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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  January 6, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

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more than 30 degrees over the next day or so. then you add in the wind chill, and it's going to feel like negative 50 degrees in certain spots. so, pull out every warm piece of clothing you have. it is so cold in chicago, they've given the windy city a new short-term nickname, chiberia, and in minneapolis, a city that has no fear of winter, they cancelled school because of it for the first time in 17 years. >> we've never experienced weather this cold, ever. >> real slippery, real icy, people falling. we almost fell. >> so, the delays and the cancellations at airports, they are already a nightmare, and it was after last week's storm that caused such a ripple effect. now these cold temperatures are making a bad situation worse. joining me now from chicago is nbc meteorologist alicia roman. i mention the people in chicago are joking that it's chiberia, but it is record low temperatures at o'hare, so explain how those in the windy city are trying to get by,
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because again, it is january. we understand it's going to be cold, but this is abnormal. >> reporter: this is brutal, extremely dangerous temperatures, thomas. in fact, this morning we broke a record for our record low dipping down to negative 16. that's the actual air temperature. you talked about chiberia, i have to mention my friends are deciding to determine between snowber load and chiberia. look behind me, we have wind chills down to 45 below zero. once it gets that cold, it only takes five minutes for frostbite to settle in. that's what we had this morning, 35 to 45 below wind chills. actual air temperature today will only muster up to negative 10, and it is just a cold, brutal afternoon. in fact, we haven't seen temperatures this cold in nearly two decades, so something that it can happen, but it hasn't happened in quite some time here across the windy city, and people that are out, as you can
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see, not too many people are out, but those who are out, are bundled up from head to toe. earlier, some of our crew members had tears m coming out of their eyes and instantly the tears were freezing, icicles hanging from their eyelashes, not only just an hour ago, but that will continue through the rest of the afternoon. as you notice behind me, too, we have lots of snow. this was kind of a triple whammy over the next several days, new year's eve, new year's day, a lot of snow. then yesterday, up to a foot of snow. so today, we deal with the chilly cold temperatures, the brutal temperatures, and not only are we dealing with it, schools were cancelled here in chicago, but also in milwaukee, in st. louis, up to 30 states dealing with the wind chill advisories or even warnings. the good news is, thomas, though, the temperatures will warm up to the mid 30s. a mini heat wave by the weekend. >> all right. leave us on a bright note, meteorologist alicia roman. thanks so much from our affiliate in chicago.
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joining me now, msnbc meteorologist bill karins, who is standing in front of a freaky looking purple world. >> this is a little different. everyone's been talking about polar vortex, right, thomas? how many times have you heard that today? >> a lot. >> polar vortex, i might as well explain it. what is a polar vortex? well, in the wintertime, the polar vortex is up at the north pole, actually happen at the south pole, too. the way it affects us is if it breaks up in the north pole and makes its way down into siberia, through canada, and sometimes like this time all the way down into the u.s. that's when you get the most frigid air out there in the northern hemisphere. this map behind me explains that. this is the north pole, the united states here, there's england, greenland, and psiberi. the white shows you where the coldest air is, on the u.s./canada border, a little bit greenland, and psiberia, where it's supposed to be. we're colder in the north pole than the northern plains of the
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u.s. in to tuesday, we get our break, the cold air returns where it should be, near the north pole, northern portions of canada, and we go back to normal, if not normal than warmer here in the lower 48. that's good. this is not a long lasting cold outbreak, but it is impressive, nonetheless. new record low in chicago, wind chill in chicago is 42. cold all the way to san antonio, where the wind chill is 17. so, this arctic outbreak is impressive because of its size and its magnitude. we're now down to 12 in atlanta, so it's pushed all the way to the southeast, but that january thaw right around the corner, looks like friday through about sunday and monday, that mild air takes over, thomas? >> the snow birds that got to miami, they have it right. >> they are already complaining in florida with wind chills in the 30s. so, that doesn't make -- >> all relative, right? >> people down in miami don't own pants, right? >> they don't need pants.
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>> they don't. >> thank you, sir. and stick with us, we're going to visit the weather channel's mike seidel, he joins us in indianapolis, where it's currently minus 11, but it feels like it's negative 32 degrees. again, that's coming up in just about 25 minutes, so stick around. we are also following this breaking news from the supreme court this morning, the nation's highest court has put marriage equality on hold in utah. marriages there began two weeks ago, but state attorneys asked for the court to issue a temporary halt. nbc justice correspondent pete williams joins me now from washington to break down what this means, the ramifications, pete, good morning. >> of course, the court has expressed no view whatsoever on the issue of marriage equality. what it has done here is said same-sex marriages should stop while the issue of marriage equality or whether same-sex marriages can be constitutionally allowed, while that continues to work its way through the courts. that issue is pending now before the 10th circuit court of appeals.
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the state of utah went to the supreme court and said, please stop marriages while we're appealing this, because we might win, and if we do, that raises a question about what marriages will be legal or not that were already done after the judge issued his ruling in december. and they also said to the supreme court, you know, this puts the cart before the horse. the supreme court has yet to rule on this issue. now you have a judge ruling in the lower courts. for all these reasons, the state said you should put a stop. we don't know why the supreme court this morning issued a stay. it was referred to justice sotomayor, who is the circuit justice. she referred it to the full court. there was a simple order from the court not giving any reason for this, which is the usual practice, and there were no noted descents. that's kind of interesting, because sometimes if the court takes an action and some of the court members descent, they will note their descents. there's no noted descents, doesn't mean it was unanimous, just apparently no member of the court felt strongly enough about it. so as a practical matter for
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now, same-sex marriage stops in utah. i think there were probably around 1,000 of them that were performed after the judge issued his ruling in late december, and they will now remain -- no more will be granted, no more will be allowed while this issue is on appeal. it will probably be argued on the 10th circuit within the next couple of months and a decision i would expect late spring, early summer, thomas? >> pete williams joining us from washington. pete, great to see you, sir, thank you. >> you bet. congress is getting back to work today with an ambitious agenda ahead, but will lawmakers get any of it done? topping that to do list is an extension of long-term unemployment benefits, also the confirmation of janet yellen to be the next fed chair, along with the democrats push to raise the minimum wage and immigration fight for reform. this afternoon, senators will hold a procedural vote on a proposal by dean heller and democrat jack reid that would offer a temporary extension of jobless benefits, but republicans are signaling that
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they won't back it without spending cuts, setting up another potential showdown. >> not opposed to unemployment insurance, i am opposed to having it without paying for it. i think it's wrong to borrow money from china. >> this is typical for republican members of congress. not republicans, but republican members of congress. the vast majority of the american people believe that unemployment benefits should be extended. never have we ever considered not extending them. >> joining me now, democratic congressman peter welch from vermont. as we dig deeper into the republican compromise of reid and heller, it does propose a $6.5 billion price tag and it's unclear if it's going to get the 60 votes needed to pass the procedural hurdle, but as "the washington post's" ed o'keefe notes, house republican leaders have expressed no interest
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because the senate proposal lacks a pay for. so, as we were just hearing there from rand paul about this and the fact that there is no catch to figure out how do we pay for this other than borrowing money from china, is this proposal dead in the water when it comes to the house? >> no. i don't think it is. you know, only one in four unemployed americans receives unemployment insurance benefits, so it's really essential to them that they be extended, but it's also important to the economy. and frankly, if we're going to have a discussion about what kind of conditions should be imposed, we ought to be talking about how we can put these long-term unemployed people back to work. unemployment is a temporary bridge, but we've got a structural long-term unemployment problem, so the insurance program is paid for with premiums, but we should be finding ways we can put people back to work on a permanent basis and that would mean our roads, bridges, broadband. >> it's supposed to be a safety net so that it can help people
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in our society, catch them, and raise them back up, not be a nesting area for what we've been seeing for so many people in the country, who have now had to face long-term unemployment like they have. but, if we talk specifically about the short-term deal and if it were somehow to pass, it's only for an extended period of 90 days, three months, and on top of the 1.3 million that lost their benefits, there's an additional 1.9 million americans, bringing that total number to 3.2 million. so if nothing is done by next december, that means almost 4 million americans have lost their benefits. how concerned -- >> that's right. >> how concerned should americans be about the potential of that long-term deal not even being in the discussions right now? >> well, they should be definitely concerned about it. i mean, they should be a major concern about congressional dysfunction. with unemployment, what you're seeing is people are now on it
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for a long time, largely because the economy isn't creating jobs. and what people understand is that even though the stock market is at a record, folks who earn their living, about 50% of people don't own stocks, their wages are where they were 10 to 15 years ago, so this is where democrats and republicans have to, i think, let the rhetoric go a bit, and find a way to start investing so that we can create some additional employment and try to bring wages up. by the way, i also think we should be raising the minimum wage. it's $7.25. you have somebody working full-time, they make $13,500 a year for full-time work, and you can't pay your bills with that. >> let me ask you about that, we've seen corporations in this country, another banner year for them, we see wall street doing incredibly well, yet we still have the issue with the unemployment rate in this country and a federal minimum wage at $7.25. as you point out, those drastic numbers, when they add up at a yearly wage up to $15,000 a
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year, that's nothing. so, how do you expect -- >> right. >> -- the democrats to be able to utilize this, not only as a message to get to the midterms, but as a logical means to an end, to provide americans who are making less than what most people would consider to be fair wages? how do you propose getting that -- how do you propose coming to that agreement and finding that magic number? >> well, we've got to push it, and i think at a certain point, $7.25 just doesn't pass the smell test, and people respect work. you know, when somebody is working full time on a hard job, those jobs are tough and they are only making $14,500 a year. i think most people recognize that just doesn't cut it, so we've got to raise that rate. frankly, i think we should tie it to inflation like we did in vermont with a republican governor and democratic legislature. incidentally, that takes pressure off the safety net
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programs, as well, so that would lift some out of poverty. it's not like you can magically increase wealth by increasing wages, but you have to have an economy that creates jobs and you can't have an economy that's dependent on a race to a bottom of who gets the lowest wages. >> congressman peter welch of vermont, thanks for joining me, i appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up in this hour, developing news out of the running, why liz cheney is scrapping her senate campaign. also ahead, hillary clinton's shadow campaign, these new efforts that are happening behind the scenes to put the former first lady in the oval office. that's also the topic of today's big question, hillary clinton's potential 2016 candidacy, could be enthusiasm fizzle. yeah, could people think she comes on a little too hot, too early? weigh in on twitter or facebook. i'm nathan and i quit smoking with chantix.
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developing right now, liz cheney, the eldest daughter of former vice president dick cheney, is pulling out of the senate race in wyoming, banning her effort to unseat the well-liked fellow conservative republican michael enzi. she quotes health issues in her family, and under the circumstances, i have decided to discontinue my campaign. my children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well being will always be my overriding priority. kelly o'donnell joins me with more on this. catching some people by surprise with this announcement. >> certainly, the reasons liz cheney put forward are a surprise, and it was not unusual to suspect there might be some movement in her campaign in the terms of the fact she's been blind, but this, a nonpolitical reason is a surprise, and
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sources close to the family say it is involving her children, a health concern. this is not involving her father, the former vice president, who we have reported on his many health issues and heart transplant surgery over the years. not related to him, but about their family. so it comes at a time when her campaign was not doing well based on things like the polling and how she's been received in wyoming. it's many generations that her family has been rooted there, but liz cheney herself had spent most of her adult life in the d.c. area and moved her family to wyoming in 2012 to set up this bid, but there were many there in wyoming who were not feeling comfortable that she was really wyoming rooted enough in her own life. not with her larger family. the other problem was, she took on a man who's pretty well liked, mike enzi is running for his fourth term, and he's a conservative, and so this wasn't quite a tea party race, and here she was trying to run as an outsider. and she has got an establishment
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name like cheney, which is well regarded in wyoming, his home state. so this is one of those things where the race now takes on a very different dimension, probably one of the most watched of this year, but because of these personal reasons and talking to sources close to the family, it's a real issue, they say, and she decided today was the right time to bow out. thomas? >> so many people recognize her potential as a politician, but, obviously, if there are other concerns that come up, you have to admire what she's putting first, family always comes first. nbc's kelly o'donnell, thank you so much. >> happy new year. >> happy new year, thank you. new developments in the case of a girl on life support after tonsil surgery. she's been released to her mother's custody, so what comes next on this debate over life and death? also ahead, we return to today's weather alert, the blast of cold hitting most of the country. i speak with nbc's mike psi d l deal -- sydell.
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[ male announcer ] ...at aflac.com. new developments to talk about today in the case of jahi mcmath, the 13-year-old girl the state of california declared brain dead. last night, children's hospital of oakland released jahi to her mom's custody, and the move comes after a very public battle between jahi's family, who believes she's still alive, and the hospital who insists she's dead. miguel almaguer is in oakland this morning for us. miguel, two things certainly struck me about the circumstances here of jahi being released to her mom. first, her mom, had to fill out a death certificate, then the hospital actually released jahi to the coroner's office, so explain why they had to go through that type of process to release this young girl to get her to a different facility. >> well, thomas, as you mentioned, there was a bitter
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battle going on between the family and the hospital here. it actually went to two different courts and several court hearings. after two injunctions, the court had decided that jahi mcmath would be kept on a ventilator alive here until -- excuse me, kept on the ventilator until january 7th. if she was removed from this hospital earlier, they said she would have to go, the hospital would have to release her to the coroner. the coroner would have to release her to her parents, that's because children hospital doctors here, as well as independent doctors and as a matter of fact a court has all declared jahi brain dead or medically deceased, so her parents had to know they were taking a body, but they believe she's still alive. they have transferred her to a facility where she can get long-term care. thomas? >> miguel almaguer from oakland, california, today. thank you, sir. here's a look at other stories topping the news. ntsb and faa are investigating what caused a fiery plane crash in aspen, colorado. one person killed, two others
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injured. all three aboard were pilots from mexico. a photo solves the disappearance of a man from new york. nicolas simmons went missing from greece, new york, on new year's someday. after a frantic search, a photo of him huddled on a steam vent to keep warm in washington, d.c. appeared in "usa today." the family says he hasn't been well and is looking forward to his safe return home. dennis rodman is in north korea once again, but this time brought several former nba players to play an exhibition game to celebrate north korean leader kim jong-un's birthday. rodman calls the controversial trip basketball diplomacy. and this is arguably the cutest video of the day, the baby panda made his first appearance of the year today. take a look at this little guy. the giant panda cub was born august 23rd. you can still see a little bit teetery, just a bit. the public will get a chance to see him on january the 18th.
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oh, he's going to be all right, folks, happens to babies. it's all right. welcome back. how is everything?
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[ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. the weather across the country, dangerously cold outside for so many. the frigid temperatures have settled in over the midwest. slow and low and cold temperatures, public officials asking people to stay indoors if possible, that's especially true for children and because of that, schools in nearly a dozen states are closed to some degree or another, including indiana, and that's where we find the weather channel's mike seidel. mike, good morning. >> reporter: hi, thomas. bitter cold, dangerous wind chills in the midwest this morning. here in indianapolis we've dropped down to 14 below zero and the wind chill 40 below zero. you can get frostbite in this temperature in about ten minutes. in chicago, broke a record of 15 below so far, it could get
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colder. at the airport, another horrible travel day in o'hare. much like yesterday and the past week, they have cancelled thousands of flights over the past week. today alone, over 1,100, and that's about half of the entire flights scheduled departures and arrivals. a lot of the snow on the ground, most fell yesterday, six inches on thursday. yesterday, 11.4 inches. not only a daily record, but their second snowiest calendar day on record, so it's piled everywhere as we look down towards the skyline, the sun's coming up, but you can't feel it on a morning like this. by the way, speaking of snow, they've had more than they typically see in an entire year, and it's only early january. as far as the cold weather, it's going to be dangerously cold through tomorrow morning with temperatures staying right about where they are. 13 to 15 below zero. tomorrow we'll get back above zeer rope and things will warm up across the midwest, back
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above freezing and average by friday. by the way, mayor and city officials want everybody at home off the streets, unless you're trying to seek shelter or are an emergency vehicle. for all intents and purposes, the entire city is shut down because of the dangerous chill here in indianapolis. thomas, back to you. >> the weather channel's mike seidel reporting in indianapolis this morning. thank you. hillary clinton's shadow campaign for president, that's the subject of a detailed report today by politico's maggie haberman, and on "morning joe," some of the revelations. >> there was a political briefing for her at her mansion in georgetown looking at filing deadlines, very detailed plan from big democrats in d.c. about how you would do it. they've pushed back. the publication date for her memoir was going to be in june,
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now later in the summer, so closer to the time when she would announce, which would come after midterm elections this year. they are talking about policy she can develop. >> all right. i want to bring in today's agenda panel, contributor for thegrio.com, and managing editor of thinkprogress.org, and special correspondent for "newsweek," the daily beast. i'm going to start with you on this. the politico article goes on to say hillary clinton's allies, are doing what you would expect to build the presidential campaign. obviously, they need to have that foundation lead of what the deadline is. super pacs and other groups are lining up waiting for the blessing. but is all this happening too early on? because in politics, isn't it all about when you get hot, then you got to be able to ride that heat wave to the finish line. >> i think it's a little too early, but on the other hand,
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she has to lay the groundwork for an effective campaign, and that means that you have to start early. you have to start on the ground. you have to build those e-mail lists, but for me, really what i'm looking to hillary for is how is she going to play a role in the 2014 midterms? is she going to play a queen maker, but also the senate race in kentucky, is she going to be on the stump energizing the democratic base to come out in the 2014 mid personalterms? >> pick and choose wisely if you're going to get into that business. the politico article also talking about the concerns, potential riffs that have formed in groups in clinton world and the inability to control the messaging. so how big of a threat do you think that could be as the early telltale signs of setting up a campaign are there? >> well, i think what they learned from 2008 is you don't want to go into this campaign with kind of the public perception that it's a foregone
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conclusion that she's the nominee. that was a big mistake last time. they don't want to repeat it, but i think the biggest revelation you saw in the piece is nobody knows. nobody knows if she's going to run. she doesn't know, so it's astounding to see these early stories, all these people coming together to work on a campaign, thomas, that might not even exist right now. >> there's such an appetite because of what this means potentially for our nation's history, and what it means to the young women across this country and to just other people that are looking for that type of change, but michael, let me ask you about this, because as is pointed out, this foregone conclusion that she's going to run. is that the biggest issue because of the potential of loss and the fact that people would advise her, you got to take critical thinking into this, because do you want to go out on a low note? >> well, look, there's always a risk involved in taking that
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step. there's no question about it, but i think a lot of people in the democratic party, thomas, really, really are hoping that she does this, because if she doesn't run, you look at the candidates after her and you look at -- although some of them are very admirable people, you look at their ability to win nationwide, there's a pretty clear dropoff from hillary clinton to the second tier. i'd also like to say that i thought the most interesting aspect of this article for me was how it signalled there are going to be a lot of new people in hillary land, as it's called this time around if she does run. she has been, and i followed her 2000 senate race very closely, and from her years as first lady, through that race, through her reelection campaign of senate, even through the state department, pretty steady group of people, advisers, people she's been close to, people tend to stay very loyal to her, but now apparently there's going to be a lot of new faces in a 2016
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campaign, if it happens, and that will be an interesting thing. and it will make for a different flavor of campaign, i think. >> i always think, though, if this happens, if the first spouse turns out to be bill clinton, the only way this could work to a guy's ego is if he's a former president, but i'm just saying that. anyway, our other topic today, rand paul announcing that he's suing the obama administration over the nsa's spying practices. this is all in an effort to protect the fourth amendment. i want to play a small portion of what the senator had to say yesterday. take a listen. >> the point is, one single warrant should not apply to everybody who has a cell phone in america. one of the things that snowden released was a single court order to the company verizon that all of their customers records would be looked at. that, to my mind, smacks of a generalized warrant. that's what we fought the revolutionary war over. >> igor, the senator here really tapping into a very provocative
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narrative about privacy and the culture of privacy, or the lack thereof, in the country right now. what's the bigger political motive? >> politically, this is a really smart move. he puts himself out as a leader on this issue and this is something that can really start to peel back at the obama coalition, peel back some of those young voters and can help him move forward if he makes the bid for the white house. he already has 50,000 new names on the list he's building, so it's really a win-win for him. it gets his name out in terms of conservative voters. he's coming into this race now as the guy who's suing the president. that's a pretty good positioning if you're talking to conservatives. >> certainly good for headlines. let me play what fellow republican congressman peter king said today about senator paul. take a listen. >> he's playing on some sort of -- >> fearmongering. >> scare mongering, isolationism, and rather than using television arguments, as people can well do, he's
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resorting to fear, appealing to the lowest common denominator. >> is that accurate, he's appealing to fear, michael? >> i wouldn't put it quite that way. king might be also in his own way appealing for fear. king might also run in 2016. he's from the more hawkish dick cheney neocon wing of the party, so i have this very clear feud going on and embodied in these two people, who are going to be going head-to-head on these two issues on debate stages if both of them run, as it is expected both will. and where's the republican party going to be in 2016 on these questions? i have a feeling it's going to tilt a little bit more in paul's direction than kings. >> is that the way it's going to go, political movewise, if you're planting seeds you want to reap presidentially coming 2016, is rand paul planting the proper seeds? >> i think so, but there are key
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groups these moves do not court. that is women, black voters, and latino voters. his war on drugs rhetoric is effective, but it's not matched by actual policy. i've interviewed him recently, he said he's going to propose new legislation in the coming year, but i still think he has a lot of work to do with those constituencies, because he supports personhood amendments and also is against portions of the civil rights act, which last i checked is not going to get a growing coalition of black people behind you. you need those groups to win a general election and i don't think he's done work with those groups. >> thanks to all of you. and for more, you can find our panel cysts on our website. and today's producer's pick comes from megan o'connor. the knicks' j.r. smith is trying to bring creativity.
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it's important to note these restrictions began taking place after republicans took control of my state legislatures in the 2010 midterm elections, but with texas standing out as the most prominent example, let's talk about planned parenthood, because it's led the suit to block two provisions, texas has restricted how doctors administered abortion-inducing drugs. so what happened during the arguments today? >> well, thomas, today a coalition of abortion providers in texas challenged -- who have challenged the law, said that the district court's ruling that the two provisions of these laws are unconstitutional should stand, but what has happened is the law has been allowed to take into effect in texas, thus shattering a third of the clinics. basically, the supreme court declined to stop the law from going into effect, despite the fact that the district court said it was unconstitutional, so right now it's going to appeal.
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they have attorneys for the clinics and the states basically arguing over how bad does a law have to be in order to violate the supreme court's standard that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion. >> let's talk specifically the result of the restrictions and take a peek at the map here, because more than a dozen of the state's 34 abortion clinics, they've closed, leaving two dozen open, but none in the rio grand valley, and this is where the nearest clinic is four and a half hours away and at least a two-day affair. so, explain this part, because with texas forced ultrasounds and the waiting period requirements, how big of a challenge is for women here living in the area? >> that's what women in the rural areas of texas are facing right now. two clinics had to close in that region, this was brought up repeatedly in today's hearing. even though it was already pretty bad for texas women in
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terms of abortion access, this law, hb-2, has made it worse. a lot of the judges were asking, well, isn't that just because doctors don't want to provide abortions or isn't texas just a very big state, but the reality s before the law, some women were able to obtain abortions and now many women are not. so the question that the court is going to have to say is how many women have to suffer or not access the care they want to receive in order for this law to be unconstitutional. >> two of the jij judges on this panel, of the panel, three have already issued these preliminary findings in favor of the state, but if we talk about this judge, her name being edith jones, former chief justice on the conservative court there, talking points memo has quite a damning tally of her opinions, pointing out several civil rights group alleges she claimed african-americans and hispanics are predisposed towards violent crime and on abortion, jones urged the supreme court to,
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quote, reevaluate roe v. wade. whatever the outcome, it's widely believed the u.s. supreme court will decide on that case. what do you see happening this week especially, and what is the role going to play in the 2014 midterms? >> well, to start with, jones was a very aggressive presence in the courtroom today. she pushed back a lot, was the first person to bring up a favorite example of the right to justify these restrictions, even though the american medical association and the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists said they are not medically necessary, so she very clearly made her opinions known. the other two judges who are younger also made it seem they were going to rule in favor of the state and keep the laws in place. more broadly, you know, there's a real 2014 story here, because these are the same laws that wendy davis was filibustering and they are being defended by greg abbott, who is her opponent for governor of texas on the
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republican ticket. >> msnbc.com's erin carmoan. thank you so much. >> thanks, thomas. the plaintiffs in the utah marriage equality case are responding to today's decision from the supreme court. the court temporarily halted marriages, which began two weeks ago in utah. now, the attorney issuing this statement saying, "every day that goes by, same-sex couples and their children are harmed by not being able to marry and treated equally." we'll bring you any updates right on msnbc when we get them. well, steven seagal could be the next action star to run for governor. time for the poly side bar. seagal says he talked about running for governor with the real-life sheriff as a joke, but now he would, quote, remotely consider it. seagal and arpio have teamed up on a reality show. seagal says the number one problem facing the u.s. is
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border security. we'll see how that plays out in arizona. less than an hour from now on capitol hill, wisconsin senator ron johnson will announce he's suing the u.s. office of personal management, personnel management. johnson claiming it's illegal for the government to fund part of staffers health insurance purchased under the aca. overseas today, german chancellor angela merkel is recovering from a fractured pelvis she suffered while cross country skiing over the holidays. her injuries are not serious and she's expected to make a full recovery. meanwhile, russian president vladimir putin showed off his stick skills at an ice dome. we can see more of the famously adventurous president play in the upcoming days, where putin plans to personally inspect every olympic site. opening ceremonies are set for february the 7th. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth.
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new fighting in iraq between government forces and al qaeda linked militants is stirring
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fresh debate about the u.s. role in the region. al qaeda seized control in rama ramadi. john kerry said we will support iraq but not with u.s. troops. >> it is a fight that belongs to the iraqis. the world decided sometime ago when we left iraq. so we are not obviously contemplating returning and contemplating putting boots on the ground. this is their fight. >> john mccain and lindsay graham issued a joint statement saying after the u.s. withdrew from iraq in 2011, many predicted the vacuum would be filled by america's enemies as even merge as a threat to u.s. security. sadly that reality is now clearer than ever. it's great to see you, first of all, in person. happy new year to you. as we learn more about this, explain from a domestic standpoint what goes on with the
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fighting there, especially now that we're getting that type of statement from the u.s. after the blood and treasure that we invested there to say, this is not ours anymore. >> you have to look a little bit about iraq's ethnic competition, it's majority controlled by a shia government. for the past several years since the u.s. withdrew, there have been growing grievances by the sunni community in iraq against the iraqi government saying that they weren't being treated fairly and getting adequate resources. there's been a bent up frustration. what really has triggered this wave of violence and why it matters to the u.s. is because of the situation in syria. the border between iraq and syria is completely eroded. you have fighters going through both sides weapons and it's becoming more of a precarious and dangerous situation for the region. >> as we know secretary kerry seems adamant there will be no boots on the ground from us in a public standpoint. but the u.s. deputy national security adviser reiterated
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saying it would not make the situation better. so when we think about options to be of any use in that diplomatic situation, especially in the current investment what we're trying to do internationally and diplomatically in syria, what are the options being discussed? >> the best option for the u.s. is to put political pressure on al maliki, to dry try to win ba the sunni population, that many say he has lost as a result of his policies that are sectarian and exclusive. the first pressure that the u.s. could try to exert, solve this politically inside iraq, opting to use military force, whether it be american military resources or iraqi military resources only going to exacerbate the frustrations among people and lead to the type of violence we've been saying. ayman, thanks for your time. that's going to wrap things up for me this morning. i'll see you back here this afternoon. i'm filling in at 2:00.
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president obama is back and ready to go. first up, unemployment insurance. this is "now" live from los angeles. president obama enters 2014 with a fresh playbook after a year of legislative more as that took a toll on his personal approval ratings. returning to washington from his christmas vacation with the lowest poll numbers of the presidency. but he's well rested and better armed for the fight ahead. while the launch of the health care website may have been a disaster, the white house now has a new figure to trumpet, 9 million, the number of americans who have received coverage under the president's signature law. 9 million who would now actively
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lose that coverage if republicans actually manage to succeed in their thus far fruitless attempt to blow up the law. the idea of a more equitiable society which lies at the root of the affordable care act informs the president's 2014 strategy, promoting economic fairness to is a dress society's increasing historic imbalance while also putting republicans on the defensive. first on the list, unemployment insurance. the senate will vote this afternoon to extend for the 1.3 million americans who saw it run out over the holiday period. a direct result of republican ap paththy. >> it is plain cruel. we're a better country than that. we don't abandon fellow americans when times get tough. we keep the faith with them until they start the new job. >> the president will reinforce that message tomorrow at the white house. standing alongside unemployed

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