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is waste $5 billion in taxpayer money in an ineffective medieval border wall. >> backlash of critics of president trump. >> if you pull american influence out, you are likely to have greater instability. ready to run. senator elizabeth warren launching a presidential exploratory committee, becoming the highest democrat to take a potential 2020 run. >> we can make our democracy work for all of us. we can make our economy work for all of us. >> we begin this hour with the partial government shutdown entering the tenth day and president trump digging in disputing john kelly who says the administration abandoned the idea of a concrete wall early on
in the administration. this headline from "the new york times" says trump digs in, darkening hopes for a deal to end the shutdown. his ability to cut deals has not reached out to democratic leaders. this weekend produced no meaningful progress of any kind and ending the government shutdown. the sense of distrust continues, fueled, in part, by a barrage of tweets from the president, including his first public statements on the death of two migrant children in u.s. custody. he's blaming, of course, the democrats. perhaps a sign of compromise after a two-hour lunch meeting with the president, trump ally, lindsey graham floating a proposal for dreamers and daca. our team is here to break it down. hans nichols is at the white
house. welcome. hans, i'm going to start with you. how is a deal going to get done if the president isn't reaching out to democrats, only speaking out on twitter, it seems? >> reporter: when you look at the way negotiations normally happen, you have your public position and try to work out a compromise in private. the president indicating he is not at that work out stage, yet. he's clearly digging in on the idea of a wall. i campaigned on border security, which you can't have without a wall. our border is an open wound where illegal traffickers pour into the country. this is a president trying to put out his red lines. doesn't appear he is ready to negotiate, yet. lindsey graham is talking about a compromise. we are not heard from the president he is willing to cut a
deal. >> the president seems to be disputing john kelly. he gave the forthcoming interview to the l.a. times. >> reporter: john kelly is saying what the president hinted at on twitter. this isn't going to be a concrete wall. when you look at the picture, it was a galvanized steel fence. here is what he is saying here, to be honest, it's not a wall. the president says wall. oftentimes he says barrier or fencing. now, he's tended toward steel slats. we left a concrete wall early in the administration. here is the president responding to the former chief of staff, again. the preferred mode of communication, all concrete wall was never abandoned, as is reported by social media. it's hard to say where the president is on this because his own tweet are inconsistent.
look at the tweet, it's a picture of steel slats. there's consensus on what the wall should look like, a steel slatted wall. the president is going back to the notion of concrete. it's unclear. >> garrett, we don't know where the president stands on all of this. talk to us about what we know about where capitol hill is standing on all of this, including the proposal that is being floated by senator graham. >> as things stand now, it is up to nancy pelosi and the incoming house democrats taking control of that building on thursday. to pass something through to reopen the government, then dare republicans to keep it closed. right now, there have been no talks, no negotiations of any kind between the democrats and the white house. those are the players here, let's be honest. you have republicans controlling the chambers sitting on their
hands, waiting to see what, if anything can be worked out between the democrats and the white house. the ball is not moving. you have the plans pop up and be dismissed over the last couple days, including lindsey graham who floated the idea of pairing off the wall with expectations for dreamers. here is how he described the president with that yesterday at the white house. >> the president didn't commit, but i think he's very open minded. i know there's democrats out there who would be willing to provide money for wall border security if we could deal with the daca population. >> the first line out of lindsey graham's mouth is the president didn't commit. democrats feel like no one can speak for the president except the president. this episode with john kelly underscores that. until he committed to something
he is willing to sign and get on board with, democrats don't trust him. >> thank you. happy new year to both of you. thank you. i want to bring in an associated press reporter and msnbc political analyst. jonathan, i will start with you because you are here, sitting across from me. what do you make of lindsey graham's wheeling and dealing? he goes out on a limb saying he doesn't agree with what the president is doing, then golfs with him and changes his mind. he's wheeling and dealing now. >> the relationship between graham and the president is one of the more interesting ones. they are bitter rivals. donald trump gave out lindsey graham's phone number. they have become close allies. graham has come over for meals.
graham defended the president's approach toward the mueller probe. he's pushing himself as one of the closer allies in the senate, but left room to break with him on things. we saw that with syria. he's critical with trump's decision. >> now saying he is confident with his decision. >> trying to have it both ways. learn new things, but the president was going to slow down the pace. garrett is right, we shouldn't take anyone's position on this, seriously, unless it is from the president himself. lindsey graham can float the deal. if it looks like the white house is going to negotiate. they are trying to end the shutdown. unless the president, himself, commits to it, i don't think the democrats know what to make of
it. we saw the president in a number of tweets suggest he is not going to budge. >> the white house is trying to put out there they are negotiating, even though they haven't spoken with the democrats. graham is coming out and talking about the conversations with the white house. we are saying it doesn't seem like while the president is in washington, he's not talking to the democrats. >> lindsey graham is not who the president has to negotiate with. the president remained behind in washington. the optics, i'm working here. we haven't seen him. we are getting occasion tweets like any other day. we haven't seen him. where is the photo-op of the empty chair? he's at the stage in a weird way. >> i want to play for you something republican richard shelby said on "face the nation"
when it comes to the shutdown. >> the question, when do we get off the blame game and get to serious negotiations? at the end of the day, all of this will end, we don't know when, in negotiations. it's not a question of who wins or loses. nobody is going to win this kind of game. nobody wins at a shutdown. we all lose. we kind of look silly. >> if that is the case, what we are hearing from shelby here, why aren't they doing anything about it? >> i think we are seeing this as a big political game of chicken. we are seeing republicans and democrats trying to shift blame for this shutdown on someone else. of course, both sides are bigging i digging in. the president's promises on building a wall. he's not giving up on that. he sees this as one of the last chances to get the promise fulfilled. at the same time, democrats are
taking over control of the house. they are prepping to come up with a deal to offer the end to a shoutdown and force republicans to vote on that. we are seeing both sides digging in, trying to deflect blame, but not necessarily coming together for a compromise. >> jonathan, why does the president feel the need to refute what john kelly is saying about the wall, saying, no, this is a physical wall. why does he feel or believe his base is so committed to the idea of seeing an actual, physical wall? if the president went out on a limb that it could be a wall in some places, different security measures in other areas, we wou wouldn't be in the middle of a shutdown. >> the president doesn't like it when an aide speaks for him. he's always had problems with that whether it's steve bannon or john kelly.
the friction when was kelly gave an interview to fox news about the wall. trump slammed him on that. that beganisdom of it. with this president, there's no question, what he hears is the base. he makes every decision catering to what he thinks they want. believing that got him the office. >> he's got more than his base in 2020. >> most agree with that. the president and people around him think if you can keep the base happy with the 38%-39%, whatever it is, here is a shot to thread the needle, have voters turn out and a thin sliver of independence or disaffected democrats. he is weaker than two years ago. the republicans lost control of the house as they held on to the
senate. he is in for an onslaught from the democratic house. we are not mentioning the other investigations going on. he believes they can be a useful foil. he thinks he can run against them on issues of the wall, if he doesn't get it now. it can be something he uses for his base. this is what you wanted. the democrats are saying no. try to use that propelling himself into 2020. >> the conversation we have surrounding the shutdown is who is at fault for the shutdown. the president is calling this the, quote, schumer shutdown, even though he said he would be happy to own it. the white house and allies are, of course, blaming nancy pelosi. then, there is kelly an conway on fox news sunday. watch this. >> first, the democrats have to come back. nancy pelosi needs to come back from hawaii for the dhs customs
and border patrol. they need to come to the table and do their job, a fully functioning democracy demands they come together and congress and executive branch work together. >> i'm wondering, is this strategy going to work? it did not resinate when it came to the midterm elections. >> it certainly can't work for long, especially if house democrats are able to pass a bill that would end the shut down and the republicans are faced with deciding whether to agree with that without funding for the border wall. it's complicated. the president said he took ownership of the shutdown, he was proud to shut it down. it wasn't sitting well with the base. it's putting republicans in an awkward position to shift blame on the democrats but there is a soundbyte that trump took ownership of this and leaves little room for compromise because of that.
>> jonathan, weigh in on the interview with the l.a. times with john kelly. let's listen to what she said, then we'll talk. >> clearly, he pushed back and defended his tenure, as can be expected, essentially saying he did the best he could to manage a chaotic white house with the family separation policy. for example, squarely placing the blame on attorney general jeff sessions saying he and others were surprised when the announcement was made. >> when i read through the interview yesterday morning, i felt as if john kelly was not forthcoming with what took place in the white house. he was asked pointedly about the situation from rob porter to the immigration crisis, all of it, across the board. do you feel like he was forthcoming and if not, why? >> kudos to the interview, it
was interesting to have john kelly speak for two hours like that. >> yeah. >> he is mindful of his legacy and reputation. the rob porter example is one where many feel kelly mishandled and told him mistruths about a approach and what he learned at the domestic violence and so on. i think that's part of it. it also goes to speak to the fundamental disconnect with get from the white house all the time. he said, he acknowledged the travel band in january, 2017, it was done haphazardly. then the white house denied it never happened. with the jeff sessions incident, at the time, the white house denied it happened. it shows how difficult it is to
trust what the white house is telling us. >> thank you so much. happy new year. >> you, too. >> stick around for us. coming up, some of the biggest democratic names have an eye on 2020, shoplifting into high gear, including one who announced a presidential exploratory committee this morning. new reports said two dozen women and men who worked on bernie sanders presidential campaign want a meeting with the vermont senator to address sexual violence and harassment on the campaign. you are watching msnbc. we'll be right back. aign you are watching msnbc we'll be right back. it's time for our lowest prices of the season on
no matter where you live in america and no matter where your family came from in the world, you deserve a path to opportunity. that's why today i'm launching an exploratory committee for president. if we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together, we can win. we can and we will. >> it's getting started. that was senator elizabeth warren wading into the presidential waters launch a committee this morning in a four minute biographical video. running for office was never on her bucket list, but the time has come for her to fight back.
joining me now, adviser to president reagan, george w. bush and george bush. doug and steph are back with me. doug, i'll start with you. warren, as we know, is one of more than a dozen democrats considering a 2020 run. how viable is she in a general election? >> i would actually put that number higher than a dozen. look, she is a prime time player. she is viable. i think that her proximity to new hampshire helps a lot in terms of that being the first primary in the country. she is going to be able to raise a good bit of grass roots dollars. i think progressive activists are going to be interested. it's not just what happened in new hampshire and iowa, it's south carolina and other states.
she is viable. there's a big fight among the prospective candidates for donors. she got in for that reason. she's got to get out of the starting gates fast. >> i'm curious to know what you think about the timing of her release being today, why she would want to do it on a day like today and, also, do you think she is good or bad news for the republicans? >> i think she's doing it now because there are going to be two or three dozen candidates before this is done. it's a wide open field. there are going to be a lot of people. she wants to get out in the front of the parade to get more attention. in terms of how she'll be, we'll see. i have been around politics enough and presidential campaigns to know it's hard to tell how people are going to run for president. there's no compareson running
for senator to president. i think the fundamental position is donald trump is weak and can be beaten, but whether he will be beaten and by whom, we'll have to see. elizabeth warren, years ago, had the progressive field to herself. that's not going to happen once more democrats get into the field. there's going to be an intense battle for that side of the democratic party. whether she can prevail or they look for a newer face, we'll have to see. again, i think donald trump is certainly beatable. >> so, let's go with that for a moment, this conversation about the progressive wing of the democratic party. we have a progressive group, the progressive change campaign committee. they are responding to her
announcement. they told nbc news they aren't endorsing her yet, but a thumbs up. is she the type of candidate the progressive wing could get behind? >> she has been one of the original progressive democrats in the senate and is one of the most well known democratic senators. that is going for her. we have seen this divide in the democratic party the past few years during the midterms where we are seeing this more progressive wing and a lot of young candidates coming forward and winning the election. we have seen a lot of young women winning elections in the midterms. that is a big force in the democratic party. there's the question of whether the same kind of person who can gain energy within a democratic primary is the right candidate to stand-up to president trump and whether or not there needs to be a more moderate candidate or whether the left leaning part
of the party stands a chance. >> talk about this dna test thing that is going to resurface now, considering the fact she is launching an exploratory committee. she stood by her dna test to prove her native american ancestry. "the new york times" reporting advisers close to warren says she may have damaged her relationship to native americans and activists. they say miss warren will have to confront the issue if she announced a presidential campaign. do you think the dna test and everything that surrounds it could be damaging to her in a potential bid? >> yeah. she mishandled it. everybody around her say she mishandled it. she will need to address it. the way to do it as a candidate, if an issue is going to be out there for a while, you try to
handle it on your own narrative and address it and put it to bed and move on to other things. i would be surprised if it defines her candidacy. this is the type of thing to talk about early on in the race before it is started. the race will be determined by more than dna testing. ha will be interesting is how the democrats decide to go after donald trump. that is, are they going to take michelle obama route, which is when he goes low, they go high or when he goes low will they go low? will they try to slug it out or try to transcend him? in contrast their decency with his indecency, their competence with his incompetence. i'm not sure they know, yet. the poll, from the base, will be to slug it out with donald trump. i'm not sure that's going to be wise or would be wise because if
you get in the mud pit with him, there's nobody who throws mud better than he does. you have to be strong in making a case for decency an the ability to walk the tight rope isn't easy. see who can doet it best for th democratic party. >> we are o'rourke, biden and sanders. is it important for the democrat democratic party that a minority be in the lead? >> look, i think it would be -- is it important? sure, it's important for the party to show diversity. i think we will see that. we don't know what the field is going to look like. i think it is going to be robust. it would be a mistake to come out and endorse anyone at this
moment because it's so early. it is going to be a stampede of folks testing the waters. we are going to have a number of candidates who are people of color, women, strong, competitive and viable. >> doug, i want you to talk about this new report from bernie sanders from politico, about bernie sanders. more than two dozen women and men who worked on his 2016 presidential campaign are seeking a meeting with him to discuss the issue of sexual violence and harassment in 2016 to mitigate the issue in the upcoming presidential cycle. in response, sanders political pact said this, speaking generally from 2016, there were a number of hr actions taken. while it is not appropriate to discuss them individually, they ranged from employee counseling to immediate termination from
the campaign. we share in the urgency to do better. what do you make of this, doug? go ahead, doug. >> i was going to say, i think the sanders campaign should address it. i don't know about the back story, but it's important if there are people that want to meet about it, he should do that. it sounds serious and he should address it. >> steph? >> it has been reported. it is common for these issues to come up in the campaign. the metoo movement has drawn attention. everyone will see how he responds and what actions are taken following this. >> peter, doug, steph, thank you all. happy new year's everybody. coming up, the top commander in afghanistan called president trump immoral, blasting his
decision to withdrawal from syria. plus, vladimir putin sends the white house a holiday offer. you are watching msnbc. liday of. you are watching msnbc i don't keep track of regrets. i never count the wrinkles. and i don't add up the years. but what i do count on... is staying happy and healthy. so, i add protein, vitamins and minerals to my diet with boost®. new boost® high protein nutritional drink now has 33% more high-quality protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. all with guaranteed great taste. the upside- i'm just getting started. boost® high protein be up for life look for savings on boost® in your sunday paper. howdoing great dad!r does this thing got? looking good babe! are you filming. at booking.com, we can't guarantee you'll be any good
past week and a half for his decision to pull troops from syria, president trump is up and tweeting writing, in anybody but donald trump did what i did in syria, which was an isis loaded threat, they would be a national hero. isis is mostly gone. we are sending troops home to be with family. i campaigned on getting out of syria and other places. now, when i get out, generals like to complain about me and my tactics, which is working. just doing what i said i would do. joining me, former national security analyst spokesperson, wesley clark. welcome. happy early new years. general, i'm going to start with you on this one. let's talk about the president's tweets here. a lot of back and forth with
regard to isis. the president, shaping policy on the last person he spoke to. you give us the down and dirty, general. is isis still a problem? >> well, isis is still a problem. we know there are still isis survivors and leadership in parts of syria. they haven't been eliminated. the organization has been taken down. it's lost its territory. the tactics the u.s. military is using, working with allies are effective. they were begun under the obama administration, they have been continued. leaders know what they are doing, we are providing the right assistance with fire power and support to enable to folks on the ground, mostly kurdish allies to eliminate the remaining pockets of isis. the criticism of president trump is, a, he overstated the
results, b, the decision making process was improper and, c, if you pull out immediately, you lose the good you accomplished. there was no rational for the decision. would we all like to finish the job, of course. we have you shall shah, we have iran, israel, saudi arabia, turkey. those 2,000 troops and back-up support in iraq for those troops are critical to the united states having leverage to deal with the larger, strategic issues in the region. simply to announce a pullout by tweet, not to notify people, that's not the right decision. >> often times, people say whether or not we should be pulling out of syria is not necessarily the issue. the issue is the way the president went about it. now, he's talking ant the
slowing down of the removal of troops. we heard lindsey graham making an announcement sunday after having lunch with the president at the white house. let's listen. >> the president is thinking long and hard about syria, how to withdrawal our forces, and at the same time, secure national security interest, to make sure isis is destroyed, they never come back and allies, the kurds are protected and iran doesn't become the winner of our leaving. >> here is my issue with all of that, ned. this sounds good and well, the question is how. right? lindsey graham delivered a lot of talking points. it was lindsey graham, not the president standing up there. how does the president intend to do this and keep iran from filling the void and vacuum in iran. excuse me, filling the void in
syria by iran? >> i think you put your finger on the question here. that's the key question the trump administration hasn't answered. to go back to what you are alluding to, there is a case for removing, slowly, troops from syria, especially after they have begun an assault and worked with kurdish allies to degrade and destroy the isis remnants that remain with iraq. once that pocket, a 20 mile pocket of isis is taken care of, i think there is more of a case. the problem here, however, the trump administration has not undertaken the process. they are not articulated a strategy to actually take on this goal, to broadcast how they will pursue and prosecute this case going forward. we are seeing something characteristic of donald trump. he campaigned on this issue of
removing our troops from wars around the world from ending stupid wars, in his words. what he is trying to do is have it both ways, get credit and say i'm going to withdrawal troops. it sounds like he is trying to tell people we are slow walking this. our troops will remain there over the longer term. i think it's not clear how it will end. i'm not sure our troops will be out of harm's way as soon as donald trump would have us believe. >> that tweet referring to failed generals. we assume the president is talking about crystal, mattis, in a letter sent with his resignation, possibly general petraeus. let's take a listen to stanley mcchrystal, then talk. >> if you were asked to join the trump administration, what would you say? >> i would say no. i think it's important for me to work with people who i think are
basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it. >> you think he's a liar? >> i don't think he tells the truth. >> is trump immoral, in your view? >> i think he is. >> general, those are scathing questions from mcchrystal there. what do you make of it? >> i think the world of mcchrystal. there are multiple reasons why many wouldn't work for him. in the first place, we don't know his motives. he is the only president in recent history who has foreign business entanglements while in the white house. when he's friendly with foreign countries, is it because they are helping his hotel chain and improving his brand? we don't know what he's working for. that's the major reason. >> ned price and general wesley
here in new york city. local law enforcement is hard at work to ensure the safety of the hundreds of thousands of people expected to pack those streets. nbc news correspondent stephanie gosk is joins us live from times square. hey, steph. >> reporter: hey, happy new year to you. to get a sense of what it is going to be like for people in times square, we have been told by police the pens they are arranging go up to 46th street. times square is on 42nd street. people have to go through metal det detectors. once they go in, they have to stay there. it is not even noon yet. the people there will be there more than 12 hours. it is going to rain a lot later. among the security rules, no umbrellas. they have to stand there. this is unprecedented security
here as it is every year with law enforcement on the ground. there are 200 vehicle blocking trucks on cross streets. they are sanitation vehicles filled with sand to stop vehicle attacks like have been seen. there are 1200 security cameras, detectives in hotels, part of an elaborate security system. security seems to vanish in the background and all they look at is that ball. yasmin? >> thank you, stephanie gosk. happy new year. don't get stuck in a pen. come back, everybody. coming up, we have the ten biggest political stories of the year next. stay with us. stay with us one hour pickup order? >>got it. ran out of ink and i have a big meeting today >>and 2 boxes of twizzlers... yeah, uh...for the team... >>the team? gooo team.... know what's better than overnight shipping? free one hour pickup when you order online...
breathe freely fast, with vicks sinex. my congestion's gone. i can breathe again! ahhhh i can breathe again! ughh.. vicks sinex, breathe on welcome back. 2018 was a wild ride from the blue wave that turned control of the house to the confirmation hearings for brett kavanaugh. there was never a dull moment. hallie jackson looks back at 10 of the biggest political stories of the year. one of the ten biggest
stories of 2018 happened just six weeks into it. >> students could be seen filing out of the building. >> the parkland shooting sparked a student movement and the march of our lives. >> they say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. we call b.s. >> after that a bill closing loop holes in the federal background. the trade war ramped up. >> we will have a 25% tariff on foreign steel. >> a tit for tat. and new fears for farmers in states trump won. at the border, anger boiled over with the nation horrified by images of migrant children separated from their parents. >> it's sickening to see little kids, four years old is the youngest separated from their parents. >> the president forced to backtrack on family separations but ahead of the midterms, barrelling forward with rhetoric
critics described as fear mongering. >> the democrats want caravans. they like it? >> they'll be like look, look, look, caravan. and then they're giving tax cuts to their friends. >> george h.w. laid to rest. >> dad is hugging robin and holding mom's hand again. >> his service attended by every living president including donald trump who did not attend senator john mccain's funeral. >> the america of john mccain has no need to be made great again because america was always great. anti-trump rhetoric, part of the momentum behind a blue wave that crashed over the capitol as democrats dominated the house. >> majority, majority, majority. >> and while the gop held the senate. >> it is indeed a good morning for senate republicans. >> democrats looked toward 2020 and rising stars like beto o'roarke who lost his senate
race but won over many in his party. >> i'm [ bleep ] proud of you guys. >> the president facing divided government at home. he brushed all allies and embrac embrac embraced adversarieadversaries. >> the president seemed swayed by the denials of election in r interferen interference. >> putin said it's not russia. i don't see any reason why it would be. he later walked it back but moved forward with other campaign promises like shifting the u.s. embassy in israel to jerusalem and withdrawing from the iran nuclear deal. his handling of the death of khashoggi seeing criticism. >> today is a milestone, but it
is really a beginning. >> and a record number of women elected. >> the first muslim women. the first female senators from arizona and tennessee. >> it is a conservative woman, too. back at the white house, infighting and upheaval. james mattis resigning after differences with donald trump's world view. >> four officials saying they've witnessed kelly calling the president an idiot behind his back. hr mcmaster thrown the door. others resigning after ethics investigations. with the back biting chronicled by former insiders. >> donald trump is a con. >> and journalists. >> there's a war on truth. >> and still looming over capitol hill and the white house, the russia investigation. consuming both ends of pennsylvania avenue. >> paul manafort has been convicted of eight felonies. >> cohen sentenced to months.
>> five people convicted of crimes related to the special counsel investigation as jeff sessions stepped down. >> it's a disgraceful situation. it's a witch hunt. >> he may be the first president in quite some time to face the prospect of jail time. >> still the biggest political story of the year doesn't donald trump in trouble but president trump triumphant as brett kavanaugh was confirmed to the supreme court after an emotional and explosive confirmation hearing. >> i believed he was going to rape me. >> christine blasey ford accusing kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teens? >> with what degree of certainty do you believe brett kavanaugh assaulted you? >> 100%. >> this effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit. >> ultimately the senate voted him in. brett kavanaugh is now justice kavanaugh.
>> tonight is a major political win for this president. >> from the lower courts where republicans are resharing the political judiciary to the highest, a conservative shift that will effect a generation of americans to come. 2018 a year for the history books with 2019, a new chapter ahead. hallie jackson, nbc news, washington. >> thank you to nbc's hallie jackson for that. we'll be right back. jackson fort we'll be right back. hard work baby, it gonna pay off.
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that wraps up this hour. coming up right now more news with morgan ratford. happy new year. >> happy new year to you and thank you for having me. >> good morning, everyone. from head quarters here in new york, i'm in for craig melvin. the blame game. ten days into the government shutdown and the president who said he'd own it is passing the blame to democrats. he's invoking the obama household to try to get his wall. >> and 20/20 vision. elizabeth warren takes the first big step toward a run for the white house in 20/20. we'll talk about her announcement and the pressure it's putting on her fellow democrats. plus donald trump on defense. this coming after yesterday's lunch with lindsey graham. he's apparently slowing down his plan to take u.s. troops out of syria. but we start this morning with a shutdown ten days in and the only thing for certain is it will last into the