. thank you! you didn't have to go through the trouble. >> no trouble. my assistant did the whole
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thing. >> i didn't see the picture. >> it's a picture. >> looks good. they did a good job. >> hour hard is it to take a picture. >> hmm. >> what? >> did you look at this picture carefully. >> carefully? >> because i'm not sure and correct me if i'm wrong, but i think i see a nipple. >> you might not be getting cards with nipples, but you would rather get a christmas card than a bill. both are lame. the american greeting card association expects 1.6 billion card this is year and that's a lot of trees used to express love. the holidays a huge business for the card industry, but since 05, there is more and more coal in their stockings with a 19% drop in cards being sold. amen. it looks like young people are not into buying cards. per chance because they are not cool. only 1 in 4 send cards and the
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rest use e-mail or facebook and if you really love someone, you spend time with them. i personally hate cards and hope that none of them send to me because corny pieces of paper are poor substitutes for love. bah humbug. i am the scrooge of cards nj i hate them. they are lame. go. >> you are not getting from me, but i love christmas cars. i sent out 100 this year. i love getting them. i put them up. there is my card. happy hunting and happy holidays. i put christmas cards i get up on the mantle. i love it. it's a nice way to say how are you doing and love the ones with picturings so i can see the families. live it. >> did you send a card to the family of the bear? >> please. no. >> they got left off your list? interesting. >> i have a lot of deep emotional feelings about this segment. i have a lot of holiday card guilt.
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there have been years when i was running for congress that i sent out literally 5,000 cards. it was so many. i'm overwhelmed by the thought if i sundaysome out, i forget other people. will they be offended and i can't deal with the emotional turmoil. i shut down. i'm paralyzed and don't send out any. if you are out there and don't get a card, don't feel bad. no one is getting a card from me. i still love you. >> this is your card. >> for you get a card from me, it doesn't mean i love you. >> if you are out there. >> i got no cards from her. >> she doesn't necessarily love you. >> i'm not sure how to interpret that. greeting card sales are down and think i know why. i figured the out how to game the system. i do believe in if you find friends and loved ones you send them holiday acknowledgement. i am mostly cheap. >> and weird. >> the super saver tip from the
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holidays, take a look at this. my grandmother sent me a birthday card and i took grandson and i changed it to amy, the name of a friend and changed it to hanukkah. it said grandson said amy, you are the hanukkah champ. there is a complication because you have to be smart. this was a male basset hound so we had to femmeinize it. we draw a pony and labeled it in case you can't tell an i carly stamp. a female dog playing sports would like that and the ball said girl ball. >> what are is girl ball? what is that? that's not a thing. >> if you have a better suggestion for femmeinizing a basset hound, i am all ears. >> that are is some sexist crap. >> no such thing. recovering from that --
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>> it wears a hat that identifies it as a grinch. >> you are so weird. that's like a cereal killer would do that. >> i saved 3.99. >> last night was the holiday party and we had a great time with the staff and the cyclists were there. there was some dancing and some of it solid and some of it embarrassing. let's show the picture of the ballet dancer and the robotic dancing. do we not have that picture? there we go. >> what are is that? >> that was awkward. because we are ultimately dorks, eszy invented and showed us this game she invented to have fun doing it. some people were good at it and some people not so good. >> they got my wrath. >> eszy was and it's a movie game. we will do it really quick and
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you name an actor and a movie that actor was in and another actor in that movie and a movie that actor was in and you try to go around, steve. >> it works better. >> it's a drinking game and the fcc won't allow you to drink on tv. they are skrajing our game. okay. >> go. >> i'll start with russell crow. go. >> god. >> russell crow? really? i thought we were doing easy ones. russell crow. >> he's an oscar winner. >> whatever. >> fine. you do it. >> l.a. confidential. >> who is in that? >> nor clue. never heard of it. >> kevin spacey. >> usual suspects. >> gabriel burn. >> the thing with the kid and the -- yeah. steve martin's kid. a simple -- >> so steve? >> should i start now?
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>> hector alizondo. >> pretty woman. >> there you go. >> richard gere. >> crist american league? >> moving on. i told you the weak link. >> i don't have a lot of time. >> as we discussed, not everyone is into sending out photos of themselves. this is something i can get behind. the vatican released this picture of pope benedict with his first series of tweets. we made it a caption contest where jennifer dropped this gem. how do i find angry birds? can you do better? we want to know. send that to us on we say the real world, tell a friend. the holidays are all about family. up next, the new research on the most important relationship. we are talking in-laws and public enemy. that led to a rap that just got inducted into the hall of fame.
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>> you mean to say your father ain't met that man? >> i'm going to introduce him right now. >> this i got to see. >> mom and pop, this is jenny's parents, mr. and mrs. willis.
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>> oh, my gosh! i'm so sorry. >> you don't slap somebody and apologize. get a backbone. >> if i find that you are trying to corrupt my firstborn child, i will bring you down, baby. i will bring you down to chinatown. >> after a conversation like that with your in-laws, you might want to throw in the towel on that relationship. not so fast. you can be throwing away your marriage by studying nearly 400 couples for more than quarter century, they found guys who got good with the in-laws and early on were more likely to stay in wedded bliss for the long haul. with us now is terry. her research was featured in the "wall street journal" piece titled the power of the son in law. i am engaged and about to have in-laws. the good news is i love them. in fact my soon to be sister in
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law had a baby this morning. congratulations to christina and rick. the real relationship i have to worry about is between my mom and my soon to be husband. why so? >> well, what i found from the couples in my study is when men feel close to their in-laws, both their mother-in-law and father in law's marriage is much more likely to stay together over the long haul. the risk of divorce goes down almost 20%. >> wow. what do you ultimately do when you have a troubled in-law relationship? you want to marry the person you want to marry and yeah, you get the family with them, but ultimately do you have to prioritize if things are not working and say look, my new family comes first and cut them out of your or what? >> i continuing depends on whether or not you are a husband or a wife. if you are a husband, you want
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to keep on trying. make efforts with your in-laws. again, that's extremely important for the long-term of your marriage. if you are a wife as you are saying and you don't get along with your in-laws or if you are feeling really close to your in-laws, you want to back down and make sure that you set up those emotional boundaries. be sure you keep your privacy. don't take what your in-laws are saying to you personally. that's often times what women are doing when their in-laws are giving advice about parenthood and their major or even your work situation. we as women take it personally. we are very relationship-oriented. we want to be good mothers, good wives and good relationship partners. set emotional boundaries and don't take things personally and say when or no. say i think that's a great suggestion but i can't do it now. >> i don't know how you can not
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take these people's advice seriously. they come into your and they are a big part of your life or spouse's life. you have to take what they say seriously. there is a lot of edible stuff within all of this too. let's look at the other side. daughter in law politics. moms love their sons deeply. this woman takes him away from her in a way. what did you say? a son? >> a son is a son until he takes a daughter's a daughter for life. >> what about the other side, that mother-in-law/daughter politics? >> well, i think that's a very good point. mothers and their sons have a very special relationship. and so there is that strong bond going on. as a daughter-in-law, remember that if your mother-in-law's telling you something that it really has to do about control. she's afraid of losing her son. she's afraid of losing the
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power. and she is frightened about getting older herself. so remember about that special bond. and if you decide to ask your partner or your husband for help in dealing with your mother-in-law, remember that it is going to be difficult for him. that she plays a special bond, a special role in his life. and even though he's going to want to help you and will try, it is going to be difficult for him. >> so you're saying there are these differences in a way husbands and wives should approach their in-laws. i'm curious. what are the dynamics like for same-sex couples? is it different for how they should approach the in-law situation? >> yes. i think in general if we're talking about men, they don't take relationships as seriously. or i would say that they're not thinking talking and analyzing about this relationships 24/7 like women are. so regardless of we're talking
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about a same-sex couple or an opposite-sex couple, we're really talking about the differences between men and women regarding how much they think, talk, analyze, and want to improve their relationships. for all women, we spend a lot of time thinking and analyzing about our relationships. and when people talk about our role as a mother or as a partner, we're going to take those comments personally. as men, you're able to sort of say oh well and move on. much easilier than we are. >> that's definitely not true for all relationships. i don't find that the dynamic in my marriage, but i wondered if you do have a situation where your husband and as the wife your mom aren't getting along very well. i mean, who is the burden on to sort of heal that relationship? and what are some strategies there? >> well, i think it differs. as you said as well, from relationship to relationship.
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i think the person who's having the issue should try to deal with the in-law that they're having a problem with first. go and talk to that person. tell them what's bothering you. make sure that you expect that there are always going to be differences and that they may not change. you may disagree or there may be differences between you and your in-laws. and you're not going to change them on one holiday party or at one event. but if you try and you set your boundaries and you can't deal with that parent or in-law, then your partner can step in. and if things are really bad, remember that these are the people that gave birth to the person that you married. >> right. >> good advice. thank you. up next, steve's thoughts on who's really got the leverage in these cliff talks. i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life.
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two ideas that scare the left have been getting a lot of play this week. raising the eligibility age for medicare and shg called chained cpi. changing in a way that cut social security benefits and saves the government money. the chatter is being stirred by knowledgeable washington journalists saying the obama administration may be ready to include these in a fiscal cliff deal with republicans. whatever negotiations are taking place between the president and speaker john boehner, whatever each side is prepared to give up a a level of security. it's totally possible the white house actually has no intent on messing with medicare or social
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security benefits. but for the left the chatter is ominous. it's coming from well sourced reporters and we've been down this road before. the pursuit with john boehner in 2011, obama was willing. there's reason to suspect there's something to all this chatter. and the question then becomes why? why would obama who simply by doing nothing these next few weeks could get the tax hike on the wealthy he's been demanding without touching medicare and social security? why would he entertain such drastic changes to the safety net? most likely culprit is the dreaded debt ceiling. here's why. republicans came to these talks with no leverage. the consequences of doing nothing before the december 31st meeting were worse for them than democrats. they looked into 2013 and maybe found something there. they're threatening again to hold the full credit of the united states hostage. joous lick the debacle of 2011.
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obama's official position on this is he won't be blackmailed. and he won't -- but this is a dangerous game. if republicans are serious about pulling a repeat of 2011, obama can't ignore them. since it will wreck immediate havoc on the economy. white house wants at the very least a long-term extension of the debt ceiling in any fiscal cliff deal. the republicans now see the debt ceiling as their own leverage. they're demanding a steep price to include it. who anyways if obama will ultimately go along with something like this. but it is a talk that there is still one crucial way he's at the mercy of republicans. it leaves him with a tough choice. to pay their price in entitlements or play debt ceiling chicken with them again. okay. does it for "the cycle" today.


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