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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 28, 2013 9:00am-11:01am PST

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for more than a million people affect the economy? the answer might surprise you. still trapped, more drama today after one attempt fails to rescue dozens stuck in antarctic ice. what will happen next? he's back. in fact, it's like he never left. the duck dynasty dude no longer suspended. did the controversy just serve to promote the show? >> is that your car? >> it's a jag? >> yeah. >> make a lot of money? >> yeah, i do all right for myself. >> the top ten films of the year. one expert with his picks. where does "the wolf of wall street" fit in? hint, it's not number one. hey there, everyone. high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to weekends with alex wit. more than 1 million americans got an ugly post christmas jolt at midnight last night. long-term jobless benefits ended the if i recall government
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pulling the plug on a program enacted during the recession. some are vowing to move for a retroactive fix. but in the meantime, affected americans are worried. joe fryer is in los angeles with more on this story. joe, good day to you. let's get an update. how worried are folks? >> folks are pretty worried. this affects more than a million people. up till this morning, unemployment aid could last more than a year, but congress decided not to renew the emergency federal benefits. as of today, they're back to prerecession levels maxing out after six months. >> when dale sexton lost his job after nearly 36 years of gainful employment, he assumed it would take only weeks to find a new one. that was in june. >> never thought i'd be unemployed for over six months. >> this married father calls unemployment insurance, $300 a week before taxes a lifesaver, but that money will now disappear next month because benefits for anybody out of work more than six months are going away.
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leaving sexton with some tough choices. >> i'm going to have to either look for a temporary part-time job doing menial labor have to seriously giving up the house. >> starting today unemployment benefits will varnish for 1.3 million american who have been out of work longer than six months. and in the first half of 2014, another 1.9 million americans will lose their benefits. some in congress want to extend the long-term help but opponents question whether it's working >> i am worried about workers not that i think they become bad people but the longer they're unemployed the less like to get a job again. >> many job seekers say it can be hard to find a job within six months despite aggressive search. >> there are three unemployed workers for every single opening. the odds are against unemployed workers in the labor market. >> that's why dale sexton would like to see extension of benefits ing he he would still prefer employment pay over of
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unemployment pay. it's a fraction of what the majority of people make. i would not want to stay on these benefits long-term, no way. >> a bipartisan group is working to try to put together a plan to extend these long-term benefits when congress returns next year. but to make that happen to get enough support, they're going to have to find a way to pay for the program with an annual cost of about $25 billion. alex? >> joe, i guess that's going to make the difference of what happened leading up to the recess and what they get done afterwards. thanks so much from los angeles, joe fryer. let's go to politician. the aclu says it will appeal a federal judge's ruling that the nsa's collection of millions of americans' telephone records is legal. the ruling friday says the program is a valuable part of the nation's effort to the combat the threat of terrorism. and only works because the program collects everything. nbc's peter alexander is in hoon lulu, hawaii, where the president is 13e7bding lol days while peter is working for us, i say with a smile. what's the reaction from the
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obama administration? >> well, of course, alex the aclu and justice department are on opposite sides of this one. let's put up on the screen the message from the justice department, the statement they released after the judge's ruling. it read we are pleased the court found the program to be lawful. the ruling also described this as effectively the government's and the word they used counterpunch to the 9/11 attacks into al qaeda's efforts to the seal its communications. only by scooping up all this information it said could you find that small thread and that a singular thread could be horrific, referring to the potential for attacks in situations like this. we know the president has been throughout trying to find the balance between security and privacy. now under much more scrutiny, much greater pressure. he brought with him in his suitcase that 300-plus page advisory panel series of recommendations. and one of the things that's worth noting is in this ruling yesterday, it says is it legal,
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yes, should it be done? well, that's up to the president and congress. that's the decision the president will need to make here. those recommendations seem to lean not toward this most recent ruling but to the one about 12 days ago that basically said that this sort of major collection of information was not essential and that there should be less intrusive ways to go about doing this. >> which means, peter, given these two things, does that mean that this is inevitable to get to the supreme court? >> yeah, i think that's likely the case first, of course, it would go through the appeals court process but you know, people who know this stuff a lot better than i do and than includes had justice correspondent pete williams ha spoke about this extensively says this is definitely increasing the likelihood this happens here. >> peter, thank you so much for that. from there to the power problems and the freezing temperatures plaguing parts of the country. crews in michigan and maine are racing to restore lights and heat for some 33,000 households.
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many have already been in the dark for an entire week. >> i think it's pretty but it's caused a lot of damage. >> we had various wiredowns and our number one priority is customer safety and employee safety. so we have to make sure we keep the public safe. >> as of this morning, more than 30,000 people are still without electricity. but will the weather cooperate this weekend for all those crews working around the clock to get it fixed? is the weather channel meteorologist alex wilson joins me with the latest forecast. good day to you, alex. >> hey there. we're going to get to the snow expected in parts of in e that could cause problems for power crews. travelers also worried about wet roadways across the south. mobile, new orleans, atlanta, dealing with the rain and scattered showers and thunderstorms, even into places like jacksonville, florida. may hear thunder to end the month of december. as we go through the day tomorrow, gulf coast begins to dry out. we're keeping the rain for atlanta, jacksonville, charleston raleigh. that extends further up towards
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the north. parts of virginia, the mid-atlantic and the northeast. going to be a soggy sunday for travelers along the i-95 corridor. it is going to be a rain event for areas like d.c., philly, new york and boston. not winter weather this these places. by tomorrow night beat could see the wintry mix nim new york, western pennsylvania, northern new england, as well. the snow limited to the farthest northern points and sections of vermont, new hampshire, also up into maine. this is where the accumulating snow is going to be limited. but as you just saw, this is where we still have plenty of power outages for spots in maine. 5 to inches we're expecting in these areas in purple. so this could slow down power restoration crews. could even cause new power outages. northern sections of vermont and new hampshire generally looking at about 1 to 5 inches. anywhere in the deeper blue would be 3 to 5. the lighter blue 1 to 3 inches. elsewhere less than one inch. this is a rain event for areas like new york, philly, d.c.
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still going to slow things down for travelers. >> thank you so much from the weather channel. alex is, appreciate it. developing story of the russian ship stranded in sea ice off of antarctica there since christmas eve. a first attempt by a chinese ice breaker had to turn back. joining me now martin fletcher from london. any progress being made there? >> well, very little. it's midnight local time in the east in antarctica. that chinese ice breaker you mentioned which got to the within six nautical miles of the trapped ship it got stuck itself. there's ice about ten feet thick and the ice breaker can't even move forward. so an australian ice breaker is coming to help but it's at least a day away. meanwhile on the trapped research ship, spirits said to be high. the people on board which is the research team from australian
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university of new south wales and volunteers helpers and crew telling families not to worry. they've got enough fresh food on board for two weeks. more dehiydrator food. too much snow and too much cloud, alex. >> so martin, we had an explanation earlier that was just an excellent one that you offered on how this happens because a lot of us can't envision how a ship gets going through the ice and you think you can see this coming. you need to turn around because you can anticipate the problems you're going to have. and yet, you gave a good explanation for those who weren't up early this morning, can you say how this happened again? >> well, yeah. i you say they should turn around. that would certainly be a good idea if you could. once the ice comes in, it comes in so quickly that you can't. by the way, there's nowhere to go. they were trying to go home. the thing is that the -- as the exhibition leader chris tourney
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explained, he said you know, are we talk about the slow movement of ice, the glacial movement. he said it moves very quickly indeed, it's whipped up the ice pack is whipped up by the wind. and it pushes the ice together very quickly, much quicker than you can imagine. for instance, on christmas eve when the research ship sent that first distress. [ auctioneer calling ] ing for help, it was two miles from the open sea. there was two miles of ice between it and the open sae. now because of the wind pushing the ice together, it's 13 miles from the sea. that's how much ice has built up. it's 10 to 12 feet thick that ice. what happens is that the ice melts from the bottom, not from the top. it melts from the bottom at the sea bed which is about 1200 feet down. there the water forms and because it's not saltwater, because it's fresh water, it forms ice more quickly. that's why they're stuck. as we said earlier, even the ice breaker is stuck. >> right. okay. well, thank you again for the
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explanation, martin fletcher. i appreciate that from london. that was quick. just a week after the star of the hit show "duck dynasty" was suspended forra, he made about gays and african-americans, a & en network says phil robertson's suspension is now over. kristin dahlgren joins me. >> from the time his comments about gays and african-americans first went public, people on both sides of this issue have been outspoken. in the end, it was a short lived suspension for the star as a & e announced the show will go on. they suspended phil robertson last week following his interview in which he compared gays to drunks and terrorists and said african-americans were perfectly happy before civil rights. that interview sparked outrage and protests for many including many human rights groups. now the network decided to bring robertson back to the show releasing a statement that says in part ""duck dynasty" is not a show about one man's views. it resonates with a large
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audience because it is a show the about family, a family that america has come to love." as you might have seen in many episodes they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. these are three values we at a & e! networks feel strongly about. the lgbt organization glaad released this statement in response "phil robertson should look african-american and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising jim crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists. a & en has chosen profits over african-american and gay people especially its employees and viewers. robertson's suspension triggered "duck dynasty" fans to organize protests of their own standing up for the family patriarch. "duck dynasty" is the most popular reality show on cable with hundreds of millions can of dollars in merchandise. a & e says it consulted with advocacy groups before making its decision.
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alex. >> thank you to are that. here's what we've been asking all of you today. should phil robertson still be suspended or did a & e do the right thing bringing him backing? gregory writes that's their business although i disagree with robertson, tolerance works both ways. a & e botched the whole thing. angie mcadam tweets just like me we thought a & e is more concerned about profit than anything. future says they did the right thing bringing him back. ross bowling answers a & e lost me for all programming letting pr back racism and homophobia. they have no place in my home. nor will i support that. larry tweets who cares. enough is enough. he's an idiot. the fools that watch will watch no matter what. more important things to watch. actually was my favorite tweet, just saying. keep talking to me @alex witt. i'll read more of your tweets later on. breaking down the political and economic impact of the big cut in jobless benefits today.
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hbo's game of loans to tloens" on our list of number ones for a good and bad reason. it's not the "juggle a bunch of rotating categories" card. it's not the "sign up for rewards each quarter" card. it's the no-games, no-messing-'round, no-earning-limit-having, do-i-look-like-i'm-joking, turbo-boosting, heavyweight-champion- of-the-world cash back card. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, every single day. now tell me, what's in your wallet? wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com.
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1.3 million americans are losing unemployment benefits today. and that is because the bipartisan budget signed into law by the president this week does not include an extension. the obama administration says those payments have kept 1 1.4 million people out of poverty benefiting almost 17 million children. the budget office says an extension would boost gdp growth and increase full time employment by 200,000 next year. joining me jonathan allen and white house reporter for "the washington post" david knack cag muir ra. jonathan, making these cuts
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might save money but in the big foot, does it actually hurt the economy more to let these benefits expire? >> generally speaking economists will tell you if you pump this money into the economy it's going to have a positive effect over time more than just the cost of the government that it will eventually be spent and it will help the private sector and help the economy get back on its feet. that said, it's tough to come up with the $25 billion for a full year extension. already the budget was terribly squeezed. we had sequestration in place. it's going to be hard to find money to offset the unemployment benefits or willingness to spend to add to the deficit. >> the okay. i want to look at the three-month proposition with you, david, because the president has called the two senators promoting that, that's democrat jack reed and republican dean heller, be he's offering his support for this proposal extending jobless benefits for three months. harry reid says he's going to take this up when congress returns in january.
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is there anything more tangible the president can do to push this forward? >> i think the reason the white house likes this, not only does it give a three-month buffer before they have to figure something else out but this has bipartisan momentum. two senators working on it, harry reid has pledged to take this up right away. it the white house could talk about areas where they could find other savings that would convince more republicans to go on board. i think this exwould be about $6 million to go forward with this. for just three months and you know, the republicans are saying they may be willing to do it but want to see cuts elsewhere maybe doing that in the farm bill, subsidies. some republicans are saying let's find another place. if the white house came forward with some ideas, they pledged to have new relations with congress, maybe they can work on the details, they might find places where republicans are willing to compromise. >> jonathan, i'm checking out your latest article in which you talk about all the federal judges' rulings that the nsa an
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excollection of americans records is legal. in this his ruling he suggests the collect of data helps had the government connect the dots. any evidence in this collection has ever stopped one terror threat? >> not according to the president's own review board. they found that there was little evidence to suggest that this was really helpful in stopping terrorist threats, at least this particular program. you know, alex, this is something that's going to be decided on a political level again before it even reaches the supreme court level. the patriot act expired, the provision in the patriot act that authorizes this bulk data collection program expires at the end of 2014. so congress is going to have another chance to speak on this. the president has his own recommendations to the recommendations he got. there are a lot of opportunities for this law to be tweaked before justices weigh in on it again. >> you make a point there because david, in the final news conference of the year, the
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president said he was going to review this and does this ruling by this federal judge does it change the president's approach? >> i don't know this it would change the president's approach. it gives more backing to many so of the things the white house intends to keep in place which is a good deal of the program actually. but i think the president has signaled willingness to make one of the bigger changes that the review board recommended which was allowing telephone companies to keep the so-called metadata within their own companies, make the government appeal to the surveillance court to gain access to each of these files. so i think the president may allow that to happen. and that would make a big change and sort of minimize some of thecrit same they're getting on this. >> another topic i want to get with you, "the new york times" i'm looking at this article about new jersey governor chris christie, it cites several examples of people who have apparently felt christie's so-called wrath.
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who is adding this stuff up and how much does this add up to? >> chris christie's adding this stuff up. i mean, the opponents of christie are adding this up. obviously there are things he's done that have gotten on file with the new jersey democrats and national democrats and look, this is a dangerous potential meme for crist christie in one way. i speak with experience on this. it ties into his physique. it's easy to believe it's easy to stereotype a big guy as a bully. on the flipside, republicans in a primary heading into a street fight of a 2016 presidential election don't want some wilting violet of a candidate. so the idea that he can be really tough may help him with the republican primary voters. >> what's your reaction, david, to all this. >> i thought so, too. on one hand you had mitt romney take the allegations he was a bully back in the last campaign. romney was preying on folks weaker, this is more of like a political bully. as the at a time when the
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president has trouble getting stuff done, the speaker has trouble dealing with his own party in the house, maybe someone would look kindly on someone who would do what it takes politically to get stuff done even if it seems belittling to someone running for the office of president, he may make the case i get stuff things. this is what we need right now, someone strong and willing to do these things to vance their agenda. >> david, jonathan allen, thank you guys so much. appreciate it. >> thanks for not bullying us, alex. >> i don't think i could. >> happy new year. >> not you guys. a new development in the massive target security breach. will it scare shoppers even more? [ male announcer ] this is george.
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probation department found a quarter of ankle tracking bracelets allowed violent felons to roam undetected some sometimes for week. dea agents find greener jobs in the marijuana industry about the radical some in law enforcement are taking. in today's number ones, a list that nobody wants to be on, it's the states with the largest number of people who lose federal unemployment benefits this year. california suffers the most with more than 836,000 people who are going to be cut off if congress fails to restore the program. new york has 380,000 had you losing out. 285 thousand texans will lose their benefits. the lone star state offers a reason for optimism in the new year. austin, texas, topping the forbes list of cities with the most economic momentum going into 2014 due in part to a 21.5% growths in gdp. san antonio ranked second, salt
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lake city third. here's to the young wolf. whoo. >> forever young. >> hbo's game of loans to" is so popular it is the most pirated tv show for a second straight year. the website torrent freak.com says the season final ef-of thrones was illegally downloaded 5.9 million times. "breaking bad" is second with 4.2 illegal downloads ahead of the "walking dead" in third with 3.6 mill job. those are your number ones here on "weekends with alex witt." me, there's new crest 3d white 1 hour express whitestrips. removes years of stains in just 1 hour. whitening without the wait. now get the best 3d white deal of the year at selected retailers. now get the best 3d white deal of the year "stubborn love" by the lumineers did you i did. email? so what did you think of the house? did you see the school ratings? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! have a good day at school, ok? ...but what about when my parents visit? ok.
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wout of landfills each year? plastic waste to cover mt. rainier by using one less trash bag each month, we can. and glad forceflex bags stretch until they're full.* so you can take them out less often. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." time for headlines at the half. reinforcements for u.n. peacekeepers have arrived in south sudan. the u.n. security council agreed to double the amount of peacekeepers to protect civilians being sheltered at military base. 1,000 people have been killed since fighting broke out almost two weeks ago. more people are reporting
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military sexual abuse in the u.s. defense officials say more than 5,000 reports of sexual assault were filed during the fiscal year that ended in september. officials say the heightened awareness may it be partly responsible for the increase. constant pounding from high surf has some residents of hawaii fearing for homes. part of the north shore is eroding at an alarming rate. several homes have crumbled. another warning for target shoppers whose credit card information may have been stolen. those hackers may have swiped your pin code too despite the initial reports that pin codes were safe, target now acknowledges personal pins were stolen but says it's unlikely the data can be used. nbc's gabe gutierrez is outside a target store in atlanta. let's get the latest revelation. explain all this for us and where it stands. >> the nation's third largest retailer insists stolen pin data is strongly encrypted and just can't be unlocked. so far there's no evidence to suggest that the pin data has
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been compromised. but some cyber security experts say it might be possible. this morning, the investigation into the one of the largest data breaches in u.s. history is the deepening and customers remain nervous. >> it makes me leery about going there. >> at first target had said up to 40 million of its customers debit and credit card numbers had been stolen around the start of the holiday shopping season. know they confirm encrypted personal identification numbers were also taken in the massive security breach. but it says that hack teres can't crack the codes. we remain confident, target says, that pin numbers are safe and secure. >> when you go in and make a purchase with your debit card, target never sees your pin number in the clear. it's meelds encrypted. all they possess is the encrypted number. >> an outside company processes payment by unlocking the pin with a digital key. target says since that digital key is not within its system,
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the hackers didn't steal it. >> that would take decades for them to crack each pin independently. it's just not worth their time to go after those encrypted pins. >> but other cyber security experts aren't so sure. >> target may be understating the significance because in the past, the criminals have actually decrypted the pins and used it to steal cash from consumers. >> some frequent target shoppers feel the retailer's offer of free ked monitoring just isn't enough. >> we weren't aware that target wasn't protecting this information and now as a consequence, we're the ones having to foot the bill for all this extra effort. >> reporter: this really came at a crucial time for target. holiday shopping season. target's shares are down around 2.3% since news of the cyber attack broke, alex. >> i'll bet. people are concerned. for sure. gave gutierrez, thank you so much. unemployment benefits for more than 1.3 million people
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expired at midnight last night and starting today in maryland, for example, that means nearly 23,000 people will lose long-term compensation. meanwhile, some senators vow to take this issue up immediately when congress returns from recess on january 6th. and joining me now, snofrl ben cardin from maryland. it's nice to see you. thank you for your time. happy holidays. >> same to you. it's always good to be on your show. >> thank you so much. the numbers seem rather abstract. give us a sense of how this expiration aches those who have relied on these federal benefits. >> we're talking about people who have been long-term unemployed for six months or longer, people having an extremely difficult time finding jobs. there's not enough jobs in the market. so that's why we have the federal extended benefit program. the unemployment rates are higher today than when we started the program. so it's its important that we extend it, we should not have allowed to lapse at the end of this year. congress should have passed it.
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i know we are committed to taking this up the first day that we're back. i hope that we can quickly pass an extension of unemployment. it's important for the individuals, it's also important for our economy. >> now, the senate, sir, may agree to an extension but the house might be a tougher sell. here's a recent statement from a republican congressman from maryland. it was intended to be temporary and emergency in nature. continuing to extend benefits beyond 26 weeks would cost an additional $26 billion did, something our nation cannot afford. how much can the nation afford? >> well, unemployment is an insurance program that we put money in during the times that our economy is very strong and we use it when our economy is not as strong as we want it to be. it's counter cyclical. it helps stimulate our economy and job growth in addition to providing help for those who desperately need it to keep their families afloat. so the economy today is still not creating enough jobs.
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particularly for those who have been unemployed for a long period of time. it's important that we extend it i understand there is concerns about offsetting it traditionally. we've never offset the cost of unemployment insurance because we put it the money in when the economy was strong just for this purpose. >> i spoke with your colleague from the same side of the aisle, senator menendez yesterday. he says there's almost a mormom compelling reason for doing this for people. even beyond that, with the unemployment rate falling to 7. ers this month, which is the lowest we should add since november 2008, how long do you envision extending the unemployment benefits? will there be a point where it is unnecessary? >> absolutely. this is an attempt -- it is a temporary program. but the unemployment rates are higher today than when the extended benefits were first started. our economy is not as strong as it needs to be. we're not creating enough jobs. we can't just go from one manufactured crisis to another. and that's why a short-term
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extension three months, i would hope we could go longer than that. we know there's going to be people that are unemployed who can't find work and that it's our responsibility to make sure that this program is extended. >> i know you're going to put it out there. we have, you know, majority leader harry reid saying it's on the table. john boehner perhaps saying something else because they've got to find a way to pay for this. ultimately, do you think congress will approve an extension and if so, how quickly could it happen? >> i think we will when millions of americans realize that they are not going to be able to pay their bills. it's not going to not only affect their anthems but the restaurants, it's going to affect the food stores, it's going to rakt the local businesses. it's going to affect our economy. i think there will be a groundswell to say look, are it's not only the right thing to do, this is america. we take care of our people, particularly during times when our economy doesn't have enough jobs. we've made provisions for in. let's use these resources. i think there will be a
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continued support to make sure we get it done sooner rather than later. >> i'd like to ask you a couple questions looking ahead to 2014. that would be regarding legislation and what legislation you think should be pushed in the coming year and what realistically can get passed. >> uh-huh. first and foremost is job creation legislation. we don't want to go from one crisis to another. let's get rid of sequestration and get a longer term budget agreement and make sure we finance our transportation programs. we need to reauthorize the surface transportation program. make sure we pass a water resources bill. let's get the farm bill enacted into law and let's do immigration reform. these are matters ready for enactment and congress needs to make these decisions this year, 2014. >> and senator, which of these issues do you think, given the divided congress, the president can and should get behind because the power of his pulpit certainly will push these into an effective position? >> i would say all of the above, but the farm bill is just about
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ready i hope for a compromise within the conference committee. we need to make sure we have a transportation bill passed in the 2014. and i think immigration reform is one in which we have a true bipartisan product that came out of the united states senate. it's very important for america's future. it's very important for job growth. it's also the right policy for our country. i would hope that immigration reform would be one of those the president would label as a high priority and let's get it done in 2014. >> are you at all concerned, sir, the gop might retake the senate come november? do you envision any scenario where that could happen and what that might do to the president's agenda, even let care? >> my first message would be there's plenty of time between now and the elections. let's get our work done. president obama, the democrats have a clear agenda for job creation. we don't want to go from one manufactured crisis to another. we don't want to see government shutdowns or threatening the
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national debt, paying our bills. so i think there's plenty of time for that. let's get down to the business of this nation, put aside the partisan differences. do what we need to do and then there's plenty of time to do see the differences between the two the parties next november. >> well, senator, you can't blame a girl for trying. anyway, okay. senator ben cardin, thank you for your time as always. happy new year. >> happy new year to you. >> thank you. up next, the atlantic last named its picks for best movies of 2013. it's a year marked with thrillers from land, sea and space. did your faves make the list? mine was earned orbiting the moon in 1971.
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a slave," one of several powerful films that made at least one top ten list this year and probe more. there are so many great movies. christopher orr calls 2013 no less than a tremendous year for film. christopher joins meese now to discuss his top five frustrates and more. welcome. >> thank you for having me. it's a pleasure to be here. >> i'm glad to you. it's always fun to talk about means. what is it do you think that made 2013 such a great year for film. >> there were a lot of good movies. it was a real year of sort of mid budget movies that came in well. there were a lot of movies in that sort of it you know, $20 million to $0 million that were really good films including "gravity" which you showed a clip from. >> i do want to get to "gravity." you you say it was an evolutionary leap in film making in the technology. you compare it to "titanic." let's play a scene here. here's that. >> need to focus. i'm losing -- seconds i won't be
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able to grab you. i can't see you anymore. do it now. >> houston, i've lost visual. >> yeah, special effects outstanding. what about the story line? >> i was a little bit disappoint the in the script. i liked the movie. it was relatively short. we live in an age where i think almost anyone who goes to the multiplex will tell you there are oo too many movies 2 1/2 hours is, three hours. i just thought the writing was a little slipped into cliche now and then. it wasn't a bad script. but it wasn't a great script. it prevented it from being a really great movie. it was in my top ten but not at the top of my top ten. with a slightly better script, it might have been. >> here are the films in your top five "her," "12 years a slave," short term 128," "the wolf of wall street" and captain phillips. "wolf of wall street" is a long one. it's fast, funny and filthy.
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let's watch what we can. >> here's got some money. >> i got a couple mil coming in like a week. when it gets in, are you come pick it up. >> you give me a call? >> when it gets here, i'll give you a call and you'll come pick it up. >> we don't work for you, man. >> shh. >> sweetheart, you have my money taped to your boobs. technically you work for me. >> i guess that's all it takes to work for him anyway. it's made your top five. it lives up to the hype it's getting in your mind? >> it is a very long mean, three hours long. i wish he had managed to shave it down to 2 1/2 or so. but it's a very fast three-hour movie. it is a black comedy. anyone looking for a sort of serious political movie about the excesses of capitalism should look somewhere else. there was a great movie "margin call" a couple years ago. this is good fellows" retold as farce. it's exceedingly funny, probably
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the funniest movie scorsese has made and very, very dirty. it is full of hookers and dprugs and excess of every kind. >> so not for the kids. depending on the age of the kids. let's get to the top of your list. that's "her" war joaquin phoenix falls in love with his computer. let's watch a bit of that. >> mr. theodore tremblay, welcome to the world's first artificially intelligent operating system. we'd like to ask you a few questions. >> okay. >> are you social or april the social. >> i guess i haven't been social in awhile. >> how would you describe your relationship with your mother? >> oh. >> thank you. please wait as your operating system is initiated. >> so i guess it's believable if your computer sounds like scarlet johanssen, right? >> she does amazing work in this film. i have to say i've never been completely sold on scarlet johanssen. i've liked her fine. she is astonishing in this role even though you don't 'see her face. she replaced another actress,
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samantha morton originally cast in the movie and they shot the whole movie and spike jones decided it wasn't working and he brought in scarlet johanssen. she really brings that character to life, so to speak. and joaquin phoenix is fantastic too, very subtle work, very understated. but the whole movie is it takes a fairly comic premise. and it takes it in some very thoughtful and touching directions. i think asks some interesting questions about the nature of love. >> okay. well, it's been a great conversation. christopher orr of the atlantic, thanks so much. we'll do it again. >> i'd love to. >> okay. the road to sochi. there's one familiar name making a comeback. will he sked or flop like he did in the last winter games? we want to hear from you. search weekends with alex wit and you can like us to keep the conversation going. [ woman 2 ] to carry on traditions. [ woman 3 ] to come together even when we're apart. [ male announcer ] in stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and more, swanson makes holiday dishes delicious.
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it is 40 days until the opening ceremony for the sochi winter olympics. as the torch travels across russia, just who will be going
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is being decided at the olympic trials this weekend. joining me now is alan abramson of "nbc sports." alan, so great to have you on. i'm a big fan of your work. let's talk about some of the early favorites. i want to talk about the message that is sent by president obama and other leaders announcing they're not going to be going to the games. you've written about this and said it could have a negative effect for the u.s. what do you mean? >> i sure have written about it. you the know, from my point of view, the president has sent a big, big signal of disrespect to the russians and in particular to president putin, and you have to wonder ice and snow are slippery. the american athletes have to get to these venues. things happen. also, let's not forget that at the winter olympics, a lot of these sports are judged sports. again, these sports are judged sports. you never know whether the russians are going to take the next steps. let's all think back to the ice skating controversy in 2002.
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you just never, never know. we'll see. >> yeah. interestingly, on the list of the u.s. is olympic delegation announced by the president, there are a few members of the gay community. how much of a statement does this make? do you think the right people will be listening here? >> well, it depends on who you think the right people are. if you're a member of lgbt community, for sure it sends the right signal. a member of the ioc, you're saying to yourself, what's all this about? if you're the russians and you're saying who are the americans to be telling us how to run our country? you know, think back to the hue and cry over the controversy in china in 2008. over what was going on in tibet. president bush nonetheless went to china. and if tradition holds, what usually happens is that world leaders go to the games and then once the action starts, all the controversies over the politics tend to recede and the focus
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tends to go onto the athletes. president bush, like i said, went to the games and then michael phelps started swimming and then everybody started writing about the athletes. >> yeah, you make a very good point. once the games get going and it's exciting and fun to watch all that happening especially if there's a big story like michael phelps. with regard to the cost, russia outspending everybody so far, $51 billion on these games compared to beijing $42 billion. how important are the games to putin? >> there's no question this is his pet project. i mean, went to guatemala in 2007 when russia won the games. mr. putin has been i don't want to say intim matly involved but personally involved in overseeing this project from the get-go. this is russia's way of saying to the world, be look, we're here. we are an important player on the world stage. this is is just one of several projects russia has going on.
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don't forget the russians are going to be playing host to the fifa world cup in 2018. there's a formula one race in sochi coming up after this also. this is russia's way of asserting itself through the sporting scene just the way china did. this is big stuff. >> yeah. can we talk about some of the big stars? i'm curious about bode miller. a few years back, he was supposed to be the big hope for gold. and he ended up flaming out. what about this year? is he a threat? >> one step back, alex. bode was supposed to be the big deal in 2006, didn't come through. in 2010, he absolutely came through. he took all of last year off to fix his knee. and this year, is he skiing with once again the only way bode can with style, panache, you pick your word. he is once again bode the man, and if you know skiing, there's only one bode miller. he's the best male skier the united states has ever produced. he skis only one way, all out.
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he was fifth in training yesterday. he medaled in beaver creek. i'd have to say i'm not a betting man, nobody should bet on alpine skiing, it's crazy, but bode, if you were going to bet, i would say bode is going to many could through. >> he's so fun to watch. >> he's fantastic to watch. >> absolutely. >> nobody did come back from all-out seeming disaster like bode miller. >> how about lindsey vonn and her knee troubles? >> lindsay also has a flair and i say this admiringly from coming back from seeming disaster. if there's not drama, it's not lindsay. and you'd have to say that lindsay's on the road to something big because there's a lot of drama going on with lindsay and her knee, too. that probably portends something big for lindsay too. >> al and abram mamson. watch all the competition on the nit works of nbc. the face of addiction, a
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>> the lucky duck. why is a&e reinstating the leader of the "duck dynasty" after all? time's up and a long feared d-day for a million people out of work. can they count on help from washington any time soon. >> the more i drank and did drugs to share common ground with people that i wouldn't have. >> struggle and salvation. a suddenly famous faups daughter's tell all video about her substance abuse. why is she speaking out now. and a makeover for the moment. a krystal ball change-up for the times square ball drop. good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." 10:00 a.m. out west. here's what's happening right now. the star of the hit cable show
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"duck dynasty" show is heading backing to tv. ach & e is reversing its decision to suspend phil robertson forra, he made about gays and african-americans. hi, kristin. >> from the time oo robertson's comments about gays and african-americans first went public people on both sides of the issue have been outspoken. it was a short lichbed suspension for the star as a&e announced the show will go on. for the hugely popular reality show. >> that's one of them d-e-d-s don't ever do. >> now 0 controversial comeback. >> i guess we know. >> a&e announcing it will resume filming "duck dynasty" this coming spring while launching a public service campaign promoting unity and tolerance which they say are core values of the company the move is a reversal from last week's suspension of star phil robertson following his interview withg q magazine in
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which he compared gays drunks and terrorists and said african-americans were perfectly happy before civil rights. the interview sparked outrage and pro defts for many including human rights groups. >> i kill it, she grills it. >> the suspension also triggered fans to organize protests of their own. standing you up for the beloved family patriarch by mailing rubber duckies to a&e head quarters. >> fans had started an online petition saying is bring him back. you had everybody weighing in from politicians like bobby jindal to everyday people. everybody seemed to be talking about this. >> robertson did say last week i would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. i love all of humanity and in its statement, a&e said he and his family regret the coarse language he used. .a&e adding we express the our disappointment with the statements in the article and reiterate they are not views we
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holds. overnight twitter lit up with comments. fans thrilled the colorful family will be back. but opponents worry that robertson may have ducked any punishment. >> duck die fasty" is the most popular reality show on cable with hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandise, a&e says it consulted with advocacy groups before making its decision. alex? >> kristin dahlgren, thank you. to front page politics. a new reaction to a federal judge upholding the legality of the nsa's collection of our telephone records days after another federal judge concluded the program was likely unconstitutional as nbc's pete williams explains. >> only by scooping up all the records of telephone calls, the ruling says, can the nsa find and follow the stream of terrorist contacts in an ocean of data. the cost of missing such a thread can be horrific, says federal judge william poly of new york and he says the effectiveness of collecting bulk telephone data cannot be
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seriously disputed citing examples of disrupted plot. >> in response, the aclu says it will appeal the ruling. president obama is making a personal appeal to extend unemployment benefits ending today for more than a million americans. let's go to nbc's peter alexander in hoon lulu, hawaii, where the president is spending his holidays. peter, who is the president reaching out to? >> well, alex, he reached out to this bipartisan pair of senators just yesterday in hopes that he can give some of a boost to that what they put together, dean heller the republican from nevada as well as jack reed, the democrat from the rhode island. the president apparently told them that this is "an urgent economic priority," that according to the white house right now. to give you a sense of the urgency associated right now, it affects 1.3 million americans, the long-term unemployed. the folks who now see the expiration effective today. they would have been receiving weekly benefits about $300 a
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monthly average is about $1156. the supporters of this extension say say not extending it would only hurt the economy. they say they'll actually cause further unemployment. a white house report recently said 240,000 additional individuals would become unemployed as a result of this. the people who think it should stop where it is right now basically make the point that the job market has improved dramatically, unemployment is now down to about 7%. and that this was done during the great recession, that thing were a lot better than that, and by stopping this would force people back to work. harry reid says he's going to bring the bipartisan plan up for a vote in the new year. john boehner says he's open to supporting it if they can come up with a way to pay for it. beak that money has to come from somewhere. >> i want to be clear. these are the federal benefits and plenty of states have their own things going on and people receiving a combination of the two are merely having the federal benefits reduced.
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correct? >> yeah, that's right. the state benefits last 26 weeks. this is after the state benefits end. so i think when it was initially set up, it was about 90 something weeks. then it became 73 weeks total. so the total additional weeks is about 47 weeks. on top of the state, it's like 47 more weeks, almost the course of an entire year basically these people had been covered. they no longer get the extra time after their state money runs out and that's what the real problem is associated with. >> it's a big problem. thank you very much, peter alexander. more on the developing story of the russian ship stranded since christmas eve in sea ice off of antarctica. a first rescue statement by a chinese ice breaker failed. joining me martin fletcher from london. is there any sense of urgency here? >> oh, absolutely. the ship is -- the wind is strong and pushing the ice towards the ship potentially crushing it, but it's unlikely. the end can go the other way.
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and free the ship. that's what they're hoping for but if anything the weather's getting worse mean nothing early rescue for the ship. not only that, the chinese ice breaker the snow dragon itself is all but stuck and may need help. an australian ice breaker is on the way to help them now. >> you see the weather's closed in. >> the latest youtube report from the leader stuck in ice since christmas eve acknowledges they may be stuck for a few more days yet. >> it's our fourth day now trapped on the shokalskiy. >> the trapped crew mep could see the snow dragon but cloud and snow have now closed in. after a french ice breaker gave up, an australian is now heading in to help. it sent stills from its webcam showing frigid waters as it moves towards the coldest windiestquette spot on earth. its first task may be to free
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the chinese ice breaker. >> if not the snow dragon has a helicopter that could ferry passengers off the research ship. but even that could be a problem. right now, the chopper can't take off because of the snow. and the longer it takes, the more the wind pushes ice against the trapped ship. tourney says the ice gripping his ship is now ten feet thick but tourney and friend are becoming quite the internet -- >> still stuck. any passing ships, do pay us a visit. >> brilliant. >> the passengers and crew have enough fresh food for two weeks and dehydrated food that could last longer. while scientists are continuing with experiments while stuck. >> with regard to the other ships coming in, what are they going to be able to do that the chinese ice breaker did not? are they outfitted differently? what if we have a mess and six ships are stranded? >> well, there's always that
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option. a french ice breaker coming to the rescue and had to turn around because of a damaged engine leaving only the chinese one which is -- it's not that it's stuck. it can go backwards but can't go forwards. and the australian should be there within a day. when the australian one arrives, it will form a maneuver with the chinese one after it frees that and together they're going to make a circle of free ice around the trapped ship and hopefully, the trapped ship will proceed out along the channel they created. but as you say, it depends on the weather and the weather could get worse or they could all get stuck. this is just something that happens. as the team leader says, with all the equipment you've got, you can't beat antarctica. >> that's cool, the circle around them. that makes sense and fingers crossed that works. thank you, martin fletcher. back in this unite c, power crews in in issue gan and maine are working to get the light and heat turned on for thens of thousands of families who lost power during a big ice storm. there were still nearly 4500
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households without power in maine. 29,000 in the dark in michigan. so how will the weekend weather cooperate for the crews racing to restore power? meteorologist alex wilson has the latest forecast. hi, alex. >> hey there, alex. you know we're going to get to the snow expected into parts of maine that could cause problems for the crews. but travelers also worried about some wet roadways across the south. mobile, new orleans, atlanta, you're going to be dealing with rain and scattered showers and thunderstorms. even into places like jacksonville, florida. may hear a few rumbles of thunder to end december. tomorrow, gulf coast begins to dry out. we're keeping the rain for atlanta, jacksonville, charleston and raleigh. you can see that extends further up towards the north. parts of virginia, the mid-atlantic and also the northeast. going to be a very soggy sunday for travelers along the i-95 corridor. it is going to be a rain event for areas like d.c., philly, new york and boston. we're not going to see the winter weather in these places.
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by tomorrow night, we could begin to see the wintry mix into spots in new york, western pa, northern new england, as well. really the snow limited to the farthest northern points in and sections of vermont, new hampshire, also up into maine. this is where the accumulating snow is going to be limited. but as you just saw, this is where we still have plenty of those power outages for spots in maine. 5 to inches we're expecting in these areas in purple. so this could slow down power restoration crews. could even cause some new power outages. something to keep in mind. northern sections of vermont and new hampshire generally looking at about 1 to 5 inches. anywhere in the deeper blue would be 3 to 5. lighter blue 1 to 3 inches. elsewhere less than one inch. this is a rain event for areas like new york, philly, d.c. still going to slow things down for those travelers. >> thanks so much. it's dividing america more and more, but how much impact does it have on america's outlook for the new year? will it be wall street versus
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map street? 2014?
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ready to ring in the new year. all of the waterford crystals are in place on the ball that drops tuesday night. electricians installed the last of the crystal triangles yesterday. we'll have more on that coming up. a new associated press/times square poll shows 49% of americans are approaching the new year with optimism and say their lives improve this year. 34% don't expect enough much change. let's get more new reaction to a federal judge's ruling that the nsa sweeping collection of phone data is legal. "the new york times" issued this new editorial titled "this week mass surveillance wins," saying "judge wilyom poly's opinion is perplexing in its near total
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acceptance of the claim by the government it almost always acts in accordance with the law and quickly self-corrects when it does not." joining me now washington correspondent eleanor clift and reporter for poe little cole james helmond. we'll go ladies first to you, eleanor. >> hi, alex. >> hi to you. curious your reaction to the ruling and how big a victory it is for the obama administration. >> well, i think it gives the obama zwrags something to it out and to counteract the earlier ruling but in fairness i think these rulings are kinds of irrelevant. i think the dye has been cast. the president has said he's open to a number of restrictions. i think legislation will be drafted and i think these programs will be reined in. "the new york times" editorial board may not be happy ultimately with how much they're reined in, and i think they're sort of on the, i don't know if you'd call it the left edge of this argument because left and right really doesn't fit here. but they've been pushing for
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more restraints. i think we will get those restraints. we could get more rulings from different judge who have been appointed by various presidents of different parties. i think people are very diverse minds about this whole issue, but the restraints are coming >> james, your latest article is titled "in 2014, western dems condemn nsa surveillance." give us a synopsis sis esof the democrats about whom you're writing and what they're saying. >> there's a fascinating trend where democrat who have competitive races next year in the midterms from the west which tends to be more libertarian, more leery of central government power have strongly condemned this ns amass collection of phone records. it was actually striking yesterday after the judge's decision to see which democrats issued statements quickly condemning it. and they all were from the west. senate candidate in montana, lieutenant governor john walsh, colorado marks udall.
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mark begich. there's a regional breakdown. it's a win-win for democrats because they get a chance to distance themselves from president obama. his popularity is slipping in the states and get to appeal to liberals who are pretty skeptical of this nsa program and make inroads with libertarians who make up a pretty significant chunk of the electorate in these intermountain west states and alaska. >> yeah. very interesting point you make in this article. eleanor, with rafrd to the great divide in america, the dow is going to end the year likely in record territory. but on main street, 1.3 million americans today losing unemployment benefits. ing ahead to 2014, is that contrast between the haves and have nots going to be even greater? >> i think the president has said it's the defining issue of our time. i think we could see a backlash against the republicans if they refuse to move on extending unemployment benefits. i think the minimum wage is now at such a low point, nobody can be commit anywhere near to living with it.
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and you see the republicans under great pressure now to raise minimum wage. i think they might do that. i think the disparity in this country has reached the point maybe reached a tipping point where i think the politicians have to respond and i think that goes not only for democrats but for republicans, as well. >> in fact, even beyond the democrat democrat/republican james i spoke with independent senator bern a sanders yesterday and asked him why democrats did not hold out for an extension of unemployment benefits. here's what he told me. >> that you have paul ryan and his republican colleagues who are very adamant. what they are saying is yes, we have more income and wealth inequality today than anytime in american history but we're not going to ask billionaires and the wealthiest people and the large largest corporations to pay a nickel more in taxes. we want to balance the backs on the backs of the vulnerable. that's the clash you had. >> do you have a sense, james,
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of how much congress is sensitive to this divide between the haves and have nots. >> i think republicans are increasingly nervous about this. democrats are planning to use this unemployment insurance and the minimum wage as sort of battering rams to hit republicans through january. we heard in peter's report from the hoon lulu a minute ago, they're sensitivity on the republican side, john boehner not ruling out a raise in the unemployment benefits. or an extension if they can find a way to pay for it. that's because republicans are sensitive to turning off lower income lower middle class folks and they do kind of recognize that. what we're seeing more broadly though is a rise in populism in both the republican and the democratic parties and there's a divide within each party on the democratic side you see bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. on the republican side, there's very much an open space for someone to emerge and espouse that kind of conservative populism. we haven't seen that yet. but that's where a lot of the republican base voters are.
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the problem is that republican politicians especially with an eye on 2016 don't want to alienate their wall street donor base. >> eleanor, you think it's likely when they come back in january, this three-month extension by congress will happen? >> it's a big if the democrats can find a way to pay for it. that's sort of the program was created as an emergency program. nobody has ever had to pay for it before. it started under the bush administration. so i think if the democrats have to pay for it, it could well stall and maybe the democrats would prefer to use it as a political issue. i think the republicans are getting cornered on this one. it's a simple act of fairness. you're going to hear about the people who have had this money cut off. and their difficulties in finding a job. they're not sitting on their couch eating bon-bones. they're out there looking for work. the longer you're out of work, the harder it becomes to end foo a job. people understand that. i think this is common sense is a phrase thrown around in washington way too much.
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it makes common sense politically and from a policy standpoint to extend these benefits. >> we have someone who's suffering because of this who will be on with me in about ten minutes to talk about her experience with it. eleanor clift, james holman, thank you so much. the daughter of new york's new mayor is telling a story of trouble and triumph. but will it be a lesson for others? wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com.
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i have a cold with this annoying runny nose. [ sniffles ] i better take something. [ male announcer ] dayquil cold and flu doesn't treat all that. it doesn't? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast-acting antihistamine. oh, what a relief it is! the personal problems of new york city's new first family became public this week after the daughter of mayor elect bill deblasio released a video on youtube and admits to struggles with depression and substance abuse. >> i've had depression like clinical depression for like my entire adolescence. it made it easier like the more i drank and did drugs to share some common ground with people that i wouldn't have. it didn't start out as like a huge thing for me, but then it became really a huge thing for
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me. >> and joining me now terry williams, author of "black pain, it just looks like we're not hurting." thanks for joining me. how hard is it to come forward as a new public figure and announce to the world you have a substance abuse problem? >> well, the reality is that unfortunately, it is a hard thing to come out and say. but it's a necessary thing, and i wish that it was -- there was an environment for us all to know that we're all wearing a mask. and hiding things that perhaps happened to us in our childhood. you know we all inherit the -- my god, i'm having a rough time this morning. we all inherit the scars and wounds of our parents. without getting help or treatment to talk about those issues, then we become unglued. but i think what she did was very courageous and necessary and i wish more and more of us would do that. i came out about five years ago talking about my own depression and how it affected my business
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and my life. we need to know we're not alone. when you speak your truth, understand that you are not alone. >> yeah. and jerry, first of all, you're doing just fine. i understand in your own personal story, about 30 years you had this going on before you finally collapsed. before we get to that, i want to talk about the way that this came out that's gotten attention with chee era deblasio posting a five-minute video on youtube. i want to play another excerpt here. >> i kept reasoning and using this really fake rationale that was so justified to me that i could keep doing this stuff and be like i won't drink and then i would just smoke weed and then i would be like, i'm not going to smoke weed and i just drank. it was kind of just bartering for equally bad outcomes. >> so you said terry, you wish people would come out and be more open about this. what you're hearing here, is this a typical story?
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>> it's everybody's story that we know. we wear this mask. and i think she was so eloquent and articulate what she was feeling because the reality is, alex, we will do anything to not feel the real pain that we are in. we self-medicate with drugs, with alcohol, with food. promiscuous unprotected sex, shopping when we don't have money, gambling, anorexia, bulimia, all are things we practice when we don't face our truths. and she has helped thousands of people adults and adolescents alike. every time one person gets up and says, takes off their mask and says this is my truth, the world is awakened. i'm not alone. >> terrie, there are critics who will say look at how the this all came out on christmas eve. look, you're in public relations. you've got your own firm there. so was this at all calculated? i mean were you to have been advising her, would you have said this is the way to do it?
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>> i would have absolutely said that it's important to tell our story. and whistle you are a public figure and we see more and more public figures speaking their truth, elizabeth vargas, i understand, recently was in for rehab. everybody that we know is dealing with something. and it helps the world when we do speak our truth. and i do think that this was no better time because during the holidays, many, many people are depressed because of a myriad of reasons, especially if they've lost a loved one. i think it was an ideal time. the other thing is you own your truth. so if you are the one to speak your truth, then nobody else can ever take that away from you. >> yeah. i want to ask, on heels of your experience having written that first article in "essence" magazine from which you got a ton of positive response. >> i did, yes. >> do you think the same is going to happen for chiara deblasio? >> absolutely. i got chills when he i first
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herd her say it. because she did, because she led the way, there will be many other people who will come forward and be able to get help because they have given voice to what is their truth. >> you know what's really heart breaking to me is the partial title of your book when you talk about the line "it just looks like we're not hurting" .. we're wearing the mask. we all wear the mask. a multitude of issues that have never been resolved and we have been taught. i remember chris rock saying to me many years ago, had he four friends who were comics. and they all ended up shooting themselves in the head. and so it's that -- it's that we're all -- we wear the mask and the -- we will be stronger when we just lift off a veil and say this is my challenge too, and then people will come up to you and say me, too. you? i'm not alone. that's the power of sharing our
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stories. it's the only way we're going to heal. we're part of a new movement called new legacy leaders. and our thought behind that is to not pass on this legacy of silence, poverty, et cetera, et cetera. share your story, the world will become alight. you will be all god has called to to be. >> terry williams, my admiration and my thanks thank you so much. >> thank you. it is a day of dread for this woman and more than a million other americans. who tomorrow bring? that's next. ] new vicks dayquil severe. helps relieve your ugliest, nastiest, roughest, toughest cold symptoms. new dayquil severe. with maximum symptom fighting ingredients. ♪ new vicks nyquil severe. helps relieve your ugliest, nastiest, roughest, toughest nighttime cold symptoms. new nyquil severe. with maximum symptom fighting ingredients. ♪
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thank you for joining me. a lot of people need to get a face to what's happening and feel it from somebody. i understand you have been stretching out that government check of $380 a week. you're going to get zero now from the federal government. what that i cans have you made and are you going to have to make going forward? what's your situation now? >> i honestly, i have been dreading this day. i woke up this morning and i really am not sure how to move forward, to be honest with you. the prospect of no money coming in is -- it's just what you would imagine. it's the scariest most frightening thing ever. you don't know the how you'll get your next meal, how will you afford your rent. what's going to happen essentially. i think is probably on everyone's mind. you don't know. it's a huge question at this point. >> yeah, i'm feeling so for you,
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katie. tell me your story. tell me how you got here. >> well, i have been, as you mentioned, i have been unempl unemployed since february of this year. i lost my job at a very large medical company working for a surgical division with a lot of promises from the company that didn't end up being true. and as a result, me and quite a few other co-workers lost their jobs and found ourselves essentially on the outside looking in. you know, it's a huge -- it's absolutely a huge change just from going from bringing in you know over $1,000 a week to you know cutting that more than half. it completely changes your lifestyle. >> and i'm sure you've spent part of the last ten months looking for jobs.
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share how many times you've searched for a job. >> well, by the state, waer required to record only three of the jobs we look for every week. i look for jobs every week. just three i look for jobs five to seven days a week, craigslist, monster, career builder. you know, net, woulding with friends. if i go somewhere, i talk to people. it's nonstop. you constantly have to be on top of your game, and it's not nonstop with little guarantee that you'll get facetime with anyone that's hiring >> you know, katie, i'm not sure how close you follow the politics of all this but rand paul said this month long-term unemployment does a disservice to the people it aims to help implying it is a disincentive to go out and find work. how frustrating is it to hear that end coo of argument? >> it's -- it's infuriating. to say that someone doesn't want
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to work is -- it's just -- i can't even explain it. it leaves me speechless. i would give anything to be able to get up and to go to work and it makes you -- i don't even know. i'm wasting a college education. i -- it gives -- i don't know. it doesn't feel right to not contribute to my house old hold, to anything. i don't want to live off money from the government. i want to be a -- i want to be how i was. i want to be a self-sustaining woman. i don't want to -- i'm 33 years old. i have been reduced -- i have had to move back in with my folks. it's -- it's embarrassing. it's so hard. i can't even -- there are no words, but the more people i
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meet who are in the situation i realize that you know, it's not just me. i'm fortunate i don't have children. my heart breaks for people in the situation, single parents or people that have families that have children. it's -- i don't -- i just don't know. >> you know -- >> it's -- alex, i wish i had more to say. >> you know what, katie. you've said a lot. you said earlier you feel you don't contribute. thank you for contributing to the show. i mean it with all sincerity. >> thank you. >> the pain, the frustration that you're feeling i think needs to be heard and people have to understand you've got to multiply that exponentially for people around the country. katie pocket, i truly thank you. our thoughts are with you. let's stay on top of your situation. stay strong. good luck. >> absolutely. thank you, have a great day. >> and you, thank you. next in the battle over unemployment, senate majority leader harry reid said he
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expects to hold a procedural vote on a measure that would provide a three-month extension of emergency federal unemployment benefits. switching gears entirely here, when the clock strikes midnight on new year's eve in times square, there's a tradition 107 years old on display. this time there is a change. that crystal ball that is almost as tied to the holiday as champagne toasts and those minute long kisses will look a little bit different now. a lot of squares, triangles rather. the technicians are putting the finishing touches on a newly designed piece with added meaning to it. joining me is fred curtis, the master sculptor for waterford. what a pleasure to have you and these exquisite pieces have you brought with you. >> what an exciting city to be in this weekend. >> it certainly is. let's talk about what we are launching here this new ten-year greatest gifts series expected each year, should be something special in times square. talk about some of these things.
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>> this year we have a brand-new ball. waterford has been at the center of the celebration for over 200 years now. we've been doing like weddings, birthdays, small celebrations plus global celebrations all over the world. this year we're doing the brand new ball and we have all 2,688 panels on the ball. we have the new design gifts of imagination. this is the first year of gifts of imagination nation. our gifts of the greatest gifts, sorry, and we're going to. >> hold it up so the director can take a look. >> it's absolutely beautiful. it's a kaleidoscope kind of effect of what we call a roset cut. a kind of mirror image of each other cut very deep into the crystal. it's a solid block of crystal. it's cut on both sides to give a maximum refraction. because there's so many lights inside the ball, there's like 16 million different colors in
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there. >> like magic. >> like a kaleidoscope. i have seen it yesterday lit up. it's absolutely beautiful. >> something that's also beautiful is the way you have brought in a 12-year-old little girl, a patient with st. jude and she helped do the design. can you talk a little bit about that? >> yes, this year we teamed up with st. jude research hospital. and they chose a little girl from oklahoma. and she designed -- she said a rose. she drew a rose design. and she said that limded her, it made her feel good even if only for a while. it made her feel good. i took the rose design, i took it back to ireland with me and i cut it deep into the crystal, into the panel. and that was -- that one-of-a-kind panel is now affixed to the ball for year. >> for those of us just watching on tv, are we going to watch and see a zing difference? more sparkles, more magic? >> you're going to see, yeah, i think it's going to be a huge
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difference. it's 12-foot diameter ball. it has so much sparkle and shine. it's like it's really a huge kaleidoscope above the city there in times square. >> my goodness, fred curtis, i can't wait to see that. thank you so much for joining us from waterford and across the pond, as well clearly. >> happy new year to you. >> thank you so much, fred. "the new york times" suggests chris christie has a bully image. is that fair? next with the big three. since i've been using crest pro-health, i've noticed a huge improvement. [ male announcer ] go pro. for a clean that's up to four times better, try these crest pro-health products together. the toothpaste is really awesome. it cleans a lot. [ male announcer ] crest pro-health protects not just some, but all these areas dentists check most. this is gonna be a very good checkup. i feel it. [ male announcer ] go pro with crest pro-health toothpaste. always triclosan free. after using crest pro-health for a few weeks, i just feel brighter, fresher, cleaner. after using crest pro-health for a few weeks, stick with innovation. stick with power.
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unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, every single day. so ask yourself, what's in your wallet? i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh what a relief it is. it is time for the big three and "today's topic"s, ducking the issues, bully image and best week, worst week. my panel republican strategist susan del%io, editor of citizen jane politics and contributor for news week and "the daily beast," patricia murphy and esther arma. thanks, guys, for joining me or ladies i should say. esther, let's go first to the ducking the issues here. a&e network says the suspension
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is over for duck dynasty star phil robertson. what was your gut reaction whether he you heard the suts pension being revoked. >> it was an inevitability. the reality is duck dynasty is not a little shop in the mall. they are a massive brand, a show that nets millions of viewers and a&e is a brand itself. it's an entertainment network. that is what this reality tv show is, as vial as those articulated views were, they still represent ratings and profit. because of the nature of the industry, the reality tv is, the suspension being revoked was an inevitability. >> patricia, we talk about the series which doesn't resume filming till the spring. robertson missed no episodes whatsoever. did the suspension accomplish anything? is it fair to even call it a suspension? >> for a&e it at least responded to critics. it was deeply offensive to many
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people. i think at the same time, once they enacted the suspension, they got such huge below backing from people because he was articulating his religious views. this is a reality show. these are not actors, not people who say what they're supposed to say and approved by the network. he had every right to say that but a&e had every right to suspe suspend him. but i think i would almost guarantee that the ratings for the show are going to be very, very high and much higher than they've ever been. i think at the end of the day, a&e did whether he they felt they needed to do. >> all the is i can nicks are saying this was something of a pr stunt. i'm cure ussious what you think to bobby jindal who immediately came out and praised e & e for revoking the suspension. who is his audiences? why do they support robertson? >> mostly for governor jindal
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it's because of where they're from. many members of the show did get involved politically and they have a future following. it's not surprising. what we really learned from this whole thing is that ratings matter and maybe the network went out a little too quickly with their suspension without seeing which way it was going to blow back and they had to walk it all back. >> let's go next to bully image as "the new york times" has a new article about new jersey governor chris christie. it's called "stories add up as bully image trails christie." it gives multiple examples of people who say they have been on the receiving end of christie's wrath. who's adding it up and how much does it add up to? >> the thing about chris christie is you always have this balance. it's people power versus politics and politicians. and so the chris christie bully image, as far as him bullying other politicians, frankly, who cares? because people remember other things. they remember him standing up and calling out his own party
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over hurricane sandy. they remember him being willing to speak about something that they felt others had been quiet about. so given that we have a do-nothing congress, given that there's so much anger towards the way in which congress has played politics with the concerns of the people, the elements that critique christie for his bully image as far as other republican politicians are concerned maybe the people won't care. how does this manifest and play out since we expect to see christie in 2016 running for the presidency? that's the question. >> which brings me to the question for susan. a new polls shows he is the strongest gop contender in a match-up against hillary clinton. are you worried about this at all? >> not at all. it's really not much -- it's basically a reflection of he is the front-runner. so people are trying to cobble stories on him. and this just happens to be one. but i think esther was right. when you look at sandy and the way he's governed, he's not a
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bully. he's someone who likes to get things done. that is his image and that's what's going to keep working in his favor. >> could i jump in and say i think chris christie is a bully. i'm just saying if it comes to bullying competitions, the people don't necessarily care because he's done other things that are important. >> patricia, your take? >> it could be a real problem for chris christie. he's bullied very publicly teachers. he's very cruel to people who disagree with him and he's also tried to build an image as somebody who likes to get things done but also is willing to work with democrats, willing to reach his hand across the other side of the aisle if it's the best thing for the state. if that takes a turn toward looking vindictive and petty and cruel, that's a huge problem for chris christie. i think he needs to manage this story line very carefully because it's the earliest story line that's starting to emerge about him. that's very difficult to dial back if you can't prove it's not true. >> best and worst of the week next. emale announcer ] 1 hour to go, 1 hour to whiten. when you don't have the time,
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oh, if only you all had been in on this conversation because the guantanamo let has been thrown down. best and worst week. susan first, what's yours? >> best week goes to mayor michael bloomberg. he showed after 12 years he did it his way and he's getting praises across the board for it. the worst goes to target, with the p.i.n. numbers and the credit card numbers -- now chuck schumer wants to hold an investigation over it. >> patricia? >> my worst week is for eliot spitzer with a cheating scandal. i can't believe it. marriage is over. i assume his career is over but never say never, i guess. best week actually goes to president obama. he spent the whole week golfing in hawaii. i would trade places with him in a second. he's three days away from ending the worst year of his presidency. got to feel good about it. >> esther? >> best week for the las vegas
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cabbie who found $300,000 in the back at cab and returned it intact. the spirit of christmas is alive and well. the worst week was for adele wilde-blahvatski who suggested that white women should stop being bashed for talking about beyonce. i feel like there is a moment for white feminists to interrogate their own privilege as opposed to litigating black women's agency. my best and worst. >> thanks for that. susan, patricia, esther, thank you. that's a wrap of "weekends with alex witt." see you right back here tomorrow at noon eastern. up next, craig melvin. ♪ ♪
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america's surveillance state gets a ringing endorsement. a judge rules the massive nsa program is legal. why officials say the cell phone snooping could have stopped the 9/11 attacks. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc.

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