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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 17, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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your favorite do-nothing congress. >> even in the senate's nuclear winter. >> is doing something today. >> the giant farm bill, giant defense bill and the small matter of a national budget. >> congress doesn't have its eye on the ball. >> final vote could cam as early as this evening. >> first steps toward rebuilding our broken budget process. >> the legislation should help break a terrible cycle of governing the crisis. >> what did ted cruz say about this? >> you put five red necks on a mower. >> the most important moment was when john boehner stood up to the right wing groups. >> are you kidding me? >> i don't know has his irish up. >> if you don't enjoy or want or support legislating. >> we have got to stop deal-making. >> he is an accountant, he is able to add and subtract. >> we've got to start legislating. >> sky in place, cats refuse to live in peace with dogs. everybody is okay. congress puts a bipartisan
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bow on it. a compromised two-year budget deal is advancing in the senate, and headed for a final vote. if approved, a deal would fund the government through late 2015, ending the shutdown politics that have haunted washington since the president's re-election. the bill easily cleared a procedural hurdle earlier today. with 67, count 'em up, 67 senators voting to end debate. that tally actually included a dozen republicans. so a final vote is expected tomorrow with only a bear majority needed there to pass the bill and send it to the president. as senators pushed the budget forward, the president was meeting today with top executives, and he named a microsoft official as the new health care tech adviser, and discussed transparency and privacy issues. we are going to have more on that later in the hour. but first, this afternoon did belong to the senate. and majority leader, harry reid is arguing, we're actually witnessing a new era for congress. >> gridlock has got to end. and it is ending. the american people are satisfied that we're moving forward.
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to have significant number of republicans in a house and in the senate vote against extremism is a step forward. >> it's a step, but it is washington we're talking about. so don't expect everyone to be clinking cups of egg nog just yet. in fact, if you look at this throughout history, when there is a bipartisan budget deal, it almost always includes support from the leaders of both parties. hence, you know, bipartisan. but the tea party won't exactly let that happen. so majority leader, mitch mcconnell, actually came out today against this bipartisan bill, and he even raised the specter of another debt ceiling fight. >> i doubt if the house or for that matter the senate is willing to give the president a clean debt ceiling increase. we'll have to see what the house insists on add to go it as a condition for passing it. >> he is facing a tea party primary back home, in case you didn't know. we're going to unpack the politics of all of this, the incremental victories and the
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fight for unemployment insurance, with governor ed rendell and our oh friend, ej dionne, plus pennsylvania senator, bob casey. but first, we want to get an update from nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill. kelly, we've heard a lot of senate republican bluster against the deal. but ultimately, as you know, a dozen came on board. and lindsey graham, however, is mocking the deal, saying congress needs to slow down and back off military pensions. take a listen. >> we're in a big hurry to show how functional we are. even when we're function that, we're dysfunctional. >> kelly, what's more important, a complaint like that or the fact this deal is getting done, it looks like? >> reporter: big picture, i think a lot of people will look and say it takes some of the pressure off that we have seen with this cycle of crisis-to-crisis governance. the expectation is tomorrow afternoon this budget will pass. and it will have some republican support. but not as many as we saw today. and the distinction there is you'll find that there are a number of republicans who
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believe this budget still spends more than they would like to see, and a big emerging issue has to do with cost of living adjustments for military pensions. that was something that was part of the deal and also involves federal employees who will be new to the payrolls. they'll have to pay more for their pension contributions too. but the military group has really galvanized some of the opposition from republicans. that's an issue they have been talking about, in addition to being generally opposed to anything that spends more with this new budget. but you will see some republicans. one of them, johnny isakson of georgia, who was talking on the floor today about time at home, when many of his constituents, neighbors, people he would meet, talked to him about this idea of coming together, getting something done, and that that is a value they want to see take place. so the issue of lindsey graham saying we're dysfunctional, even when we're functional, is one of those points where sometimes there is a secondary issue that is worth talking about, and certainly members in both
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parties are concerned about it. but it does not appear to be anywhere near enough to bring this deal to a crisis point. there's some talk also about trying to find a way around it later on. >> yeah. >> when some of the appropriations are actually done. and that's an opening for senators and members of congress to look at this more seriously when they get back in january. >> all right. thank you for that reporting. nbc's kelly o'donnell, appreciate your time. and now over to the big panel today. former pennsylvania governor, and nbc analyst, ed rendell and ej dionne, "washington post" columnist joining us from the brookings institution. ej, you have said this is an inadequate but necessary deal but could help rebalance our political discussions, which is a different emphasis than just worrying about a balanced budget and deficits. what do you mean by that? >> well, what i mean is that for really since the 2010 elections, the entire national conversation has been dominated by how much can we cut the deficit. we really have spoken very
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little about the purposes of government. we have spoken very little about how government can help rebuild our economy. we have talks about infrastructure or education. we just talked about cutting stuff. and i think progressives really have let the conversation get away from them. now, this deal is inadequate. it should include unemployment insurance for all those people who are going to get cut off after christmas. but at least it restores some spending that needed to be restored, and stopped sucking money out of an economy where yes, we're grogan. but the government has been a drag on the economy. so we've gotten by this hurdle. now let's start having a more intelligent conversation about what is it that government ought to do. >> yeah, let's unpack that governor rendell. when ej says the government itself has been a drag on the economy, two things come to mind. one, not spending and doing growth economy jobs program infrastructure. and two, the kind of fiscal brinksmanship, which the studies
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have shown shave several tenths of a point off gdp, hundreds of thousands of jobs in the long run. governor, when you look at that, do you see optimism we're getting away from the shutdown politics or more concerned because of the debt ceiling threats we've just heard? >> yeah. first of all, let's not celebrate too fast. we've got to see what's going to happen in the debt ceiling. that's an opportunity for catastrophe. and you hear some rumblings and hopefully the republicans in both the house and senate will have learned and we won't have a debt ceiling crisis. and then we've got to see whether government itself can be functional. and the next test, ari, if we get by the debt ceiling, is immigration. can we finally get a decent immigration bill. can we get it through the house. can we get it back into committee. and can we get something done. and ej is right. we haven't done a thing about jobs since the 2010 election. the president in the fall of 2011 put together a terrific jobs plan, every element of which you'll recall, republicans
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support in the past and wouldn't pass a blessed one of them. and infrastructure is the key, the best job driver we have. can we get that done. are we going to start investing money in our own growth? that remains to be seen. i think if we're going to do that, it has to be within the grand bargain. and the grand bargain is going to be tough to do. it's going to require tax reform. it's going to require entitlement reform. and it's going to require investment and growth. all three packages together. >> and governor, you mentioned jobs and we have been talking about unemployment insurance. we are going to go to someone leading that fight. your fellow pennsylvanian, senator bob casey with us from capitol hill. and senator, before we jump into the unemployment issue, i did want to mention, i was reading the "new york times," it looks i can and you governor rendell and a lot of other pennsylvania's political leaders were partying this weekend. what can you tell us about that? >> we were both at the pennsylvania society in new york, it's a great gathering, started in 1899. and i just try to keep up with ed rendell's schedule that
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weekend. hard to do. >> governor, i'm sure you had a long receiving line. >> no, no. nobody -- i have no power and no money anymore, ari. so nobody wants to see me. >> okay. we will fact-check that a little later. senator, let's get to what you're fighting for. you did support the budget deal, but you've been pushing hard for the extension of long-term unemployment insurance. and i've seen several statements out from your office on that this week. what are you and your fellow lawmakers going to do to actually get us a vote on this? >> well, what we're trying to do is to get -- to make sure that if this isn't done this calendar year, which it probably won't be, we get an agreement to get a vote very early in the year. and i think we'll get that. because here's what it means, ari. and i know the governor understands it's having represented both the city -- city of philadelphia's mayor and state as governor. that in pennsylvania, for example, you've got north of 85,000 people whose lives are at stake here. and remember what happened. i think this has been lost in the debate.
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this emergency unemployment compensation, euc, so to peespe the acronym, was put in place in june of 2008. president bush in office. the unemployment rate wasn't at 6% yet, and it was put into effect to deal with the emergency circumstances of someone running out of their state benefits and then having to get the help of the federal government. so it's not only the right thing to do for those who are out of work, and many of them -- more than 4 million a long-term unemployed, but secondly, good for the economy. if we don't do this, by one estimate, we lose 310,000 jobs. no one should be for ending this program. >> yeah, i've seen that number. and the cbo, which is obviously nonpartisan, put around 200,000 jobs. whether it's 200,000 or 300,000, that's a lot of jobs for congress to just pass on. but i want to talk turkey with you or in the case of this debate, talk corn. because some of your colleagues on the democratic side have said let's take the farm bill, which
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people want to move on, and attach this unemployment insurance. and make sure that we marry those. let me read what chris van hollen, a big budget player on the house said. under no circumstances should we support the farm bill, unless republicans agree to use the savings from it to extend unemployment insurance. what do you think of that? >> well, i think both are going to be voted on early in the year. both unemployment compensation, as well as the farm bill. so any way that we can get both over the goal line, i would be in favor. i don't know how -- i don't yet know, i should say, how attaching one to the other would impact the likelihood of passage. but both have to be addressed very, very early in the year and i think both are essential for the economy. >> let me bring governor rendell back in on that. not only a governor, but you used to run the democratic party, and as you know, sometimes in the senate, the most important thing is to make it a party line vote. do you think that van hollen is on the right strategy?
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is this the way to get it done? >> sure. i think that's the way to ensure we get a vote on it. and in the house, that's crucial. it's absolutely crucial. because even if the senate passes it, as bob knows, the house could just not bring it up. and if they pass it as a stand-alone bill. so it's important. and, again, one thing that we want to stress, bob and i both want to stress, these are people who are not sitting back and not looking for work. these are people who are desperately looking for work, but they may be 58 years of age when they lost their job, and at 58, it's pretty tough to find work. so these are people who are really in need, they have worked hard, helped build this country and now it's our oh obligation to make sure they're covered. >> and ej, the senator may not say this because all of his outreach thus far is very bipartisan. but do you think, ej, this is an argument here that republicans look cold-hearted going into christmas if they won't even hold a vote on this? >> well, i think that, because i think it's outrageous we're not extending unemployment insurance
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for the reasons the senator said in terms of this is a job loser for the country. but also, we act as if, gee, great news, we've got unemployment down to 7%. well, yeah, that's better than 10%. but that's a very high rate of unemployment. and that's why we need to continue to help people, because it's not like there are lots of jobs out there for them to find. as governor rendell said. >> all right. senator bob casey, i know you've been leading this fight. that's why we wanted to talk to you. and we would love to keep up with you and find out if you get that vote or what you attach it to. thank you for your time here and a busy day on the hill and votes. and thanks to ej dionne and governor rendell. >> good to be with you. >>. coming up, the secrets we keep. why a federal judge's ruling against the nsa, even if eventually overturned, could have a long-lassing impact on the future of our surveillance state. stay with us. ♪
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president obama met today with technology leaders, but the white house would not comment on a setback to its own high-tech programs. the nsa's use of metadata in a federal court just ruled yesterday the nsa program, which uses metadata, is probably unconstitutional. judge richard leon ruled that the program first exposed by edward snowden consisted of indiscriminate searching and arbitrary invasion americans' rights. quote, the author of our constitution, james madison would be aghast, he said. not everyone agrees. and some of the president's most extensive remarks about the program last summer, barack obama said more exposure of this surveillance actually would show it's lawful. >> i am comfortable the program
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currently is not being abused. i'm comfortable that if the american people examined exactly what was taking place, how it was being used, what the safeguards were, that they would say, you know what, these folks are following the law. and doing what they say they're doing. >> the new ruling suggests the nsa is not following the law, though it could change in an an peel. yesterday the reporter at the center of this story, glenn greenwald, appeared on this program, and touted the decision as a vindication for critics who have long said the nsa exceeded its authority. and as the "new yorker's" amy davidson argues, the ruling also changes the politics. because it fundamentally deprifs the nsa of the argument of obviousness. plainly legal, plainly necessary, and nothing for decent people to worry about. well, whatever you think of edward snowden and his leaks, the new ruling offers the u.s. a chance to openly debate the proper limits on the nsa's
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powers. a conversation that's been largely impossible over the past few years. joining us now to do that, the author of that article i mentioned, amy davidson, and a lawyer who has worked on spying litigation for years and a former colleague of mine, in fact, shane cat i doll in new york city. welcome to you both. >> hi. >> amy, let's start with honesty here. separate from what the president predicted, which was that these decisions would go a different way, if tested, there is also the specific honesty of the nsa. and you've written a lot about that and the idea that this judge was frustrated in part with the word you used, that the nsa has been lying. >> if you read his decision, there are a couple points where he seems genuinely angry. he has -- lapses into sarcasm when talking about the government's lack of candor with him. in its representations to a judge. that he's supposed to take a straight face there, making one argument based on one fact that they've specifically said is not
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true in another submission. >> when you say submission, what you mean is in another statement that is under oath. >> that's given to the court. >> right. >> and he basically said, are you joking? i can't -- so we've been told a lot about obama, by senators on both sides, that we can be pretty calm about the nsa programs, because everything has been working the way it's supposed to. that we have checks in place, that there are courts watching this. that the -- we don't know about it, but the people who need to know about it are making sure it's being done correctly. and this decision basically points out is, you know, that's not true. the courts that are supposed to be looking at it are not getting good information. the senators, you know -- we've heard from ron widen that senator wyden saying that he didn't get good information or didn't feel that the senate was a place where the public was getting the information that they needed. so what judge leon's decision is really saying is not only that there's a real constitutional problem with the program but that the oversight is broken.
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>> and let me read one more thing from judge leon for you, shane. when he frames the question, what is this case about, why should anyone care, what happens to the technology we use. all of us so frequently in our society. and he writes, when do present-day evolutions in the government's surveillance capabilities, citizens' phone habits, and the relationship between the nsa and telecom companies, become so thoroughly unlike those considered by the supreme court 34 years ago that a precedent like smith, a precedent that had basically been offered to support this spying, when does it same plea not apply? and the answer, unfortunately is now. >> there are a number of great things about this decision, first of all, that it comes from probably one of the dozen most conservative judges in the judiciary. but the fact he went after that 34-year-old decision is really the other great thing about it. and that decision, the supreme court said that the government doesn't need a warrant to go after phone records. records of the numbers you called. and the government has taken that decision and kind of
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extended it to almost any kind of business record. any record of your transactions in the world that is handed over to a third party. your banking records, web surfing records. e-mails and files that you keep in storage with gmail or something like that. right? and now in our digital age, that pretty much creates a complete picture of, you know, who you are, what you believe in. and that creates then a tremendous chilling effect on people's political activity. if we know that the government will know all these things about us. >> and shane, it also goes to something that i think anyone under 30 can understand, which is, if you said to most young people, is it okay if someone rifles through the glove compartment of your car or your phone, right, they would definitely say stay away from my phone, it's got my texts, my pictures, my life. it's got my private thoughts. and that's something where the old laws don't at all match the new realities. i want to, however, play a different perspective on this. which is from senator dianne feinstein. take a listen, amy, to what she said today. >> this program, in conjunction
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with other programs, helps keep this nation safe. i'm not saying it's indispensable. i'm saying that it is important. and it is a major tool infer letting out a potential terrorist attack. >> senior democrat saying we still need this. >> well, but that is not indispensable, which i think was an amazing concession on her part. judge leon said, you know, i'm here. you could have given me a classified briefing to show why this was necessary. nobody has done that. he really challenged the idea that it was necessary to keep us safe. and also he really did call the government on its reliance on smith versus maryland. this case that we talked about. >> the old case. >> he made a point. he said that there are people who are probably reading this decision on their phones. that the phone -- the phone that the court was talking about -- >> just dorky people. >> i heard it on my phone. but the 1979 case involved a robber, single suspect who the
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police already knew. they already knew that was probably their guy. and they just wanted to see if he was the one making threatening calls to a witness. it's -- that has been stretched to look for people. >> that's been reversed and that's the other big article in the "new yorker" out. this issue talks about going from targeting an individual person and getting clearance for that, because that's what we expect from the fourth amendment in the government to just taking everything from everyone and then getting your proof later. and that's something that scares people, regardless of who is in charge or whether you like this president or worried about what the next president might do if we don't have these checks. thank you both for spending time with us. shane cat i dahl and amy davidson. has the president's demise been greatly exaggerated? we have the top lines and they're coming up. but first, steven co bare speech colbert on, yes, edward snowden. >> a desperate bid to find out how much intel snowden took, nsa officials recently floated the idea of offering edward snowden
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amnesty. i would take the deal, ed. just come back with all of the i hope intel and all is forgiven. to make you feel safe, we'll meet you in a special amnesty zone. ♪ i always feel like somebody's watching me ♪ i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. you give them the giggles. tylenol cold® helps relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol cold®.
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from falling poll numbers to
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the lie of the year. here are today's top lines. pick your watergate. >> stunning new poll numbers that show president obama with the worst approval numbers of his presidency so far. >> i'm going to throw up. >> don't throw up. >> the president really has taken a hit. this is the latest poll that shows his approval rating at 43%. >> that's not that bad. >> the president doesn't have the lowest poll numbers of any president at this point in his presidency. not even close. >> yet somehow president obama has found a way to get lower numbers than bush 43 or president clinton. >> some very valid concerns are being raised. >> the president who had the worst year in washington is obama. and there is a certain truth to that. >> anyone believe the reality that is most comfortable to them. >> this has been a horrible year for barack obama, a horrible year for the white house. >> yes, jenny, pray hard. >> independent fact-checking group calls his claim, if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, the lie of the year. >> it looks like a disaster.
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and you get this term, you lie. >> you do get that term. >> use it -- you sit on a throne of lies. >> also benghazi. >> you know, chestnut. >> one of the definitions of corruption, bill, is the use of dishonesty to gain or keep power. >> barack obama. >> i like him as a human being. but somehow it seems like he's over his head. >> i just want to say to my critics, i hear your voices and i'm aware of your concerns. >> so maybe you can shut the hell up for a second, maybe i can focus, you know. >> that goes for everybody. >> let's get right to our panel. the "washington post's" malika henderson, post of the post tv. and think progress. nia, i want to start with this polling thing. and i want to come at this at a different way. if you look at the newest polls, president obama's approval is in the low 40s. when you look at the larger context of where the country is on washington and the gap between the president's approval and congressional approval, you
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get a very different story. take a look at this. the gap between president bush and congress at the same point in his presidency, 14%. bush was 14% above. the gap between president clinton and congress was 17%. and where is obama? is he at bush levels, as we have heard, in comparisons to katrina, is he he at clinton levels, a popular second-termer? take a look at this. president obama, 30% higher than this congress. and is so doesn't that tell a part of the story, which is we are in a period of american history where people are unusually upset with washington and yet the president outpolls his republican allies and opponents by 30 points? >> you know, i think that is certainly good news for this president. the bad news about those numbers is those people who disapprove of congress, disapprove of republicans, disapprove of the democrats, all the same. those people are more likely to vote republican, even if they, you know, look at washington and
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see a pox on all their houses. >> i want to break that out. 2014, a long time until 2014. butty igor, is there something wrong that we are in an historically abhorrent period because we have a congress doing less than ever before. people are very upset at it, and upset at washington in general. i think it's fair to say some of that does rub off on the president and probably should, because there are things he wanted to do that haven't happened so you can grade him down for that. and yet there seems to be a distinction in the public's mind that he's 30 points up on these guys. >> you know, on one hand, it's much easier to like one single person, president obama. he's very likeable. that's why you're seeing, i think, part of the difference. >> is it? because president clinton was one person, right? and so was president bush. we put it back up on his screen, they were all one person. >> the other part, though, is that this is really a do-nothing congress. 56 laws passed, the fewest of any, i believe. but it's also what they didn't pass. really popular initiatives, like background checks.
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like comprehensive immigration reform. i mean, things a mablths, large majority of americans really believe in. those bills went there to die. and i think you see that reflected in their numbers. >> and nia, i cut you off earlier. i want to go back to you on if you want to bring us out to 2014 or the point igor was making about congress. >> yeah, i think that's the problem in these numbers, is all those people who disapprove of congress. congress is in the low 10s and 2s there, in terms of approval ratings. although those people still seem like they want to vote for republicans. i think this is a problem. in 2014. for folks who are incumbents. that's going to certainly be a problem. you made the point that it's a long time away. 2014 is. but you see, obviously, the white house trying to retool, bring in new folks to shake things up in that white house. folks now saying this has been obama's worst year. and i think that's a pretty convincing argument, given that he hasn't been able to do many of the things he set out wanting
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to do. almost a year ago in his second inaugural. >> let me say, igor. let's play that out. to nia's point, even if the white house says, hey, we have good news here that we are much more popular than the obstructionists, i think nia has a very clear factual point here that when you look at the generic congressional ballot, it's not redowneding to the democrats' benefit, if i take your point accurately. so igor, what do you say to that? >> we saw immediately after the shutdown the democrats up by large numbers in that same kind of poll that changed immediately after when you saw the problems with health care reform. so the good news is, you're out here, so you have time to change the dynamic. and i think if the law works, health care law works and people get coverage and the dynamic changes, the story changes, the perception is different and those numbers are going to switch again. i mean, you know, these numbers are really if i cfickle. they go back and forth depending on the snapshot of the moment.
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>> and nia, why do you think the president hasn't gotten more credit for dealing with this kind of congress? i mean, it seems to me people beat up on the congress as do-nothing. the year-end reviews in the statistics, work less hours, pass fewer laws than the previous low record. is it just too hard to campaign on that negativity, because he's colored by it? >> yeah. in some ways. i think you can't campaign on what the congress won't allow you to do. i mean, that's not -- you can't exactly put that on a bumper sticker. you want to put on a bumper sticker things you have been able to do. and i think to -- the point that he will be able to do that, we'll see some change, obviously, i think in the health care, in that website and amount of people able to sign up, we're already seeing that. that is good news for this president, his approval ratings. but i do think, still, with some of these congressional democrats, particularly, they're going to ruffn their own races d have a smorgasbord of issues they want to choose from in terms of how closely they run to this president. >> well, i like a good
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smorgasbord as christmas. i hope there's a little ham and cheese and some -- >> mac km n cheese. >> the fancy crackers. thank you for talking numbers with us. and coming up, we're going to talk income inequality. it might be the defining issue of our time. and one that democrats are increasingly eager to own. we're going to discuss president obama's own path toward progressive populism, with one of his former leading policy advisers, neara tannen, joins us when we come back. >> you see, we believe that we're all in this together is a far better philosophy than you're on your own. ♪ [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see?
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life with crohn's disease ois a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps end our night before it even starts? what if i eat the wrong thing? what if? what if i suddenly have to go? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit to connect with a patient advocate from abbvie for one-to-one support and education. we know from our history that our economy grows best from the middle out, when growth is
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more widely shared. >> we are covering the home stretch for the budget today, a bipartisan budget agreement could mark a step towards a value that defined president obama's re-election campaign. spending towards economic equality. and after a decade when democrats were divided more by foreign policy than economics, some of obama's closest advisers now say the president's fight against inequality is the defining issue of our time. his former policy adviser, neara tannen, argues that while american workers have increased their produ their produ their productivity by 23%, most are not compensating workers for gains. 95% of the country's income gains went to the top 1% of earners, she writes, and this widening income inequality has led people across the spectrum to embrace obama's priority in the budget battle, rejecting a, quote, failed austerity measure in favor of smart investments in the middle class. now that new essay is already kicking up dust. and other obama democrats also drawing a line in the sand.
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former obama aid, blake zeph, argues that it often focuses on cultural liberal issues, while quietly doing wall street's bidding. so to get a window into this debate over the future of the party, we went to the source. joining us is nira tannen, adviser to president obama on the affordable care act, director of domestic policy for his presidential campaign, and she served on hillary clinton's 2008 campaign. she is the president of the center for american progress. and blake zeph is the politics editor for and veteran of the obama campaign, as well. welcome to you both. nira, why did you write this piece, and what are you trying to say with it? >> i wrote the piece mostly because i think this issue of economic fairness and ensuring we're addressing rising inequality is really the central challenge of our time. and i think politicians would do well to respond to it. the president just two weeks ago gave i think really seminal remarks on declining economic
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mobility, growing inequality, and what to do about it. and i think the point i made in my piece is that these arguments are really at the core of the democratic party. bill clinton was campaigning on growing the middle class, and obviously the kind of democratic forefather, fdr did, as well. so i think there's been a reaction to economic -- to conversation about economic inequality, and i think that reaction is wrong. >> yeah, neera, you also took on by name third way, part wall street-backed but partly says it's just looking for moderate approaches that can help democrats win. why was it important to you to do that, and do you think people at the white house sort of are frustrated that you see those groups coming out right now at a time when the president is getting back some ground on the budgets and rolling back parts of the sequester? >> well, i think that there's a real disagreement about tax policy and other issues to address inequality. you know, i think -- i took
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on -- criticized third way's piece, because it was really conflating addressing taxes for the wealthy and raising taxes for everyone, which has traditionally been a republican argument against democrats. so i really wanted to clarify that you can be for a sane tax policy and not increasing taxes for everyone. and i do think that this challenge of downward pressure on wages is really what's fueling great economic anxiety in the country. >> yeah, let me go to blake on that point. because everyone says, well, in a free market economy, businesses can make a lot of their own decisions. and yet neera is hitting on the core problem here, which is that our tax policies often aren't incentivizing, getting people paid for those productivity gains she was writing about. >> absolutely. and look, neera makes a strong case that on the policy of this, austerity measures and trickle-down economics have never been successful. there is also another piece to
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this. if you read the third way op-ed, they talk about it's terrible politically to espouse economic liberalism. nothing could be further from the trourth truth. certainly the right wants us to think that. if you look at the 2012 campaign we just saw, president obama's entire message was about economic liberalism. if you think economic populism is not politically popular, you think mitt romney's 47% comment was effective and a good thing. and i don't think a lot of people would agree with that. so this op-ed is wrong both on the policy and politics. >> yeah, and neera, to that point, those moments we're crystallizing, 47% got a lot of play. but it wasn't obvious it would necessary be a gaffe unless you actually disagreed with that idea, right? >> that's absolutely creditical right? so this idea that there's makers and takers. right? that there's a whole group of people out there that are just living off the trough. this is a -- this has been a
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conservative idea for a really long time. and it was central to that campaign is that the president made a case for middle economics and economic mobility. we need to do things to ensure that people get into the middle class. and i think people had a choice. it was a choice election and they chose oh one vision over the other. and i think it's in part because people are struggling. we just have been down. people are literally working harder and making less. and that really takes away at the american dream. it really does. >> it goes to the final point of what kind of candidates we're going to see. you guys both worked for both hillary and obama, which is proof there was peace to be made after that time. and have worked for the president loyally. but blake, when you think about those divisions, hillary spent a lot of time explaining her foreign policy. who are the people you see that are going to be focused on economic policy going forward in this debates? >> well, look, the obvious candidates we have seen has gotten a lot of attention, bill de blasio a lot of attention. the incoming mayor of new york. someone who has been doing this
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for a long time sherrod brown, a senator from ohio, one of the so-called purple states, who really proved that this is not -- a., not some newfangled idea of economic populism and second, not some idea or message that's destined to fail. someone like sherrod brown could be a great spokesperson for how you can talk about economic liberalism in a way that really appeals to voters throughout the country. >> yeah. and that goes to a lot of those working class voters you're talking about who care deeply about making sure they get paid for the work they're doing, which, again, they're makers. and goes to a lot of the overhang from that victory that the president had, both on politics and policy. neera tannen and blake zeph, thank you both for your time today. >> thanks. >> thank you. all right. and coming up, we're going to head to the white house where house of cards got a pretty ruthless shoutout from the president today. but first, jackie deangelis has the cnbc market wrap. >> good afternoon, ari. while wall street ending the day slightly lower, here's a look at how stocks stand going into tomorrow's trade. the dow jones industrial is
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finishing 9 points lower. the s&p and the nasdaq both losing 5 points each. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some financial folks who will talk to them about preparing early for retirement and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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i'm just wondering if we brought the advanced copies of the "house of cards." >> a little cameo? >> well, i wish things were that ruthless. it's true. kevin spacey, i was thinking this guy is getting stuff done.
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>> president obama talking "house of cards" with the ceo of netflix and several other tech executives earlier today. you can see marissa meier in the shot, as well. the senate getting things done as we have been reporting on a two-year bipartisan budget deal today. nbc's peter alexander joins us now from the white house. good to see you, peter. you had the president huddling with the titans of silicon valley, obviously, and a lot on the table. the affordable care act, getting assists from a former microsoft exec, as well as a lot of discussion about what the surveillance ruling means for these companies that are integral to our national security when they turn over the information they're told to. what can you tell us about the meeting? >> yeah, ari, that's exactly right. frank underwood was not in the meeting, but as you noted, there were some significant tech leaders from across america who were present from yahoo! facebook, apple, all representatives there in that meeting today. one of the primary topics the white house wanted to focus on was health care. but the topic that really took
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over most of the conversation that lasted approaching three hours was the topic of surveillance. the president and his national security team right now are deciding what recommendations to adopt that they're being provided from an outside review panel about the surveillance programs in this country, without compromising national security. we're told from sources inside the meeting that the president was largely in a listening mode, that he wanted to get a better understanding of what those companies' concerns were. and one of the primary concerns, the tech community communicated to the president was the fact that overseas, this is causing them some sincere concerns, because it's being used as an advantage by foreign companies to compete with american companies by saying, hey, why mess with that when you have to deal with surveillance. you should come to our company. and separately, on top of that, also the point a lot of these companies said they wanted to be able to be more transparent about how limited their interaction was with the government as well. >> yeah, i know that's a huge issue, because they have split on that. there are companies like twitter that have tried to tell people
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more about when they get surveillance requests. and others that have really kept it in the dark with this ruling, it's not clear how much longer they can do that. >> that's exactly right. and so that's one of the primary points that they wanted to focus on in the course of this conversation. the companies -- obviously, none want to not participate and help out. they don't ever want to be accused of being obstacles in an american effort to try to stop a terrorist attack going forward. but this really puts them in a tough position. >> absolutely. that's interesting. three hours, we know, that's no pro forma meeting. nbc's peter alexander, thank you for your time. and we will be right back. [ male announcer ] this is jim,
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watching today. coming up top, you're not going to want to miss this. we have a man who has been through his share of budget battles, my colleague, chris matthews. he will be on at 4:30 tomorrow and coming up right now, "the ed show," with ed schultz. good evening, americans, welcome to "the ed show." let's get to work. >> it would require an act of congress. >> can this congress dig itself out of its hole. >> ooh, sometimes the truth is painful. >> families will take a brutal hit over the holidays. >> i asked santa for a choo choo. >> then good out and get a job. >> those people unemployed, we're just leaving them in the lurch. >> do you personally support extending unemployment benefits? >> the 26 weeks they're paid for, if you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. >> what are you, crazy? >> yeah, buddy, i'm crazy.


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