tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC November 30, 2013 4:00am-5:01am PST
the first numbers are in. in some cases they are big from black friday. the exact places people shopped keeps changing. we'll explain. president owe about ma in a new and wide-ranging interview. how tense is the u.s. confrontation with china and how long will it last? it's a growing phenomenon but is it real? will you be paying all your bills with virtual money and how do you earn it? good morning, everyone. welcome to "weekends with
alex witt". a winter storm brewing out west.
look. choppy waves in northern california. a little taste of what's to come. seattle bracing for a powerful storm that will bring heavy rain, cold and snow to that region. dylan dreyer is here with the forecast. good morning, dylan. >> good morning, alex. good news, the rest of the weekend is looking nice and quiet. not really a whole lot going on across the country. most areas seeing sunshine except for the pacific northwest. we have a few showers trying to move into the seattle area and stretching down into southwestern oregon and northern california. it is going to be another bigger storm that produces the wind and the rain and some of the mountain snow especially as we go through the day today and into sunday. that's going to be the biggest area where we have some trouble spots. perhaps a slower ride back home for everyone traveling for the holiday weekend. temperatures
are certainly on the cold side. only at 20 degrees in boston. 28 in minneapolis.
but out in the western half of the country, temperatures are actually running above average. so while it will remain cool in the northeast, the northwest temperatures will be running 8 to 10 degrees above normal. 37 for a high in minneapolis. showers in atlanta will be light at best. same story for tomorrow. a few spotty showers in the northeast and the southeast. most of the country looking quiet for everyone's travels except the bigger storm system in the pacific northwest. temperatures milder in the west. by the time we go into next week, cold air takes hold of the western half of the country. it starts to warm up for the eastern half. it takes until next friday before that starts to move in. alex? >> dylan, thank you for that. president obama and the first lady giving a why ranging interview. the president addressed concerns about the health care rollout and questions about his legacy. >> every president in their
second term is, you know, mindful, you only have a limited amount of time left. you want to make sure you are squeezing every last ounce of energy you have to try to deliver on the commitments you made to the american people. >> president obama's self-imposed deadline is fast approaching for healthcare.gov. with the midnight deadline looming, people will start to have a better experience by then. key parts of the site will be down for maintenance and repairs. the president will unveil a new national security strategy early next year. a letter was released friday. the president is expected to update the strategy outline and describe the national security priorities for the remainder of his term. and the top u.s. commander in afghanistan is apologizing to hamid karzai for the drone strike that killed one child and injured two women. nato will investigate. a bit more now on the
president and first lady's new first interview. kristen welker is there to do that for us. what is the president saying about all the challenges with this obama care website rollout? >> alex, good morning to you. president obama continues to play defense saying that ultimately this health care law will be on the right side of history despite all these initial glitches with the rollout. i'm going to let you listen to some of that interview. he said, "i continue to believe and am absolutely convinced at the end of the day people are going to look back at the work we've done to make sure that in this country you don't go bankrupt when you go sick, that families have that security. that is going to be a legacy i am extraordinarily proud of." and here's a little bit more of what he had to say during that exclusive interview with barbara walters. >> the truth of the matter is i got reelected in part because people did think i was trust
worthy. >> i love this man. he's working hard and doing the best he can and he's doing a phenomenal job. and i've got his back. >> she does have my back. >> the first lady chiming in as welling alex. i have been talking to top officials here at the white house for the past several days. they insist they are on track to meet their deadline of having the website able to host 50,000 users at one time by the end of the day today. so really starting tomorrow. try to pin them down on an actual number right now. they wouldn't give me one. they said they are close to having the website host that many people now. i talked to tech experts and they said that's really not the key metric here. can the 50,000 people get through the website, enroll quickly and expediently. one comparing it to a highway. if you can fit 50,000 cars on one long stretch of road, but
how quickly is the traffic moving. that's going to be one of the key questions the tech experts will be looking into over the next 48 hours. we expect to get our next official update on the health of the health care website tomorrow modern. >> that highway is a great analogy. it helps figure out what the problems are. the website is down right now until 8:00 a.m. eastern. it's been down 10 hours. they were doing a lot of maintenance. usually it's only a four-hour stretch that's down. they are trying to kick start this. >> the website for an extended period of time. it's going to be down again tonight. it has been coming down really every weekend for maintenance. certainly you sees those maintenance periods getting a little bit longer. the deadline is really just hours away now. >> may i quickly ask you about afghanistan. there's been an apology for that drone strike. what do you know about that?
>> absolutely. u.s. commander is apologize to go hamid karzai for the drone strike. nato saying it is going to investigate. alex, this comes during an incredibly fraught period between the united states and afghanistan. they had agreed to a draft agreement of a security pact that mapped out what the u.s. withdrawal would have looked like the next several years. hamid karzai said he wouldn't sign it. he would leave it for his successor. the united states trying to convince him to sign off on the agreement now. that was the discussion and the debate prior to this drone strike. certainly that has only increased tensions and made discussions more difficult. >> very, very bad timing on that. kristen, thank you, that the white house >> disputed airspace across the east china sea.
they are now demanding identification from any aircraft flying through. it's a restriction they refuse to recognize. the u.s. vision commercial aircraft you should comply with china's request. american, japanese aircraft crossed over the area without authorization. the pentagon says it is going to continue. there are worries the situation could spin out of control. vice president joe biden is expected to visit china next week. north korea says the the elderly american tourist held for more than a month has apologized for alleged war crimes during the korean wore in the '50s. 85-year-old merrill newman. pyongyang is accused of coercing statements from detainees in the past. there's no word what they plan to do with newman.
back here at home, day three since the holiday shopping frenzy began. early indications showed this could be a good year for retailers. more than a dozen opened on thanksgiving day, giving shoppers a jump start on the holiday. the national retail federation expects sales to be higher than last year's. police used pepper spray to control a surging crowd at a store in texas. in illinois, police shot a suspected shoplifter after the car he was driving dragged an officer through a parking lot. for the the most part, shoppers say there were plenty of deals to be had. >> i had 50% off of everything i bought. you can't get these deals anywhere else except for black friday. >> so far online shopping has done very well. sales on thanksgiving up 20% from last year. opening earlier appeared to pay off for many retailers. it handled 10 million
transactions. retailers sold 2.1 versus 1.4 million tablets. 300,000 bicycles. 1.9 million dolls. wow. unfolding tragedy overseas. a freak accident involving a helicopter into a pub. that sent dozens to the hospital. a live report ahead on that >> a critical part of congress's budget battle. the fight over food stamps. . gop wants to cut $40 billion from the program. will that happen? a subaru...
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century ago. good morning. >> good morning, alex. north korea is accusing detained american veteran merrill newman of war crimes for his service during the korean war in the 1950s. authorities released a video showing newman reading his alleged confession and that the 85-year-old man from california reportedly apologized for his actions. it was dated november 9th. he said he was guilty of a long list of crimes against north korea. he was in north korea legally on a nine-day trip. he had been held captive since october 26th when he was taken off the plane heading home by authorities. other american war vets have been able to visit the country without any problem. there's been some speculation he could be released.
at this moment he is still being held prisoner. >> do we know anything about his health? >> i understand he has a heart condition and he only packed enough medication for this trip. it's a ten-day trip. she has tried to send medicine to him but has no idea if it has gotten to him. do we know anything about that? >> we don't know anything about that as of yet. that medicine has been passed to the north korea authorities. whether or not it has actually reached him is still an unknown. alex? >> it is an extraordinary story. thanks for bringing it to us from shanghai. >> obama administration officials planning to announce tomorrow they have met their self-imposed deadline. also new this morning, an official with the centers for medicare and medicaid says it is close to supporting 50,000 users
at one time. joining me now is andy sullivan and kevin serilly. >> thanks for having me. >> how critical is it that the obama administration gets it right and meets this deadline tonight? >> the website will still be a work in progress the even if they get 50,000 users. they're going to need a lot more people to sign up if they want to reach the goal of 7 million signed up by the end of march. one thing getting less attention is the fact that these troubles forced it so soft pedal its marketing of obama care. kaiser family foundation says one-third of uninsured americans don't know that the affordable care act could help them get insurance. this is one thing they're going to have to focus on once they are sure that the website works, which is telling people about it. >> absolutely. that makes people sense.
politico suggests that the goal is to avoid that which george w. bush did. really not so much. if the website is fixed by tonight, could the obama administration win some points for getting it right as they said they would? >> i think that's a tough statement just because it's a website and this is the hallmark piece of president obama's domestic policy agenda. you know, i think as he tries to move forward it's going to come down to whether or not he's able to get as many people as he once confirmed by the end of march. but, you know, this doesn't pass a monday sense test that a website doesn't work for such a huge piece of his policy agenda. >> even if the website fixes are in place, andy, by midnight, how much will this haunt democrats facing reelection in 2014?
is this a negative no matter what? or all smooth by air it's forgotten by november? >> that's a good point, alex. we in the media tend to focus on the crisis at hand and tend to say this is the worst thing that ever happened. >> really? we do that. >> guilty as charged here. you remember last month when we were all talking about how the scare with destroy the republican party. now we're saying the democrats are doomed. if this is working fine by april, the democrats will have plenty other things to talk about. right now polls show it's not looking good for democratic candidates, especially in the senate. this could hurt them. this could risk their chances of holding on to the senate next november >> another big story to talk about with you, kevin. this morning the white house says the president will be formally presenting a new national security strategy early next week. identified as foreign policy and
all the priorities for the rest of the term. what do you think some of the items on the list might be? >> if you can't talk about obama care, it's pitted as foreign policy. the sent of state john kerry has just negotiated a short-term deal. i think we could see more details about getting out of afghanistan in 2014. ambassador rice spent thanksgiving there. dictate the narrative for next week as we move forward. i think there's a short window for the president to make sure that he is able to sphreurb his policy agenda items in his second term. >> is something like this standard, andy?
>> from what i understand they're supposed to put out these reviews on a periodic basis. this will be the second one for the president. i think we could see more about the administration's much discussed pivot to asia. thefpt to get themselves out of the middle east, spend less time there and more attention in asia where there are opportunities as well as the necessity to confront china. if you look at the sparring over the island the past week, it's a really example of the type of conflict we could be seeing a lot more in the decade to come. >> guys, thank you so much. appreciate your time. >> my pleasure, alex. >> have a great day. >> you too. >> they are on everyone's must have list. the top five gadgets of the holiday season. this cute blob is metamucil. and this park is the inside of your body. see the special psyllium fiber in metamucil actually gels
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headlines, the shopper's edge, tops in tech and bit o'money. regina lewis, we welcome to the studio. usually it's a long-distance grab in d.c. the shoppers have an edge, regina? >> i think shoppers do have an edge. the retailers have a shorter season to deal with. six fewer days. field time, possession time. the fastest growing online shopping day. a lot of families, groups of people. very civil. i checked out a best buy in a new york suburb. the season is good. retailers are jockeying for market fair. how about deals with regard to tech gadgets. those are so hot on people's list.
what are a few of the top ones in. >> flat screen tvs. they're practically giving them away. you saw that across the board. walmart sold unbelievable amounts of televisions. 55-inch tv for $499. just quite amazing. and also a lot of gadgets to turn them into smart tvs. things like apple tv for $99. web-enabled are more expensive. they're getting the gadgets that make the television smarter. >> that makes a lot of sense. >> a bit coin. what is is this phenomenon? virtual money. >> these are the smartest people in the world doing interesting things with their brains. the best comparison is nap sister. you can see a comparison with gold. so the people and the minds behind a bitcoin said it appreciated almost to the point
where it's almost as valuable as gold. they mine for it. whether we will be using bitcoins, perhaps our great, great grandchildren. it disrupted every other industry. why not the monetary system. >> have a great weekend. >> in today's one minute playback, jimmy fallon had a little fun. he was joined by rashida jones and carrie underwood to sing parodies by robin thicke. ♪
welcome back to weekends is with alex witt. 30 minutes past the hour. a plane carrying 10 people crashed near the western alaska village of st. mary's. four people were killed, including the pilot. there were six survivors. in los angeles, a man is dead after he reportedly robbed a pharmacy and barricaded himself into a verizon wireless last night. the man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. a surfer is dead. the 18-year-old was body surfing
bit off both his legs. ex-husband of nigella testified. the assistants are accused of spending a million dollars of the couple's money on their own personal luxurieluxuries. >> midnight tonight, the month of november expires. so does a self-imposed deadline by the white house. the website will be back online 8:00 a.m. this morning. it will be down overnight on sunday. in a wide-ranging interview, the president says he's convinced his health care reform is part of his legacy that he will be extraordinarily proud of. joining me now is, congressman meeks. good to see you. what do you think is going to
happen? will there be messages or delays? >> well, i think it's going to be running. i think more individuals will be able to sign up than before. all indications show that. i'm cautiously optimistic. but i would also urge individuals, we know people are praying for it to fail. we have a group, a party that does not want success. go online but go in off peak areas. 50,000 people at one time can get on. almost 800,000 a day. but we know some folks would love it to crash. they don't want it to be successful. we tell people to go on but go at off peak times. >> if there are glitches, what kind of problem with that represent? >> i hope we get the glitches out. when we look at the rollout, for
example, of medicare, there was glitches. you look at a number of other technological, this new technology, there's been glitches. but i think from all reports, i know the president has been one focused on trying to make sure this is fixed. and from all reports that i'm receiving, it's not going to be perfect. the system is not going to be perfect. but up to $50,000 people at a peak time without any shortcomings. it's happened before. i get on some kind of animated messages previously where it says hold on. you're number 25 in line. we'll get back to you automatically. >> right. >> so that should be in place also. it should be vastly improved. >> for small business owners looking to get on line, this has been pushed back a year for them. how much does that accepted a negative message that the obama
administration can't afford. >> the message is we're trying to get it right. people are not focused that the product is a good product. in the long run, individuals who were going bankrupt because they didn't have health care will no longer go bankrupt. when you compare what's going on and what is the old system, you hear some of my colleagues in the affordable care act, which had no plan of their own wants to go back to the old way we were doing business with respect to health care, when i think about all the individuals who were denied health coverage because of various reasons, specifically if you had a young child that was off your insurance plan, under 26, pre-existing disease, we're away from that. overall cost of health care projections are down. and refocus on the budget issue.
the whole idea to make sure we can put 30 million individuals who did not have health care, i think we're moving in the right direction. i think there's already been a huge benefit to the affordable care act. >> we'll see what happens in 16 hours or so. let's talk about the fight over income and equality. bringing the point home, as you know, there were protests outside of 1500 walmart stores. the company released this statement saying walmart provides wages on the higheren of the retail average with full time and part-time associates making on average close to $12 an hour. we are proud of the benefits we offer. do you think the clash between the working class and the executives is reach agriculture i boiling point. >> when you look at what is taking place in america, there
is income equality and it's getting wider and wider. if you look at the top 400, richest 400 people in america, they make more than 150 million of the lowest. >> right. >> so that's got to change. we have to look at clearly we have to raise minimum wages. i think we have to do immigration reform. but most importantly, i know what's most substantial is giving individuals a quality education so we can be more competitive, they can take the better jobs, have a high income. . these are the things we need to do. you look at the lower income individuals. they have increased only 3%. we have to make sure we get our
folks educated, get immigration reform do and quality health care for those who can't afford health care coverage from going further into bankruptcy. >> it's thanksgiving. let's talk about the foot stamps. a lot of these food banks and people who depend on food stamps had it cut dramatically. $40 billion to be cut from the food stamp program. how do you think this is going to play out? >> there's no way we can allow, nor do i think the president will allow that draconian cut. when you look at how it keeps people, especially children, out of poverty and puts food in their bellies. we are supposed to be the
richest country in the world. we have to stop this reverse robin hood syndrome where we have gone with the republican leadership and make sure we take care of and help lift some of those individuals out of poverty. you can't expect a child to get an education if they can't get any food. snap will put food in a child's belly so they can be educated. to me it is common sense just to do that. and the republicans are going in a different direction. >> it all works together. >> it does. >> you can't do one without the other. we can't do without you. so glad you came to join us. developing now, one person is confirmed dead and more fatalities are expected in glasgow, scotland after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a pub filled with patrons. debbie edward is a block or so
away from the scene of the crash. good morning to you. what do officials tell you about what they are seeing inside this pub? it must be horrific. >> well, i think scotland's minister summed this up as a black dment it is patrons saints day. this happened right in the center of glasgow last night. one person dead. we are told to expect that to rise. he it happened 10:30 at a very well known pub. 120 people were packed in listen to go a local band when there was a large bang and a helicopter came crashing through the roof. panic set in. people started running towards
the door. a major rescue operation got under way. it is continuing at the moment. firefighters describe thing it as meticulous and methodical. >> what a horrible scene that must be inside that pub. do you have any idea what's being talked about as the cause of the crash? >> well, people when we arrived last night were speaking about the helicopter dropping like a stone from the sign. there appeared to be no engine noise. an investigation of course will happen. i guess that is for another day. at the moment the focus is on this rescue operation. and everybody's thoughts and prayers of those who have died and those who have been injured. >> it's a terrible situation. we thank you for bringing us the
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fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast-acting antihistamine. oh what a relief it is! the end of this week's best of office politics, you'll learn about all that and more. >> the older i get the more i believe in respect. respect for the voter. we used to have honeymoons when somebody was elected president. you gave a vote. we don't do that anymore. they go out hammer and claw the first second they're elected. >> the system has changed. he didn't bend their arms, didn't have them in for drinks. in a perfect world i would have loved to see more of that.
>> the expectation he raised that he could never fulfill was that he was going to change washington and bring about the new jerusalem of bipartisan good feeling. >> i think if you dug up lyndon johnson today, do i think stuff would get done? not particularly. medicare was passed because democrats had an overwhelming majority in both houses of congress. >> ted cruz, can you figure him out? >> there may be a new rule out there. joe mccarthy, everybody was afraid of him. demagoguery is not a good career run. it's not a long-term career plan. >> opposition to obama care has been disingenuous in a lot of ways. it has been driven by a personal animus by this president and desire for political gain. >> putting lives in danger.
>> yeah. you do not want to put lives in danger of the people carrying out these missions on the ground. so many times the a.p., other news organizations have made the call to hold a piece of information for a while and report it later. >> we're just asking for equal respect. culturally they're a few decades behind us on that front. >> and i remember i had to tell my boss here, david corvo at the time what was happening. and i remember i said i have breast cancer. and i have to have a big surgery. i was like a mess. and he said can i say something to you? and i said yeah. he said i have a lot of friends who have breast cancer and they all have one thing in common. and i said, okay. what's that? he said they're all still here.
>> looking at you persevering and running a half marathon. >> whether it's a car crash or a car bomb, your muscles they got reconstructed, always want to go back to the weakness at that point of injury. if i don't work out on a regular basis, my legs get really weak. it makes your life snap into focus. it makes you weed out -- it sounds cold -- but people who are not helpful or do not nourish you. >> out of this high school came the first black presidential cabinet member, first black federal judge. and they were telling me that so i had a sense of black history and also a sense of what contributions african-americans have made to the united states. when i went over to the school i thought the history was being
lost. and i thought i need to write this down before it is lost. >> do you sometimes pinch yourself and think, i was part of all of this? >> i was on the plane with president carter. we get beaten by reagan. we get the word for the poster. carter is broken up by it. i fly a helicopter with him in georgia. i'm watching him tell them i lost. then i find myself as top the guy with tip o'neill, the second round with reagan. i'm just there all the time. it's amazing. pinch yourself is right. >> we love our best of office politics. the call to shop small. the benefits of checking out the mom and pop stores in your town today. dy to run your lines? okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt?
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. >> well, this is a story of fire and ice and you. if you were not shopping, you likely went to a movie, prps "catching fire" that pulled in $800 million on thanksgiving day. it appears to be in line for a thanksgiving holiday record. then from hot to cold, disney's "frozen" brought in more than $25 million. it is potentially an historic one-two punch for this week. we will get the total numbers by the end of it. it is the third day of the holiday shopping season. stores like macys in new york's herald square is opening early and late to get more customers. tomorrow we will see if the sales are as good as the retailers are hoping. meantime, retailers on main street are hoping you did not
wrap up your shopping, because today is small business saturday. and it is the annual initiative to get people to shop at independent local stores. and joining us from bur bank is our resident small business expert. hi, jj. it's good to see you. >> reporter: good morning, alex. >> so with this small business saturday, i remember when it was created three years ago, you were all over this. has it gained real traction? >> reporter: oh, yeah. it started in 2010. and then a few people heard of it. a few merchants had some deals around promoting i. now lock around everywhere you will see small businesses saying today we have promotions. today we're opening early, staying up late and consumers are aware of it in a way they. for the first start. >> so the business' bottom line, these small businesses what is it doing forward? is it a palpable. is there a measurable indicator? >> reporter: there is. the way for the big box stores
to rally around something and market something, get people into the stores. cybermonday is for online stores. what small businesses do is it gives them an event to have promotion, woo inin their stores, prachls. they do. they are seeing an increase in their bottom loinl. i spoke to a dog baker the other day, they saw their sales increase three times on small business saturday over the year before when they weren't doing promotions. >> so you say things like wine, what else, food, ween, cheese, cookies? depending on the toy store. it's only 7:54 in the morning our time. earlier for you. does it go beyond, does it do give aways as well. can that be one of the pro positions? >> it can be everything, yes, they are trying to do eng they can to get people into the store. bring a friend, then you will get a discount.
shop early, boy one, get one free, 50% off something. all the kind of things big box stores do as well. small businesses are doing. they're trying to get people in the, do obviously spend money now for the holiday shopping season, also get them to stop at the stores so they can show them they have great customer service, some unique products you wouldn't be able to buy at big box stores. so then all of these people will continue to shop throughout the years. >> i remember president obama even got in on this event last year. he was shopping at that book store in arlington, virginia. i am curious if there has been a response or a coordination between the business community and washington on this. >> reporter: there has been and the obamas have made it a bit of a tradition to go to a small store every small business saturday. yes, washington has been very supportive. president obama had a statement recently telling people to shop small or encouraging them to do
so. senator landrieu did. there are governors and mayors in every single state that are supporting small business saturday. it's really hit a nerve. people are starting to understand that if we don't shop at these businesses, they're going to go away and what does it money for my community if all of those stores that i love go away? >> yeah. is there an expectation for this holiday season for these small independent shop owners? >> reporter: well, you know, as the economy rises, small business rises. as people have more money in their poblths, they will spend more money at small business. the tide seems to be turning a bit. small business had been losing quite a bit of market share to big box stores. it seems to be turning around a bit. >> let's hope it stays that way. you are right, when you live in a small town, i live outside new york city. when you sew a shutter or an empty store, it is so depressing in these small towns. but they're coming back. i tens sense they're coming back. that's all good.
wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com. >> your holiday weekend might be over on monday. it looks like congress will go on and on. by the start of this thanksgiving weekend, we are finding ways to question the status quo. congress is on track for one of its least productive years ever. in just a minute, we'll talk about whether it has to stay that way. also the story behind one handwritten letter to president obama by a concerned citizen i believe has been misinterpreted by the right. plus it will give me an
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