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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 9, 2013 4:00am-5:00am PST

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it annoying scott walker. this is quantro, one of the orange flavored liquers. this is lalay, which is like fancy french thunderbird. it's a vermouthy, fortified wine thing. it makes a great cocktail. my sister-in-law loves this, perhaps too much. and just kidding. and, very special ingredient, fresh lemon juice, it must be from an actual fruit. i know that's disappointing. if you have something called lemon juice from a store and they didn't spell lemon with all of the vowels but it -- there we go. three-quarters of an ounce of lemon juice.
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the difficult thing about the corpse reviver is that -- see, it's easy. all equal parts. equal part. you don't even need to write it down. here's the hard part. two drops -- what? what drops of absent. it's hard to get two drops of anything unless you're the kind of person who has an eye dropper around. if you're the kind of person who has an eye dropper around, you're probably not watching cable tv for your cocktail recipe. see what you can do to get two drops. i use a paring knife. shake if. more than you think you need to, until your hand get really cold. and the corpse will be revived. or as they say, in the serious drinking business, you have one too many of these, the corporation will become unrevived.
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happy friday. thanks for being with us. the recipe is at maddowblog.com. "weekends with alex witt" starts now. attack in afghanistan. an explosion rocks the capital as u.s. defense secretary chuck hagel makes his first visit there and the taliban delivers a warning. new word from the president this morning. he talks about dinner with the gop and whether it helped break a fiscal stalemate. saving daylight. losing cash. a new report on exactly how much money the u.s. loses when we spring forward. >> [ bleep ] you say? what you say? [ bleep ] [ bleep ]! >> oh, good grief. justin bieber ready to throw down and fight. see who incited this latest escapa escapade. good morning. now we'll get to what's happening out there as mrb president obama is offering new insight on the sequester stalemate this morning. it looks like it won't be resolved any time soon.
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in his weekly address, the president sheds light on his meeting with republican leaders this week. with the goal of replacing the across-the-board budget cuts that took effect a week ago. >> in the months ahead, there will be more contentious debate and honest disagreement between principle people who want what's best for this country. i still believe compromise is possible. i still believe we can come together to do big things. and i know there are leaders on the other side of the aisle who share that belief. >> the president also highlighted the 236,000 jobs add the in february, bringing unemployment down to 7.7%. despite those good economic numbers, republicans today continue to blast the president over the sequester and getting a budget passed. here's senator jeff sessions of alabama. >> president obama speaks of his deep concern for struggling americans. yet his plans are focused on growing government, not the economy. he has no effective plan to
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create better jobs, more hiring or rising wages. >> and today is the first day the white house will not offer tours to the public, saying the sequester is to blame for that. nbc's kristin welker is at the white house. fortunately they didn't close the corps office. you were able to get there. the president says he's planning to hold more sequester meetings. what are you hearing about that? >> reporter: good morning to you. president obama has a series of meetings on capitol hill next week. he'll meet with democrats and republicans in both chambers. the idea is to talk about deficit reduction. he'll also talk about some of his other second-term goals, immigration reform, gun control. now, these meetings that are coming up this week come on the heels of a series of meetings. this past week he had lunch with paul ryan, his former rival on the campaign trail. and then he had a big dinner here in washington, d.c. earlier this week with 12 republican
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senators at the jefferson hotel. the idea was to hone in on deficit reduction. of course, this comes on the heels of this president having been widely criticized for not reaching out enough to members of congress. so this really represents a new strategy on the part of this president and this white house to reach around congressional leaders to circumvent them and go directly to the rank and member files of congress and talk to them. i've been speaking with administration officials here who say this is a good time for the president to have productive conversations on this point of deficit reduction with members of congress. there's no countdown clock. there's no deadline or fiscal deadline looming, so they're hoping this will create an environment in which they can have these productive conversations. that remains to be seen. of course, still deep differences over the issues of taxes and entitlement reform. one interesting thing that came out of that dinner, alex, one of the senators who attended said he prior to the dinner had been unclear about what president obama was actually offering in
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terms of entitlement reform and cuts. so, there does seem to be some sort of clarifying that's going on in these meeting, but will they actually yield results? that remains to be seen because ultimately the president's going to have to bring congressional leaders back into the fold to turn these conversations into really action. >> absolutely. well, the president saying earlier, it's going to be a few more months ahead of divided loyalty, certainly. thank you very much, kristin. we'll see you again. >> reporter: thank you. >> back in new york, a not guilty plea in court from osama bin laden's son-in-law, senior al qaeda lead are, abu ghaith was in federal court. he was detained in turkey before being flown to the united states. reviving the debate whether terrorists should be tried in civilian court. pete is here with more. good day to you. >> he was once an al qaeda spokesman who sat next to osama bin laden and threatened americans with terrorism but abu
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ghaith was sitting in a federal courthouse in new york facing terrorism charges that could bring him life in prison. prosecutors say he appeared on a veed-r video with osama bin laden a day after the 9/11 attacks warning a great army is gathering against you. in a later video the government says he issued another warning telling children and muslims in the u.s., quote, not to board any aircraft and not to live in highrises. u.s. officials say he had been in iran for much of the past decade with other al qaeda figures under some form of house arrest. some republicans say it's a mistake to put him on trial in a civilian court instead of a military tribunal at guantanamo bay. he talked to investigators extensively, with a 22-page statement. some say he made those statements after he was given his miranda warning. officials say he knows nothing about any current terror plots but they say he can offer insight into al qaeda, including
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what he and the others were doing all that time in iran. alex? >> pete, thank you very much, pete williams. developing now, two explosions rocked afghanistan overnight as u.s. secretary of defense chuck hagel made his first visit there. nine after gans were killed in the first attack. officials say hagel was in a safe location and unharmed. the taliban claimed responsibility saying it was a warning to the u.s. joining me now from kabul, msnbc's mike tybee. good morning to you. apparently they're sending a message to hagel there? do we have signal -- >> reporter: that's what they said. >> yeah, we do. >> reporter: i think -- atrinted to the weapons, we have the time. the taliban saying in the only statements made to this point, self-appointed representatives, that they are going to wait to see what happens after the drawdown because they say nothing less than a full return to power is going to be
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acceptable. with these suicide bombings you're talking about were awful. one in the eastern city of kost with -- eight of nine killed and the first one in central kabul, a lone bicycle-riding suicide bomber setting off exmroed pleases ives 30 yards from the entrance of the afghan defense ministry. now, hagel was across town but the blast could be heard from miles away. the briefing he was in continued uninterrupted as did his itinerary for the rest of the day. he went up to bagram air base where he spoke with commanders there and then went to -- south -- had a chance to talk to and listen to troops from the 101st airborne. tomorrow will be the big day, alex, he'll come back to kabul and talking with and meeting with -- afghan army training center and that's important because -- and then he'll have a series of meetings with afghan economic and military leaders
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and finally with afghan president karzai. you have to think the subjects on table for discussion will include the continuing security issues and then the elephant in the room, the prospect for any really peace talks with the taliban -- are nonexistent. >> many thanks for that. apologies to you, going in and out with the satellite signal. later today i'll speak with william cohen about north korea's latest threat and rejection of u.n. security council resolution that demands an end to their nuclear arms program. that comes up at 1 p.m. eastern time. new england is digging out after a winter storm. harsh waves taking serious toll on one massachusetts home friday. that house is on plumb island, now hanging over the water there at a 45-degree angle. however, there are some promising signed, not for that house, that spring is around the corner. dylan dreyer is here with more.
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good morning. >> good morning. as one storm pulls away in the northeast, we're watching another storm pummel the minute west and it will bring some snow to some areas. it's also going to bring some severe weather. look at how warm it is down across texas right now into the mid-60s. it is going to warm up significantly later on today. that's going to help spark some very strong storms, especially across central texas. so, we'll watch out for the potential for hail and lightning and strong gusty winds as well. we'll see strong winds across western nebraska. because of that we do have blizzard warnings already posted and several winter storm warnings and advisories up and down areas like the rockies and up into minnesota as well. you can see that's where the snow is falling. also an icing situation across portions of northeastern south dakota, across central minnesota and through central and northern wisconsin. that is going to be an area that is going to be very treacherous for driving later on today. as for snowfall totals, we are
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looking for widespread 6 to 12 inches, especially through the denver area, extending up into nebraska and eventually into central wisconsin and parts of minnesota as well. again, it is mostly the wind that is going to create blowing snow. we're also looking for several inches of rain through areas in the midwest where we will see those stronger storms today. it is looking like it will clear out with a lot of melting with 2 feet of snow in the northeast. we'll see a nice warm-up in the northeast as we head through this weekend. >> dylan, thank you for that. well, could the fallout from the drone filibuster get any uglier? the answer's yes. we'll show you. but not quite as ugly as a justin bieber tantrum. we'll show you that, too. with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free -- it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat.
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i've always been intrigued by the fact that when i disagree with my own party leadership, my
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own president like saying donald rumsfeld ought to resign, we need to do the surge, then i'm a brave maverick. when i'm taking on others, then he's just an angry old man. >> well, that is senator john mccain talking about his opposition to rand paul's drone filibuster in the senate this week. for more on that and the president's gop outrage, i'm joined by political reporter for "the washington post," aaron blake and staff writer alease. good morning. >> good morning. >> let's begin with rand paul talking about john mccain. >> i treat senator mccain with respected. i don't think i always get the same in return. >> so, aaron, why did mccain and lindsey graham attack him on the senate floor? didn't it hurt mccain and graham? >> it might. i think this is an area where graham and mccain have a very
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significant policy difference with rand paul and a lot of the new republicans who are joining the senate these days. at the same time, i think this is an issue -- you know, the rand paul filibuster got a lot of attention because it was fascinating this guy was talking for 13 hours. it wasn't necessarily that people in the republican party were embracing his message, so to speak. so, you know, i think the republican party is very much split on this issue but i don't think it's a point of emphasis. i do think it's interesting that mccain and graham are spending time making this point and mccain even calling somebody names, which is unusual for the senate. but i don't think this is going to be a big deal long term given that foreign policy is not at the top of the ticket right now. >> although, don't know, did you see that one picture of them inside the senate elevator? it was awkward. >> really awkward. >> i can't get that one out of my head. it was just -- they went each in their own corners. anyway, who are most republicans siding with in this gop squabble? >> i think that's a good question. you know, 13 senators gop
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senators joined rand paul on the floor to voice their support. most were newcomers, new faces. mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, also joibed. what we saw was a huge response from the conservative grass roots supporting rand paul on twitter. we saw the conservative drudge report calling mccain an old bull, you know, freedom works is calling on mccain to apologize to rand paul. so i would say this raises a really important question. what is the gop establishment? maverick john mccain might have been on the wrong side of this one. >> interesting. i'll stay with you as we switch gears here. we're going to take a bit from the president's weekly address talking about his gop meeting. >> earlier this week, for example, i met with some republican senators to see there were smarter ways to grow our economy and reduce our deficits than the arbitrary cuts and the so-called sequester that recently went into place. we had an open and honest conversation about critical issues like immigration reform and gun violence and other areas where we can work together to move this country forward.
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>> so, there appears to be some goodwill, genuine appreciation. the president reached out which he's not known for doing in the first term. did anything concrete happen in those first meetings? >> it's hard for us to tell. we know what they ate but we don't really know what they said. the white house is closely guarding the details of this meeting. and even many of the republican senators in attendance are very unwilling to talk about exactly what was discussed. we assume that in the future, the details will leak out. but at this point, there's a lot of goodwill, which is a change in tone. but we don't really know the details. >> at least we can say this much, it doesn't appear the sequester is going to end any time soon, right? >> no. and these senators and the president can get together and have coffee and have dinner and, you know, say nice things about each other. but the fact is that we're still in a very partisan environment right now. and these republican senators still have to worry about their, you know, conservative electorates, their primaries. so, they're not going to sign
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onto anything that includes tax increases, unless we really see the sequester impact start to take a turn for the worse. unless the white house's predictions turn out to be true. you know, i think we're still a very long way away from actually having any kind of an agreement on this. >> well, here's a practical application of the sequester, aaron, and your colleague david has a front-page story on the white house stopping tours beginning told. i mean, is that really a victim of the sequester cuts or is that a political statement? because really, how much can that cost to run? >> it actually costs $2 million a year. and the secret service said it had to cut $84 million out of its budget. so, you know, exactly -- exactly where they needed to cut is really in the eye of the beholder. republicans are really focusing on this. it's become metaphor for the larger debate about, you know, the administration overhyping these cuts. ly say right now that the white house is concerned about how this debate is going and thinks
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they may be actually losing this right now. so, i think as we move forward and evaluate whether sequester is actually a big deal for the economy, i think this is one of the anecdotes that's going to be front and center. >> well, $2 million is $2 million. your latest article about the republican paul ryan's budget and how it might change the medicare cutoff point. what's the controversy there? some in ryan's own party are squawking about this, right? >> that's right. paul ryan will come out with his latest budget plan on tuesday. the big question people on the hill are asking, for which americans will his medicare overhaul apply? the gop had promised in the past that people 55 and under -- excuse me, 55 and older would not see a change at all. and what we're hearing now is that ryan may need to raise that age to 56 in order to balance the budget within ten years, which is what republicans have promised this plan will do. and centrist republicans are meeting with ryan and expressing
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a lot of concern, saying that if we go back to our voters and say we broke a promise, what do you expect us to do? and the midterms are coming up. and i think there's a lot of concern about this. >> okay. elise, aaron blake, thank you for that. we appreciate it. >> thank you. the stress of being a superstar begins to show as the biebs blows his top. first, get ready to get one less hour of sleep tonight. sunday at 2 a.m. we all spring forward for daylight saving time. just a moment we'll show you just how costly that is when you turn your clocks ahead. also replace those batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide defect tors. we want to hear more from you so head over to facebook and search alex witt and "like" us. ere bac. polident kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains. that's why i recommend polident. [ male announcer ] cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok...
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but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪ will restore even skin tone? think again. introducing olay professional even skin tone. developed by experts in skin genomics to target 5 major causes of uneven skin tone and help restore even color. olay professional even skin tone. [ bleep ] you say? [ bleep ] you say? [ bleep ]! [ bleep ]! who's your [ bleep ]! >> oh, good grief, that's justin bieber cursing and lunging at paparazzi in london.
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it capped a tough week, including a fainting spell at one concert. here's what he tweeted after this episode. sometimes when people are shoving cameras in your face all day and yelling the worst thing possible at you, well, i'm human, rough week and, ah, rough morning. trying to feel better for this show tonight but let the paps get the best of me. i have two words for me, boo hoo. one jobs report worth writing home, two, household wealth showing flashes of prerecession thai highs. something to lose sleep over. how dale saylight saving is cosa fortune. regina lewis joins us. >> good morning. >> do you think the economy is finally on the rebound? >> naturally certainly it's a good number. it's 7.7%, which is the lowest since 2008. not all states are feeling that equally. new jersey, nevada, california still have unemployment rates north of 9%, but what people really like about it, alex, is that the overall gains were
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broad-based, meaning it wasn't just one sector lifting the number. construction in particular, but also hospitals, retail, restaurants, even hollywood got a bump because companies are feeling more opportunistic and they're making and producing more advertising. so, signs that are positive across the boards. the biggest headwind is going to be these federal cuts potentially, so federal, state and local cuts. and government jobs. the question moving forward is, can the private sector create jobs fast enough to offset those losses. >> yeah, that makes sense. what about u.s. household wealth or the network? that's looking as good as it did before the recession at this point, so is it celebration time or fool's gold? >> well, it's interesting because you threw that question out on twitter. a lot of people are saying, well, i'm just not feeling it. not feeling it. here's why. when you look at wealth, the two biggest factors in that are stocks and the value of your home. so, when the media is raving about the dow jones industrial average hits an all-time high, 80% of those stock holdings are
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by 10% of households. meaning the wealthy are getting wealthier. for most people they're not quite feeling it yet because that second factor, housing, is 30% below its peaks. it's improving. until it gets back to the peak, that's when the crowd on twitter will start feeling it. >> okay. what about this -- i was shocked. da daylight saving time actually costs us hundreds of millions of dollars. can you explain this one? >> its not the most scientific study but there's a big debate going on is daylight saving time an antiquated concept? the sleepbetter.org organization did something called the lost hour economic index. they calculated that for every person it costs about $1.65. they used research like increase in heart attacks, increase in on-the-job performance issues. getting hurt, for instance. and then what they call a cyber loafing. the idea here is are you
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overtired and lazier the next day and more accidents? there is. >> interesting study. not scientific but i can see it makes practical sense. >> i agree. to the tune of $433 million, they contend. >> that's a lot of money. >> that's a lot. >> regina lewis, thank you. she was mentioning the twitter question. here it is. numbers suggest the economy is improving. are you feeling it? you can talk to me on twitter. my handle is @alexwitt. in today's one-minute playback, dramatic and surprising testimony in the jodi arias trial. she's on trial in arizona on charges of first-degree murder. arias says she killed him in self-defense but doesn't remember much of the events of that day. this week the judge asked arias questions submitted by the jury, including one about her alleged memory loss. >> how can you say that you don't have memory issues when you can't remember how you stabbed him so many times and
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slashed his throat? >> well, i think that i have a good memory. and june 4th is an anomaly for me. it's like i said yeshgsd it's in a class of its own and i can't explain why -- what state of mind i was in. it was -- most of the day was an entire blank. and little pieces have come back, but not very many. so, i can't explain that day alone. but if you were to put that day over here, all the other days in my life, i don't think i have memory issues that are any different from another average person. love your passat! um. listen, gary. i bought the last one. nice try. says right here you can get one for $199 a month. you can't believe the lame-stream media, gary. they're all gone. maybe i'll get one. [ male announcer ] now everyone's going to want one. you can't have the same car as me, gary!
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[ male announcer ] that's why there's ocuvite to help replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. ocuvite. help protect your eye health. you know you could just use bengay zero degrees. medicated pain relief you store in the freezer. brrr...see ya boys. [ male announcer ] bengay zero degrees. freeze and move on. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." here are your fast five headlines. celebration and outrage in egypt after a court upheld death sentences for 21 people involved in last year's deadly soccer
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riot that left more than 70 dead. the protesters stormed the soccer federation and set it on fire. they're upset about the acquittal of seven police officers in their alleged role in the violence. dennis dugard has signed a law allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom. after 12-hour debate, colorado senate has advanced a strong gun control bill that includes expanded background checks and a ban on sales to people accused of domestic violence. the host of the sportsman channel's "a riflesman journal" has been shot and killed. they say gregory rodriguez was murdered by a jealous husband who then shot and killed himself. in chicago, all that's left of eight stolen school buss is a pile of shredded metal. gps units on the buses led police to a scrap yard just hours after they were taken. each bus was worth up to $3,000 in recycled metal. those are your fast five headlines. one week into sequestration
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and the spending cuts are already taking a toll. the army announced friday it is suspending tuition assistance for soldiers as a result of the budget squeeze. that shut down effective as of 5 p.m. eastern time yesterday. soldiers already enrolled in the program are allowed to continue. the marine corps suspended tuition assistance. starting today, most of the general public will get to see the white house only from the outside. the secret service aus suspended all tours at 1600 pennsylvania avenue for the time being. >> i'm very sad for the people that will not be able to see the inside of the gorgeous white house. >> a lot of people, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. >> and we could soon be facing longer delays at some of our airports. the faa says it may furlough air traffic controllers and close towers. the tsa is weighing furloughs for screeners. newark mayor cory booker is weighing in on the sequester. >> this is a bad way to go about budget cutting. it is blunt, brutal and blind and not the way you would have done it if people had come together in an intelligent
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fashion to figure out the best way to reduce government. >> well, mayor booker has a lot more to say about the effects of sequestration on his city. i talked to him about how he's helping the fight against childhood obesity. we'll have the rest of his discussion here at 1:30 p.m. eastern. for more on the sequester and the president's dining diplomacy, let's bring in john yarmouth. welcome back. good morning. >> good morning to you. >> do you think the white house really needs to suspend the white house tours because of sequestration, or is that just for show? we did find out it costs $2 million a year for the secret service to run it. you weigh the pr there. what do you think? >> i think it was a mistake. i wish that they had not made that decision. $2 million is $2 million, but when you basically shut the public out of one of the most iconic symbols of government, then i think that's a bad idea. clearly, the -- it was designed to show that this really does have a significant impact. that's something that's highly visible.
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but there are other ways that i think the white house could have made -- made those cuts. >> yeah. let's take a look at your state because kentucky, the white house is projecting some mandatory spending cuts of about $20 million in education funding. more than $100 million trimmed from the military. more than 10,000 civilian d.o.d. employees being furloughed. any impact thus far? have you seen anything as a result? >> we've gotten bits and pieces. one school principal in my district said that he'd already had to let two special education teachers go. an air traffic controller was furloughed. we're seeing it, again, in dribs and drabs. that's one of the things that most of the american people won't actually see the sequester. but it will manifest itself in all sorts of ways. there's -- for instance, the irs put out a ruling that because of sequester, certain tax-free bonds will have their interest rate -- or credits reduced so institutions of university of louisville and university of
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kentucky that used these tax-free bonds will have to pay more to service those debts so it has a rippling effect. >> what about the president having reached out to the gop this week during the dinner with senators and lunch with paul ryan. do you think that is going to help avoid more fiscal crises, this kind of reaching out by the president? if so, why didn't this president do it earlier? >> well, you know, once again, i think this was a nice symbolic act. and i'm sure that those senators appreciated the dinner and chris and paul enjoyed the lunch, but i don't think it's going to make any difference. ultimately these members have to go back to their districts and their states and answer to their constituents. the only thing that's going to solve this ongoing dispute is an elections. and we thought that the election in 2012 resolved many of these issues, but apparently it hasn't. >> yeah, you mentioned chris and paul. chris van holland and paul ryan. you're on a first-name base. there you have it. >> they're on my committee.
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>> you said the march 1st sequester was a deadline and they needed to focus on march 26 27th to avoid a shutdown. house voted on continuing resolution on wednesday. you voted against that. talk about that. why? >> first of all, what the continuing resolution did was kind of put in cement the sequester cuts. again, i don't think we need to be cutting -- it ended up being about $70 billion out of spending over the next seven months. this is dangerous in an economy that's still on the -- making a pretty good recovery. but we don't want to jeopardize that recovery. so, i didn't like the spending measures. the actual -- the agreement that was made back in 2011 was for $1.043 trillion in spending, discretionary spending. and this is, again, about $70 billion less than that. so, i just think it's damaging to the economy. ultimately, the senate wasn't going to pass that anyway, so i wanted to make a statement that this is not the right way to go about it. not the right funding levels for the next seven months.
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>> the senate judiciary committee approved a bill against gun trafficking on thursday against the so-called straw sales, where you're really buying a gun for someone else. a lot more still has to be done on this issue. according to politico the president's gun control issue is looking, quote, more doomed by the day. do you agree with that? >> i'm not sure -- i don't really know what's going on, the internal dynamics of the senate. but it certainly looks like the package that they put together is -- is not gaining a lot of traction, to put it mildly. i think they ought to put back, as i think senator schumer's going to do, just introduce a clean background check bill t t that -- universal background checks. that's something that 90% of the american people favor. 75% of the people in my state favor. and that should be an easy one for everybody to get behind. >> okay. got to get back with you on ashley judd. any more on whether she's going to run for senate there in your state? >> i think it's looking more and
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more every day that she's going to run. clearly, mitch mcconnell is panicked, as much as he can be. they're sending out all these effort -- making all these efforts to try to discredit her right off the bat. but there's a lot of polling in the state that shows it's basically a dead heat race. she's getting more and more excitement -- generating more every day. and one of the best things that happens for her is that house speaker greg stumble of the kentucky house, the coal country, said he's going to encourage her to run. she'd be a strong candidate. he also talked about mountain top removal, which many people think is a vulnerability for ashley judd because she opposes it. he said mountain top removal is a dinosaur and needs to end. he basically gave her a lot of cover with democrats throughout the state. so, that's very, very positive. >> okay. representative i don't know yarmoth, we'll speak with you again. in this week's office politi
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politics, co-author of the ultimate watergate chronicle "all the president's men" and wrote a biography of hillary clinton "a woman in charge" and i asked him whether he thinks she'll run for president in 2016 but i asked him to first share his thoughts on sequestration. >> the sequestration is a product of total irresponsibility. on the part of the congress of the united states. these are people who have not for -- going on 30 years dealt responsy with the national interests. they're looked at parochial interests, financial interests, constituencies, back home in terms of the narrow geographical area and not the national area. our federal government is broken. there's a short-term solution of balancing some numbers but that's not what this is about. this is about a basic philosophical argument that has been ongoing, particularly launched by the radical right, about what the role of government is.
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and the role of government, perhaps might need some constraint, it has moved into the realm of such irresponsibility in terms of a political cohort in washington that understands that the government -- does not understand that the government has legitimate function. that we need government. that we need government to, for instance, the food and drug administration, for instance we need the center for medicare and medicaid. we need these things. the idea that government is the enemy is utter nonsense. where it becomes the enemy, fix it. but this nonsense that all government spending is bad and we can just take a chisel or take a razor blade is wrong and ignore rant. >> how do you view the whole back and forth between bob woodward and the white house and the other begins of origins of
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sequestration? >> bob and i have talked about it a lot. i think bob was absolutely right about the origins of sequestration. obama proposed it. i don't think anybody ever expected it to come to be. certainly he didn't. the republicans, i think, hoped it would come to be and rapidly embraced it. i think it's irresponsible all around. that but it is again a product -- look what got them there in the first place. >> a couple questions about hillary clinton, because you wrote the biography 2008, "a woman in charge." we look ahead to 2016. give me what you know about her and that exhaustive research for that book. what's your best guess? >> that bill clinton wants her to run. assuming that she's healthy. i think you would have to assume that he would be healthy as well, if she were to run. it's a long ways off.
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she needs a rest. think about this. here is somebody who won, went through being the first lady during this turbulent presidency that included her husband's impeachment in the lewinsky matter and became really the person who saved his presidency. and who ran the fight against impeachment for him. went from there straight to a race for the u.s. senate. won that race. served in the senate. went from there straight to a presidential race. did not stop. became the secretary of state. traveled more miles probably than almost anybody in the history of the world, except maybe pope john paul ii. seen by more people. turned to -- you know, into a great secretary of state in terms of being an ambassador for the united states. >> you cannot walk into this office, carl, without being
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overwhelmed by this record collection. what in the world and where did that start? and this, too, record player. >> well, let's see. about three-quarters are classical and a fourth of them are rock. >> you were a rock journalist, weren't you? >> i was a rock critic. my son is a rock guitarist. my other son is writing for "the times" and doing great. music has always been a big part of my life. >> we'll have more of our conversation at noon. isn't that cool about kesha? we'll talk about the res nag of pope benedict and the future of the catholic church. when hollywood meets washington we'll talk watergate in the film "all the president's men". what are they doing atop the sistine chapel? [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8.
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to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
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chimney stack above sistine chapel. white smoke will rise that fr that chimney. for more on the intriguing but secretive process let's go to kieran in vatican city. good morning to you. what happened on tuesday? >> reporter: that's right. you can see that chimney on top of the roof over there on my left-hand side. just in the distance. so, that's now there. on tuesday, the cardinals will meet for a mass in the morning and then they will hold their first votes in the afternoon. two votes in the afternoon. and then following that, each day, two votes in the morning, two votes in the afternoon. and each time that those sets of votes are inconclusive, they will burn the ballot paper and black smoke will appear from that chimney above the sistine chapel. at the point in which they have come to a conclusion where one of the candidates, if you like, gets a two-thirds majority, they will elect -- they will have
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elected that person pope and white smoke will appear from that famous chimney. in fact, alex, this view is a great one just to describe how things will progress, because the cardinals will stay in accommodation over to my right there. quite sparse accommodation. not too luxurious to encourage them to come to a decision. and then when the decision is made, the pope will appear in front of the square behind me here, in front of the basilica. >> what's the best guess as to how long it's going to last? the longest was, what, five days to elect two popes. benedict took three. what are they saying about this one? >> reporter: guess is the right word, alex, but we haven't seen a conclave last for longer than five days for a few hundred years now. what people are saying about this is there is no clear front-runner, although one -- italian newspaper today is talking about some possible strong candidates, including boston's cardinal sean o'malley. but no one seems to be really
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standing out. the way, for example, pope benedict xvi, the way, for example, pope benedict xvi did when he was elected pope. so it's still unclear, maybe in the coming days before tuesday, we may begin to get a better picture of who is looking like a front-runner, maybe three or five different candidates. and things can move quite quickly, alex. when pope john paul ii was elected, that just took around three days. but he was seen as an outsider. >> an american pope possibility. wouldn't that be interesting, keir simmons, thank you so much. well, straight ahead. breaking bread. breaking good for ending gridlock in d.c. [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food. so i can't afford to have germy surfaces. but after one day's use, dishcloths can redeposit millions of germs. so ditch your dishcloth and switch to a fresh sheet of new bounty duratowel. look! a fresh sheet of bounty duratowel leaves this surface cleaner than a germy dishcloth, as this black light reveals. it's durable, cloth-like
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call it a pr move or call it bipartisanship long last. whatever you call, it president obama breaking brady with republicans this week.
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joining me now, good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> what do we know about the events, the dinners and the luncheons this week. anything substantive accomplished? >> we know that the president actually discussed wanting to have a grand bargain by the end of july. that's something that came out a day that far. some republican senators were, i guess, surprised that the president laid out some specific potential entitlement cuts that he'd like to see that they say they hadn't seen from leadership. now whether or not this actually means something there-l get done is a higher hill to climb because john boehner, mitch mcconnell, both said that they don't want to have any more revenue, any additional revenue, regardless of the fact that the president met with these folks. the other difficult thing here, you know, president obama coming in, this was one of his deficiencies. he didn't have these established relationships with most of these folks on the hill. that's one reason joe biden was
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brought in, because he'd been there so long. had the relationships built up. the president himself never had those relationships and some of those nebs of congress may have resented the fact, why not me, i've been here a long time. this guy's only been here a few years and now he's starting to run. >> another interesting dinner of which i would have loved to be a fly on the wall. that's the one with the first lady and the clintons. three hours there in the private dining room in the white house, right? >> yeah, that's what we've heard. look, they are an important power couple. whether or not you're thinking about 2016 and what the democratic legacy is going to be. around whether or not president obama wants to figure out in his second term how he can deploy the clintons. he's brought bill clinton into the briefing room to help him a little bit. maybe he can figure out what exactly hillary clinton wants to do now. we know that she's going to be doing the speaking tour. we know that she's going to be take something time off. thinking about whether or not
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she's going to make a run in 2016. but i think we'll see whether or not president obama can somehow deploy the clintons in pr effort to help push back against some of the attacks. >> well, you know, i know the dinner with the clintons was billed as a private farewell, thank you, for the administration. you've got to think, bill clinton, three-hour dinner, you know he was dispensing advice and experience, that's just presumed. >> bill clinton likes to think of himself as the democratic chief strategist. he's his best political adviser. and i think there absolutely had to be conversation about mess e messaging. how to reach out to folks on the hill. at least in a pr way to show you're making a little bit of an effort. you know, president obama started to take a hill in the polls on the approval rating. yes, sequester is to blame, but he's the president and too tough of a cut. >> dough minnickco, always a pleasure.
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thanks. that's a wrap of this hour with "weekends with alex witt" be sure to join me way two-hour ed edition of the show. we've got "up with chris hayes." . behold natural beauty above the sea, and far below. behold smiles so wide they stretch across the face of an entire nation. behold...the islands of the bahamas. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ so we created the extraordinarily comfortable sleep number experience. a collection of innovations designed

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