tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 3, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PST
at the top of the show, we asked you why are you awake? producer john tower has some answers. hey, john. >> hey, bri. nathan, i'm a huge brian shactman fan. watching "way too early" at 5:30 p.m. by a slingbox in bangkok, thailand. kelly writes, what's up with all these boston guys? at least you didn't get your wardrobe from barnicle. >> we actually talked today about his tie. i said i wasn't quite in his tax bracket as of yet. there's no mustard on there, is there? i'll see you in a little bit,
mr. barnicle. thank you, john. "morning joe" starts right now. i think they won the election. they must have forgotten that republicans continue to hold the majority in the house. but, you know, the president's idea of a negotiation is roll over and do what i ask. we need to find common ground, and we need to find it quickly. >> good morning. it's monday, december the 3rd here in new york city. the christmas tree all lit up. with us on set, msnbc contributor mike barnicle, pulitzer prize-winnering historian jon meacham, author of "thomas jefferson." "fortune's" assistant managing editor leigh gallagher and political analyst, former chairman of the rnc, michael steele. and i'm willie geist. joe and mika have the day off today. there's so much to talk about, but we do have to begin with the ties, if we could. it's not just mike.
mike's getting all the focus here this morning, and that is inexcusable. >> could i just say, in the words of speaker john boehner, we need to find common ground here, and we need to do it quick. >> there ain't going to be any between these two ties, my man. over here, good news, jon meacham will be number one on "the new york times" best-seller list this weekend. >> hear, hear. >> his book, "jefferson." bad news is he's going to get there wearing that tie with bunny rabbits on it. here they are. could we get a text poll? >> can i just tell you, i got this from harold ford. >> that explains a lot. >> so there you go. >> that means it's free at both ends. >> it's a disgrace to michael steele who dresses so well each and every day. >> look, i just show up and play, baby. that's it. >> you're doing a good job with that. >> got the pocket square. steele's going for if. >> congratulations on the book. >> thank you. >> going gangbusters. >> thank you. it's been fun. i've been out talking to folks, and everybody's been really, really nice.
>> why are people so thrilled? i'm not saying this to give you crap. >> i can tell. >> why are people so thrilled by thomas jefferson? >> i think because he's the one founder people can imagine talking to. and i think it has to do with his versatility. you go to monticello, and you feel you're kind of in conversation with him. he's a very vivid figure. it's hard to imagine having a drink with george washington. barnicle did it. and you can tell. >> he was a good guy. >> and john adams, barnicle wrote a couple columns about him back in the day. >> and his son. i knew his son when his son was in day care. >> john w. adams. yeah. but i think it's his renaissance question. and then i think also he representeds the best of us and the worst of us. and i think people, when we're being honest with ourselves, we all know we have our hypocrisies, and we have our contradictions. and the fact that someone who had such evident contradictions is still worth paying attention to i think resonates. >> and there's some contention over the weekend about how great a man thomas jefferson is. we're going to talk about that a little bit later. but we've got big news this
morning. four weeks from today is new year's eve when the fiscal cliff comes. lawmakers now have less than a month to compromise and to avoid a year-end deadline that would trigger massive spending cuts and tax hikes for just about everybody. behind-the-scenes negotiations at a stalemate. both sides went public yesterday on the sunday morning shows to make their cases. treasury secretary tim geithner predicted republicans would eventually come around to accept a tax increase on the highest earners. >> you think we'll get a deal by the end of the year? >> i do. i do. the only thing standing in the way of that would be a refusal by republicans to accept that rates are going to have to go up on the wealthiest americans. and i don't really see them doing that. >> if the republicans say sorry, no way are we going to raise rates on the wealthy, you guys are willing to go off the fiscal cliff? >> if republicans are not willing to let rates go back up, and we think they should go back to the clinton levels, a time when the american economy is doing exceptionally well, then
there will not be an agreement. >> but house speaker john bigger is digging in himself, admitting talks are going nowhere. speaker boehner also described the moment when secretary geithner first showed him the president's opening offer. >> i was just flabbergasted. i looked at him and said, "you can't be serious." i've just never seen anything like it. you know, we've got seven weeks between election day and the end of the year. and three of those weeks have been wasted with this nonsense. right now i would say we're nowhere, period. we're nowhere. we've put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved. but the white house has responded with virtually nothing. they've actually asked for more revenue than they've been asking for the whole entire time. >> what are the chances we're going to go over the cliff? >> there's clearly a chance. >> lindsey graham said the same thing yesterday, michael steele. he said he thinks we are going to go over the cliff. i think everybody at this table
has worked a few deals in his or her life. how much of this is posturing for negotiation, how much of it is a real chance that we're going to go over the cliff? >> about 80% of it's posturing. i think a lot of it let's see how big yours is versus mine in terms of their plans. and the reality of it is -- >> well. >> yeah. >> in terms of their plan. >> that was nice. >> but the reality of it is, they're going to wait till the last minute, last possible moment. as they always do. it's the washington way. there's a lot of dancing around the edges, a lot of noise and sabre rattling. the president put on out a plan. his initial salvo was a smack in the face, a reality check to the republicans saying i won the election, and now deal with this. but boehner, to his credit, came back and said, you know, this is ridiculous, and this is not the way we're going to negotiate. and you've got others like grover and certainly lindsey graham and other members out there who have been very strong
at first saying no, we're not going over the cliff, this is crazy. others saying you want to go over the cliff, we'll go over the cliff but republicans should be careful here because if you fall into that trap and take that bait, and the president calls your bluff on it, then all of a sudden, this comes to your lap, not the president. because geithner and others are setting this argument up very nicely. look, we've put this wonderful plan out here. everybody in the country, the polls say top 2%, you know, should get their rates up. and if it doesn't happen, it's on you. so the messaging is going to be critically period where they're all doing the dance. >> we've been to this movie before in 1995. >> does anybody know, leigh, what happens january 2nd, we go over the cliff? are we suddenly out of $500 a week? >> it's gradual. i mean, the actual impact will be gradual. but we're already starting to see, you know, a financial impact just by pushing it to the end here, which we will do. i do think we'll push it right to the very end. you have companies who are
selling shares and stakes in, let's say, private companies now even though they think they might get a better price next year because they want to get the deal done now because they don't know. so there are deals being done at lower prices where people are taking hits. i mean, this is not, you know, the main event, but this is happening on the sidelines, and we haven't been begun to get to the tail end of discussions. >> there is a lot of -- if there's any money due you next year in life, you know, you want it now. >> you want it now. you have to take a hit. >> there's a flow of capital. >> yeah. >> into the sidelines again. >> and the argument, michael, from republicans is they're saying we are, in fact, open to raising taxes on the highest earners, but that's in the form of closing loopholes and looking at capital gains and things like that. we just won't touch the marginal rate. >> absolutely. that goes back to the argument of a year ago. so this is not a new position for republicans. we have said before that, you know, we can get there by closing the loopholes and things like that. but it goes to the point that i made last week on the show, and
that is that the republicans have been in this room before. they've been in this space where they've negotiated with democrats on tax rates, increases for spending cuts. and as i've said before and as everyone knows in town, you get the tax rate increase now. the spending cuts never happen because future congresses don't execute on those spending cuts. and unless the deal includes cuts now, it's going to be very hard for republicans to swallow because of what happens in two years, certainly with tea party republicans who were sent to congress to hold the line on spending. it was not to go in to raise taxes at all. that was not part of the bargain in 2010. it was not part of the re-up in 2012. so boehner's got a little bit of a box to deal with. partly presented by the president. partly presented by his own base. i say let boehner be boehner. let him negotiate the best possible way out of the box. which is what i think you're seeing happen now. >> you mentioned grover norquist. he's making a new prediction, by the way. let's listen. >> understand how ugly the next
four years are going to get. everything in obamacare that obama didn't want you to focus on or think about, the 90% of his trillion-dollar tax increase was pushed over till after he got himself safely re-elected. all those regulations you're now hearing about, okay, those all hit after the election. we've got four bad years of regulation taxes. he wants to add higher taxes to that. tea party 2 is going to dwarf tea party 1 if obama pushes us off the cliff. >> so basically, jon, what grover norquist is saying there to members of the tea party set who have been elected, who were elected, is, you know, we're going to take everybody who is against us into a primary on your right. >> right. >> on the republican side. >> right. >> so the threat has been issued already, even before we begin negotiating what the package will be. >> oh, yeah. >> this is like political terrorism. >> well, it's certainly a clear bargaining position. i remember three years ago
talking to a longtime member of the house who was running for the senate. and we were talking about something else. and at the end of the conversation, i said, is it really as bad as everybody says? is it worse than when you came in? which was in the late '80s. and he said the central difference is in the caucus, the republican caucus, the fear is not a democratic challenge, it's a primary challenge. and it's the first time i had ever heard the term "to be primaried." he said, "you don't want to be primaried." you can ask senator lugar about this. it's real. and so it's becoming increasingly difficult to cast one or two compromise votes, even early on because of this echo chamber that kicks in. and to me what's so scary about it is the president's second-term clock moves faster than everybody else's clock in the system. because everybody else in the system has another election. and obama doesn't.
so as his capital goes down and his vision gets wider historically, everybody else's vision is getting narrower to that -- not even to election day in '14, but of the primary day. >> so with all that said, leigh, you look at the deal, as michael said, the president came out big, not only does he want taxes to go up on the wealthy, but he wants stimulus spending. he wants the power to raise the debt ceiling. where is the middle ground when you look at this? who blinks on these questions of taxes? >> well, i mean, everyone's doubling down and waiting for the other side to blink first. and that's why we're going to push this to the end. i think michael makes a good point. we don't know what's happening. this could be all choreographed. we don't know what's happening with the side conversations. both sides will probably give. i mean, i think everyone knows that's going to be the case. but, you know, the president has a lot of leverage. he, of course, doesn't have absolute leverage, but he has more than he had. we learned a lesson in 2001 with the debt ceiling negotiations
which went terribly. he's coming out of the gate with pretty strong rhetoric. >> michael, if you took grover out of the equation here and you lowered the flame on the tea party republicans in the house, how long do you think it would take john boehner and president obama to work out a deal? >> 24 hours. >> yeah. >> about 24 hours. boehner has the deal in his head he wants. his problem is he's trying to figure out how he gets that deal, not just in the room but then out of the room. with his caucus. and that's just the reality of it. i mean, you've got, again, republicans feel burned on this. republicans also feel engaged on it simply because that's what they ran on. and that's been a big part of the fiscal argument for republicans for the last two or three years has been controlling the spending, the size and growth of government. controlling the ability of the government to confiscate more of your wealth, to trust more on the middle class and the working class, small business owners.
and that's really kind of the link. and that argument, you talked about being primaried, that's the central primary argument that will be -- hit them upside the head in two years when they run is wait a minute. we sent you to control spending, yet you increased taxes. it's not increasing taxes on the wealthy, it's just blanketly you increase taxes. so you've got all this noise going on. and boehner's got to try to figure out a way to give these guys some cover but know he's got to cut the deal. to your point, leigh, about how do you begin to pull it from the big plan to a smaller plan, that's really what the white house and boehner quietly are talking about. >> and what we don't want also is i think a kind of down payment deal that sort of makes it a two-part deal that just delays everything. >> i think you're going to get some of that. i think you'll probably get the big deal for the middle class. okay, we're going to take that off the table. and graham and others have said that. we know we're not going to raise taxes on the middle class. let's let the bush tax cuts stay
in place for the middle class. and then it becomes a little bit more of an interesting conversation when you're only dealing with a smaller percentage of the plan as opposed to the big piece right now. >> so how does he -- how does john boehner save face? you talk about he has to take a deal out of the room. how does he get a deal in which taxes are raised on the wealthy, he may get something on the other side, but then his caucus can still say well, you gave and taxes went up? >> where i think you'll see it, and i think you're beginning to see those pieces fall into place, when you have voices, if you will, within the caucus, and not just in the house caucus, but in the senate caucus as well, sort of backing this idea that, okay, here's our option. the cliff or the plan. and i think that, you know, when you have graham and others sort of saying you know, yeah, the cliff becomes a real reality for us, people don't really want to go there. they don't want to have to take that risk. and i think there may be some opportunity there to bring some of the caucus members around.
remember, he doesn't have to have 100% of them. he needs enough to cobble together with nancy pelosi's number to get the plan through the house. >> it's a little like lucy and the football on the spending cuts. >> yes. >> we had one deal where you got a commission that was going to make recommendations, and we saw how well that worked out. everyone loves simpson-bowles except anyone who's been elected to office. who matters in this conversation. so isn't it plausible the shape of the deal is we do what obama ran on on the tax cuts, on the tax increases, and we're going to study the future spending cuts? isn't that probably the face-saving way out? >> that's the face-saving way. >> and everyone's skeptical of that. >> everyone's skeptical of that. it's fax reform, which is, again, part of that conversation in the background. but i actually think simpson-bowles is a little more of a way out for the gop than some folks may think. i mean, i think that generally the public, conservatives included, like the ideas that
are at least enunciated in the plan there. i think certainly more conservative members in the house and the senate have spoken favorably of it. so it gives you something, at least as a framework, to begin the conversation. and i was surprised in the campaign that neither the president nor mitt romney actually took that as sort of a bull whip to kind of shape the argument. >> talking like that, that's why you're referred to as former republican national chairman. >> funny. >> there's an interesting, you know, i don't know, third rail option -- i don't think it will come to this -- but there's sort of a -- let's say we go over the cliff. the republicans, you know, do not -- they hold firm. we go over the cliff. then we'll no doubt reinstate the tax cuts on the middle class. so then they could have political cover for actually taking credit for the tax cuts. even though -- of course, we don't want it to come to that. that would destroy the markets, i think. >> oh, yeah. >> do you have any idea of how many times willie and i have
taken this particular show over the cliff? >> we did it about 6:01 this morning. lay on the gas. by the way, "the wall street journal" is calling for republicans to call the president's bluff on. we'll get into that later. coming up, in ordford ceo a mulally. also nbc political director chuck todd, "the new york times," the lead story on her front-page story on the winners and losers in the big game of government subsidies. also, ed burns is going to be here. >> our guy, ed burns. >> the great ed burns a little later. and up next, mike allen with the top stories in the "politico playbook." but first, bill karins with a look at the forecast. hey, bill. >> hey, willie, good monday morning. i've called these temperatures ridiculously warm. a lady sent me an e-mail and said you know what's ridiculous? i've had my air conditioning on in arkansas in the last two days in december. it's been that warm especially in the middle of the country, and it's spreading to the east. there's a lot of fog out there this morning. look at these numbers.
if i showed you this weather map in june, you'd say typical temperatures for this time of the morning. this is december. it's ridiculously warm. as far as the fog, watch out along san antonio all the way into south texas from pensacola all the way across the gulf coast into areas of mississippi and dense fog along the carolina coastline down to north florida and coastal georgia. then i think some of the worst of it as far as airports go today, we've got to watch o'hare, midway, also through cleveland, possibly indianapolis and detroit. right now visibility hovering around a quarter mile in chicago. also milwaukee, you're down to less than a quarter mile. that's when you really start to notice huge airport delays. so the forecast today, the warm air finally makes it into new york city, philadelphia. look at washington, d.c., near 70 degrees. you won't even need a jacket this afternoon. the rest of the southeast looks very warm after the fog burns off. near 75 in atlanta. i mean, this is as warm as it gets for december across this country. numerous record highs will be set. even chicago, you have an
outside shot of your warmest december temperature ever. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ nyquil bottle ] hey tylenol, you know we're kinda like twins. [ tylenol bottle ] we are? yeah we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. and i relieve nasal congestion. overachiever. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
welcome back to "morning joe." let's take a look at some of the "morning papers." "the wall street journal," the u.s. is stepping up spying on an iranian nuclear reactor, flying drones overhead to intercept cell phone calls and collect intelligence. american officials became concerned about the security of the plant's weapons-grade plutonium after fuel rods were taken out of the facility in october. also from "the wall street journal," the u.s. is poised to become a leader in global energy production, largely on the strength of the domestic natural gas production. many other countries with large sources of shale are well behind the u.s. in developing their
supply because of regulations and a lack of infrastructure. the result could be that the united states and canada will remain leaders in natural gas development for the better part of the next decade. "the washington post," terrorists plotted to unleash a wave of attacks in aumann, jordan. during the ensuing chaos raid the u.s. embassy. this from jourdardanian authori who foiled the plot arresting 11 people. the group planned to carry out attacks with help from al qaeda in iraq and weapons obtained from the civil war in syria. the plan shows al qaeda in iraq is on the rise and becoming a regional influence. and from our parade of papers, in "the boston globe," starting next fall, ten school districts in five states across the country including boston will take part in an initiative to expand the school day, adding as much as 300 hours to the calendar. it's part of a three-year program aimed at boosting achievement and making the united states more competitive abroad. almost 20,000 students will be part of the pilot program which
means that school will no longer end at 12:15 in the afternoon. >> and believe it or not, that's a tough sell. that's one of the reasons mayor emanuel in chicago got so much grief was because he added length to the school day. joining us from "politico," the chief white house correspo d correspondent is mike allen with his world-famous "playbook." let me ask you quickly about what we've been talking about this morning. are you as pessimistic as some around the table or as john boehner claims to be when he said yesterday that we're, quote, nowhere that a geel will get done over the course of the next four weeks? >> i'm going to update my prediction. i've been predicting that they were going to make a deal on december 23rd, that they were going to go to the very last moment before christmas but that they weren't going to want to bring congress back after christmas. things went decidedly south last week on both sides. one democrat e-mailed me who's in the room. he said republicans have taken
to shouting at us. i now think they're going to make a deal on december 31st. i think they are going to avoid going over the cliff. they don't want to take the risk even if you think you can blame the other guy, even if you think you can fix it in a week or two, that's taking a real chance with what the credit raters will do, what the stock market will do. and so i think that now congress is going to come back after christmas. bad news, not just for the families of members and senators, but the policemen, the snack bar workers, the other aides. that whole city that exists within the capitol now looks like it's going to come back after christmas, if nothing else, because if they're not going to make a deal, they're going to have to look like they're trying. they can't afford to be on christmas vacation if we're about to go over the cliff. >> mike, what happens to the president's plans? he usually goes to hawaii for christmas and new year's. he'd have to stay in washington. >> i don't know that. because the president's not going to want to look like he's a captive of washington. he did stay here once before and
then extended his vacation. that was part of why i've been predicting december 23rd. but these stages of grief by both sides are just going slower than they expected. they're doing the dance, but it's just so slow. so i think it's possible that nothing happens next week, that next week we get a real proposal from either side. but they're not making -- we've been talking about this for months and months. but the guys in the actual room have only been doing this for a couple days. and they're not ready to concede yet. they're still at their sort of starting gate positions. >> mike, is there any sort of quiet blue dog action on this on either the right or the left, more moderate members who are talking maybe offline who may step into the breach if there is one? >> there's a little bit, and there's certainly an opportunity for them. of course, that caucus is shrinking and creating this very surprising, amazing spectacle
where next year you're going to have more polarized caucuses, fewer moderates in both of them. but you're right, those offline conversations, if somebody has a good idea, there's definitely a market for it. and there's going to be a push by some republican members to propose something specific. and this could be legislation. this could be briefing by the leadership. this could be a speech by the speaker. but that is in the very early stages. they haven't even started circulating paper like that. that's why i think that this may be a wasted week in these negotiations, real work gets done next week. >> i would be willing to cut a deal just to go home if i were a member of congress. >> i thought you were talking about yourself this morning. >> today. >> beautiful. go home and get a new tie, we'd excuse you for that. i want to ask you about your lead story this morning on politico.com. the 2016 contenders already courting mega donors. three of them, i guess, paid a visit to the venetian. and we all know what that means.
>> that's right. that means that they're visiting the ultimate sugar daddy, sheldon adelson, who broke a record this year, the casino owner who gave $100 million to the republican side of the ledger this time. he told me in an interview a few months ago that he plans to continue playing in republican politics. you've got the louisiana governor, bobby jindal, the virginia governor, bob mcdonald, ohio governor john kasich all dropping by to talk to mr. adelson. ken vogel on politico's site has told adelson and friends he's looking for someone to run with executive experience. that's intriguing. that suggested he might be looking beyond paul ryan, beyond marco rubio to one of these governors. it's also happening on the democratic side, martin o'malley, one of the candidates who for sure wants to run is having a fund-raiser here in
chevy chase, maryland, today. then he's going to be out in los angeles this week talking to big funders. another possible democrat, andrew cuomo, your governor there in new york, to be here in d.c. today talking to new york members and senators. >> never too soon to get started on 2016. mike allen with a look at the "playbook." thanks so much. >> have a great week. coming up next on "morning joe" -- >> here we go. final seconds. luck steps. luck, a little flip, donnie avery, he's in! touchdown! indianapolis has done it! >> that is the rookie, andrew luck, engineering a last-second comeback against the lions. the indianapolis colts continue their let's call it miraculous march toward the playoffs given where they were last season. mike florio, our buddy, takes us through all the nfl action including the quarterback controversy here in new york. that's next.
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also joining the table. >> good to be here. >> fuf way to start our segment this week, that story out of kansas city got worse by the minute. at first you thought terrible story, guy takes his own life. then you hear his shoots his girlfriend and then the baby's there and his mother witnessed it, and the coaches witness him taking his own life. how do you begin to sift through this story? >> it's impossible to do it, and it really is a tragedy. and it was a murder and a suici suicide, at the heart of it, a 3-month-old baby girl. they explained the conflicting emotions an athlete feels. you've lost one of your brothers, but also this guy has done a horrible thing. he killed the mother of his child. he took his own life. he created distractions and issues and problems for so many people, the way that it happened. and at the same time, there's a football game. and a lot of people say they shouldn't have played, but that's the way players are wired. you overcome adversity, you do what you have to do, whatever's put in your path, you play
football. that's what you are and that's what you do, and they wanted to play. >> they wanted to play. they were asked and they wanted to play. >> even if they didn't want to play, that's who they are. we play football. and it also gave them a break, as their coach said, it gave them a break from what they were going through. >> there were pretty prominent people saying after the fact there's no way they should have played this game. how much reflection within the chiefs' camp? was it an easy decision? >> i think it was. number one, there wasn't a lot of time to make the decision, and you just play. this is what you do. it's a three-hour break from what they're going through. and what do you do? you can't cancel a regular-season nfl game. there's only 256 of them. you have to play it at some place. you could have moved it to monday, tuesday at the latest, but i think that the way football players think, we show up and we play our game. and we go forward. >> it's not really an angle to discuss, but it makes it tough for the visiting team to come in and play that game because they have that hanging over their heads. >> exactly. i talked to coach ron rivera
after the panthers' game last night, and they left charlotte not knowing. they were ready to defer whatever the chiefs decided to do. they didn't even know the a alternati alternatives. all they knew it was undecided and they'd find out when they got to kansas city and they did. >> whatever you think about him as a quarterback, the way brady quinn conducted himself before that game and then after the game especially, that's real leadership. forget what happens on the football field. the way he carried himself yesterday was remarkable. >> and his comments about relationships and how we're more caught up in our phones than we are the people in front of us, that's something, you need to print it out, laminate it and carry it around. we get so distracted by the devices in our pockets, we don't pay attention to people who are with us. >> and the chiefs did win the game. but as you said, the only thought right now is for that three-month-old girl named zoe who's going to grow up without her parents. we'll try to talk about some football if we can. off that, we talked a minute ago about andrew luck, the colts, 2-14 last year, right? >> 2-14 last year. and 3-13 when peyton manning was
the rookie in 1998 when guys like marshall faulk and marvin harrison. so nobody expected much this year from the colts. they got eight wins. they're going to the playoffs. barring an epic collapse, this team is going to the playoffs which no one saw coming. >> is the personnel that much different, or is it just luck? >> no, it's a combination of luck. he's got the resilience, the maturity, and there's an attitude within that team to never give up and never quit. and there are so many nfl games where if you have the right mindset, you can find a way. too many teams pack it in when they're falling behind. but this team has always been about, this year, has always been about doing whatever they have to do to win. they take inspiration from the fact that their coach has leukemia, he's going through treatments, he should be joining the team as head coach again later this month. they've just really captured that moment and run with it. but i think with andrew luck, they're going to be good for as long as he's there. >> you know, we're talking about andrew luck and obviously in washington tonight, the game will be on, rg3, robert griffin
iii. you've got these terrific quarterbacks. young quarterbacks. franchise quarterbacks. and yet out in seattle, playing on the west coast, where very few people pay attention to anything that goes on out there in seattle, you've got russell wilson who is phenomenal, just phenomenal. >> oh, what he did yesterday to take that team into soldier field because they're jostling with the packers at the top of their division, and they're now in position to get to the postseason, highly unlikely if it happens, and russell wilson, simply because he's 5'11", was drafted in round three, if he was any taller, he'd have gone higher. and he's proving that maybe we just don't assume that anyone under 6'3", 6'2", 6'4", isn't a desirable quarterback. drew brees has been doing it for years. but still the scouts think you have to be taller. >> putting together an incredible season. leigh, are you a jets fan? >> i don't want to say this, but i'm an eagles fan. >> oh, i'm so sorry. i knew there was a reason you were a little quiet over there. there's not much to say. >> i know. i know.
i know. >> they're struggling a bit. >> yeah. >> the jets, they finally made the move. they put mark sanchez on the bench, but tim tebow was not available. >> they skip over one of joe's guys and go to the other, greg mcelroy. tebow has the broken ribs. people have been saying for months you've got to move off from sanchez, they finally do. it was still ugly and it will be interesting next week because the jets are in position to get on a run here. i don't know that they can sneak into the playoffs. >> where is the run headed? >> well, but they've got games they can win, maybe not in pretty fashion. but with the bengals and steelers winning yesterday, it makes it harder for the jets to steal a playoff spot. >> if you put that game yesterday, yes, they won, but they faced a team that put together 150 yards total offense, you put that together with the thanksgiving game, you're hard pressed to find two back-to-back uglier performances than the jets put on. >> if mcelroy gets the starting job, and i believe he will, i think they'll see what he can do, as they go to tebow's
hometown of jacksonville, maybe a little kick in the pants. there's mark writing down, throw the ball to the guys in the green jerseys. >> it's an important note. playoffs clinched yesterday, patriots, broncos, falcons, texans, they're all in. the patriots are going to be tough. >> patriots are the best team now, and they're winning games convincingly and consistently. they've lost three games by a total of four points. not four points each, four total points. they look like the best team right now. here's the thing. the playoff spots up for grabs in each conference, afc, nfc, the last spot, we've seen that the last team in can run the table and win the super bowl. so that's where the fight's going to be in the final month. >> what can you do for leigh's eagles at this point? >> nothing. >> it's the football cliff. >> they went over that cliff, i think. >> new coach, new quarterback, new everything and then they'll be fine. other than that, it's fine. >> mike florio, good to see you. thanks. up next, the "must-read opinion pages" including one from "the new york times" calling jefferson the monster of monticello. we'll ask jon meacham about that
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and social security strong for generations to come. that's a beautiful picture of the united states capitol. it's 6:44 in the morning. back here in new york city, welcome back to "morning joe." time for our "must-read op-eds." the one we're going to lead with comes from the weekend from "the new york times." headline, "the monster of monticello," talking, of course, about thomas jefferson. we just happen to have thomas jefferson's biographer, jon meacham here, so this is perfect. let's read a little of this. "there is, it is true, a compelling paradox about jefferson when he wrote the declaration of independence, announcing the self-evident truth that all men are created equal, he owned some 175 slaves. too often scholars and readers use those facts as a crutch to write off jefferson's inconvenient views as products
of the time and the complexities of the human condition. but while many of his contemporaries, including george washington, freed their slaves during and after the revolution, inspired perhaps by the words of the declaration, jefferson did not. over the subsequent 50 years, a period of extraordinary public service, jefferson remained the master of monticello, and a buyer and seller of human beings." jon, this is written by paul finkleman in saturday's "new york times." it's a conversation which is this sort of tension between clearly a great man but also a man who owned human beings. how do you reconcile that for yourself? >> well, i reconcile it -- actually, you don't really reconcile it. what you do is you try to explain it without excusing it. and to my mind, i think jefferson represents the best of us and the worst of us, as the piece made clear. he articulated an ideal of human liberty that -- he set forth a promise. dr. king called it the
promissory note of liberty that was slowly being fulfilled. and also in his own life was a terrible slavemaster who kept an institution going and failed in his political life after a certain point to try to do anything about it. so that's all stipulated. what my view of how we should talk about it and think about it is that if we choose to dismiss from our consideration anyone who was flawed, then we are going to dismiss from consideration virtually anyone. and that my sense is we learn more from people when we look them in the eye instead of either looking up to them or looking down on them. and as arthur slayzinger used to say, self-righteousness in retrospect is easy, also cheap.
so for us to wag our finger at posterior, it's fine. we have to note it. but ultimately what's the moral utility of that? do we therefore take thomas jefferson and hold generations of people and just say, well, because of this horrible element of their lives, a central element, an inextricable element, do we just not talk about them? i don't think we should venerate by any means. these were men before they were monuments. and i learned a lot more from sinners than from saints. and so i think you have to take these guys all in all. and to pretend that they were perfect or to pretend that they were totally evil is not productive. >> michael, how do you as an african-american man grapple with that? i know you think thomas jefferson is a great man -- >> well, it's interesting, it's ironic, a lot of people don't know this, but the lieutenant governor's office in maryland
was the office of thomas jefferson for 18 months. he worked in the space now -- >> in annapolis. >> in annapolis. and i would sit there as the first african-american elected statewide in this grand office. and i'd think to myself, thomas jefferson is someplace going how did a brother wind up in my office? it's a context. and we have a tendency -- and i'd love to get your reaction to this, jon -- we have a tendency these days to reflect back modern attitudes and ideas and appreciations on a time that was very, very different. and not understanding in the context the complications of this man and the complications of his time. but to be able to write, you know, all men are created equal at the same time you're holding slaves and what that really means. >> right. and you'll appreciate this, too, as a politician. my argument in my book is that jefferson is quintessentially a political being. he is a man of ideas, yes, but
actually for 40 years, day in and day out, he was a working politician, putting together coalitions to solve problems in realtime. and on four or five occasions prior to 1784, he took a very progressive stand on slavery. and he lost publicly and decisively each time. and there are two things you know that politicians don't like, and that's losing publicly and decisively. and in 1784, he wrote a version of the northwest ordinance that would have prohibited slavery in the northwest territories. it lost by one vote. and he said eloquently, which is redundant for jefferson, and he said in that moment the voice of heaven itself was silent. and then he did something very uncharacteri uncharacteristic. he gave up. and he never marshalled those formidable political skills again because he believed -- he chose to believe -- let me put it that way -- he chose to believe it was an intractable political problem for his generation. >> sorry, go ahead, mike. >>ist just going to say, to use
your phrase, when you wag your finger at history, you'd best keep your eyes open and look at the whole landscape. >> and now, i mean, my sense -- my argument about this is that the moral utility of history is that we can look back. we learn from the sins and omissions of the past, but the use of that is to sharpen our own moral antenna for our own time. because if one generation's accepted practice, 40 years ago in my native region we weren't letting african-americans vol s for god's sake. it's not as if he was the only thing standing between abolition and slavery. >> people have known about this hypocrisy for a long time, right? >> yes. >> well, of course, sally hemmings knows how i wound up in that office and how african-americans made this country what it is today. that's part of the nash i narrative of the story of thomas jefferson, the journey of africans american in this country. it's complex, it's interwoven and makes america what it is
today. >> no one's defending jefferson on slavery at all. his hypocrisy is also the country's hypocrisy. and his tragedy was also a big part of the country's tragedy. and it took another 40 years after he died and 600,000 casualties to adjudicate this. >> it's a fascinating conversation. that piece was in "the new york times" on saturday. you can go online and check it out and see both sides of this. still ahead, nbc political director chuck todd and political columnist from "time" joe klein join the conversation. more "morning joe" in a moment. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve great rewards!
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ahead this morning on "morning joe," the united states of subsidies. "the new york times" launched a ten-month investigation on how cities and states attempt to lure in big business. we'll bring in the reporter of the lead story to find out what she learned. and up next, john heilemann. >> oh. >> he enters, i leave. also, nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. the latest on the behind-the-scenes negotiations for the fiscal cliff. we're back in a moment. having you ship my gifts couldn't be easier.
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♪ tonight we continue a tradition here at the white house by honoring some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together. we've got buddy guy sitting next to dustin hoffman. we've got dave letterman alongside one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. i don't think dave dances. i'll never forget buddy playing "sweet home chicago" in this very room back in february, and him and a few others forcing me to sing along, which was just okay. i worked with the speechwriters.
there's no smooth transition from ballet to led zeppelin. we're trying to work the "stairway to heaven" metaphor, and it didn't work. of course, these guys also redefined the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. we do not have video of this. but there was some hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around. so it's fitting that we're doing this in a room with windows that are about three inches thick. and secret service all around. so guys, let's just settle down. these paintings are valuable. >> president obama last night along with the first lady paying tribute to the recipients of this year's kennedy center hon honors awards. david hoffman, david letterman and led zeppelin were honored along with a few others.
welcome back to "morning joe." i'm mark barnicle. jon meacham is here, michael steele, leigh gallagher is here still with us. and joining the set now, unfortunately for some of us, is "national affairs" editor for "new york" magazine. look at the look on his face. john heilemann. and in washington, nbc news capitol hill correspondent, kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: good morning. >> good morning to all of you. i'm wondering, john, and i'd like kelly to jump in after you speak, if president obama's demeanor there, very charming, engaging, how winning is that demeanor, is it at all, in dealing with john boehner and the fiscal cliff? >> i think they're kind of past all that at this point, right? i mean, i don't think the demeanor's really going to help at this point. they've been through this -- they've done this dance before. most of the players who are involved in this negotiation are the same players that were involved in the negotiation that happened in the summer of 2011 over the debt ceiling. and so these guys know each other pretty well by now, and i think the president and john
boehner, even after all of that, still have a reasonable working relationship. but i think that the president's people have made a very clear calculation, they decided that they tried a way of negotiating in 2011 which was to be what they think of as reasonable. to come in and say, put your cards on the table. this is where we think a good deal will end up. $3 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases. here's a bunch of medicare cuts on sbilentitlement. show your hand. this is what the president's willing to do. meet me here in the middle. and the president got rebuffed. and their attitude now is we're not negotiating against ourselves anymore. we're not doing that. and you can like that approach or not, but there is history that suggests that the other approach, the approach of what people think of as the reasonable approach, get behind closed doors, let's do this in quiet rooms. it didn't work in 2011, and their lesson book is play hardball. lay down a bunch of relatively dramatic demands on the tax side
where the president has the upper hand, given the results of the election, and on the entitlement stuff, let republicans go first. you guys want entitlement cuts? bring it on. tell us what you want. >> kelly, whose degree of difficulty is higher? the president in dealing with the left of his party or speaker boehner in dealing with the tea party republicans in the house? >> reporter: i think at first blush, i think you'd have to say boehner because speaker boehner doesn't get the moment like the clip where he can appear to be sort of light and fun any and likeable. the speaker doesn't get some of those sort of socially public moments, certainly not in these intense days. and that might affect some of how the public perceives these characters as they negotiate. very tough for republicans, too, when you consider that if they have to give on revenue, and boehner has said that he thinks he began by being sort of magnanimous by saying yes, we'll put revenues, something very difficult for republicans to do, on the table. and for individual members, if it gets to the point where the
vote is a tax increase that includes a rate, each and every one of those republican members stands to have a severe problem with either donors, their voters, constituents and so forth. if they get a deal, there's much less credit that is shared by those who participate in it. so there is actual real personal pain for republicans if there is a tax increase. and you can make the same case for democrats if there's a real change to the entitlement age or some of those sort of cuts that make democrats very nervous. so i think for lawmakers, probably what makes it tough is that if it goes well, very few get the credit. if it is judged by their voters to be not such a great deal, there's a very personal price to pay. >> kelly, we talked -- this is michael steele -- we talked in our last hour about the timing of this. and mike allen and others were thinking an early -- or, you know, sort of late december, the 23rd, right before christmas time line for this. now the sentiment is this thing
gets right up to the fiscal cliff. we kind of hug cliff, if you will, not necessarily go over it. is that the sense in light of what you've just described, is that what you're hearing out there as well? that people are really kind of pushing this thing for the last 24 hours on new year's eve to get it done, and republicans are going to have to swallow hard one way or the other and just prefer to swallow hard later? >> reporter: there was certainly a shift where we heard a lot of that pre-christmas deal in the offing earlier in the week last week. and then there became sort of a rise in the pessimism and more members saying that they believe it is far more likely that they will go over the cliff. so we've all been trying to game this out, too. will we be here between christmas and new year's? will members be, you know, decorating their offices for 2013? we don't really have a sense yet of where the pressure point will be. i think it could swing back to a pre-christmas deal again when the pain from spouses who want
their husbands and wives to come home begins to get greater. and i think there will also be a reality that if there isn't a deal, how do they go home? and certainly key members who are in the room on this are the ones who are most likely to have to be around. but of course, there would have to be votes. so i think what we are seeing is in this moment, there's pessimism. could it swing back with a great deal of urgency to get it done before the holiday? i think that is also true. and during the holidays, if it's not done, many people's minds are with their families, with the holidays. there may not be as much overt political attention. certainly with the talking class, we'll be focused on it, but will there be as much pressure from the public? that's something that i think members are trying to deal with. can they take it to the 11th hour and call that december 22nd, or does it really have to be the 31st? so it's one of the most talked-about and most interesting things because there are a lot of people who want to make plane tickets and plans and there are big issues for everybody. >> kelly's got tickets to fiji
on hold. speaker boehner's got a tee time at hilton head. on the 28th that he's trying to figure out whether he's going to make that tee time. >> it's so perfect. everyone thinks history moves according to these grand forces. it's all about nonrefundable tickets. >> absolutely. >> and frustrated spouses. we hear a lot of that. >> the whole thing. john, how much leverage does the president have from actually having won re-election not so long ago? does it fade that quickly? to your mind, what -- in these negotiations, obviously there's the policy point, but is there any -- how much political energy does he have going into these things? >> well, i think he's got quite a lot in the sense that -- and we've said this a million times before, but it's still true -- he didn't really campaign on a lot of specific things for his agenda for the future. he did campaign on one thing over and over again. he says this. he's right. you know, he said he's campaigned on the notion of raising top rates for rich people or on income over $250,000 a year.
he was explicit about what he wanted to do. not only did he win re-election, but the exit polls show over 60% of the country in is favor of that. more are in favor of that than voted for him. he's got a pretty strong hand to play on that front. and i think what part of the reason that he's going out and doing these public events, again, goes back to 2011 where they felt like the mistake they made was the quiet room strategy. they didn't have public pressure to bear. and i think this is why when kelly talks about the timetable, the white house still internally is on the we want to get this done for christmas timetable. they might not be able to. but part of the reason they want to get it done before christmas is because they recognize that once people go off on vacation, the public level of pressure, as kelly indicated, will go down because people will take their eye off this ball. so the white house thinks that they have a lot of leverage until you get up to christmas day, and then you get into a weird world between boxing day and new year's eve where it's not really clear what goes on because then these guys are home alone, they're in washington left to their own devices, and
the country's not paying attention. the president wants the country to pay attention because he thinks the country is with him on taxes. >> leigh, can you conceive of any corporate entity in this country or any country in around the world behaving in terms of governance the way the united states congress may haves? behaves? >> that's a good question because business gets things done. that's what business does. we're wasting a lot of time and money here. we can ask alan mulally what he thinks. i'd be very curious to hear. you know, one question i have with all this, you know, remember in the days right after the election? there was all this talk, the end of the dysfunction, the only mandate here is to work together. it wasn't that long ago, but everyone was saying, it was the day after, what happened to that? was that just sort of -- >> they lied. >> -- tail between the legs kind of -- >> can i offer a literary answer? tom sawyer says -- tom sawyer says, we once had an evangelist come through town who was so good that huck finn stayed saved
until tuesday. you stay saved until tuesday. and i think the bipartisanship is like that. >> and the reality, two things that are true about the election. the president won a really convincing victory. and it's more convincing by the day. his margin gets bigger every day. people are starting to notice that there have only been five presidents in history who have won 51% or more of the vote on two consecutive elections. he's in pretty good company in terms of the historical precedent there. but at the same time, we do have still divided government. and the composition of the house didn't change that much. and the composition of the senate, you know, democrats picked up a couple seats, but the basic, you know, political matrix has not fundamentally shifted. and for a lot of those republicans who were against -- who played their version of hardball in the summer of 2011, their internal politics haven't changed that much. so those tea party freshmen who are now not freshmen anymore, but they ran the same way in '12 as they ran in '10, their attitude is i don't have a mandate to raise taxes. the president can claim that mandate, fine. in my district, i don't have that mandate, and i've still ran
on principle, and i'm going to stick to my guns. >> michael, off of that, when does the clock tick in john boehner's head and he says okay, look it, i've had it with this. i've got 75, 80 votes, whatever number of votes he has in his caucus that will go with him, and he says to the tea party republicans, fine. do what you want to do. i'm taking my 75 or 80 votes, and we're going over to this side to get this deal done because you are going to destroy our party. does that happen? >> i think he is with you up to the destroy-our-party part. i don't think he looks at it in such dramatic term, but i think he looks at it in terms of success for the next four years. the reality to jon's point about hose republicans i have a mandate because i got re-elected, that may or may not be the case in 2014 as we talked about some of these guys primaried. i think boehner's going to be less concerned about folks getting primaried today, more concerned about getting the deal done. i think he's ready to take those
70 or 80 votes he has now. >> how many do you think he has? >> i think probably a good 70 or 80. he'd like to have 100, maybe 120 to go in there, about half of the numbers that he's working with. but the fact of the matter is, he needs to have something -- some comfort going into the room with the president and saying, look, i've got this. but you're going to have to give me some cover. you have to give me some room. i think that initial play by the white house to john's point was pretty much saying the election's on our side. we got the numbers. we're going to play the short game. not the long-ball game but the short game to december 23rd, 24th. >> kelly, what happens if it goes to a vote on the 23rd, 24th or the 31st and it goes down? what happens? >> reporter: well, there would probably be much greater urgency to take the vote again and to count. and one of the things that boehner has told some of those more conservative tea party republicans whether they were freshmen or more senior members is if they don't go along, then you need more democrats to get
the deal done. and to attract more democrats, you get less of what those tea party republicans would want. he's tried to show them over the examples of some of the previous votes, debt ceiling being one example, that if you push too hard, you won't get what you're really asking for, especially when they need democrats to come along. so boehner is trying to use those examples of some of the tough votes of the last couple of years as a way to say let's get there faster. there will be plenty of conservative republicans who can't vote for it. i hear, as john mentioned, so many saying hey, there are 110 million people represented by republicans from states around the country and that that is a sizeable group that they have to answer to. i also hear smaller pieces of the debate coming out, things like democrats in some of the states where farms and ranches are so predominant, concerned about the change to the estate tax. that going back up again for businesses that have a lot of assets but are cash poor. so sometimes you'll get into details that we might not be talking about as much that are really critical in the overall
sort of patchwork of a deal. so if it goes down, there will be a flurry to recount. no one should envy the whips in either side of the chamber because they've got to do all of the arm-twisting and i would not be surprised if boehner didn't have office hours to meet with some of the maybe more recalcitrant members. and we'll see where it goes. but people have seen this movie before. and i think boehner, in particular, is saying he waubnta long-term deal. if it's a legacy for boehner, it's trying to get this done. >> you know, kelly mentioned the whips pulling votes together. but one of the still photos we showed there, eric cantor standing right behind the speaker. where is he on this? >> well, you know, he is showing -- i mean, i've been a little surprised. i think a lot of people have. he came on this program and indicated that he didn't care much about grover norquist and that he was open to the notion of moving on revenues. in that same interview, though, when we started asking what
revenues, he basically rejected every single offer. i don't think that -- what i don't see right now, and kelly probably knows more about this than i do, what you don't see at this moment is the kind of internacing -- the power struggle going on between boehner a year ago. that seems to have receded somewhat. and that, i think, is one of the effects of the election is that you have cantor, you know, a little more boehner's lieutenant now rather than undermining him at every turn. what's fascinating is boehner is in exactly the same position that obama was in the lame-duck session in 2010. where a lot of the left was like when they were talking about extending the bush tax cuts. a lot of the left was saying -- even some centrist democrats were mad at the president because he was going to make that compromised deal. they were saying republicans won the election. and if we don't do this deal now, we're going to get a worse deal in january or february. that's the reality. we don't like this deal, but it will be worse for us two months from now. do you guys see that? there's no end game that's better for you, left.
and in the end, the left, with the help of clinton convincing making that case, too, the democratic left backed down. president obama made that deal. boehner is going to be making a similar argument internally in his caucus now, which is just the reality of i get what you ran on, and i get that your politics are anti-tax, but if we don't make this deal today, it's going to be worse in january or february from your point of view. we're going to get a worse deal in january or february than we're going to get right now. so, you know, swallow hard. take the hit. and let's move on. >> real quick, who's the republican bill clinton in this case? >> who could argument? i don't know. who is that? maybe michael steele. >> you see where that got me. >> is there a senior statesman in the republican party who could go to the republican right and bring them over? is there one? >> reporter: tom coburn. >> kelly, go ahead. yeah. >> reporter: i would say tom coburn of oklahoma who has a lot of credibility on these conservative issues. bob corker of tennessee is a voice who has been trying to make a bigger imprint. and one of the things to factor into the unity you're seeing
with the republican leadership which does feel different this time around is while boehner has been selected by his fellow republicans to be the leader of their conference as speaker, he must be elected in the new congress in january. so he's got something on the line here, too. there's a lot of confidence about the future of his speakership, but it isn't official yet. and so he's got to play this very carefully from just the perspective of holding on to the gavel. >> kelly o'donnell, thanks very much for joining us. on wednesday, senator tom coburn will be with us right here on "morning joe." >> reporter: great segue. >> thank you very much. you didn't know you were doing that on purpose. >> she's always teasing. the president and ceo of ford motor, alan mulally, joins us on set with an exclusive announcement on what's next for one of the company's most memorable brands. coming up next, nbc news political director, chuck todd, is trying to get bcs tickets as we speak. and "time" magazine political columnist joe klein. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
i want to thank the president and tim geithner for reuniting and reenergizing the republican caucus because that offer, they must think john boehner is santa claus because that's a christmas wish list. we're going to have a discussion. i don't think we need to put a formal proposal on the table. the speaker's already said revenue is on the table. he has an idea how to get there in terms of not raising rates but finding it in other ways through tax code reform. i think that makes sense and that's a doable thing. beyond that, we'll wait and see how the negotiations go. >> joining us now from washington, nbc news chief white house correspondent and political director and host of "the daily rundown," chuck todd. and here on set with us in new york, political columnist for "time" magazine, my old pal, joe klein. >> i've rarely seen you this formal. >> with a tie? yeah, i know.
>> so what is this? >> the shirt's untucked still. you look down there, the shirt's still untucked. he's not even wearing pants. >> this is true. hey, chuck, joe klein just raised an interesting issue. when are we going to start seeing some appointments? >> i would assume this week. i thought it would be as early as today. i've been assured it isn't going to be today. there are those inside the white house that don't want to have a clogged up confirmation process. and so start -- there was a goal of spacing these out now. the politics behind secretary of state have gotten a little bit -- a little bit, shall we say, contentious. and it is obviously made the president a little hesitant in some form or another. you know, because if he doesn't go with rice, he doesn't want to somehow send the message that he was afraid to fight for her. on the other hand, he's in the middle of one political battle right now. does he want to open up a second
political war, a second front? and i think that that is wearing on him a little bit. throw in the fact that he likes both choices that he has in john kerry and susan rice. and i do think he's got a little bit of a dilemma, but i know there are those close to the president that are telling him, enough of this. both rice and kerry are sort of hanging in the wind, particularly rice. fish or cut bait and do it soon. i've got to think we're going to see it in the next 48 to 72 hours. >> chuck, we are talking about the fiscal cliff here and basically, i mean, i know next to nothing about the fiscal cliff or the negotiations that are going on. is your sense that there's more going on behind the scenes than what we talk about or what's in the papers? >> you know, i love -- no. there's not. i mean -- >> you mean we're right? >> no, it's one of those -- it's amazing. i think we all assume oh, there's got to be real stuff going on. this is just -- and maybe this is an elaborate ploy, right,
that the president and boehner said okay, we're going to do all this and then magically we'll bring it all together as everybody feels everything's going to heck in a handbasket. but no, there's not a lot going on sort of behind the scenes. there isn't a backroom -- yes, rob neighbors who's the chief congressional liaison for the white house, he checks in daily with boehner's and mcconnell's office, but there's not real negotiations going on like we saw in the last ten days. but i also am a little bit of -- i think everybody should just go to -- you know, go to sleep, wake up on december 14th when there's about a week to go, and then you'll start seeing the serious stuff come up. then you'll start seeing the serious proposals. i continue to believe that's the path we're on, but i have to say, you know, republicans were taken aback -- they were surprised that democrats -- that the white house woke up and realized how good their hand
was. and they were surprised the white house was going to play their hand as if they were in charge of the table. >> i like your idea of going to sleep. >> go to sleep. let's wake up on december 14th. >> you know, meacham has been here all morning, and he'll be back in a couple minutes, but joe klein has raised the issue of abe lincoln and the fiscal cliff in "time" magazine this week. and here is joe on lincoln. what would lincoln do about the fiscal cliff? the answer seems obvious. he would narrow the debate where necessary -- on the revenue side -- while expanding it to make more creative, long-term judgments about spending. he'd set a revenue figure with the actual menu of rate increases and loop hope closings subject to the convenience of the pols. on the spending side, he'd probably have to look at health care in a new way. you need a master politician to cut a deal where both sides get what they want. democrats get truly universal coverage. republicans, reduced costs. and the public gets better service. thanks to spielberg, we're now reminded that a master politician always needs some grease to get the wheels
turning. so be it. as lincoln himself almost said, we should have a new birth of politics. who is the master politician here? >> it's got to be obama. but in the end, you know, the most important word in all that you just read is "grease," really. i mean, you know, last week here, i made a heartfelt plea in favor of earmarks. and i think that that's how you get big deals done. you know, there are going to be politicians who are going to have to be bought the way abraham lincoln bought politicians with jobs when he got the 13th amendment passed. you know, and certainly for a long-term deal. having said that, let me also say, i'm not so sure we're going to get a long-term deal here. we may just go off the cliff and vote for some tax reductions right after january 1st. no one knows. >> joe, you're going to like this. i threw the lincoln analogy at a close aide to the president last week, and he said, you know,
with this republican -- with the way politics of washington are today, there would still be slavery. that lincoln wouldn't have been able to navigate the polarization between the media, between -- it was an interesting and depressing observation from this very smart white house aide. >> but, you know, there's another interesting word, "the media," or two words. you know, we have been overly puritanical when it comes to the way we cover politics. he's giving a cornhusker kickback to get obamacare passed? something like $100 million in medicaid funds. lincoln would have done that in a heartbeat. i mean, this is the way politics works. politics involves human beings. sometimes to get the high-minded thing done, you have to take the low-minded path. and too infrequently do we -- i mean, barnicle and i appreciate -- barnicle and i recovered boston city council
back in the 1970s. >> i can't tell about. >> a guy like tip o'neill, we don't appreciate political genius which involves giving, you know, giving, you know, breaks to get the greater good. >> let me go back to the question of appointments because that also involves human beings and it's very interesting. i'll ask chuck this question. chuck, you talked about the fact that the president seems to be hesitating more on susan rice. he's been given some pause by the political storm kind of brewing around her. do you think that right now, if he decided to double down and go with her, what would the confirmation politics of that look like? for a while when it was just three senators who seemed dead set against her, it looked like, you know, he could just roll those people, and it wouldn't be a problem. when susan collins spoke up against rice last week, it seemed like the equation changed. so game that out for me if he decides to go with her. >> and bob corker, too. these are people that are normally not ones that are usually will play games with
confirmation politics. you know, you could just sort of see how this would go, right? first of all, it would fall on the foreign relations committee and john kerry to get it through committee. it would probably get through on a party line vote. obviously, then they'd have to go and find five senators. i don't know if there would be a -- i think you would get senators that would agree not in a filibuster, but then not vote for her. so i do think the confirmation itself and the politics of that, while not extraordinarily easy, is it going to be a heavy, heavy lift, but it just is added to the pain and maybe they delay the confirmation process till after the holidays so that we don't even start it now. and maybe that break will help when there's a new senate and all of that. but look, i think you're going to see a lot of party-linas spekt party-line aspects to this.
>> there's another way to go about this. i'm flying by the seat of my pants here, but there's a way to get both john kerry and susan rice into this cabinet. you give john kerry state, you know, he's done a great job negotiating in places like afghanistan and pakistan. but you give susan rice homeland security, and you move janet napolitano, who is a former federal prosecutor, to attorney general. >> you'd have to have the attorney general leave, though. >> that's right. well, the attorney general damn well should leave because he's done a crummy job. >> well, there you go. well, all right. >> however, he hasn't indicated that he's ready to leave yet. that's a little bit of a problem. >> i couldn't have said it better myself. >> let me ask this under the table, michael steele and leigh. what would be wrong at this point in time, given the way things have gone in terms of negotiations at every level in washington between the administration and the republican side and the house and the senate, what would be wrong about putting susan rice up for secretary of state,
putting john kerry up for defense? that's an easy nomination to make. you know, raising -- >> boy, would that be a bad idea. >> -- raising the contention level. they don't like susan rice. they don't like our tax proposals. they don't like our budget compromises. they're against everything. >> well, politically, it would be a tough pill for the gop. i mean, they'd be slammed on a number of fronts, you know. you've got the optics of the party going against a susan rice and all that the crazy, you know, conversation around her has led to. you'd have, then, the serious conversation on the budget and again the party of no mantra would begin to surface or resurface. so i think as a political play, yeah. the president could go all in and put all of that on the table. but i think the seignanesaner h would prevail. they don't want to complicate this too much. they don't want to make it much more difficult for them to get the bargain on both fronts. they would like to have their rice and their cake.
and the fact -- the fact of the matter is that the president is going to find a way to do that. i think he will play the rice card but just not now. and i think he'll get his deal on tax revenues but just not now. >> but that would be -- i mean, that would be asserting himself. that would be second-term presidencies are about building your legacy. and he's already come out of the gate, you know, a lot stronger. but i mean, getting back to the whole horse trading, i loved your column, joe. when you say we in the media need to celebrate these kind of acts of genius where we can find them, is there anything recently that you can point to that we could be, you know, kind of encouraging and celebrating? >> not recently, no. no. i mean, i think that that's the thing that we're really missing now. but let me just say, john kerry, defense, bad idea. who you need in defense is someone who knows his or her way around the defense budget because there's going to be pain there. they're going to have to cut things. john kerry isn't that guy.
he'd make a great secretary of state. the great thing about having panetta there is that he's an old budget guy. >> hey, i don't think panetta's leaving -- by the way, panetta's not in a hurry to leave. >> right. >> you know, he's not going to stay four years. i wouldn't be surprised if he stays almost all of the 2013 calendar year. >> here's the biggest difference between leon panetta and myself, i am very anxious to leave. >> i know you are. >> you're always anxious to leave. to take a nap. >> by the way, i have to root for alabama. this is like the hardest 40 whatever we're going to have, 35 days. to end up rooting for alabama. >> that was one of the greatest college games of all time. >> it was a fantastic game. >> and i have a real hook in for bcs tickets, chuck, if you want to talk to me later. >> i don't want to witness that game. i really -- for fear that that team from south bend might win. i don't want to witness that. >> oh. >> i saw once -- i saw them win
a national title once. >> where is the hate coming from here? >> come on. >> he's an anti-catholic. >> no, he's not. >> he is. >> go to one miami/notre dame dame and you'd feel it, back in the '80s. >> chuck todd hates the irish, terrible. we're going to see i later on "the rundown." joe klein, thank you for all of your endorsements. coming up next, the cost of by business. a front-page "new york times" investigation began yesterday and today exposes tax incentives and tax rewards some cities and states are shelling out to draw big companies to their communities, but at what expense for taxpayers? we're going to talk to "new york tim times'" louise story ahead on "morning joe."
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good monday morning, everyone. you can see the low clouds over manhattan, fog a big story as we go throughout this monday morning. and the temperatures across the country, incredibly warm. the other big story on the west coast, that's where we had some devastation from flooding this weekend. about three or four storms. one after another dumped a lot
of heavy rain in northern california. a lot of power outages, too. they'll be recovering today with some dry weather in that region. then they get another storm coming in for tomorrow morning. let's talk about this fog because it's going to cause problems at the airports. getting out the door and on the roads. we're talking cleveland, detroit, chicago, milwaukee. this is the visibility. all those areas are a half mile or less, down to about a quarter mile. o'hare airport, i think we'll have problems once we really start going throughout your morning. it won't burn off probably till 10:00 or 11:00 this morning when things will recover. as far as the rest of the country goes, because it's so warm from the rockies all the way to the east coast, we've got foggy issues down along the gulf, mississippi, georgia and even the carolinas. give yourself a little extra time heading out the door. if i showed you this temperature map, you would think it was from maybe june. i mean, it's mid-60s at this hour in the morning all the way up almost to chicago. we could set the all-time hottest temperature ever today in st. louis. you're going to be in the upper 70s.
people had their air conditioners on this weekend. this is ridiculous. look at washington, d.c., up to 68 degrees today. and it's going to stay warm, it looks like, on the east coast for one more day. and then wednesday, things will cool off. so an incredible start to december. no signs of any snowstorms whatsoever across the country as we go throughout this next week. we'll have to see what happens as we approach christmas with a white christmas. coming up next here on "morning joe," of course, actor/director, the great ed burns. stay tuned. ♪
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incentives. in a ten-month-long investigation, "the new york times" found that cities, counties and states are giving out more than $80 billion worth of incentives annually to companies, all for the promise of new jobs. but some are now asking if the payoff is really worth it. here with us now is investigative reporter for "the new york times," louise story. and before we begin the interrogation of you about this piece, i would just say that for anyone out there who is worried or agonizing over the future of newspapers and their role in our culture, this particular series, along with many other series in many other papers, you have reason for hope. this is what newspapers are all about. so it's really shocking when you begin the series. yesterday was the first installment. today, obviously the second. to look at what states are expending, tax revenues, potential tax revenues, companies take them into a state to build a factory or a plant that often don't work. >> well, it was amazing, you
know, earlier this year i started this in february. and i was talking with my editors. everyone knows about that deal in their town or in their state, but they're usually only covered locally. and so we said, well, what does this add up to? and i looked at data all over the federal government like with the census where they do collect information on local budgets, but they do not collect information on these incentives. so there really weren't, you know, government, federal figures that you could look at a national picture. and so i started calling around, going to all these different agencies' websites. and what was so interesting is that a lot of governments did know for different programs, and i recorded their figures, but also a lot of governments had no idea what certain programs are costing them and aren't even trying to find out. >> it's an incredible story, louise. how long did you work on it? >> i started in february. >> so all year, basically. >> yeah, a while. it was a lot of data digging. >> i can imagine. there's a great line in there
about the twitter employee who tweets that he's sitting on the roof, and he says something like oh, is this real? i'm sitting on the roof. someone's searching me smoothie shots. is this real life? >> san francisco twitter was thinking about leaving. so san francisco gave them this deal that might be worth up to $22 million. and so they stayed. and they built this new building, and they moved in on the rooftop. san francisco has been having its park budget cut. so san francisco citizens are seeing their parks get worse. and so here was a twitter employee in the park on their rooftop saying i'm drinking smoothie shots. is this real life? >> can i ask you, have you -- has this gotten worse in the past couple years? because one of the things we've seen, of course, in the economy is companies are trying to extract every drop of revenue from any kind of nonsales-driven source they can because sales demand isn't there anymore. that's why they're extracting from profits, cost conducting, productivity. has this been enhanced in the past two, three years as
companies increasingly look for other ways to, you know, goose their balance sheets? >> there certainly is sort of a desperation when you talk to -- i talked to all kinds of mayors and economic development officials and governors for jobs. and they say, we need jobs. and that makes, you know, when they're the negotiating power table, they don't have the power the companies have because they want these jobs. is it more than a few years ago? because there is not national data collection, i cannot definitively tell you what it was five years ago. what i can tell you, because i talked to people who have been in this space, watched this going back to the early '80s is that this is more commonplace. this is more widespread. this is expected in business today, and it was not to this degree back in the 1980s. we've had a transformation. this is the way of doing business now for every company. >> louise, one of the things that's fascinating, because we have a federal system, we have 50 states. and the states can compete against each other for jobs. and that's what's happened. it's been going on, as you say, for a long time. it's intensifying now.
i'm looking at "the times." i always like to see governor perry back on the front page for any reasons. governor perry ran very much on the texas jobs story. and people pointed out at the time that texas had produced a lot of jobs, but they were low-wage jobs and that there was at the same time public services in texas. so talk about the texas story and to what extent there's a link between states that give out a lot of handouts to businesses having then to be forced to cut public services to pay for those handouts to businesses. >> i took a very close look at texas in today's paper. and texas has had job growth. in fact, half of all private sector job creation in the last ten years is in texas. but here's the question. is that job creation really net new jobs, you know, or are some of those jobs that were essentially stolen from other states? governor perry makes no bones. he travels to california, new york, all these places and says
bring those jobs to texas. i looked at the quality of jobs there. for instance, i looked at amazon.com which has distribution facilities. they had one in texas. they're bringing more into texas now. and i talked to a bunch of workers in these facilities. and they describe these as really rough jobs. and in fact, the workers were surprised to learn that their jobs had been subsidized. and they said, well, look, if we're getting these incentives, hire a few more people so the quotas aren't so intense and these warehouse distribution jobs, you have to haul this thing, haul that thing, scurry around, and you don't meet your quota in many cases, you lose your job and they're very intensive. there are a lot of questions. of course these incentives do -- are tied to some jobs. there are jobs. but are these good jobs? are we paying too much for them? there's no way to know until you start bringing the costs together. >> that question about whether creating jobs or whether you're shifting jobs from state to state is really relevant.
>> as a former state official who dealt with these issues, bob erlich and i had to come in and try to create incentives within our economy, the $2 million deficit. you find completive ways to keep businesses that you have, but expand that base. so this idea these incentives were somehow bad for the economy or bad for the local market, to me, just don't add up necessarily because every state is different. you do compete -- we compete with virginia and delaware and pennsylvania and west virginia in our region. we want the jobs that we can get for our technical and other infrastructure with the state. how does all of that work out in the wash ultimately? who is the bad guy here? is it the governor goes out and gives the incentives with the legislature or is it the employer who keeps -- takes those incentives and want to stay in the state or come to the state? >> this not really about who is
the bad guy but do we have a system that works? there is no national thinking. zero today on what are we spending on all this? is it coordinated? why, for instance, in kansas do you have kansas and missouri outbidding each other to have companies literally move five miles, create no new jobs and we all were talking earlier about the federal budget discussion, the states get more than 20% of their budgets from the federal government. we do not have tons of extra money in this country. so it's the time to look at you've got to compete globally, do all these state programs. >> we should point out that if you go to nytimes.com you can take a look at what your state is doing interactively on the website. it's really instructive to take a look at it. i was looking at the listing in massachusetts and new york last night. >> it's fascinating. >> of dole projects. >> do you want to figure out a good reason to get angry today, lack at that chart. >> i have a good reason to get angry with you sitting next to
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republicans continued to hold the majority in the house. but the president's idea of a negotiation is roll over and do what i ask. we need to find common ground, and we need to find it quickly. >> good morning. it's 8:00 here on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. as you wake up out west. that's a live look at snok. back with us on set, mike barnicle, number one best-selling author jon meacham, leigh gallagher and michael steele. so much to talk about but we do have to begin with the ties, if we could. mike is getting all the focus here this morning and that is inexcusable. >> could i just say, in the words of speaker john boehner, we need to find common ground here. we need to do it quick. >> there ain't going to be any between these two ties. over here, good news, jon meacham will be number one on "the new york times" bestseller list this weekend. the bad news is he's going to get there wearing that tie with rabbits on it. here they are. can we get a text poll.
>> can i just tell you i got this from harold pord? >> that explains a lot. >> it does. >> that means it's tree both ends. >> a disgrace to michael steele who dresses so well every day. >> i just show up and play. >> you do a good job of that. steele is going for it, the pocket square. the book going gangbusters. >> thank you, thank you. it's been fun. been out talking to folks and everybody has been really nice. >> why are people so thrilled? i'm not saying this to give you crap. >> i can tell. >> why are people still so thrilled by thomas jefferson? >> he's the one found er people can imagine talking to. and i think that's due to his versatility. you go to monticello, you feel like you're in conversation with him. he's a very vivid figure. it's hard to imagine having a drink with george washington. barnicle did. and he can tell you -- >> he was a good guy. >> and john adams -- barnicle wrote a couple columns about him
back in the day. >> and his son. his son was in daycare. but i think it's his renaissance question and, also, brings out the best and the worst in us. if we're being honest with ourselves, we've our hypocrisies and contradictions and someone is still worth paying attention to i think resonates. >> we have big news this morning, four weeks from today is new year's eve. a trigger of massive tax hikes. behind-the-scenes negotiations at a stalemate. so both sides with the public yesterday on the sunday morning shows to make their cases. tim geithner predicted republicans would come around to accept a tax increase on the highest earners. >> you think we'll get a deal by the end of the year? >> i do. the only thing standing in the way of that would be refausal by
republicans to accept that rates are going to have to go up on the wealthiest americans and i don't really see thaem doing that. >> the republicans say, sorry, no way are we going to raise rates on the wealthy, you are willing to go off the cliff? >> if the republicans are not willing to let rates go back up, back to the clinton levels, at a time the american economy was doing exceptionally well, there will not be an agreement. >> john boehner is digging in himself admitting talks are going nowhere. speaker boehner described the moment when secretary geithner first showed him the president's opening offer. >> i was just flabbergasted. i looked at him and said you can't be serious. i've just never seen anything like it. we have seven weeks between election day and the end of the year. and three of those weeks have been wasted with this nonsense. >> well, right now i would say we're nowhere, period.
we're no are where. we've put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved. but the white house has responded with virtually nothing. they've actually asked for more revenue than they've been asking for the whole entire time. >> are what are the chances we're going to go off of the cliff? >> there's clearly a chance. >> lindsey graham said the same thing yesterday, we are going to go over the cliff. how much of this -- i think everybody at this table has worked a few deals in his or her life. how much of this is posturing for the negotiation? how much is a real chance that we're going to go over the cliff? is. >> about 80% is posturing. i think a lot of it is let's see how big yours is comparison to mine, in terms of their plans. >> that was nice. in terms of their plans. >> the reality of it is, they're going to wait until the last minute, the last possible moment, as they always do. it's the washington way.
there's a lot of dancing around the edges, a lot of noise and saber rattling. the president put out a plan, his initial salvo was a smack in the face, a reality check. it was a reminder to the republicans, hey, i won the election. and here is how to deal with this. boehner to his credit came back and said this is ridiculous. this is not the way we're going to negotiate and you have others like grover and certainly lindsey graham and other members out there who have been very strong at first saying, no, we're not going over the cliff. this is crazy. okay, you want to go over the cliff? go over the cliff. republicans should be careful here. if you fall into that trap and take that bait and the president calls your bluff on it, then all of a sudden this comes to your lap not the president. geithner and others are setting this argument up nicely. we put this wonderful plan out here. everybody in the country, the polls say, the top 2% should get their rates up and if it doesn't happen, it's on you.
so the messaging is critical in this period where they're all doing the dance. >> and we've been to this movie before. >> we have. >> in 1995. >> what happens on january 2 we go over the cliff? are we suddenly out of $500 a week? >> it's gradual. the actual impact will be gradual but we're already starting to see, you know, financial impact just by pushing it to the end here which we will do. i do think we'll push it right to the end. companies are selling shares and stakes in, let's say, private companies now even though they think they might get a better price next year because they want to get the deal done now because they don't know. deals are being done at lower prices where people are taking hits. this is not the main event but this is happening on the sidelines and we haven't even begun to get to the tail end of discussions. >> there's a lot of if there's any money due you next year in life, you know, you want it now. >> you have to take a hit. >> there's a flow of capital to
the sidelines again. >> and the argument, michael, from republicans, is they are saying we are, in fact, open to raising taxeses on the highest earners, but that's in the form of closing loopholes and capital gains. we just won't touch the marginal rate. >> absolutely that goes back to the argument that was positive over a year ago. so this is not a new position for republicans. we have said before that, you know, we can get there by closing the loopholes and things like that, but it goes to the point that i made last week on the show and that is the republicans have been in this room before. they've been in this space where they've negotiated on tax rates, increases on spending cuts and, as i've said before and as everyone knows in town, you get the tax rate increase now, the spending cuts never happen because future congresses unless the deal includes cuts now, it's going to be very hard for republicans to swallow because of what happens in two years, certainly with tea party republicans who were sent to congress to hold the line on
spending. it was not to go in to raise taxes at all. that was not part of the bargain in 2010. it was not part of the re-up in 2012. so boehner has a little bit of a box to deal with. partly presented by the president. partly present ed by his own base. i say let boehner be boehner. let him negotiate the best possible way out of the box which is what i think you're seeing happen now. >> you mentioned grover norquist. he's making a new prediction, by the way. let's listen. >> i understand how ugly the next four years are going to get. the 90% of his trillion dollar tax increase was pushed over until after he got himself safely re-elected. all those regulations you are now hearing about, those all hit after the election. we have four bad years of regulation taxes. he wants to add higher taxes to that. tea party 2 will dwarf tea party 1 if obama pushes us off the cliff. >> so basically what grover nor 0 quist is saying there to the
members of the tea party who were elected, have been elected, we'll take everybody who is against us into a primary on the right on the republican side. >> right. >> and so the threat has been issued already. >> that was the point. >> this is like political terrorism. >> well, it's certainly a clear bargaining position. i remember talking to a longtime member of the house running for the senate we were talking about something else, and i said is it worse than when you came in, which was in the late '80s? and he said the central difference is in the caucus, the republican kcaucus. the fear is not a democratic challenge, it's a primary challenge. it's the first time i heard the verb to be primaried. you can ask senator lugar about this. it's real.
it's becoming increasingly difficult to cast one or two compromise votes even early on because of this he cecho chambe that kicks in and, to me, what's so scary about it is the president's second term clock moves faster than everyone else's clock in the system. everyone else in the system has an election and obama doesn't. so as his capital goes down and his vision gets wider, historically everyone else is getting narrower to that -- it not even to election day in '14 but to primary day. >> with all that said, lee, you look at the deal, as michael said, the president came out big. not only does he want taxes to go up on the wealthy but stimulus spending, the power to raise the debt ceiling. where is the middle ground? who blinks on these questions of taxes? >> everyone is doubling down and waiting for the other side to blink first.
that's why we'll push this. this could be all choreographed. we don't know what's happening with the side conversations. both sides will probably give. everyone knows that will be the case. the president has a lot of leverage. he, of course, doesn't have absolute leverage but has more than he had. learned a lesson in 2001. he's coming out of the gate with strong rhetoric. >> michael? >> if you took grover out of the equation and lowered the flame, how long do you think it would take john boehner and president obama to work out a deal? 24 hours. boehner has a deal in his head he wants. he's trying to figure out how to get that deal not just in the room but then out of the room with his caucus and that's just the reality of it.
you've got, again, republicans feel burned on this. republicans also feel engaged on it simply because that's what they ran on and that's been a big part of the argument, the fiscal argument for republicans for the last two or three years has been controlling the spending, the size and growth of government. controlling the ability of the government to confiscate more of your wealth, to trust more on the middle class and the working class, small business owners. and that's really kind of the link. and that argument you talk about being primaried that's the central argument that will be hitting them upside the head in two years. we sent you to control spending, get you increased taxes. it's not increasing taxes on the wealthy. you have all this winter noise. boehner has to give them cover but cut the deal, to your point, leigh, about how do you begin to
pull it from the big plan to the smaller plan. that's what the white house and boehner quietly are talking abo about. >> what we don't want, also, a downpayment deal that is a mix -- a two-part deal that delays everything. >> i think you're going to get some of that. i think you'll get the big deal for the middle class, okay 0, we'll take that off the table because that's what we agree on. why not give the president what we all agree on? we know we're not going to raise taxes on the middle class. let's let the bush tax cuts stay in place and then it becomes a little bit more of an interesting conversation when you are only dealing with a smaller percentage of the plan as opposed to the big piece now. >> how does john boehner save face? you talk about he has to take a deal out of the room? how does he get a deal in which taxes are raised on the wealthy? he may get something on the other side. you gave when taxes went up. >> where you see it and are beginning to see the pieces fall into place, where you have voic
voices, if you will, within the caucus, and not just in the house caucus but in the senate caucus as well. backing this idea here is our option, the cliff or the plan. and i think when you have graham and others say, you know, the cliff becomes a real reality for us, people don't want to go there. they don't want to take that risk. there may be an opportunity. you just have to have enough to cobble together with nancy pelosi's number to get the plan through the house. a little like lucy on the spending cuts. we saw how well that worked out. everyone loves simpson bowles except anyone elect ed to offic. isn't it plausible the shape of the deal we do what obama ran on
on the tax cuts, on the tax increases and we're going to study the future spending cuts? isn't that the face-saving way out? >> it's tax reform, part of that conversation in the background. but i think simpson-bowles is more of a way out for the gop than some folks may think. i think generally the public, conservatives included, like the ideas that are enunciated in the plan. i think certainly more conservative members in the house and the senate have spoken favorably of it. it gives you a framework to begin the conversation and i was surprised that neither the president nor mitt romney actually took that as sort of a bull whip to kind of shape the argument. >> talking like that, that's why you referred to as former republican connection. >> there's a funny kind of -- there's an interesting, you know, i don't know, third
option. i don't think it will come to this but there's sort of, you know, let's say we go over the cliff. the republicans do not -- they hold firm. we go over the cliff, then we'll no doubt reinstate the tack cuts of the middle class so then they could have political cover for actually taking credit for the tax cuts even though of course we don't want it to come to that. that would destroy the markets, i think. when we come back ford motor ceo and president alan mulally joins us on set, actor, fi filmmaker ed burns will be here with a new look about the challenges of family during the holidays. we'll talk to him about drawing on personal experience to make that movie. first, bill karins has a look at the forecast. hey, bill. good morning to you, willie. unbelievable that it's december and it doesn't feel anything like it anywhere around our nation. fog is the issue this morning. so warm 0 out there. you would expect foggy. it'll be with us for the next couple of days until we return back to normal. thankfully the airports are doing all right. chicago, 30-minute delays. that's about it.
visibility still low, though, around detroit, could have airport delays there. cleveland, too. milwaukee, a quarter of a mile. anywhere near the great lakes seems to be the worst of it. the fog will lift as the sun goes down and goes to work. look how ridiculously warm it is. we're in the 60s to start your morning in december. that should be the morning temperature in june. the southeast is still unusually warm and all the warm air is heading to the eastern seaboard. look at this today. d.c. near 70. could have one of the all-time warmest days in st. louis history for the month of december at 76. dallas, 82. i mean, crazy. as we continue into tuesday, you'll notice that we stay very warm on the eastern seaboard. we start to return to normal there he especially in the nortn plains. and then finally this is what i like to call my arctic blast map. anything north and colored is where all the cold air is, all locked up into canada. as we go throughout the next week, a little piece comes down to new england and then retreats. there's still no sign of cold air coming down from the north. a weak frek from now, can you ge
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classic brands and i told you this off camera. growing up, i mean, if you drove a lincoln in the town that i grew up in, man, that is what you aspird to. >> please, share some more. >> today the lincoln brand has never died, i don't think, in people's minds. it's still out there. but it has a 21st century update. tell us about it. >> that's why we're here today. it's exciting. we're launching the first of our vehicles for the invention of the lyincoln van called the mkz. we'll launch at the lincoln center and it captures everything about that history of innovation and elegant design. and i think you see a picture of it here. and the response we're getting is fantastic. we have jim here who leads lincoln worldwide and clearly knows the premium brand business. >> what's in this car that will make you want to drive it or buy it? >> we are so excited. the hybrid is something worth talking about.
45 miles per gallon, the most fuel efficient luxury sedan in america. the whole roof retracts. we have bush button transmission. >> the whole roof retracts? >> yes. it's the largest open roof. but probably the biggest deal is it's a lincoln. it's beautiful to look at, elegant, understated, and that's what has made lincoln all these years. >> looking at the mkz right now, but ford, through the years, you've owned volvo, you've owned range rover. was it at some psychic expense to lincoln, a luxury brand? >> this was a really important participate of our plan. remember six years ago ford really had a house of brands. aston martin and jaguar, landover and volvo as you mentioned. at the time we made a decision we were going to absolutely focus on the ford brand and on the lincoln so we divested all of those.
now everybody associated with ford and lyincoln worldwide kno what we're here for every day to make the very best ford family and the best premium family. >> jim, how important was the hybrid element in pitching this to the new generation? >> it's a great question. fuel efficiency is number one. it's moved up quickly. we've had a hybrid mkz but this brand na product goes on sale later this month. it was so important to lead the industry. for lincoln to be known, to be the innovator, we have to lead. >> the number one reason people buy cars is fuel efficiency? mine is cup holders. >> well, that's important, too. >> please ignore mr. barnicle.
>> that's pretty stunning considering where we were in 2009. it's not -- so two questions. where is the auto industry now? what does that say, and do you think we'll get back to the 16 million, 17 million we were before? >> clear willy it's still a robust industry as you pointed out. even though the growth rate is slower than you have had from previous recessions, we also recovered. what's really amazing is that the average age of vehicles in the united states is nearly 11 years old. so when you look at the fuel efficiency and the reliability, you can make a decision to economically obsolete that older vehicle by purchasing a new one. so all throughout the recession we invest and now we're here as the recovery continues. >> what's your biggest x competitor for the new lincoln? is it the lexus, the bmw? >> i think it will be that and mercedes, all of the luxury --
it's a xcompetitive marketplace. as jim said, we think we have a really nice new family of distinctive luxury vehicles. >> we're not going to let you get out of here without asking you about the potential impact if we do go over the fiscal cliff, not in a car but as a nation, what happens to car sales? >> well, it's a concern to all of us because this is still a very, very fragile recovery. the good thing is it is a recovery. be a and it's just so important we come together to deal with a plan on the revenue side and expense side. what we're talk iing about is keeping economic development going and that's the most important thing about this issue. >> do members of congress, do people in the white house reach out to you to talk about these things? >> they do. we really appreciate that. of course it is such a big decision for the consumers next to their home so it's a very good leading indicator how people are feeling and of course the most important thing about the fiscal cliff is, it can result in less discretionary
income which can have an impact on the economy. it's really important we come together on a solution. >> one of the things you are known for at ford is really bringing everyone together. i mean, bringing this huge company together, really mobilizing everyone to work together. what advice -- you testified for your competitors back in the auto -- during the bailouts. what advice would you give to washington right now? what needs to happen to get us through this and to get to a deal so we don't do what you just said? >> it's so important and it really is about working together. and i think the most important thing is we really deal with our current reality. i mean, our budget dech sits and our debt are not sustainable. we need to work both the revenue side and the expense side and we need to come together. what we're talking about is the economy of the united states of america and we're only expanding around 2% right now. it needs to be considerably higher to bring more people off unemployment. the most important thing is to listen to each other and work to common solutions always on the
eye of creating an environment where businesses can grow and provide great jobs and great careers going forward. i think that's the most important thing is to stay focused on what the job is at hand. >> and anything about the cup holders? >> well, you can have big cups or small cups. >> what else do you have in the car, though? internal, people like gadgets now. do they have the maps and everything like that? >> we have my lincoln touch system which is really the latest and greatest in human machine interfaces, it's really nice. you can command the vehicle with your voice. and you can do it with the swipe of your finger, of course. but probably the neat thing we have is a new push button transmission. and instead of your traditional shifter -- >> it if you're chrysler -- >> push, drive or reverse. what's neat about it, it freed up the instrument panel, the center console to be really beautiful now. because we don't have that big, clunky, shift mechanism.
i think you'll find some new things. >> does it have a great democratic name? postmaster general from the '30s and '40s? >> the voice of the bronx. the most important new york politician. >> thank you very much. good luck today. we'll be back with the great ed burns who is standing by now in the greenroom. there he is. [ male announcer ] with 160 more miles per tank, the distances aren't getting shorter. ♪ the trucks are going farther. the new 2013 ram 1500. ♪ with the best-in-class fuel economy. engineered to move heaven and earth.
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ed burns, having been the actor, writer, and director for no less than 11 movies and added producer on eight films. and with the tivo premiere dvr you can see all of his works in just a few clicks. nobody finds your entertainment like tivo. >> did you even talk to mom? >> yeah, yeah, of course i did. and i get both of their point of views and i'm not taking sides. >> you have to have a horse in this race. >> you think it should be dad? >> he deserves to be there. >> does he? he walked out on his family. >> his life had changed. overnight he's practically a millionaire after he sells the company. >> i still don't understand how that gives you an excuse to walk out on your wife and kids. >> we were only going to be holding him back.
he had a dream. he had to go for it. >> great. so this dream, as you put it, can't involve us? >> you know, you say you understand both points of view. do you? he had to make a choice. >> he made the wrong choice, clearly. >> that was a sken from the new holiday movie "the fitzgerald family christmas." and here with us now is the film's director, writer, and star, the great ed burns. ed, that is where moviemaking is going, the way you do it. how long did it take you to shoot this movie? where can people see this movie? it is, in a sense, where it's all going to go. >> things have changed for independent filmmakers in the last couple of years and the greatest change has been the fact once we've been introduced to movies on demand, you can go on your cable channel 1,000 or whatever it is and buy that movie immediately. or on itunes or a.mazon.
and the big difference is traditionally these films used to open up in new york and l.a. to start, if you did well, you platt formed out to another five cities and maybe four or five weeks later you got to the rest of the country. now we're pumped in a 45 million homes on the day that the movie opens, and that's the biggest change because it's keeping us in business, quite honestly. >> looking at connie and ed on the screen. she's great. she's been here a couple can of times. give us the storyline for the movie. >> the movie takes a look at seven adult siblings who have to deal with the fact their father who walked out on the family 20 years ago is back and he wants to spend christmas home with the kids and mom. the older kids who actually had dad in the house when they were little, have no problem bringing him back. the second half of the family, who had no relationship with him, clearly don't want him. and mom definitely does not want him. it's three days of family infighting, laughs, and debate
as to whether or not to allow him back in. >> talk about the economics of this thing more because it's fascinating. what's the name of the new richard gere movie? >> arbitrage. >> i saw that thing when it first came out. i was surprised to see it. it's interesting because people thought for a long time that would cannibalize from theatrical. the buzz on it got built in some ways by people watching it at home and it's actually helped the box oofs. so how does that work in terms of the economics for you guys? >> they're saying that, to your point, they don't cannibalize each other. they feel like there's always the audience that will stay home and watch movies because it's convenient. someone like me with young kids, you though, we go out to see "wrec "wreck-it ralph." we do not see a movie for ourselves. so when those movies show up on dod, we're the first to rent
them. then the point i made earlier, if if you live -- if you don't live in an urban area, it if you live in the ysuburbs, a lot of those houses are gone. on long island where i'm from, last week i drove and there are two theaters whethat are gone. that's an indication what's going on around the country. if you live in the village and want to see the film at the cinema east where fitzgerald is playing, that's great. if you live elsewhere, you're going to have to get in the car and maybe drive 45 minutes. >> in order to make people feel right at home as christmas approaches, another clip. take a look. >> she deals with you and the rest of us another way. do you know she actually suggested that i let her sneak the baby out one day and get them baptized? >> she told me and i think it's geni genius. >> we're not baptizing the baby. >> why not? >> cory is jewish.
>> i think cory is an@yis. >> he's still jewish. >> just let mom take the kid up to church and have her do it. you don't need to participate. cory didn't need to know about it and that way the kid is not stuck in limbo in case you two are wrong. >> how great is that? how familiar? >> that conversation has happened with every single barnicle child is my guess. >> that was the scene i thought that was just specific to my family. the minute we screened the film, my aunt did that. >> the whole film, i mean, auto biographical, you draw on your experience, how does this compare to the others? >> the fitzgeralds come from the same world that i come from. when we were scouting locations, i imagined that the fitzgerald clan grew up in the house i grew up in. who would open the door to the
fitzgerald's and let us shoot there. we shot the film six doors down from where i grew up on my block. so there's a lot of that. i even pulled, while we were on set, someone made a point that the two actors who were playing the parents looked a little bit like my parents. and i thought, all right, i'm going to have to use maybe a photograph or something and then i remembered i had cut -- took their old wedding footage years ago and burned the dvd for them. i then wrote a new scene where we could incorporate their old wedding footage into it. there are things like that that i pulled but i'm smart enough never to pull too directly from my real life so as this christmas dinner, we don't come to blows. >> from the black irish side of my family, i can appreciate some of those scenes. the fact of the matter is tyler perry was an influence here for you. how did that -- how did he fit into your making this and what was the incentives and the notion behind it? >> we were making that film "alex cross." hanging out on set. it was a game changing
conversation. he just rewatched brothers mcmullen and said, all right. mcmullen was successful. she followed it. very successful. both about these irish american working class families. why is it that in 15 years you never return to that milieu. i guarantee you the audience that loved those two movies are going to thank you for this. the minute he said it, i knew he was right. i sat down, opened up my laptop. i typed interior. didn't know where i was going. six weeks later i had the first draft. it was incredible. >> you want to stick with that niche. the flying barnicle brothers. >> i like it. >> based on a true story. >> because of that i started to work on a sequel to "brothers mcmull en." >> we'll see that. another great product, "the fitzgerald family christmas" is available now and will be in
i have to tell you, from the fitzgerald family christmas, can you imagine the brian sullivan christmas must have been like. i would rather go off the fiscal cliff, i think, than have to participate in the sullivan family christmas. brian, no slight. i mean, come on. was it crazy? >> reporter: you know, considering christmas isn't here
yet, i can't look into the future. i can tell you about last year's christmas, it was very merry. i want to hear more about your drink with george washington, ba barnicle. >> george had a problem with his teeth. the only christmas i spent with him, you know, they were wood and everything like that. mine weren't. >> martha, she could cook. that pie was just, you know -- >> and they just kept on coming. >> reporter: listen, guys, i have to boogie out of here. i have a panel around your neck of the woods on cultural divide. i'm not kidding. let me get to the news here of the day. futures are higher. forget about the fiscal cliff back and forth. heard from boehner and geithner that you talked about but, listen, some things looking better in europe this morning actually. i know it's boring but the greek deal looks a little more likely. germany making positive comments so stock futures are up. big story in "the wall street journal" about how the rest of the world is slow to get on the natural gas bandwagon which could be good for the united states and canada because they need gas around the world which means we may be the more likely
go-to source and delta airlines reportedly in the hunt for half a stake in virgin atlantic. they covet some new landing spots at heathrow airport. barnicle can fly back and forth on london to get a new castle or a guinness or whatever his choice is. and i'm going to leave you with this. it is the 20th birthday of the text message. on this date 20 years ago, it was created. and now university students send an average of 3,200 text messages per month rof, lol, omg. >> brian, quickly, back to the virgin atlantic/delta story, if that goes through, any estimate on the amount of bags that the combined airlines could lose coming together? >> reporter: you know, i tell you what, singapore air now owns 49% of virgin atlantic and they're probably the best airline in the world. so i guarantee you whatever that number is, it will be higher.
>> all right, brian sullivan, thank you very much. looking ahead to tomorrow, arianna huffington will be here and medal of honor recipient sal giunta. with the fidelity stock screener, you can try strategies from independent experts and see what criteria they use. such as a 5% yield on dividend-paying stocks. then you can customize the strategies and narrow down to exactly those stocks you want to follow. i'm mark allen of fidelity investments. the expert strategies feature is one more innovative reason
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well, it's time to test our reading comprehension. taking a look at various morning papers. this morning everyone will get a shot at one newspaper. the "san francisco chronicle," 125,000 people are without power after a series of massive storms du dumped as many as 7 inches of water up and down the west coast. three storms battered california, one after another, 80-mile-per-hour winds, flooding and even snow in some cases. the homeless man who received a pair of boots from a new york city police officer is shoeless ben. he says he hid the $100 boots because they are, are quote, worth a lot of money and that they fears for his life. he told a reporter that he did
not remember the photo being taken but that he now wants, quote, a piece of the pie. >> human nature. the las vegas review journal, a unlv student will marry a cutout of robert pattinson's character edward cull cullen. the story has grown mockery but the student is doing it as a thesis project, as a commentary on the two sides of las vegas, the real and the fantasy. she is buying a cake, rented a chapel on the las vegas strip and even planned a bachelorette party. the kept did i center honored luminarieluminaries. the president and first lady attended the evening hosted by caroline kennedy which featured tributes raininging from robert deniro to bonnie raitt. the president quipped about the lifetime achievement awards.
>> we continue a tradition by honoring extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together. we've got dave letterman alongside one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. i don't think dave dances. i worked with the speechwriters, there's no smooth transition from ballet to led zeppelin. we are trying to work the stairway to heaven metaphor and it didn't work. of course these guys also redefined the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. we do not have video of this. there were some hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around. so it's fit that go we're doing this in a room with windows about three inches thick. >> pretty good. up next, what, if anything, did we learn today? with the spark cash card from capital one,
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here. i'm trying to leave. >> the most significant thing i've learned, mike, is that the most important thing to you and automobile design had not occurred to me but it fits, the genre. >> you want a big cup holder for your big gulp. michael? >> continuing with the theme, what's old is new? ford come back with a new brand, a new way, a new style and they didn't take any federal dollars to do it. amazing. >> how offended were you today? >> actually, i have a pretty high bar so you have to work harder. it is scary. i can't wait to see "the fitzgerald family christmas." >> moviemaking is going that way, small films and they can do