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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  January 27, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ right now on "news nation," a new york hospital defending its actions after a man who went to the e.r. for a rash is found dead in the waiting room. his family says he waited eight hours for treatment. dangerous detour. the olympic torch relay detoured into a nearly empty stadium as it goes through one of most dangerous parts of russia on its way to sochi. plus, new comments in the past few hours from hillary clinton on her 2016 plans. this, a day after senator rand paul goes after the clintons by bringing up the monica lewinsky scandal.
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hi, everyone, i'm tamron hall. "the news nation" is following the state of the union address tomorrow night and what our first read team calls his, quote, last best chance to set the agenda. in fact, a couple of hours ago, the white house tweeted out what may be the shortest preview ever. it features the president and it runs four seconds. >> tomorrow night, it's time to restore opportunity for all. >> meantime, an e-mail sent to supporters by white house senior advisor dan pfeiffer says the president's central themes tomorrow night will be -- opportunity, action, and optimism. he also warned the president will work with congress when he can and bypass congress where necessary. it is a move several republicans in congress just back from a week-long break are calling a, quote, threat. but in the past few minutes, white house press secretary jay carney said the president is not changing his message. >> mindful of congress'
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reluctance to be cooperative at times, the president is going to exercise his authority. he's going to use his pen and his phone to advance an agenda that is focused squarely on expanding opportunity. >> joining me now live from capitol hill, nbc's casey hunt. so, casey, you're there, and i'm curious what some members of congress on both sides are saying. let's start with republicans who alluded this is a threat from the president. what are you hearing there? >> well, republicans are expecting, they say, to hear more of the same. and from their perspective, what the president has offered in the past is a set of ideas that they view as obviously completely wrong for the country. in particular, health care. we're expecting the president tonight to at least touch on the health care law. it is an opportunity to speak to millions of americans who may still be attempting to sign up for health insurance under the plan. and there were a group -- there's a group of republicans today who came out with an
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alternative proposal that they say would first repeal the health care law and replace it with a series of reforms. so i don't think that republicans here are at this point expecting to come out of this speech saying anything other than what they've responded to, the president, in the past, which is largely negative. >> you know, and it is interesting, of course, we know the president has seen a dip in his approval, but nothing near that of congress. and the perception, and certainly the reality of ineffectiveness as it relates to members of congress. how do they juxtapose that, casey, with what the president is saying, he'd like to see some movement. what is the alternative as it relates to, let's say, the minimum wage debate. >> that's something that president obama initially proposed in his late state of the union, and it's something you're starting to hear democrats talk more about. senator chuck schumer was on this channel earlier today talking about how he thinks that that's one of the things they might be able to push. that's also something that could
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set democrats up in the fall as potentially showing them as the party that's pushing for opportunity, especially if republicans stand in the way. it's something that they view as key to their midterm strategy. >> all right, casey, thank you very much. greatly appreciate it. what the president says tomorrow night is likely to have, as you heard her say, a major impact on midterm elections. it would propel democrats to victories in some tight races, especially when you consider, for example, minimum wage, which is polling very high with the american public, who'd like to see an increase in the minimum wage. let me bring in now democratic congresswoman marcia fudge of ohio who chairs the congressional black caucus. congresswoman, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you for having me. it's my pleasure. >> as we heard from jay carney, the president not planning to back down from his message that we saw at the beginning of this new year. he is ready to bypass congress where there is an option on some key things herement you've been very vocal, as has the congressional black caucus, on, for example, minimum wage.
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we know a buzz word tomorrow night will be "opportunity." is that the message you need to hear from the president to go into the midterms with confidence? >> oh, absolutely. i really hope that the president on tomorrow night will articulate a vision, a clear path, a roadmap as to where he wants to lead this country. and i believe that the minimum wage has to be a part of that. it is not okay, tamron, for people who work 40 hour as week not feed their families, so we have to deal with the minimum wage. it's not okay for the big ceo -- ceos of these companies to make 500, 600, 700 times of what the people make that do their products. it has to be addressed and i hope he will address it. >> one of the concerns, that the white house is fearful of the next day, the headline after the state of the union, is that the president pursued a modest agenda as opposed to something forceful, facing off against issues of immigration, and, as you mentioned, as well, income
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inequality. what are your concerns? what is the message, i guess, you and other members of congress saying to the president behind the scenes that you can share with us? >> well, one of the things that i think the president is, if nothing else, is a realist. he understands that issues like immigration reform have to come through the house of representatives. i do, in fact, encourage him to use the ability he has, to use executive power, to make some things happen. but some things must go through congress. and because he understands that, he knows that there are ways he has to work within the halls of congress, and i am more than willing to be a participant in trying to move some of his agenda. but, i mean, there's only so much he can really do. >> so you're going in, you say, a reality -- a realistic view, but we also know the clock is ticking and some of the things the president said were a top priority. for example, gun legislation. when faced with hoping that republicans would come on board, with what many saw as common sense legislation, that died. immigration is stalled despite
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some republicans saying that it is necessary. so there is a realistic view, but you have to be worried, as well, that this will just stall out and eventually his term will become the car that may be in the fast lane, but not moving. >> well, you know, i agree to some degree, tamron. as i said in the beginning, he needs to articulate a way forward. and that is going to include talking about gun control. it certainly will include talking about immigration reform. it will be important for him to talk about the poverty in this country. about hunger. about education. so many things that we need to address. but again, there is only so much he can do alone. >> yeah. >> but i do hope he will take whatever opportunity he has to make this country better if the congress doesn't participate. >> and that list of things you named, just quickly, though, certainly are all things the president has talked about in the past. >> yes. >> as the white house is saying this is now, though, the time for action. >> well, i agree that it is the
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time for action, but what we need to do is convince our colleagues that whether you are republican or democrat, we all have the same job. that is to move america forward. that is not to want a president to fail. that is not to want a policy to fail. it is to take care of the people who sent us here, the people we represent. and so, i think that if people start being serious about their jobs, we will get some things done. but if not, we'll continue the same gridlock we've had ever since this president has been in office. >> it's always great to have you on, and your voice in the conversation. >> thank you. >> thank you so much for your time. we greatly appreciate it. >> thank you so much. >> it will be another week of dangerous winter weather in much of the country. in fact, an arctic blast is bringing parts of the midwest to a standstill, and it is taking aim at the south in the coming days. in fact, listen to this. public schools in chicago, we know, are closed today. well, in the last hour we've learned that schools will also be closed tomorrow in chicago, a city certainly used to some freezing temperatures. this is all due, though, to this extreme cold weather. wind chill temps from dropping
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as low as minus 40 degrees, and we are seeing similar temps across the midwest. look at that, in parts of the northeast, health officials are warning of frostbite, which can set in in a matter of minutes when it is this cold. the weather's also affecting travel with thousands of flights cancelled or delayed due to icy conditions. and the roads are treacherous, as well, in buffalo. high winds overpowered an 18-wheeler, tipping it right onto its side. in northern illinois, officials are telling motorists to stay off the roads altogether. and the deep freeze is spreading to the south, as mentioned. forecasters warn a dangerous band of ice and snow will soon coat a large swath stretching from texas to north carolina coast. the weather channel's mike seidel has the very latest from chicago. >> reporter: hi, tamron, from a very cold chicago. in fact, some are referring to this area as chi-beria. temperatures this morning fell below zero. we're 3 below zero, and the wind chill is 25 below zero on some
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of the suburbs, some are 30 below zero. and it's not going to get any warmer today, despite the sunshine. it has been a very cold january. so far, the 15th coldest on record going back to the late 1800s, and there's been so much snow, yesterday we picked up another 2.4 at o'hare. so now, january is the third-snowiest january on record. over 32 inches. and for the year, they've had almost four feet of snow. and it's going to get even colder. before we get to midnight tonight, we'll likely break the record of 10 below zero, and tomorrow we're forecasting 18 below in chicago. that'll make tomorrow the coldest day so far this winter, and that'll break the record by five degrees. and the cold air is headed south. and that, combined with moisture from the gulf of mexico, is going to cause a lot of problems in areas that don't typically see wintry precipitation. right now, we have winter storm watches and warnings on a line across 1,300 miles -- from houston, texas, mobile,
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pensacola, florida, tamron, under a winter storm watch, into atlanta, through the eastern carolinas, all the way up to the tidewater of virginia. there'll be snow, sleet, and freezing rain, or a combination of all three. it kicks in tomorrow, into wednesday morning. this is going to cause a lot of problems, because many of the areas don't have the capability to deal with this kind of precipitation. fortunately, as you get into thursday and friday, temperatures will warm up, but there's going to be a lot of issues in the area, including a lot of closings later tomorrow and wednesday. speaking of closings, here in chicago land, schools closed today. and more than likely with the bitter cold tomorrow morning at the bus stop, they will likely shut those schools down again on tuesday. tamron, back to you from chicago. >> mike, thank you. the head of the international olympic committee today defended the choice of sochi as host of the winter games amid the unprecedented level of concern about the threat of terrorism. ioc president thomas bach expressed, quote, full confidence in russia's ability to deliver safe games.
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meantime, security concerns forced the olympic torch relay to take a detour today as it passed through the extremely volatile russian republic of dagestan, which has been a hotbed of terrorism and unrest. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in dagestan with the latest. >> reporter: u.s. officials have repeatedly said the threat of terrorism before or during the sochi games is high. well, that threat comes primarily from here, from dagestan, and other parts of the north caucuses. and today, the olympic flame passed through. ♪ the olympic torch made its most dangerous stop today to the russian republic of dagestan. but threats of terrorism dramatically curtailed the traditional relay, so organizers invited a few thousand spectators to a soccer stadium to watch the torch do laps around field, a contained event under heavy guard. a torch relay to nowhere. islamic militants from dagestan
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have repeatedly threatened the torch, the olympic games, and foreign tourists. for the militants, the attention the olympics bring are a chance to publicly and painfully strike back at russia for its commando operations. [ gunfire ] like this one just over a week ago. [ gunfire ] when police and special forces assaulted a suspected islamic militant hideout in the dagestani capital. police say seven suspected terrorists were killed in this house, and there there are raids like this one almost every day in dagestan. this is russia's secret war that extremists say they want to bring to sochi. a neighbor showed us where a half dozen russian troops took position in her house. the floor is covered with bullet casings. and fired out her window. dagestan is a war zone that would normally have nothing to do with the olympics, but suddenly does because russia's
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the host and they're being held nearby. [ explosion ] the russian intelligence service, the fsb, today said it does not believe that a female suicide bomber has made her way into sochi, looking for a target, as russia police had previously warned. richard engel, nbc news, dagestan. >> all right, richard, thank you. still ahead, somber preparations under way to lay a pregnant texas woman to rest after her family won its court battle with a hospital that cited texas law and its decision to keep her on life support. the question many are asking -- could another family be put through this ordeal? we'll talk with a law professor who wrote the law and says that it was misused in this case. and this morning, hillary clinton talked more about 2016 after senator rand paul's highly controversial comments regarding the monica lewinsky scandal and whether it's fair game if hillary clinton runs for president.
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>> he took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office, and this was with regard to the clintons, and sometimes it's hard to separate one from the other. >> and join our conversation on twitter. you can find us @tamronhall and my team @newsnation. [ coughs, sneezes ]
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welcome back. the family of marlise munoz is making burial arrangements after the brain-dead woman was removed from life support yesterday afternoon. the hospital in ft. worth, texas, complied with a judge's ruling issued friday and brings a quiet end to the struggle between munoz' family, which argued she would not have wanted to stay on the machine, and the hospital that refused to take her off life support for the sake of her fetus.
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but the public debate over a texas law cited by the hospital, her family's wishes, and the unborn child continues. joining me now, robert lewinsky, digital managing editor for "the dallas morning news" and tom mayo, of smu, who helped write the texas law about life support and pregnant patients. thank you, gentlemen, for your time. >> thank you for having us. >> good to be here. >> tom, the hospital statement in the end, they said the hospital had followed what it believed were the demands of the state statute from the onset, and jps, john peter smith, has said its role was not to make nor contest law, but to follow it. and now you have at least one texas state senator, bob dual, a republican, who cea's suggestin that the legislature will look at clarifying this measure. what kind of support is he getting there? >> well, it's hard to say right now. things are still very much up in the air i think politically.
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but it's inconceivable to me that the legislature will ignore what's happened in ft. worth. they'll certainly want to take a look. it would be anyone's guess, though, what the fate of this provision will be next year. >> and you were instrumental in writing this law, and it reads here, a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient. when you first heard about this case, and when you thought about what you helped put into place, did it baffle you how -- and i believe the quote was, you believed it was being misused? >> yes. for a while, we didn't know if ms. munoz was, in fact, brain dead, but once that was confirled -- confirmed, it seemed obvious to me, for at least a couple of reasons, that state law, and this provision in particular, did not compel the hospital to continue icu-level support.
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>> but when you look at the circumstances of the case from when her husband first said that doctors had indicated to her -- to him and the family that she was brain dead, and all of these details started to come out, not confirmed at the time by the hospital, but certainly information that was being provided to the family, how is it possible the hospital did not see this clearly, in your opinion? >> well, i think it's hard to read their minds on this. >> yeah. >> the quotation that you just read is the entire section. and under this subchapter, to me, is the key language. they may not have been focusing on under this subchapter. but the pregnancy exclusion that you read only applies if a patient -- and here i think we must be talking about someone who's alive -- has either a terminal or irreversible condition. those terms are defined in the statute, and those terms make it clear that the patient has to be
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alive. they had to have had something else in mind to lead them to a different interpretation. >> and, robert, that brings me to the politics of it. you have texas attorney general greg abbott. he responded, calling this case heartbreaking, tragedy. he said that texas strives to protect both families and human life, and we will continue to work toward that end. as i mentioned, you have a texas state senator who's suggesting that perhaps lawmakers could look into clarifying this measure. the politics of this, i think, is also why it's gotten national attention, not because of texas, because there are over a dozen other states with similar laws here. >> well, it's politics, and then you add in the politics the passion of it. you know, certainly over the course of covering this, we have posted this, and there have been hundreds if not thousands of comments, and a protest was planned today at the hospital for those who did not want her taken off life support. so it's certainly been one of those issues where you can't
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extricate one from the other. it is political. it is a passionate subject. certainly we were closing in on the 24 weeks, which would have opened up a whole other issue in terms of the viability of the fetus. the hospital said in court findings a couple of days ago right before the hearing, in fact, that the fetus was not viable, something you sand i discussed on friday, as a matter of fact, the myriad issues with the fetus. so certainly it will be a political issue. but when it comes to issues of right to life and the child -- the life of a child in texas and elsewhere, it certainly is all about politics. >> are we seeing this seep perhaps into the gubernatorial race ahead? >> i have no doubt that it will at some point, seeing as how greg abbott is running for governor. >> yes, absolutely. and just quickly here, professor, with the law and the question of the ethics of it, as i mentioned, there are several other states who have something similar, but this is also beyond the issue of right to life, and this mother -- this is also the perception of death and that
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technology is, as one writer pointed out, we see it as life saving or miraculous in all cases and we spend an incredible amount of money on the elderly and in some cases, as was the case with ms. munoz, in keeping people alive through machines without facing the reality of the circumstance. >> well, we do, and i think part of that policy represents some confusion about when someone really is dead. for example, ms. munoz was not being kept alive. she died at least by november 28th. we have life-supporting technology, but it was doing her no good whatsoever. it was solely for the benefit of the fetus. and so, we do have, i think, as a society, a long way to go in getting our priorities straight about end of life care. this was a case, though, where we weren't talking about end of life care at all.
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>> robert rulinski and tom mayo, again, thank you. >> my pleasure. >> thank you. ahead, the family of a new york man is demanding answers after he was found dead in an e.r. waiting room eight hours after his arrival. we'll talk with the doctor who says emergency rooms are being stretched too thin. and new jersey's largest newspaper now calling on chris christie to step down as chairman of the republican governors association. it is one of the things we thought you should know today. that's not much, you think except it's 2 percent every year. go to e*trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert. it's low. it's guidance on your terms not ours. e*trade. less for us, more for you. still running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories.
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reports, his body was found by a security guard shortly before 7:00 a.m. the next morning. a hospital worker speaking on condition of anonymity told the new york abc affiliate, quote, he was found stiff, blue, and cold. he was there for a while. the worker also said, there's no policy in place to check the waiting room to see if people waiting to be seen are still there, or still alive. however, the hospital is disputing the worker's claim in a statement, saying, quote, as for our policy and procedures, security checked on him and other patients during their shift once at 2:40 a.m. when he was responsive, and again at 6:40 a.m. when he was found unresponsive. video surveillance confirms he was still active and moving around as late as 3:45 a.m. the medical examiner's office has not determined the cause of death and the hospital maintains an internal review concluded that all hospital guidelines were met. joining me now, dr. lee viniker
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with the american college of emergency physicians. doctor, thank you for your time. >> my pleasure. >> i know you've not worked with this hospital or on this occasion, but this brings to light a concern for many hospitals. i remember being in chicago and doing a piece for several days, looking at the emergency room, the county emergency room, the long wait and the poor quality of treatment, quite honestly, at that time. that was some 15 years ago. but problems still persist. >> yeah, i mean, if you think about it, tamron, first of all, our heart goes out to the fam y family -- >> absolutely. >> -- and the issue here, and this is every emergency physician's nightmare, this is what we've been worried about. in fact, this is what spurred the american college of emergency physicians back in 2006 to do their report card on the state of emergency medicine. the e.r. is our health care safety net, and it is just stretched beyond limits. over 130 million people every year -- that's more than a third
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of the population -- access the emergency room. so really, it's kind of a testament to the doctors and the staff that we don't hear about this that often. but it doesn't diminish this tragedy. and what we found, in the state of new york, the report card grade was a "c." now, that's still above the national grade, the average was a "d." it was 13th in the nation. if it could happen there, it could happen anywhere. and what we found in new york was that they had the lowest -- one of the fourth-lowest number of emergency departments. the hospital beds have gone down since 2009, and what happens is they also had the fourth-longest wait in the country, six hours on average. >> yeah. >> and what's happening is there are no staffed hospital beds to send patients. there are no psychiatric beds in the whole country to send patients. and e.r.s are getting backed up, boarding patients overnight,
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sometimes for days, waiting for beds or some place to go. and this is the issue, and this is what the report card said. it's a call to action. we need better support for emergency services. >> and better support, and in what way? what is the immediate action here? and again, going back, as you pointed out, new york state jumped eight spots to 13th from 2009 to 2014, but they still have a "c" ranking. >> right. well, there are some -- there are a couple of things. people need to talk to their legislators. there's a workforce issue. there aren't enough primary care doctors all over the country. and now, as we go into this era of affordable care, there's going to be more people accessing the health care, and the onus falls onto the e.r. so we need some help. there's a workforce commission that can be funded nationally on the state level there are things you can talk to your legislators to do. we need to make sure that we are getting patients out of the e.r. there needs to be some community
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effort to open staffed beds an get people out of the e.r. and on an individual level, you should always go if you're ill to an emergency room with a family member. and if you think you're getting worse, have that family member talk to a triage nurse, ask to have your vital signs taken again, ask to be checked again if you're getting worse. as an e.r. doctor, i've been called many times from the triage nurse to go out into the waiting room to recheck a patient who's been waiting a while to see if they're getting worse, and bring them back. and that's another important thing that people can do as individuals. >> right. and just lastly here, the hospital's spokesperson said that the man was triaged, and on three occasions during the night was called into -- by the doctors to the e.d., but bottom line is this anonymous hospital worker says that this man was not checked on, and that's 100% false. he says his name was not called, and basically the worker said to your point, based on a number of people in the waiting room, they feel it was impossible to check on each person physically.
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so that's under investigation. but it is eye-opening, and it brings certainly to light this conversation that you've been presenting regarding emergency physicians and the state of our e.r.s here. doctor, thank you for your time. we greatly appreciate it. >> my pleasure. still ahead, the maryland mall where a 19-year-old killed two people before turning the gun on himself has reopened. in fact, it happened a short time ago that they reopened that mall. but police are looking for a motive in this latest shooting. and new comments from hillary clinton today about 2016. we'll play those comments to you, and it all comes down a day after senator rand paul suggested that the monica lewinsky scandal should receive more attention if hillary clinton, in fact, decides to run. >> is it something that hillary clinton should be judged on, if she were a candidate in 2016? >> yeah, no, i'm not -- i'm not saying that. this is regard to the clintons and sometimes it's hard to separate one from the other. >> again, we'll play you the new comments from hillary clinton. plus, the ratings have just
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come in from last night's grammy awards. we'll take a look at the moments people are still talking about and tell you how the show rated. did you watch? [ male announcer ] pillsbury grands biscuits. delicious, but say i press a few out flat, add some beef, sloppy joe sauce and cheese, fold it all up and boom! delicious unsloppy joes perfect for a school night. pillsbury grands biscuits. make dinner pop. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain...
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everybody knows that. well, did you know that when a tree falls in the forest and no one's around, it does make a sound? ohhh...ugh. geico. little help here. new comments today from hillary clinton about a possible 2016 presidential run. they came during a question-and-answer session after she addressed the national auto dealers association in new orleans. >> i would be neglect if i didn't ask -- [ laughter ] -- what are your plans for 2016? [ cheers ] sorry. you know i had to ask that. >> yeah, you did. you did. i understand. and i have to say, i don't know. not a very satisfactory answer, i know. >> well, meantime, our nbc news first read team highlights republican senator rand paul's attack on the clintons on "meet
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the press." the senator was asked about comments his wife made in a "vogue" profile last year when she suggested that hillary clinton's presidential api racial aspirationed could be derailed by her husband's affair with monica lewinsky. >> someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office, i mean, really, and have the gall to stand up and say the republicans are having a war on women? yes, i think it's a factor. now, it's not hillary's fault. >> but it should be an issue -- >> it is a factor in judging bill clinton in history. >> right. is it something that hillary clinton should be judged on if she were a candidate in 2016? >> yeah -- no, i'm not -- i'm not saying that. this was with regard to the clintons, and sometimes it's hard to separate one from the other. >> joining me now live nbc news senior political editor mark murray. so, mark, what's your take on this strategy by rand paul? >> it seemed to come out of a blast from the past, and when people heard that comment, as i did on "meet the press," were taken back, oh, my goodness,
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here comes one of the lewinsky attacks, and i was the cover reporter in 1998, and it does seem like old new, but do remember, this is the republican party's line of attack, if hillary clinton becomes the republican nominee in 2008. they dlop a lot of the focus once president obama leapfrogged hillary clinton in the winter and sprint of 2008. but this remains fertile ground for them to kind of go after her, and if she ends up rub running for proez, we'll hear this. >> and set aside the message we'll hear from republicans, again your opinion, but what we do know the messenger here is something of a question, as you pointed out, his father and some libertarians that have been associated with them, that have raised eyebrows. >> well, and in politics, the politics association is fair game for a lot of people. so while, you know, you might have someone like rand paul hitting hillary clinton for her husband's pass misdeeds, as "the new york times" ended up writing on sunday, when you look at some of the associations that rand
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paul's father ron paul has had with some of the libertarian movement, you're going to hear the politics of association there, and all's fair when it comes to politics, tamron, and we're starting to siee the outlines of potential negative narratives for the folks. it's very early, but these are some of the stories that we're probably going to be talking about come middle of 2015 into early 2016. >> i don't think people all is fair but the people in that town seem to do it anyway. i don't think it is all fair. it's not necessarily fair. >> i've seen it almost all, tamron. >> yeah, and you were never a cub. you've always been a big bear. thank you very much. >> thanks, tamron. still ahead, how young is too young when it comes to colleges recruiting tween athletes? michael weighs in on a growing concern despite new rules from the ncaa. and a cruise ship packed with sick passengers now headed back to the u.s. after a massive
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[ male announcer ] nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a decongestant. [ inhales deeply ] oh. what a relief it is. welcome. welcome back. "the new york times" is reporting that young athletes are committing to college programs at an increasingly early age. now, "the times" reports that some kids are committing to schools before they even begin high school. one 14-year-old from florida, for instance, has already received full scholarship offers from the university of colorado, texas a&m, and the university of texas. the trend is especially being seen among young women athletes, according to one study, about 24% of women's soccer players commit early. that is compared to about 5% of men's basketball. but parents and coaches worry this trend is not good for kids.
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steevg swanson, head of virginia's soccer team, calls it the singular biggest problem. joining me is michael smerconish, also a msnbc contributor and father, so on the surface, michael, listen, if i had a kid that could get a scholarship at age 15 to a great school like texas a&m, i wouldn't see the problem here. but what do you think? >> man, i disagree with you. i think it's a bit ridiculous, and i wasn't surprised, tamron, to read the story in "the times," because through my three son, i've heard all of these stories about their friends. and my view is that it's emphasizing athletics much more than academics. we're talking about kids who've not yet taken the psat, much less the s.a.t. they don't have a single high school grade to their name, and all of a sudden, they've got a free ride, going to some great schools. you know, what if they get injured? they're putting all of their eggs in one basket, and it's too
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much emphasis on athletics. >> i don't like, as a former athlete, i don't like when people say it's a free ride, it isn't. the colleges get something out of this, as well, particularly with big money sports like football and basketball. but the trend with soccer it's obviously after laws that try to have parity between the number of athletes giving to boys and the number -- number of scholarships given to male athletes and number of scholarships given to female athletes so that there is a balance. >> you're absolutely right. it's because of title ix and the requirement you have to spend equally between the two genders. here's another beef of mine. see if this one carries more water. >> okay. >> it's the demise of the two and three-sport letter winner. i'm old enough to remember a day when athletes would play guys, they would play football in the fall, basketball in the winter, play baseball or run track in the spring. those days are over, because of all of the emphasis on
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specialization. and what i think it does, tamron, is it robs athletes the opportunity -- the only chance they have in their life -- to play team sports. because when you get to be my age, i can't find 21 other guys to play football with. if you're going to experiment when you're in school, you don't have the opportunity to do that. >> if you're a great soccer player, michael, and you're able to -- and some of these kids actually according to the article weren't even at the top of the games, weren't the lebron james of their soccer team, but they were decent enough players to get a scholarship. you still, of course, have to meet academic standards. just because you're an athlete does not forego academics. they're not taking someone on a third-grade reading level -- they're not supposed to -- and giving them a scholarship. >> but i don't know that that's the reality of it, because these schools can't possibly know what kind of students they have on their hands if they've not yet taken the s.a.t. listen, i loved allen iverson on the basketball court. allen iverson was a standout football player in high school. >> mm-hmm. >> michael jordan played
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multiple sports. jack nicklaus played multiple sports. i think it's post-tiger woods, and when we all know tiger's story, that's when a lot of us began -- >> quickly, we're out -- >> i -- >> they played multiple sports but great at one. michael jordan played a lot of sports but great at one. he was okay at the others. >> but today, the michael jordans who are out there, i think, would be playing one sport and their parents would be driving them to ice hockey practice at 6:00 a.m. on a sunday. >> okay, michael. we'll see if i have a kid, and that kid gets a scholarship at 13, they're going to that school for sure. [ laughter ] no arguments there. thank you, michael. it's always good -- a good one. thanks a lot, michael. ahead, the news nation gut check, another good one, the grammys, and some of you, some people, think beyonce went too far with her husband. they think it was too early. 8:00 a.m. eastern time was way too early. we'll talk about it. i do a lot oresearch on angie's list before i do any projects on my home.
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the numbers are in, and this year's grammys broadcast brought in 28.5 million viewers that. is the show's second-largest audience in two decades. ♪ ♪ >> okay, that's a little mash-up from the over-the-top performances, music's biggest night did not disappoint, the best since diana ross hosted. many performances are getting a lot of attention. some are asking if "drunken love" was a little few much and what i thought was a stellar moment, kendrick lemar and "imagine dragons," and ted johnson joins me now. so the numbers are up. is that a reflection of the quality of the show? what do you think?
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>> sure, it is, but i think it's also a reflection that this is live television, at least for much of the country. and it speaks to the fact that award shows in general, the ratings are up almost across the board. you know, we're living in the age of digital media where everyone seems to timeshift everything, but you can't really do that with live programming. >> yeah. >> that's why there's such a premium on this type -- this type of content. and i have to say, they really promoted the heck out of this show. >> absolutely, they d we're looking at macklemore and ryan lewis, who had one of the unforgettable moments of night. 34 couples, same-sex couples, marrying with queen latifah and madonna, and despite the live performance of it all, the history that was made, and dipping their toe, and we expect musicians to do this, in social issues. >> yes. and it reminded me, actually, if you go back in tv history, tiny
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tim got married on "the tonight show," and that, you know, broke all ratings records for late-night tv for many years to come. and it kind of reminded me of that. although this was much more of a statement, much more of a political statement that we are all equal. >> ted, i don't remember the tiny tim one. i don't know if that was heavily promoted or not. but this was not promoted. we knew they were doing something big, but i don't think that they marketed that 34, 33 couples were getting married, right? >> yeah, but the plans were really leaked beforehand. >> okay. >> into "the new york times," and by the time that this came along, which was after 11:00 on the east coast, it was all over social media. >> wow, okay. >> people were anticipating that this was going to happen. >> it was a fantastic show, in my opinion. i loved it. i will go online and look up tiny tim's wedding, so i have a point of reference, after i
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listen to kendrick lamar, who is a beast, and i stick with that. thank you very much, ted. good to see you. the grammys are the focus of the gut check. what does your gut tell you? do you think beyonce's performance was too risque, to open, and some saying 8:00 eastern is a little too early, and i say, that's why they make disney channel. cast your vote, and, yes, kendrick lamar is the beast. that does it for this edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. "the cycle" is up next. to combine solar and natural gas at the same location. during the day, we generate as much electricity as we can using solar. at night and when it's cloudy, we use more natural gas. this ensures we can produce clean electricity whenever our customers need it. ♪ plays a key role throughout our lives.
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♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ (dad) we lived... thanks to our subaru. ♪ (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. i'm tourre, and you're in the "the cycle" and this "the understatement. another arctic freeze is moving in and zero relief in sight. this month is shaping up to be the coldest in the century. we're warm here but big changes are on the way outside our 30
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rock studios. ice and snow, frigid temperatures from the midwest and the great lakes, straight down to the carolinas, georgia, and even texas will not be spared. houston's preparing for its second winter storm watch in just five days. minnesota's used to cold wind chills, but minus 43? that's just ridiculous. this deep freeze is cancelling flights and trains, not to mention classes for some pretty happy school children, their not so happy parents. we found wendy in chicago, and temperatures are approaching 10 below. can you feel your toes? >> reporter: toure, only when i go to the facilities. we're at chicago's navy pier, and it's usually bustling with tourists and locals, but we've been inside to use those facilities a couple of types, and it's basically empty, because no one wants to go out and brave this polar plunge, round two. this morning, would he did see the coast guard ice cutter, however, break through the sheets that are coating l

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