tv The Cycle MSNBC December 11, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
the past few days. >> the science of spending, just in time for christmas. we have the perfect gift, i'm luke russert, news flash, the best holiday shopping isn't about how much you spend. >> and the big reveal, "time's" person of the year unveiled. why miley cyrus missed the cut. ♪ >> let's begin with the poll. do you believe in numbers? washington is falling off the cliff and the president is shown under water with negative 54%, the highest level ever. don't jump off a cliff just yet. at the white house, let me say this, if you are number one in the ratings in college football polls that's good and our poll
says 1% think congress is doing a good job and that's three people and you have to ask, who are you? we have last night's budget deal and we'll talk politics with nbc's political director chuck todd. >> we can actually find out. one of the great deals about wall street journal poll, when you agree to do it, we ask yes or no will be agreed to be called back by a reporter. hopefully those three -- >> show yourselves. >> i think -- >> i assume their names are like j. boehner e. cantor. >> i don't think the congressional employees at this point have a high opinion of congress. >> it might not even be john boehner's but john boehner's mom, right? >> chuck, i want your reaction to something as you know the nbc news political team caught up with paul ryan today. let's listen to that right now.
>> for three years we keep passing these crs that says the administration decides how to spend money. now we get to fight for the composition of spending that we believe in. that's a really good step in the right direction. it means congress gets to -- we'll have an appropriations process and any member can bring an amendment to the floor to change how government spends money. we haven't been able to do that for years. >> what i hear there from paul ryan is partly a process defensiveness. this puts congress back in the driver's seat, more so than the budget snubz. >> today feels like revenge of establishment, with the paul ryan and john boehner lecturing outside groupz. this has been the elder statesmen of congress, particularly who think this guy hal rogers, kentucky the chairman of the appropriations mt and all of those guys -- luke can talk to this better, they
have been griping about this not months, but years, the idea when you do the cr. first of all, it cost the country more money. i have a friend who is a nuclear engineer and he works in government contracts and works in the private sector, you have no idea how many times you start taen stop projects because they do -- and he just sits there, if you can fair a way to calculate the loss scholars, it is absurd. paul ryan is making that argument but of course, suddenly logic and rationality are breaking out in the leadership and not allowing the tail to wag the dog but they did for a long time. that is suddenly what's -- i think hurting them this morning when they are realizing we've got -- >> and it is, almost a technocratic defense. this is how it is -- >> michael dukakis. >> and this is better than the insanity. as your poll shows a lot of the country would agree with that because there's such a distaste for the way they have been running and that is such a small
step. we have another guest with us, thomas frank, a contributor to harper's magazine and writes in next month's issue how democrats should share some of the blame for all of this power that republicans are yielding. you've given a lot of thought to economic politics. what do you make of this miniature budget supposed breakthrough? >> you know, i think it's pretty unremarkable. this is the sort of thing if it had happened ten years ago, it certainly wouldn't be on the front page of the newspaper. but you got to consider paul ryan, this is a man who we all know has his eyes on a larger role in politics, ran for vice president years ago, last year. and by doing this he gets to both be very responsible and play the maverick at the same time. and distance himself from the right wing of his party. >> chuck, i want to go to you a little bit inside this poll. you send out this lovely v.i.p.
list of your poll memo. i'm on the list, krystal. >> you have here, there's a disconnect between the improving economy and obama's economic job approval. the country sees the economy going in the right direction, but when it comes to obama's job approv approval, 39% good, 58 say bad. >> basically the only answer is that health care defines everyone for him. and this health care showed up in the focus group and you've seen it here. if you're at the white house, that is good news in an odd way if you fix it. right? if you fix health care, then suddenly you can clear the decks and suddenly you can talk about other things. suddenly you can -- but that's the downside of health care, is that he's not even getting the benefit of the economy. the health care is so sticky, i
think is the word one of the pollsters used, it doesn't matter what he does, almost like a downward spiral. >> they are only hearing it doesn't matter, you couldn't do health care. if he turns health care around and we have improving news, if you're the white house today with enrollment numbers, if that continues to grow, perception is that, then suddenly this improving economy, i think could help him. is this what bailed out reagan, bailed out clinton from lewinsklewinsk lewinsky. after ckatrina, by the way the economy started falling. >> just too much. >> they were been signaling what they want to do moving forward. the administration seems to really want to focus on income inequality. he gave a fantastic speech. there's more talk about the minimum wage. there's worker movements across
the country pushing the minimum wage. do you think those sorts of issues which really are the reason why this president wanted to be president in the first place, do you think they are going to provide him with a lifeline and with direction going into the midterm elections? >> they could if he wants them to. look, the fact is that raising the minimum wage is an overwhelmingly popular issue. i'm talking about even in deep red republican districts. this is a way to for the president to connect with working people if he wants to do that. it's also a way to really give the republican congress a beating. if that's what he wants to do. he should emphasize it and hit it again and again. >> chuck, since you traveled from d.c. just to be on the cycle, i'll forgive you for booting me just this once -- >> get the mug. >> with the lipstick too. >> pretty good. >> but big picture here, chuck,
to understand obama's current situation, i think it's helpful to look at past presidents in recent history who all hit lows in their second term. clinton and reagan had short-term setbacks because of one big hurdle, you had iran-contra and for clinton monica lewinsky, they were both able to recover unlike bush who had a series of episodes, katrina, the iraq war, financial collapse, he was not able to recover. the big question for obama, what has to be done to avoid a bush like situation where he simply can't recover? >> they have to get -- they have to hit the enrollment numbers and make sure other parts of the health care law are going to work. you know, the great fear that republicans are trying to throw out there, yeah, the website works but just wait until then sundayly you'll find out you can't get the doctor you wanted and all of those things. they are throwing out straw men in these arguments a little bit. if any of them turn out to be
true, it could end up becoming something that weighs down the president. but it's all to me, this isn't about the white house needing to focus on they should go to this issue or that issue. they need to realize, they have to get this right and get it done and fix it because it is bleeding all over everything else. the public is not listening to him right now. the middle isn't listening to him until he shows some effective leadership on health care. >> chuck, you were saying this now feels like the revenge of the establishment, like -- >> on the budget side, yes. >> they are trying to take back control of the republican party. do you see that as ultimately being successful or do you think we'll move past the era of the government shutdown and debt ceiling crises? >> i think certainly what the public wants. i think no we're going to know and you look at the seven senators, sitting senators getting challenged. if they are -- if they are able
to beat them all back or beat them all but say one and say they only lose the come rchran seventh term. let's say they show and able to show the establishment able -- i think that puts the party in a better position in 2016. that's where these groups, boehner is talking a big game with these groups but they could say, let's see what happens with john cornyn and we'll make your life miserable. if they get momentum, this is just -- there will be a sequel. >> let's talk about that because there's reports that he's not going to support the budget deal which is extraordinary and you see marco rubio coming out against it and rand paul, all of these folks with electoral prospects. but put that into context of how significant it was for john boehner to tell a hertage action
club for growth to shove it. that they were sick and tired of it. they come out against the bill before reading it. it was interesting to show some spine there. >> one of the interesting thing about the republican strategy, if they all stick together and say no to everything, it sort of -- it creates this illusion that it's the democrats and they are insane radicalism. that sort of started to crumble recently. can i say there's one thing that i really like about the complete dysfunction in congress, which is that it's prevented barack obama -- i come from a very liberal perspective. and the thing i fear is the grand bargain. barack obama is saying these days, yes, i want to turn my attention to inequality. my big suspicion in fear is what he really wants to do is get the grand bargain or he put social security and medicare on the table in exchange for tax
increases and that's going to be disastrous. the problem with them all getting together and making these compromising and starting to work together, that's the next step. >> thomas, he didn't put it on the table. he put it explicitly in the budget proposal as an olive branch and a lot of liberals said, why are you being so friendly. about the point of just saying no. ronald reagan gave the republicans a lot of guidance but that is a nancy reagan idea applied not only to addiction but obama agenda. we'll see how many people mitch mcconnell leads off the hill. >> say no. >> time unveils its person of the year. will you agree with the pick? "the cycle" rolls on for december 11th, 2013. [ female announcer ] puffs knows winter is hard on your face. [ sneezes ] [ female announcer ] the start of sneeze season. the wind-blown watery eyes. [ sniffling ]
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♪ like a wrecking ball ♪ all i wanted was to break your heart ♪ >> i never watched that part. >> we have to do a confession after that. >> i was shocked to learn that miley cyrus was not chosen as "time's" person of the year. she got twerk added to the dictionary for pete's sake and more devastated to learn that my second choice wasn't even nominated. but i guess there's always next year. ari. >> what for? >> "time" person of the year. >> what did i do?
>> so fascinating. >> wonderful american -- >> instead they chose someone maybe with a slightly larger audience size selecting pope francis who had a pretty big year too. it contains an e-mail interview with edward snowden and named him the dark prophet. joining us now to talk about their decision and the process is deputy managing editor of "time." thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> the choice of pope francis, do you think is says more about who he is and what his message is and the approach he has brought or to the time that we're living in where people are so deeply concerned about poverty and income inequality? >> i think it's both. person of the year has a lot to do with the individual and his or her accomplishments but also has to do with the great themes and stories of the year and of our time. certainly the topic that's pope francis already raised in his
short tenure so far as pope, have really struck a chord. they are things that we started to talk about a couple of years ago with the occupy wall street movement and arab spring. global inequality, poverty, you know, leadership roles for women and education, gay rights. these are kind of the third rail for the catholic church. he opened up some dialogue on these topics and in the meantime with a very simple message and very humble attitude has touched a lot of people around the world. >> we live in an increasingly secular society and a lot of americans don't go to church nearly as much as they used to. you see that all throughout europe as well. talk about the significance of pope francis, a religious figure, being named of the year and society we live in that seems to get more secular every single year. it's quite significant. >> that's true from an american perspective and european. but there are still 1.2 billion catholics in the world. pope francis' message reaches a
broader audience than that. the places where the church are growing are the global south, africa, latin america. this is the first latin american named "time" person of the year. it is a global pick. and i think that's right for "time" and right for the world we live in. >> help us understand the process that you go through to pick "time's" person of the year. looking back it seems to primarily be people that have at least made a positive impact in the wort and folks saying, snowden deserved this. the criteria should have been less about how much you like the person and more about how much they've been able to stir the conversation. he did that very well. did he not get the choice because he was simply too controversial? >> it was a tough choice. we debated for a very long time and we came to a decision, a final decision only very recent lixt certainly the pope and snowden were the two top contenders from the beginning of our conversations about person of the year. if you look back at the history
of the franchise, the criteria is the person who's affected the news in our lives for good or for ill. as people love to point out, hitler has been person of the year and stalin was twice. it's not a popularity contest. in this case we finally decided that the pope because of the nature of his platform and the nature of his message had a broader audience and potential to influence more people's lives this year. but certainly edward snowden who had a huge impact on the news of the year and when you look at the issue, you read the two stories, you can decide and make your own choice. >> i really like this year's pick but wonder about what you're trying to achive as a magazine with this tradition. continuing the conversation about the negative and tyrants who have been picked. what about assad on your list.
did you consider the prospect that putting him on at this time, when so many in the world tried to move on or forget the fact he's slaughtering his own people and towards inspections has not dealt with the humanitarian crisis. >> i think that's our hope, certainly he is the man who would not go. and our hope in that pick, we try to make person of the year the main choice a forward looking case. in the case of assad it's not a forward looking pick, but we did feel it was important to mark the events that happened in syria this year and important to remind people about the global conversation that his actions sparked. >> and be honest. when you were selecting your pick, do you take into consideration at all how many magazines that person might
sell? >> we never know how many magazines that person will sell. we just don't know. we try to go with the person who feels right. it's a franchise that's almost 90 years old. we have a weight of precedent and history. we try to make a choice that will stand the test of time and it's a tricky business but i'm happy with our choice this year. >> in defense, i think miley cyrus probably would have sold a lot of magazines if you wanted to do -- >> so would -- >> but the pope stands the test of time. >> thanks you so much for joining us. up next, the end of the year, time for renewal and rebirth and divorce? should you be treating your marriage more like a business contract? we will spin. and there's a holiday treat, ari in an ugly sweater. >> what? [ male announcer ] the new new york is open.
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cycling now is ugly sweater weather. we'll get that in a couple minutes. areas of upstate new york already buried could see another 3 feet of snow before this week is out. in nevada, where temperatures in some areas are subzero, a family is recovering today after spending days trapped in their overturned jeep. we first told you about it yesterday at 3:00. miguel has more about what we learned about this christmas miracle. >> reporter: it began with a trip to play in the snow. james glanton and birl friend christina and four children took a trip to the seven troughs mining town, where the negative 16 degree weather can be deadly. >> it is subzero temperatures. >> reporter: after the family
failed to return home the national guard launched helicopters. but it was search teams on foot who spotted the first clue. >> we found a bunch of footprints in the snow from the kids, so we knew we were on right track. >> reporter: just down the road the family's overturned jeep and james glanton doing all he could to keep the family alive. >> he had a campfire set between the jeep and bank and he was putting rocks in the fire and getting them hot so the heat would come off the rocks and warm up the inside of the jeep. >> reporter: all six air lifted to a local hospital where much of the small community had gathered waiting for any news. >> unfortunately no miracles in the forecast for u.s. weather. paul goodloe brings ugs the bitter truth. >> still ten days away from the beginning of the winter but this
december is more like freezing. arctic air still take ag grip. you mentioned the lake-effect snow. as you mentioned, some areas are still going to potentially see a couple more feet of snow, including most of western and lower michigan and u.p. of michigan to erie and buffalo and watertown. all going to pick up maybe a foot or more of snow. some areas already have 2 feet of snow and it's not done yet. even out towards western michigan seeing perhaps 3 to 6 inches through friday. the iron range could pick up more. take a look at the cold temperatures. they are all across the northeast, new england, but also here in the plains and midwest. this is setting the stage for the next winter storm. the cold air in place, you throw moisture in there, texas and dallas, better chance of rain versus the ice and snow last weekend. we're still watching wintry mix across the midwest and snow. eventually into the weekend, the ohio valley all of the great lakes and even northeast, more
snow is heading your way. then guess what, it's sticking around for the weekend as well. not the best for kids, school is out saturday and sunday. but sunday we have nfl football games again. the browns and steelers and giants all at home all seeing snow fall during the game on sunday afternoon. again, the biggest hitter with the snow for the next system will be areas outside of new york city through most of new england by the tune of perhaps some areas up to a foot of snow. so even before winter hits, the hits keep coming here across the u.s. back to you. >> paul goodloe, thank you so much. that's what's cycling now and so is the spin cycle. we're talking about an interesting suggestion for spicing up your relationship this holiday. draw up a contract. yes, instead of sipping cocoa fireside. one writer suggested a marriage contract. the idea is simple, on your
anniversary you hold a meeting and review both of your accomplishments and shortcomes and decide the terms of coming year. maybe you try to negotiate extra vacation time or ability to watch football on sundays or less football football on sunday if you're whipped or more football okay, i don't know what i'm talking about because i'm not married. but there's two people who are and one soon on his way. we read about this and talked about it in the office. here's where i come down. it's a wonderful idea because i'm a sports fan. this is a like a sports contract. you know what you do with the marriage, you have performance incentives, if you leave the toilet seat down, that's an interest sent tif you hit your mark this year. this can't being two people, a neutral ar bitter, whether you lived up to your side of the contract. those who didn't live up are at a disadvantage and loss. >> this gives couples every
incentive to not stay together. we should do everything we can to incentivize people to stay in their marriage. if it's not working out they can get a divorce. if you look at the divorce rate, it's amazing, over 50%, i think it's 53%. over the past 30 years more and more people are deciding not to get married. >> abby -- >> you look ridiculous. >> we'll explain in a few moments. this idea is a lot more popular for the millenial generation, for someone with commitment problems that may be an issue. >> it's something that if you're on your second or third marriage -- >> moving on, krystal ball. >> i would say i qualify as senior marriage correspondent at this table. my husband and i celebrated six years. what i was cracking up about luke, what you got out of the article is leaving the toilet seat up and more football on
sundays. i took it as much more of like, serious thought and reflection on the type of relationship you want to have and the time you're devoting to it and how you're spending it together and way you relate to each other, which i have to say my tendency, very bad habit when something bothers me i tend to push it asitd and move forward. that sort of thing can build up over time. maybe if you have two people in the relationship who are like me, who are the type that want to sort of push it off and continue, it's not a bad thing to have one time a year when you schedule it and say, we're going to take this time to recommit to our marriage. that's what it's about. it's not -- i don't think it's really so much about saying do we want to continue as recommitting to it and saying, checking in, where are we? do we have the relationship that we wanted to have starting off and how can we better it for the new year? >> the other take i want to get is from ari. i'm so excited right now. >> if you really want it. i think that you put your finger
on it krystal, which is, are we talking about how to improve the relationship or are we talking about a contract which brings to mind notions of an agreement -- >> you're a lawyer. >> or a breach. these kind of things can give people a certain way to think about communicating what they want and whether you're giving and taking. i do think it's tricky and dangerous to put it in too much of a contractual mindset. >> it's like the stock market. >> people forget a marriage is a contract and a legal contract. it really is. and it has in different states different definitions for breach, meaning what can get you out of it. but the point i think is most important, you don't want to create a contract that forces a time to think about an exit, right? just like the dtr that defined the relationship at the beginning when you're dating at someone can be perilous. let the vibe continue and see
whether you like each other. what i didn't like about the article is the idea you'll say at the end of the year, do you want to keep going? i think you want the default to be we are committed and keeping going. >> that's the question i have. i don't have a problem with that piece of it either. if you are comfortable enough in your relationship that you're going to have this kind of conversation, you're going to assume that the decision is to keep going. but i think making it a conscious choice, i want to be in this relationship, it's important to me, i want to commit to it, recommit to it throughout the year. i actually think -- >> your point though about a yearly autopsy though where both people are free -- >> autopsy? >> well, sorry. >> he works on the hill. >> to reflect upon the year of growth and how personal it was and how everyone did. >> indeed. >> it's not a bad idea. >> indeed. >> but sports incentives in these types of deals would make it more fun, especially for
guys. >> i want to know who your neutral arbitrator is going to be? >> ari? >> he's a good lawyer. >> i'm just wearing this sweater. what you really want to know? what's with this attire? the ugly is for a good cause. stand up to cancer's ugly sweater campaign. i'm sporting a teenage ninja mute ant turtles. i was a leonardo fan, and you got something that -- >> a lot going on here, i have to say. first of all, it's -- i don't know if you can see this, like a card gan but it's a fake cardigan and a fake tie and nice polyester blend. keeps you warm when it's winter. >> i've actually been wearing this all day long. can you show this if i stand up. i'm actually mrs. clause. but you can see the belt if i
stand up -- >> stop moving around. >> i don't understand why people hate these sweaters not only are they warm and comfortable and make a statement. i think they are great. i don't think we should hit on them so much. >> ari you look like you're coming from a park slope flea market. >> he looks better than you normally do. >> i don't know if i pull it off, a scotch and soda number and has lining which is very nice. i know we'll put up the website so everyone can donate or learn more about it. i wore this once on tv last year around the holiday time and had a lot of people who said, never do that again. so when i found out about the campaign, great, this is a chance to do it and be stupid again. >> can i honestly say one of the wonderful people who does our hair and makeup said is ari wearing that horrible sweater he wore last year? >> i'm glad you liked it. >> i think you look better than
any other day. >> we'll do an autopsy on the left handed mean girl compliment later. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is why you get in the day side cable. you can pledge to wear your sweater and have friends and family donate each time you do. money raised goes directly towards researching new treatments for cancer patients. you can get all of the details the uglysweater.sutc.org. we posted more info on our page. get in on the ugly look and do good. up next, a guide to giving what people really want this holiday more "cycle." don't go anywhere. ♪
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some breaking news now in "the cycle." there are only 13 shopping days left until christmas. at this point it's about braving crowds and hoping that the express package makes it here before next wednesday. if the stress of putting off gift buying isn't bad enough, the whole shopping experience of fighting someone over the hot new item, let alone the strain on your wall let can turn an otherwise happy time of year into a stressful chaotic mess. have no fear, we have a cure for your shopping grinch. our next guest is here to explain that spending cannot only be helpful to our wallets but increase our happiness during the magical season. an associate professor at marketing at harvard business school and the co-author of happy money, the science of smarter spending. in the book you layout five principles to help readers get more happiness out of the money they spend. one of those is invest in others as the saying goes, it's better to give than receive. what are we talking about here
in terms of gifts? like an infinty car wrapped in a big bow or dinner date or tickets to the theater? >> i think people would be happy any time you got them an enormous car with a bow on it. >> not going to lie there. >> small gifts aren't very expensive really make a big difference for happiness. >> and michael, one of the things that you talk about too is pbuying time. i would love for you to talk about what that means. a principle called yes, you commit to the holiday party and it arrives on that day, i don't feel like going. talk to us more about that. >> exactly. when we buy gifts for other people we think we should get them something, like a thing they'll have or tv or something like that. if you think about stresses in your own life, often the thing we're really scarce of is not more stuff like more shoes and hand bags but more time. often the very best gifts we can give people are to give them time and the way you give people
time think about if you paid for someone a cleaning person to go in one time to clean their house instead of buying them a gift. it feels really extravagant to let somebody clean your house. compared to getting you a tv or something like that, that extra time getting rid of horrible task will make you a lot happier and it's a much better gift. >> such a great idea. >> i like how some of these ideas apply to people, even if you don't have a lot of extra money or disposable income lying around. you talk about the idea similar to what you were saying about objects that people will be happier spending money on experiences instead of even for yourself, buying yourself new shoes that quickly get old, if you treat yourself to whatever you like, going to a great concert which feels like something that you'll hold after that night is actually better. >> that's right. you think if you buy a trip or concert or evening out, how could it be as good as buying yourself an object because objects you'll have forever and evening once it's over, it's over. we remember experiences much
more. we revisit them and think back to the vacation we had. there are real sorts of happiness for us. very often when we buy a trip for someone else or dinner for someone else, we tag along. not only are they happy but we're happy because we got to go with them and have a good evening. >> michael, we're having this debate in the newsroom. i'm a gift card guy. the reason why i'm a gift card guy because i take the chance that the gift you're going to give me is something i do not want or will not use, which is usually highly probable. my mother detests the gift card giver because she says it's very impersonal and exchange of envelopes and that's not what christmas is about, you have to put thought into the present, et cetera. talk about this concept, pay now, consume later and that's dedicated to the gift card guy. >> that's right. i'm sad to say i'm totally with your mom on this one.
you're totally wrong. a lot of what people really care about when they get gifts did the person put time into the gift, did they think about it ahead of time? did they try, even if they got it wrong, did they try to figure out what you might like? it turns out sometimes even if your grandmother gets you a horrible present that has nothing to do with what you wanted, the fact she took time to think about who you are and what you wanted, that sends a signal that we have an important relationship and you care about me in a way that even a huge gift card or even an envelope filled with cash feels it's great because you can do whatever you want. you lose the critical link between you and the other person. >> being overly rational. >> that's what i was trying to tell luke earlier. if you want to give someone power, you can hand them an envelope full of cash but that's very strange. >> give me the home depot gift card. >> that's something i was thinking about. traditionally for hanukkah, not a big holiday for -- bigger
holidays on the jewish calendar. they would give cash and that was considered to your point, weird. hanukkah uses more gifts than get -- >> it might be a gender thing where women appreciate the thoughtfulness and men are like, just give me money. >> are there gender and cultural differences in terms of what sort of gifts we like to give and what we like to receive or is it basically human nature? >> there absolutely are cultural differences for sure and what is an appropriate gift and not an appropriate gift. even in how often you're supposed to give gifts, every time you go to somebody's house, only on someone's birthday? we see huge var yigs around the world. but what tends to be a real key predictor of how good a gift is whether the person thought about you. did they really think what you might want? it may be the case if you know somebody really well and the think they care about more than anything else is cash, giving
them cash does show you really care and understand about them. >> like a -- if it's a 90s rapper. >> rapper from the 90s, it may be -- >> cash only. >> mike, in terms of gifts, a lot of people either give one big gift or many little small gifts and i suppose that either one of those could be taken as very personal. but what is in fact more personal, do people like to get a lot of little gifts that there is time and effort divided around or one big one? >> people vary on that as well. some people like to have small surprises and some people like to have one thing that they really wanted and really asked for. in fact, often gift givers think if they give someone the person asked for, they are doing something wrong because they are supposed to surprise you and give you something you never would have thought of. that feels like you're expressing more care for them. in fact, all of the research shows if somebody asked you for something, the way you show you
care is to get it for them. if you don't get it, it feels you're being a jerk and rejecting them. it's funny enough we have theories about what we're supposed to do with gifts and they are very often wrong and we might need to do the opposite. >> i think everyone at this table can say they procrastinators and haven't begun their holiday shopping and i am one of them. what advice do you have for folks who have not even started shopping in terms of not breaking the bank but also getting something thoughtful? if we weren't one of those folks waiting in line on thanksgiving day, what tips do you have? >> one of the things people often do by mistake is think they need to get a different gift for everybody they know or people will be upset they got the same gift. some people are upset but if it's a great gift, it's a great gift. often we spend all of this time going from store to store to store trying to find unique gift for every single person we know and sometimes it's good to get
people good gifts. the only exception is that little kids that you have to make sure they get exactly the same gift or they'll completely freak out and command the other person's gift. >> you must be a dad. >> it sounds like congress. thank you so much. we appreciate it. >> up next, ari debunks the nod to controversies, this is an -- >> it's your version of twerk, ari. like you're growing old waiting for your wrinkle cream to work? clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it targets fine lines and wrinkles with the fastest retinol formula available. you'll see younger looking skin in just one week. one week? that's just my speed. rapid wrinkle repair. and for dark spots rapid tone repair. from neutrogena®.
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there was a remarkably broad array of heads of state and civic leaders and tens of thousands who gathered in sew yetto. but if you followed the ceremony coverage in the media sore social media or in parts of washington, d.c., the folk oh us seemed to be on every superficial thing except mandela. first, there was the selfie. when presented with a 21st century diplomatic quandary, how to pose with prime ministers from allies, our president gingerly posed for the photo. you have surely seen it by now. and cue the outrage. >> president obama posing for a three-way selfie. >> remember, folks, he's taking selfies. he's thinking about himself. >> extremely crass and tacky. at a memorial service. petty. >> can we get a grip? first of all, as the daily show pointed out, a photo with a person with two other people is not a selfie. and don't take his word for it. here is urban dictionary, a picture taken of yourself, you
can usually see the person's arm holding the camera, showing the person doesn't have any friends to take pictures of them, so they resort to taking pictures of themselves by themselves. now, look, this was a harmless group portrait. deal with it. and there was another pic-related nontroversy over the president of the shot with the dane i can danish prime minister. spoiler. no. according to everyone there, and the photographer, it was a perfectly natural moment. and finally, there was the handshake. i don't think many americans could pick raul castro out of a lineup. between j. edgar hoover and george costanza. when the president shook his hand yesterday at a memorial service, people started flipping biscuits. >> why should you shake hands with somebody who is keeping americans in prison? i mean, what's the point?
nephewel chamberlain shook hands with hitler. >> the comparison to chamberlain is inaccurate. he took action to appease nazi germany in 1938. it was a huge mistake. but the conservative tendency to equate standard diplomatic outreach, let alone etiquette at a memorial service with that action is absurd. and as we know, president obama actually won this debate all the way back in 2008 when he ran on this kind of diplomatic engagement. >> ronald reagan and democratic presidents like jfk constantly spoke to soviet union at a time when ronald reagan called them an evil empire. >> you know what? he was right then. he was right when he used that approach to bring iran to the bargaining table, which put
weapons inspectors back on the ground in that country for the first time this month. and i think he was right yesterday when he took a small, but open-minded step of shaking the hand of the cuban leader. we should be talking to castro and pushing him on cuba's abysmal human rights record. look, there are pictures. there are pictures, big and small. i vote for keeping our eyes on the big picture, and not getting bogged down in all the small ones. that is it for us. but if you want more of this, i will be back at 4:00. and that's three minutes away. see you then. there's a saying around here, you stand behind what you say. around here you don't make excuses. you make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up, and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it when you know where to look.
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good afternoon. i'm ari melber. it's wednesday, december 11th. and the holiday spirit has gripped the nation's capital. >> this isn't the greatest agreement of all-time. >> this isn't the plan i would have written on my own. >> a do no harm deal. >> do you ever think a piece of legislation you were responsible for would be called not conservative enough? >> it's a strange new normal, isn't it? >> the white house called it a good first step. >> if we can get a step in the right direction. >> do recognize the value of coming to a decision. >> we're not going to get everything we want. >> they spoke to each other. what a revolutionary thing. >> have consequences. >> it is the best bad deal that conservatives can get. >> plenty of fire from the right. >> he has led to make a compromise that sells out what actually needs to be done. >> you just called him a