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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  December 12, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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side of the bridge saying how much he would look governor cuomo to weigh in to make this thing go away. it is still kind of a hilarious story. but becoming significantly less hilarious for governor chris christie. how long can he go on before he actually explains what happened here? there is still is no explanation for what happened here that makes any sense and seems to be born out by the facts. what happened. and when is the governor going to explain it? now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. >> you are about to see just how different republicans and democrats are when it comes to dealing with things that are hard. like governing. the eyes are 332,000. the motion is a graed teed to. >> a list of senators who oppose the measure. >> rubio. paul. lee. coburn. >> he has led to make a
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compromise that sells out what actually needs to be done. >> are you kidding me? >> the light is glaring on speaker boehner. >> boehner got angry yesterday. awe they lost all credibility. >> lashing out publicly to conservative groups. >> i came here to cult tt the s of government. >> a notable shift in speaker boehner. >> where was the man in october. >> i'm as conservative as any body. >> he is trying to thread the needle. >> he is a conservative. >> i am as conservative as anybody around this place. >> nobody is going to question his conservative credentials. >> i think it really captured the moment. >> remember a lot of democrats too are not happy. >> democrats usually are being more responsible party. >> people with a grip on reality are reasserting themselves. >> the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the house will be in order. >> members will please take their seats. >> this is a representative city. you know what don't tell what's to do. >> i don't care what they do.
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>> good evening, i am alex wagner in for lawrence o'donnell. it's on. get the popcorn. and get ready for ted cruz versus john boehner round two. today speaker boehner went to bat for the paul ryan patty murray budget deal to replace the sequester. >> i came here to fight for a smaller, less costly, more accountable federal government. and, this budget agreement takes giant steps in right direction. why conservatives wouldn't vote for this, or criticize the bill, is, is, beyond any -- any recognition. >> before boehner said that and house republicans want to vote. ted cruz release aid list of reasons explaining why he would not vote for it. the new budget deal moves in the wrong direction. it spend more. taxes more. and allows continued funding for obama care. i cannot support it.
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as final debate on the bill was taking place, in fact, right around time that boehner himself was defending the deal on the house floor -- >> i urge all of my colleagues to vote for this budget. >> ted cruz tweeted this. understanding the budget deal in two words. what followed was a link to this youtube clip. 62 house republicans took the ted cruz position and voted against the boehner/ryan budget deal. the deal passed 332-294. 169 republicans voted for it. and 62 republicans voted no. without those 45 democrats, and their leader, nancy pelosi, speaker boehner would not have gotten to 214. the number needed for passage today. and while the struggle between
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boehner and cruz and the power of the pelosi is nothing particularly new for this congress. this week marks a decidedly new chapter in the republican on republican war. and as press conference before the vote, boehner continued his now 24-hour long battle against the far right-wing of his party. and more specifically, the outside groups that control it. >> it's not everything i wanted. when groups come out and criticize an agreement they have never seen, you begin to wonder just how credible those, those acttion are. they're misleading their followers. they're pushing our members in places where, they dent want to be. and frankly i just -- i think, that -- they have lost all credibility. you know, they pushed us into this fight to defund obama care and shut down the government. most of you know, my members
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know, i wasn't exactly the strategy that i had in mind. but if you will recall, the day before -- the government reopened. one of the -- people, one of the groups, stood up and said, well we never really thought it would work. are you kidding me? >> side note they pushed us into this fight to defund obama care. get to that in a second. but first the reaction from them was swift and merciless. from freedom works. when it comes to credibility, actions speak louder than words. right now it looks like the speaker is leading the charge for spending increases and iing help get it done. freedom works key voted against the right, murray budget case pointment. from the tea party payments. speaker boehner thinks outside groups are the problem. pitting your colleagues against your constituents is how you lose credibility with your conference. not iples how you lose
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credibility with the voters who will find something else if you are not willing to do your job. from the senate conservatives fund. john boehner has apparently decided to join mitch mcconnell in the war on conservatives. conservatives everywhere need to understand that the party's leadership has declared war on them. from eric eriksson. a guy who says he would hold the line on sequestration says -- those who believed him have lost their credibility. eriksson also posted on the red state website, boehner's done as speaker. this all has, this is all legacy building now. if he has to cry on television, and attack his conservative base, he'll do it. and from rush limbaugh on facebook. i'll be darned, just seems like the republican party is absorbed, consumed, with eliminating any conservative influence inside the party whatsoever. joining me now, nbc news capitol hill correspondent luc russert, and david axelrod, former
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adviser to president obama and msnbc political analyst. david, what have we witnessed? have we witnessed the emergence of a swamp dwelling am februaphn t terra firma as a reptile. new john baner? >> fool me once shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. they had a catastrophic experience, near death experience in the fall when they were led over the cliff by ted cruz and the tea party. and shut the government down. and they made a calculation. this was enough. paul ryan taking the point on it was helpful to him. but this is, comes in a week when you see this trench warfare between all the challengers to incumbent senators. you know, there seems to be -- a -- a showdown coming in 2014 between the different wings of
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the party. how that comes out will be with how congress operates and how the presidential race goes. >> pundits and house gop watchers have been predicting this kind of. won't call it a breakdown. this catharsis for some time. and what shocked me is that line that boehner spoke earlier today. they pushed us into shutting down the government. that was a shocking admission, i thought. >> extraordinary. a lot of us waiting for the moment to happen. gop leadership aide said through the shutdown and issues, the group, pushed the conference into areas they did not want to be. did not want to do this. they had to take care of their members. conservative. the 62 number. that is the apocalyptic caucus. adding in those who are influenced by them. three things happened here specifically. one, boehner was livid that the groups came out against the deal before reading it. which he said. number two, paul ryan is like a son to john boehner. for paul ryan to go out there
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and work hard on this deal in the eyes of john boehner and for those outside groups to rip him up after he put forward two budgets that had a lot of controversial things, a lot of democrats could take folly with, attacking the gop. boehner thought was absurd. number three they see from our nbc news, "wall street journal" polling, health care as a huge liability for democrats still. the public and president obama while the issue is out there. gop, in fighting, three years fr another thing boehner wanted to move away from. >> david, it is worth keeping in mind this was as much as it was a, a sort of small ball budget. it was still in some ways -- a heavy lift for democrats. and extension of unemployment. long term unemployment benefits was not in this. that, that upset a lot of -- house progressives and house democrats. nancy pelosi once again got democrats to, effect toively pa
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in the house. i was wondering what you think about whether you know, nancy pelosi said earlier, embrace it, we need to get this off the table. so we can go forward. democrats have done a lot of embracing the suck, and the budget we are at now is way closer to where paul ryan wants to the house to be than it from where the house progressive caucus would like us to be. >> which is what paul ryan's point was to all the tea party people. look, the reality is that we do have a divided government. the question is what is the alternative. this is far belttter than what would have happened, absent with the sequestration level. it does restore some spending cuts made that made no sense and were destrictive. it is disappointing, that unemployment insurance isn't in there. i think americans are really eager -- not to be facing crisis after crisis after crisis. and it is true the democratic party has been more responsible
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than the republican party. i think people recognize that. but there really wasn't an alternative here, a better alternative than this one i think democrats did the right thing. nancy pelosi did the right thing by going along with it. >> luke, what does this portent? do you think that this is a signal that maybe boehner will be more willing to buck the conservative members of his base and -- go forward with more bipartisan legislation? >> possibly. i think that's sort of the million dollar question, coming out of this. immigration is still difficult. i point to how conservatives threw marco rubio under the bus. their darling for working on the bill. a la what they did to paul ryan on this bill. boehner has been as vocal on the senate bill as the outside conservative groups. i would say moving forward with this, this does give credence to, the possibility of a farm bill. both sides are closer than folks
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think. obviously, food stamp issue. immigration, it is still under the guidance of bob goodlatte. virginia 6th house conservative. district is 3.9% latino. majority of gop districts have 12% latinos or less. a very difficult issue. cultural issue for their conference. one they're not going to move on the i suspect in a comprehensive way next year. >> david, one last one to you. which is -- you have talked about political kabuki thet tat. here we are talking what a statesman john boehner is. the more that the white house, the left, or democrats or mad rat mad -- moderates say, good job john boehner. it undermines his position in the republican party. no matter which way you slice it. things are so partisan at this point. if the republicans see boehner as too conciliatory and too much of a deal maker he really will be ousted as speaker. >> well, and let me say that -- while we give him -- it was
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refreshing to see him push back today after a couple years of the tail wagging -- the dog. it's still, took a couple years -- to do it. and so, you know i'm not -- this is not a time to nominate him for the nobel prize for legislative leadership. i think he is a long way from that. but i do think there are all kinds of harbingers, alex, including by the way, the republican national committee quietly working to change its rules for 2016. to reduce the influence of these kau kuls caucuses and rules that favor tea party candidates to move the convention back in the year so that they have time to pivot to a general election campaign. there are all kinds of signs that -- establishment republicans, senate right republicans fryi s trying to se control of their party. i think boehner is part of that effort right now. >> trying to bring the party out of the primordial ooze.
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thank you both for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, a republican state legislature has just voted to make women get special insurance for a medical procedure -- call it women insurance. that is coming up. and -- i'll ask nancy pelosi if she has theories about what made the congress the worst congress ever.
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tonight we are one step closer to being able to use phones on airplanes. insert your anguished wail here. the federal communications commission voted to consider ending the ban to in flight phone calls. earlier this week the department of transportation weighed in on the issue and said many that in flight calls may not be fair to other passengers. the state of michigan passions a law to require rape insurance. clay.
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mom? come in here. come in where? welcome to my mom cave. wow. sit down. you need some campbell's chunky soup before today's big game, new chunky cheeseburger. mmm. i love cheeseburgers. i know you do. when did you get this place?
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when i negotiated your new contract, it was part of the deal. cool. [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right. >> for those of you who want to act aghast like i would use a term like rape insurance to describe the proposal here in front of us, you should be even more offended it is absolutely accurate description of what this proposal requires. by moving forward on this initiative. republicans want to make michigan wichl tine plan ahead and invest in health care coverage for potentially having their bodies violated and assaulted. >> ladies of michigan, in about 90 days you may need to buy yourself rape insurance after the michigan house and senate
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yesterday passed legislation banning private insurance companies from offering abortion coverage unless a woman buys a separate abortion insurance rider that includes women whose pregnancies were caused by rape and possibly certain women who need to terminate their pregnancies because of miscarriages. the only abortion insurance companies will be allowed to cover without a rider would be to save the mother's life. last year, michigan's republican led state legislature passed similar legislation but republican governor, republican governor, rick snyder vetoed the bill saying "i don't believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rain that she needs to selectee lekti -- select. elective coverage. i believe this type of policy is an overreach of government into the private market. but this time michigan's right to life group presented the bill through the state's obscure citizens initiative process. which means the governor cannot veto it. before yesterday's vote, senate
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minority leader, gretchen whitmer took to the floor. seven minutes into her speech, put down her notes and said this. >> there are people in this chamber that have lived through things you can't even imagine. i have a school league i was trying to encourage to tell his story, but he is grieving. it was a pregnancy that went awry and required a dnc. i started to think about that. i thought i can't push one of my colleagues to share a tough story if i'm not brave enough to share one of my own. so i am about to tell you something i have not shared with many people in my life. over 20 years ago, i was a victim of rape. and thank god it didn't result in a pregnancy. because i can't imagine -- going through what i want through and then having to consider what to
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do about an unwanted pregnancy from an attacker. as a mother with two girls, the thought that they would ever go through something look i did. keeps me up at night. i thought this was all behind me. you know how tough i can be. the thought and memory of that still haunts me. if this were law then and i had become pregnant. i would not be able to have coverage. because of this. how extreme -- how extreme does this measure need to be. i am not the only woman in our state who has faced that horrible circumstance. i have not enjoyed talking about. it it is sighing have hidden for a long time. but i think you need to see the face of the women that you are impacting by this vote today.
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i think you need to think of the girls that we are raising and what kind of a state we want to be where you would put your approval on something this extreme. i ask that you at least let the people of the state have a vote on this. don't ram it through using some loophole that will impact 100% of the women in this state and 4% of the people signed on to a petition. let the people of michigan decide. >> joining me, michigan democratic state representative, kate segal and the guardian's anna marie cox. kate, i think for the rest of the country we are shocked and dismayed this is happening. unfortunately not only happening in michigan. there are eight other states where such, similar provisions have gone through. but, talk to us if you will
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about this citizens initiative. i think a lot of us are confused as to how 3% of michigan's population could have -- sort of supported this ballot measure, this measure, and gotten it through the state house. a loophole. used twice before to take away women's rights. what they were able to do put it through the legislature, with 4% of the people. and sat there, they had 40 days to act. if our legislature went back on christmas break. came back in january, let it go. the voters would have had the decision before them in november. but instead i think they took the howardly way out. they took a vote yesterday. that put women in michigan as second-class citizens. >> anna, this is not the first time we have talked about the strange draconian anachronistic, repressive, misogynist legislation that is weirdly sweeping the country targeting
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women and their reproductive freedoms. there are nine states that ban abortion at 20 weeks. much like this. these are women, women who tend to seek either abortions with insurance coverage or abortion at 20 weeks are in medical duress. this is not just a haphazard decision, no abortion is. what do you think culturally it accounts for this? >> you know it is mind-boggling to me. i think when -- when the senator said that she wanted people to see the face of the women, the impact. it is every woman that this law would impact. i think more to the point, this is about, you know -- making it more difficult for women to get abortions but also sending this message. that is so disturbing which is that somehow rain is your fault. you know, some how you should know that it is going to happen. that somehow it is possible for you to live a life where you are never going to be sexually assaulted. that's not true. we didn't have control over that. we don't have control over that. it's men that control that.
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it's them that do this to us and we then have to respond in some way. it is also making abortion in the choice to have an abortion look like an effective surgery. look like a facelift. you know, look like something that you -- that is frivolous. a lot of anti-choice activists really rely on. they make it look like women who choose to get abortions are doing it, because they dent won want to be pregnant it will ruin their body. abortions have gone down in the country. fewer and fewer every year. women that seek them are in crisis in some way. >> on that note. 3% of abortions in michigan were paid for through with health insurance. women in the second trimester or beyond. women who tend to want the pregnancy but something goes wrong. and the costs of terminating the pregnancy at that point can be 10, 20,000 dollars depending on if they have to stay in the hospital.
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the reasons they choose to do this, why did the right to life folks choose this segment of the population to go after do you think? i think they were upset over a veto. they're trying to split hairs. talking about the initiative. we are using taxpayer dollars for this. this isn't about taxpayer dollars. this is about my private insurance. about the story of a woman i had to read yesterday she is not allowed to testify. there were no hearings on this. she was in her late second trimester. unfortunately her very wanted baby had less than half a brain. why would we look at the woman and say you are going to have to pay over $10,000 out of your pocket to protect, protect your reproductive rights in the future. >> anna, the other thing that seems to be happening -- this is emergent narrative, is that
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women have to sort of throw themselves on the emotional crucifix to explain their rain, in this case it had no resonance with the conservative republican state legislators. but it is very distressing to me that this is now sort of what is expected of women to defend a basic reproductive freedom. >> i agree. thinking about that. thinking how this should not be a case where we need to pull out these stories, tragic stories. this is a medical procedure that i have a right to as much as i do to have some one set a broken arm. this is my body. it should not require a tearful appeal to get it. when we turn this into a crisis. we put it on women. say this is their fault. they have gotten themselves in trouble. you know. but the case is, all these abortion laws are talking about,
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banning abortion after 20 weeks. insurance coverage. this just pushes the abortions that are really necessary that are dangerous further and further into that, into the margins. the people, they are less than, think less than 3%. maybe less than 1% of abortions are after 20 weeks any way. those that happen then are expensive and dangerous. and, the women who get them a. if they're forcied to wait for whatever reason. we are not saving women's lives. not saving any one's lives. >> shame, fear, intimidation seems to be the order of the day on that one. kate segal, anna marie cox, thank you for your time. coming up my interview with nancy pelosi about the congress that can't get anything done. and, is there enough celebrity power in the universe to sell obama care? yep. got all the cozies. [ grandma ] with new fedex one rate, i could fill a box and ship it for one flat rate. so i knit until it was full. you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
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you stand behind what you say. there's a saying around here, 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. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel. the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy increases testosterone when used daily. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child,
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>> from wendy dach elvis, eliza warren, nancy pelosi, a lot of women altered the political landscape in 2013. tomorrow at noon eastern on my show, "now" a special look at women in politics and my interview with house democratic leader nancy pelosi. in this exclusive preview. leader pelosi opens up about her decades of experience on the hill and the current state of the republican party. we're sitting in the u.s. capital at the finish of a year when this congress will have approved just 55 laws. and how has the institution
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changed sense you got here, 26 years ago. >> what happened happened in the last few years when the republican majority in the house has the brought with it an anti-government ideology. so they take pride in shutting down government or reducing the role of public employees as well as passing legislation to improve the lives of the am scan people. it's part of the agenda. we have to make clear to the american people. we have a role to play. we don't want any more government than we need. we do need to honor our responsibilities to the am scan peopscan -- am can peoperican people. >> president obama with chris matthews said he thought some in congress are embarrassed at how lit they'll have done. as some one who knows the republican members of congress and interfaces with republican leadership do you think they have the feeling they're
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embarrassed? >> i do think the republicans in our country are not really identifying with the ajen dagen republicans in congress. i said for a long time they have hijacked the name republican. and used it to be anti-government ideologues. anti-government. anti-science. and anti-obama. so that enables them in good conscience to, to oppose any initiatives to create jobs or again to improve the lives of the american people. it is a very serious challenge. now, i'm always very respectful of differing points of view. but even president washington, george washington said, cautioned when he left government, against political parties that were, that were at war with their own government. we have followed the travails of the caucus. the idea that you have had to
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get the vets how otes together up the government. john boehner is powerless with his on caucus. the idea of one of two parties in the country has not shown it is twulg pnot willing to put it of the gerrymandered districts. given where we are at. i mean my faith is much more with the house the democrats than it would be with the house republicans. what convinces them. what convinces the small group of people is? it pressure from the national media. because the it seems as if, not even that works? >> i know, preaching to the choir when i preach about the differentiation. not a small group of republicans. it's over 60% of the house republicans voted to shut down government. 80% of them, voted, when it was their bill, we were voting on. it wasn't our bill. it was their bill we were voting on. which we didn't like. but it was their proposal, and over 60% of them voted against their own bill to open up government. 80% of them voted unless you
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were from new york, new jersey, pennsylvania, and a smatter of others from the rest of the country. 80% of the republicans voted against. 97% of the republicans voted to cut $40 million out of the food stamps. 97% of only 15 people. not 15%. but the fact is that people still have this mythology it is just 30, 40. no, over 130, 140 republicans. if the republicans out there. care about anything other than tax cuts, if they care about the environment or women aright to choose or sense of community in our country, and i think that they do. are they overwhelmingly support gun safety, immigration, and the rest. they really are just going to have to weigh in. it's not a small group, i think it is really important to note that. >> you can see my entire interview with leader pelosi and the rest of our special report,
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>> if you have ever wondered just how difficult is hat to be to n negotiate with north korea. according to the state run news agency, kim's uncle was guilty of "attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state. the accused is a traitor to the nation for all ages who perpetrated anti-party counter revolutionary factional acts in a bid to overthrow the leadership of our party and state and the socialist system. jong was appointed to responsible posts of the party and state thanks to the deep political trust of kim il-sung
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and kim jong-il. it is an elementary on li gas of however despeakable human scum jong, worse than a dog, perpetrated acts of treachery and betral of profound trust and fraternal love shown by the party and leader for him. the u.s. government has yet to confirm the execution of jong, but intelligence officials say they have no roone eason to dou happened. [ male announcer ] a body at rest tends to stay at rest...
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bull some of the celebrities that launched tell a friend get covered social media campaign with the amy of getting more young people to soon up for the health care law. the new campaign will include daily messages from celebrities like adam levine. who tweeted california is where i call home. you can get covered if you are a resident. hurry. the campaign website. tell a friend get directs users to insurance exchanges and enrollment assistance. each week, new videos like this within will be posted on the site. >> if you are choosing to use it. they can't reap fuse it. no pre-existing condition could make you lose it. tell a friend or a random guy. i have a game changer right here that saves lives. so, my health care is chisel, we'll cover all your vizzles, dizzles, and while you figure that out. when i am in the oval office
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call me president barack, president barack, president barack. when my critics get an@ attitud i tell them to stop. if you need the new health care. sign up because it's hot. sign up because it's hot. >> i'm commander-in-chief and two terms strong and i've got this health care and got it going on. joining me is mae reston, political columnist with "los angeles times," joined the launch of tell a friend get covered campaign. vizzles, did not realize this was part of the pitch. what is your initial thought on this? is this going to be enough to overcome, hollywood does not like a bad narrative. the aca had a distinctly bad narrative since its launch. how effective did you think the campaign could be? >> what they announce today. social media campaign. really part of a much broader effort by the white house to rope in hollywood and flash and celebrity power to sell this law. if you remember they brought
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together a lot of -- bigger names, like amy pohler and others to the white house, jennifer hudson. back early in the spring. it was going to be this huge launch, you know, celebrity fueled campaign to get people to soon up. you had all the problems with the health care launch. they pulled back. so, this is sort of the first phase of reengaging, again, to get young people to sign up. can adam levine sell it. celebrities, are sensitive around their own brand and protecting them, there has been messaging nightmares in and around the rollout, it is al most a testament to them believing in the goodness that it offers that you are getting people like adam levine to go out there and say, listen this thing is a big deal. go sign up for it. obama did well, fund-raising.
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celebrities on the campaign trail both times. people that are lil' to the president. they want to help him. they feel for him. think he is getting a tough ride here. a lot are at the moment. volunteering, funny or die put out videos which you showed. earlier this year. doing that as a volunteer effort. and really saying that, that they're in it for the long haul and they want to get young people signed up especially as the deadline gets closer. of course, young people have to soon up by december 23rd. to get coverage effective january 1st. all people do. >> it is worth, worth noting that even in, in flossie glossy hollywood tinseltown, cover california which is leading this send signed up 100,000 people. maybe the california audience is receptive. mae reston from the l.a. times. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> the senate is working 'round-the-clock trying to confirm president obama's
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nominees to the supreme court and department of hopeland security. why harry reid once again has had to resort to desperate measures. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] they are a glowing example of what it means to be the best. and at this special time of year, they shine even brighter. come to the winter event and get the mercedes-benz you've always wished for, now for an exceptional price. [ santa ] ho, ho, ho, ho! [ male announcer ] lease the 2014 e350 for $579 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. prefer the taste of gevalia house blend over the taste of starbucks house blend? not that we like tooting our own horn but...
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>> a federal judge ruled challenges to the north carolina voter regulations will not go to trial until after next november's elections. the regulations limit early voting and require voters to show a photo id. the judge did say that the group's protesting the regulations will half a chance to are gu fgue for them to be b before the case is heard. up next why the senate is pulling an all-nighter. 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
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go national. go like a pro. br >> the all night senate talk atha talkathon is going on. republicans have refused to give up a minute of debate time on the current package of nominees. since wednesday afternoon. republicans have taken control of the senate floor to protest the filibuster rule change made by majority leader, harry reid. the majority leader currently has a package of nearly a dozen nominees up for a vote. senate rules allow for up to 30 hours of debate on a single presidential nominee. which means with the current list that the senate could be in session until saturday. and with the nominees for heads of the department of homeland security, the irs, and federal reserve yet to be confirmed,
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harry reid had this to say. >> if we have work the weekend before christmas we will do that. if we work monday before christmas, we will do that. if we have to work through christmas, we are going to do that. i know the game they're playing. they have done it before. the only impediment to holding votes without delay and at reasonable hours is blatant part sh isan republican obstructionism. spending an entire week, wasting and waiting for a vote. this is a foregone conclusion whu what is going to happen. >> joining me congressional scholars and authors, extraordinaire, thomas mann senior fellow at brookings university, and norman orrinstein at the american enterprise institute and co-authors of "it's even worse than it looks" now available in paperback. tom, go to you first on this. it is even worse than it looks. it looks pretty bad. this seems to be the longest, most public display of
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nanny-nanny-boo-boo, we have seen in the congress, is it not? >> it really is. usually when we have a sharp partisan statement like we just heard from -- from -- majority leader harry reid, we say, oh, that any just partisanship. but it is actually quite accurate. republicans brought on this change in the filibuster rule by -- informal agreement they reached earlier in the year. so they are -- in the business of pure obstruction. and stretching this out and not allowing other things to come to the floor is, is achieves nothing. except maybe making them feel good inside. it is really very sad. >> norm, the city used to be known as the delibrative body, suppose to be the adults in the
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room. ironically. today is an incredible rever shall in th -- rever shall. in the house a small bill. passed. john boehner seems to be finally bucking out the pressure of outside conservative groups. over in the senate, it's childish pranks extending for days. >> exactly so. and -- i can tell you that -- it doesn't make most of them feel good either. i have talked to some republicans in the senate. who are not real happy campers about this. they see this as mitch mcconnell playing this out for himself. a lot of them have other things to do. they have got fundraisers for example. talk about important things to do. we have a substantial legislative agenda. not like an old style, old school filibuster where you are dramatizing something really important. they're not doing anything other than something that is petulant. you know if the signer from the mandela funeral were there, i suspect the signing would use is one finger. that's the message being given
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here. >> tom, what do you think this does in terms of relations? i mean we know they have been soured, that, reid going for the so-called nuclear option. the republicans said that was going to be sort of an unforgivable sin. do they got their act back together. is there a way to sort of -- you know, repair broken bridges in the new year. >> i don't think the personal relationships are as important as the incentives. that, that members of the republican party in this case in the senate feel they should act. if they believe such behavior will hurt them. in the upcoming elections, and in their effort to take control of the senate or, really, harm their ability to regain the white house. then they'll shape up and -- and legislate. but at least for the time being -- those on the senate
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side believe being petulant comes with no cost whatsoever. >> you know, alex when we had all the predictions this would drive the senate right into the ground and nothing would happen. the reality is -- that if mitch mcconnell and his colleagues believe that action on the legislative package will serve their interests, they're going to make it happen. he worked with reid to end the shutdown for example though they don't get along very well. they're going to got through, a defense authorization bill, they will deal with the budget. they have already dealt with the plastic gun issue. the few things they have to do they will do. and all they're doing is, basically just -- for show. but, it's not going to change the senate fundamentally, when they come back it will be the same thing. if they've don't want to dieo i. they will find ways of blocking it. that was the same before they changed the rule. >> tom quantitatively, with only, 55 bills passed in, in, in this congress. they would seem to actually be
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the worst congress ever, qualitatively do you think they are. >> it is even worse qualitatively. because they have actually done harm. the government shutdown hurt. the threat of the shut down hurt. allowing the sequester to stay in place this whole year. and now cut it back for a couple years. 90% of it still stays in effect. since then our spending is at an historic low as the share of the economy. so -- they're doing -- positive harm. not just sitting around and not
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getting constructive things done. >> thomas mann, norm ornstein, you may need to write "it's even worse than it looks 2" given what is transpiring in u.s. congress. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight, the house of representatives delivered a stunning rebuke to the tea party groups, passing the paul


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