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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 23, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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good afternoon, it's monday, december 23rd, and from the holidays to health care, have you done your last-minute shopping? ♪ deadline day for anyone trying to get health coverage. >> a lot of good things in obamacare. >> you can't fix this mess. >> a bottle of whisk in one hand and box of kleenex in the other. >> have to find a way to respect the law. >> if there are adjustments that can be made, we should make them. >> the number one issue in the 2014 election. >> what we're for rather than what we're against. >> is not going to be obamacare. >> vital source of income just a few days after christmas. >> how can you justify cutting off unemployment benefits to these people who literally can't find jobs? >> because congress failed to act before leaving on vacation. >> president obama bid good riddance to 2013. >> enjoying a small soda in a nonsmoking beach. >> you know who loves christmas? >> this guy! >> how do you say it in hawaii?
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>> medical a ankle okayy macca. >> yes, the clock is ticking. and all that last-minute shopping is under way. we're talking, of course, about buying insurance today through the affordable care act. it was scheduled as the deadline to file for coverage in order to have it kick in on new year's day. but that deadline has been extended a touch through christmas eve for shoppers who can't get through today. the white house explained this in a statement, saying, quote, anticipating high demand and is the fact that consumers may be enrolling for multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure those who selected a plan through tomorrow will be covered. officials say they're offering a grace period out of fairness to the standard approach to long voting lines. if it you're in line when the polls it technically close, you too still get to cast your ballot after that deadline. and there are some signs the deadline is working. reporting a record day today of traffic and revised cueing system deployed to keep the site running appears
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to be working smoothly. the president on vacation in hawaii has used this deadline as a reason to get on the dc exchange and file for coverage this weekend. through an aide, he enrolled in a bronze plan to demonstrate support for the law. the president's health care will continue to be provided by the military, like all u.s. presidents. the symbolism, however, is another layer of the white house's efforts to encourage enrollment. the president said friday that more than 1 million people have signed up so far. that's a huge surge over the previous two months. and the number goes even higher when you count new medicare enrollees as people look back on 2013, there's no question this was another year shaped by the politics of the aca. and new cnn poll shows support for the law is dropping to a record low, with 62% now opposed. and on this question, people are not chiefly divided by their health care situation or income or race or gender. no. the divisions are strongest along party lines, with 59% of
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dems in phifer, and 95% of republicans opposed. they do agree on that. and it suggests there are many people who will never embrace or abandon obamacare, because their opinion is rooted in their view of obama himself. it's a political disparity that's echoed by lawmakers, and amid all the latest tweaks. >> another demonstration. this plan was not ready for prime time. there is going to be problem after problem. and to go back to what was said earlier, definitely a political issue in 2014. >> there have been a lot of glitches, a lot of problems. but they're getting fixed. and six months from now, many more people are going to see the -- positives, rather than the negatives. >> that gives us a lot to debate from now well into the new year. and we have a panel ready for you and your politics over the holidays. capitol hill veterans angela rye and jimmy williams and margie o'mara, democratic pollster. jimmy, i want to start with you. your lay of the land right now, heading into what everyone acknowledges policy wise is an important deadline.
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>>el with, i mean, listen, the bottom line, they have extended once again, which is good. i think that's important. especially this time of year. this is a busy time of year. i think that the numbers will come out and they will be huge. i just signed up. now i did not sign up today through the i went to e health and signed up for the exact same plan. in fact, i was looking at the plan on the obamacare website, website, the exact same plan i was signing up for the health insurance. bottom line, i signed up by the deadline, put in my credit card information. and doing my applications. i'm one of the millions of people that will be doing this. i think the numbers will be very high, frankly. i think people want this. i think the fact that i can now actually go and buy insurance, whereas four months ago i was denied by three different insurers in the commonwealth of virginia, and had no insurance after my cover ran out. so that's a positive sign. the question becomes, what are
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the political ramifications for 2014 and if they can get this website thing fixed and out of the way and have the numbers come in higher than everyone thinks, i think that will go a hell of a long way in getting this done. >> i think that sounds right. because there's only a certain portion of this that is sort of website hangover, and then there are the trend lines. and margie, i am on record on this. i think this law is working, because it is expanding coverage to people who were previously uninsured through medicare as door number one and through these exchanges on private and state and federal. doors number two, three, however much you want to count. look, i want to be fair about the facts out there, not everyone agrees with that. and look at the numbers in this new cnn poll, where you see democrats, some democrats, turning on the law. you have about half of republicans saying the aca is the president's biggest failure. no surprise. but a quarter of democrats are saying the same thing. how big a problem is it you have so many democrats now skeptical? >> i think this will be a
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temporary glitch. a temporary blip in the numbers. ultimately, you have a lot of people who are evaluating obamacare based on what they think of the president. and that's rooted in party identification. because they didn't have obamacare. we're not at that stage yet. so -- and health care is co complicated and the aca, but necessity s also complicated. so people are looking at it through the lens of who do i agree with more generally, and what am i nervous about. am i nervous about government takeover, am i nervous about not getting health care that's not going to be good enough for me. what's the lens that people are using? and that's why you see obamacare generally never really having strong support. yet all the components of obamacare being very popular. and that's going to continue to be true. now that we're entering a period where people actually have the coverage, they're going to be evaluating it based on what the coverage is like for them. their own personal experience. and then we're going to have a completely different situation. and the website rollout
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obviously should have gone better. that will be a distant memory down the road. and polls, very recent polls show that people think down the road people are going to be better off, the country is going to be better off as a result of obamacare. >> angela, what do you make of that point, that the branding eventually will give way to the results on the ground? >> well, you know what's funny about that, ari, we've heard the president joke about this, right? he said that it's obamacare right now, because it's had a bumpy rollout, and up until now, we haven't really seen the accomplishments associated with the plan, because it's so early. so as soon as it becomes the successful thing we are hoping that it will be, it's going to become the affordable care act. and obamacare no more. they will definitely try to strip that legacy from him. again, you cited the polling data and the fact that people have heard negative things about this. they think that obamacare is going to be the worst thing since they have heard about armageddon, right? well, i'm like jimmy. i signed up but i'm not a
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procrastinator like him. and i signed up acouple weeks ago. and my plan is the bentley version of plans. it is the platinum plan, not the plan that our president signed up for bronze level. $100 more. but i think it's going to cover. >> angela, does it have rims? >> it definitely have some ds on there, ari. >> jimmy, weigh in on that idea for us, that people are getting on the plans, that the president -- people say this is symbolic today, sure. but he's also saying, look, you can be a presidential-level procrastinator. the fact is, we know for massachusetts, he we know from state level reforms and from common sense, when you talk about deadlines in the media, every reporter knows, you turn things in on deadline, not usually days out from the deadline. >> well, first and foremost, and every one of my college english professors will tell you, i never turned a single paper in before i was supposed to. i'm not stupid. secondly and most importantly
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and even more importantly, listen, people want health care. this is -- this theory of obamacare did not just come up all of a sudden, because people were like, oh, we have to insure people. when i worked in the building beginning in 1997, we used to have something called the patients bill of rights. oh, because people were being declined and denied coverage. that's not some new story. so finally, the congress did something about it. whether one likes that or not is irrelevant. it's now the law of the land. let's see how it works. i'm going oh to pay more than $400 less monthly premium than under cobra. angela is going to pay more, $100 more, but she is going to get better coverage s. this going to affect everyone equally? it's not supposed to, because not everyone has equal health care or needs. but the bottom line, for the first time, in the history of this country, everybody can sign up and get health care whereas before they could not. from 1789 to now, you could be declined health care. that's going to change as of january 1st. that is a major milestone.
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it's a major marker. it's progress. and that's something that we shut look forward to. now, implementation is a separate issue. i hope they can get it right. but the bottom line, this is a big step forward. and i think a bigger thing would be on this medicaid expansion. that is not a bad thing. a three to one match, the first three years and after that, the feds pay 100%. why in god's name these states not taking this on is beyond me. that is a win-win. they can hit obama all day long but for the federal government to pay 100% of your medicaid recipients, that to me sounds like a huge massive boon for the states. if i were a state governor right now, i would absolutely take that. that's a win. >> you're making sense to me, jimmy. i know you worked in that building back there. but you sound more cogent than some of the folks we hear from there. jimmy williams, margie and angela rye. happy holidays to all of you. >> you too. >> you bet. from wendy davis to kari washington, we talk about what a year it was for women in politics and well beyond. we revisit moments with editor
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in chief of "elle" magazine, robby myers when we come back. stay with us. [ male announcer ] more than a security system. adt can help you turn on a few lights... ♪ ...bring family in from the cold... ♪
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welcome back. from washington to hollywood, some of the most important stories of 2013 were about women. famous women who made a mark by challenging business as usual like elizabeth warren and kerry washington, and unknown who drew recognition for courage, even when it seemed like no one was watching such as senator wendy davis from texas and pakistani activist, malala yous.
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" "elle" 90% of readers women. robby myers and irene carmen, covering women's issues and authored "it's a wendy davis nation now." thank you both for joining us. >> thank you. >> robby, i wanted to speak first about a piece that you had in "elle", the influencers, where a senate has a record number of women in it, and you flagged specific women who you have on the washington influence risk. kumar from voter latino, susan malnary from google. names some know and others don't. tell us about that. >> every year, what we want to do is talk to the women making culture. we talk to women in television, movies and art. and in april, our intelligent women issue, though we try to cover intelligent women every month, we talked to really the people who are setting the agenda, the women setting the
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agenda in washington, d.c. and why do we do that, because what they're doing is so important and i can't tell you how excited they are to participate every year. it's really fascinate to go me that a group of women who spend so much time in the public eye, they so enjoy getting to know one another because they really don't necessarily all cross pollinate. so we talk to mrs. biden about the work she is doing and nbc's andrea mitchell. >> >> was on your list. >> made the list. and clyburn, commissionerer. so a cross-section of women from very powerful positions, sort of across media and the government. >> and i reason, you cover what we mu might call women's issues and wrote in "salon" about wendy davis and bringing out a new moment for women. i want to put up on the screen, take a look at a chart that shows references to -- take a look at this chart. this is references from english language books throughout the last several decades. and what you see in green is the
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just reference to women's rights. drastically, increasing, particularly after roe v. wade, while pro life and pro choice references run together and a lot lower. you argued in your piece that wendy davis wasn't just a story about a woman standing up for abortion rights, shall we say. but about something much broader. >> i think we have seen since 2010 with republican takeover of state houses, as well as in the house of representatives, this profound interest of regulating uteruses. and that's included access to birth control. it's included in sensitive comments about women and rape and included -- restricting access to abortion. by the time wendy davis was standing up and filibustering, what she was doing was surrounded by hundreds of activists who were giving lie -- to the myth. they were proving the myth there are no progressives in texas is not true. there were thousands -- hundreds of thousands of people watching live on the internet. and i think that as you have seen this rise in attacks on women's autonomy, you have also
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seen a strong backlash coming from people, standing up for women's rights and saying enough is enough. >> right. and looking at it much broader than simply a discussion about choice issues, although that was obviously the anchor. i want to turn to someone that i think everyone loves, which is a hard achievement to reach. and that's kerry washington. very popular i would say with all kinds of women, reerds of "elle" put her on the cover. politically people think "scandal" is a model of a new dawn in washington. why was it important to you to give her the cover? >> well, we really think kerry washington was having her moment this year. she has been sort of the wife and bride for a long time in her professional career. but she really broke out with "scandal" and, of course, in quinton tarantino's movie. the thing about kerry is, she really is -- it comes from a real place in her, not just her talent but her commitment and intelligence. what she plays on "scandal" in some ways who she is.
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i'm not going to say she is a political fixer, but incredibly smart and cape be. the character she is playing is so fascinate to go women because she is actually the most powerful person, even though she is in that character, playing against all kinds of men. and like the apex of power in washington, d.c. and she is the one with the power. and certainly that is something you don't see a lot on television. >> yeah. and i want to ask you the hard question. but is she a feminist, and how? >> well, i leave it up to her to say whether she is a feminist. >> olivia pope. >> o olivia pope? i have to confess, i don't watch "scandal." >> that makes you stand out. >> what i do want to say -- what i think is fascinating, when we talk about people galvanizing around social media, you know, quote, unquote, black twitter, black feminist twitter every thursday night, everybody is rallying around olivia pope and "scandal." and when we talk about why has it taken so long for such a great actress like kerry
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washington to get visibility, it might be because the traditional venues were entrenched in old ways and as soon as you had outgrowing of fandom on the internet, people finally took notice. and let's turn to janet yellen, the fed is a place that has enormous power but a lot less visibility. first of all, do your readers care about a woman ascending to that kind of position and why? >> our readers are people and the idea that somebody interesting and powerful is taking over important and powerful positions in washington, d.c. i think is germane. we're particularly interested when they're women, because so many readers are women. so it's important for us to know who is setting the agenda and what their point of view is. and what we're going to be talking about for the next year. >> go ahead. >> i think part of it was that she was at the larry summers, intense feelings from the left who felt he didn't stand up for regulation of the financial markets, too close to banks. and also someone people perceive
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to be sexiest in the past. the fact he was up for this job and janet yellen seemed to be the most qualified person, there was a level of excitement when she did get the job. >> that became a very gendered debate in washington. and larry summers has made unfortunate and unfair comments which he says were misunderstood and apologized for but definitely stuck with him, along with the feeling it was an old boys club running economic policy. >> right. and also the way in which larry summers supporters apparently would say things like janet yell yellen, that sounded like sexiest dog whistles. and hold on, enough is enough. she is great and knows what she is doing and protected crises in the past. how good does she have to be in order to get the job she is in fact qualified for. >> any women to watch for 2014? >> hillary clinton. >> hillary clinton? that's a safe one but a strong one. >> we have seen a lot of really
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great state representatives. i hope wit mer from michigan, i hope she considers using her platform. wendy davis obviously running for governor. >> right. and running off all the national attention. thank you for being here. appreciate it. coming up, we have a fictional holiday that not even senator rand paul could resist. stay with us. tide pods three-in-one detergent. pop in the drum of any machine... ♪ wash any size load. it dissolves in any temperature, even cold. tide pods. pop in. stand out.
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today senator paul channelled his best fred costanza on twitter and are shared one of his grievances. one party likes the rights, the other party unwilling to stand up. and the murray/ryan deal a sin none for increasing our debt. paul also had some fun with it by moving beyond right wing politics, shearing a minor grievance saying, quote, i can never remember when to move my car for dc street cleaning and the senate cafeteria never has burgers. sadly, one thing won't be a part of the situations this year. >> festivus is back! >> in response to some of your tweets, he wrote, there will be no feats of strength and i have no plans to wrestle with senator reid. he also sent out a plaintiff complaint for the senate's newest member, a democrat who happens to have a big at which
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timer following, writing one more grievance about bipartisanship, cory booker doesn't retweet me enough. and the junior senator gamely replied, you me, and feats of strength, senate floor, name the time. you can say they don't work enough or work together enough. but we will take some cooperation where we can get it. and senator paul, let me say happy hanukkah, merry christmas and grabbed festivus for your family. next, it's a spy versus spy world out there.
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we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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now from spying on americans to reigning in the national security state who are here are today's top lines. >> the hot debate, the future of u.s. spying programs. >> there was no abuse here. >> the biggest security breach in u.s. history.
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>> they were doing exactly what they were told to do. >> the surveillance program revealed by edward snowden. >> has the nsa violated anyone's privacy. >> no. >> you do not believe so. >> i do not believe that. >> we're not they're near a reform. >> the nsa is not spying on americans. >> because we've got to rebuild the american people's trust in our intelligence community. >> they found no violations. >> no abuses. >> no unlawful activity. at least a dozen nsa employees have used surveillance programs. >> no scandal. >> so spy on current or former lovers, spouses and relatives. >> none of that was found in this report. >> it's hard for me to believe. >> why can't you take a look at these programs. >> it's hard for americans to believe. >> and rein in aspects of it -- >> first of all, david, what do we rein in? there are no abuses by the nsa. >> it's not snowden. and in a way, he's irrelevant on this. >> he ought to swing from a tall
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oak tree. >> listen to what the founding father said. >> he said i cannot imagine a more indiscriminate -- >> do you realize we're not living in our refuvolutionary past. >> retention on personal data on virtually every citizen. >> don't put government in a position to abuse authority, and they are in that position, are they not? >> that's what's kept us strong as a country for over 200 years. i can the founding fathers would be astounded to see what nsa and others are doing. joining us now is michael leiter of the national counterterrorism center under president bush and obama. michael, take a listen to peter king. >> we need the nsa to remain -- as i said, no abuses by the nsa. the president has said that. this is all to me a debate, generated by the hysteria caused by edward snowden and why we're listening to him is beyond me. >> he says there is no abuse.
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that's not really true, though, is it? >> well, it really depends on what your definition of abuse is, ari. by abuse, there was no systemic violation of the rules set for nsa. doesn't mean there were none. there were. the examples you have. but those weren't broad. the real disagreement is whether what the guysa court, foreign intelligence court and what two presidents asked the nsa to do, whether or not that -- what they were supposed to do violated people's privacy. now, we have disagreements on both sides of that. you have judge leon in the district court of dc saying yes. you have had 15 fisa court judges say no. so what is going to play out here is what is our definition of what privacy should be and what spying should be. >> yeah. i mean, let's take a look at some examples. the nsa reportedly, according to the new york times, illegally and inappropriately accessed former president bill clinton's e-mail. does that count as abuse? >> i think that is. there are certainly cases of
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individuals abusing their responsibilities in nsa and doing things they shouldn't. so to say there is no abuse is wrong. what peter king is saying is that the program of capturing metadata isn't abuse at all, because it's constitutional, permissible. other people would say no. in fact, that isn't abuse. so the question is not whether there are individual cases of abuse. the question is, were those caught by oversight. and were those people disciplined. and the answer to those questions is undoubtedly yes. >> i think judge leon, you know, you mentioned that ruling last week. his view is he disagrees with that, cites several secret court rulings that said the nsa's lawyers were misleading to the court and a big paper trail on that. on the no abuse question, it's significant, because you have very senior members of the intelligence committee and other important places here in government, basically saying zero problems. and if there are some, as you're referencing, that seems to be an issue. the other question i wanted to get at you, the fisa courts,
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generally over seeing the program as it rinuns. not generally doing a broader constitutional analysis. and though not everyone realizes it, what was different about last week's ruling, it was the only case that didn't get dismissed on standing grounds, where people were actually allowed to get into the merits and that overruled it. do you think it's fair to sort of try to put that on equal footing with the secret court rulings? >> well, i -- it's actually not true that the fisa court does not look at the constitutionality of the program. the fisa court does evaluate both the constitutionality and the statutory standing. you are certainly right that the district court decision is at a different level in a way. because of an adversarial process. you had someone who was coming in saying this was wrong and the government defending it. you don't have that in the fisa court. both courts have article 3 judges but you don't have a back and forth in the same way you did this court. so i think the district opinion last week, which found the program of metadata collection
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unconstitutional is meaningful. i think there's still a very, very open question whether or not that will stand on appeal. at the intermediate court of appeals and ultimately the supreme court, which i think will see this, and hear this case in the next year or two. >> that's your prediction, the supreme court. and do you have a view on how they'll rule? >> i think it's likely they will hear it. i think there is an excellent chance judge leon's opinion will be overturned in the court of appeals. and despite the fact that judge leon relies very much on justice sotomayor's concurrence, they're going to be hard-pressed to find five votes at the supreme court to overturn this case. and frankly, i think legislation will change before then anyway. >> interesting. michael leiter, i know you've got a lot of experience in this area. thank you for your time. we now bring in julia sanchez from kato, who also has worked on these issues a lot and a critic of some aspects of the nsa. take a listen to the president's evolution. he went from a full-throated defense to saying he's got to
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look at alternatives. take a listen on friday. >> i'm going to assess, based on conversations, not just with the intelligence community, but others in government and outside of government, how we might apply and incorporate their recommendations. and i'm going to make a pretty definitive statement about all of this in january. >> isn't that alone already a lot of movement on this issue? >> i think he may not have much choice. this is a board that he himself sort of hand-picked. he didn't go through the existing privacy and civil liberties oversight board, but sort of chose a group specifically to assess this. i think almost certainly expected a much more moderate sort of tweak around the edges but basically everything is okay kind of report and got what in many ways is surprisingly radical set of recommendations for really substantial overhauls. effectively doesn't put it this way but does effectively end the
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2015 program, effectively eliminates national security letters. does a lot of what -- i think had been considered the raddel california end of reform. >> i think that's right, and a lot of recommendations which the most positive view you can have, the president didn't put a bunch of yes people on a committee. to your point, may have been someone unexpected. take a listen to what marcie wheeler writes today. she has worked on these issues for a long time and writes that the whitewashing of surveillance dragnet reform is now in full swing. barack obama and the intelligence community have no intention whatsoever of reforming. in fact, they're going to use the illusion of reform to expand their authorities, and power. are you as skeptical as she is right now? >> a little less than that. i think we have growing momentum. we have bills -- before congress that incorporate sort of preemptively a lot of these recommendations. but, you know, having defended strongly for so long the
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programs in their current form, and certainly given the intelligence community sort of devotion to them, i think it's going to be very hard. on the one hand, hard for the president to say no, everything is fine. this is his own committee. can't just brush aside their recommendations. >> what did you think of the exchange i had with michael about the abuses? because you have a lot of republicans and other oh defenders saying no abuses whatsoever, which isn't really supported by the fact. >> no, and i mean, depends what you call an abuse. you had systemic violations of the rules imposed by the fisa court across several programs that took years to detect. and one of the reasons you have those -- those rules is that when you're talking about a secret program that operates on this enormous scale, it's going to be very hard to spot specific abuses. so we know the rules were violated. and the question is, is the bar then -- well, you've got to prove that someone intentionally misused some of the information they brought up. well, the reason you have these rules is, you're never going to be able to prove that. >> no, i think that's well-taken. and this whole idea of how bad
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is hacking the former president's e-mail and how systemic is it seems to me to sort of petty fog and lawyer up the basic finding, which is oh, wow, people are using this program to get at president clinton or any president's e-mail. that's a problem. we don't have more time, but julian sanchez, thanks for being with us today. and coming up, we are going to venture beyond the great new york city skyline to the land where palm trees sway. a live report from president obama's hawaiian holiday when we come back. ♪ medically khaliqycaca you're giving away pie? would you like apple or cherry? cherry. oil...or cream? definitely cream. [ male announcer ] never made with hydrogenated oil. oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] always made with real cream. the sound of reddi wip is the sound of joy. [ car beeps ] ♪
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tell your doctor about any conditions such as kidney, liver, or bleeding problems. xarelto® is not for patients with artificial heart valves. jim changed his routine. ask your doctor about xarelto®. once a day xarelto® means no regular blood monitoring -- no known dietary restrictions. for more information and savings options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. those shopping for health insurance are getting a gift. the deadline as we have reported is pushed to tomorrow. and that move coming as the president signed up for a bronze plan himself this weekend and now taken a little break in hawaii where we find, take a look at this, the luckiest nbc
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reporter of all, peter alexander in honolulu. that is an amazing place, amazing view. i want to ask you, one, tell us about the deadline. and number two, what is the president's schedule like in these coming days? >> ari, i would like to tell you, we're not rappelling down to the beach in between live shots, but we are today. more seriously, though, here's what's important about this new delay right now. not so much a delay as the white house would describe it as it is an extension to accommodate all those people trying to enroll today. so today is the last day you can sign up to get coverage by january 1st. but they're describing it sort of like election day or if you're in line, when the polls close, you can still get your vote in. suffice to say, that means if you finish your enrollment at some point tomorrow, specifically in the 36 states that worked through the federal exchange that go through, you will be able to be covered by january 1st. that's what's significant about this. >> all right. and real quick, what are they going to do the rest of these coming days? >> they got some busy plans.
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one other thing quickly to note, we got some numbers from the administration saying through 2:00 p.m. today, they had 850,000 visits to the website. more than 2 million since saturday. that 850,000 in the first half of today, ari, about five times the same period of time one week ago. as for what they're doing today, you couldn't blame the obama family for enjoying the sun. the president getting his second round of golf in, in just three days. right now hitting the links not far away from here. and actually, the course he's on, as best i know, passes by one of the streets in that area. so a lot of the fans try to get a chance to see the president. may actually get a chance to interact over the course of today. >> that sounds good. i hope you get some time on the links as well and enjoy your holiday, peter alexander, reporting from the best place on earth, i think. >> reporter: pretty decent. we'll say that. >> absolutely. peter, i will tell you, if you haven't finished your holiday shopping, don't miss our next segment. we have comedians eugene merman and todd berry to talk us through your last-minute gift
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ideas, especially through the political junky in your life. stay with us. "stubborn love" by the lumineers did you get my email? i did. so what did you think of the house? did you see the school ratings? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! have a good day at school, ok? ...but what about when my parents visit? ok. i just love this one...
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now we turn to holiday news. many americans are struggling to come up with last-minute gift ideas, because it can be tough to find that perfect gift. we have sought out the advice of two veteran stand up comedians. todd berry from his roles on several tv shows and films such as "the wrestler" or many years of stand-up. >> in the body shop. oh, my god. that is the perfect last-minute thoughtless gift warehouse. you can shop there with your eyes closed.
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grapefruit bath gel. let's see, my mom eats grapefruit, she baths. boom. >> and eugene merman not only a stand-up comedian, also the voice of gene on "bob's burgers" and followed this memorable report in the 2008 primary new hampshire. >> we're about to see mitt romney give a speech about his plan for making america more plastic and fake. i am at some pancake house or something in new hampshire about to see mike huckabee and chuck norris tell us how it is. and tell us they're crazy playing for america. >> i am very excited to have todd berry and u general merman here on the set of a cable news program. >> i was happy to see that clip i haven't seen in 23 years. >> well, you look better, which is not true for most people. >> i thought i looked terrible. >> you look better now. >> yeah. >> low bar. your history is a low bar. eugene -- >> whoa. >> i thought you looked handsome. >> i got some gifts i want to run by you. and is this a half serious
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segment because people do have political junkies and need gift ideas. you actually brought something. >> i did bring something that a few years ago a faend gave me, which is a soap -- piece of soap that is in the shape of mitt romney's head. >> that is really nice. >> it really smells like fiscal responsibility. that's the weird part where you're like oh, that's what that smells like. it's kind of floral. >> and is that an ironic gift or is that for the person in your life who loves mitt romney? because -- >> first of all -- >> i don't even understand the question. you're saying -- is this a serious head of soap or is this a joking head of soap? is that your question to me? >> that's my question. >> i think that it is i guess joking? but it's an absurd -- no one -- no one has gotten this and been hey, i know you love mitt romney, here is a soap of mitt romney. >> because then you have to -- if you use it, todd. -- >> you have to wash your ding dong with it and that's weird. >> we're going to move forward. we ask people who watch msnbc
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for their ideas. edwardo, his grandma gave him socks, and he was 10 years old. >> that's a fantastic gift. >> is that a good gift? >> i'm almost tempted to ask you to repeat that gift. >> socks -- >> socks was the presidential cat, the white house cat. >> oh, that makes sense now. that's a great gift. >> great gift. >> if you don't love someone, that is a great gift. >> i've got another one from our audience for you. >> audience? >> yeah. >> we need -- >> internet audience. >> we need a laugh track for you. >> elaine knight wrote us she got a dan quayle wristwatch and has it and it runs backwards. is there sort of an expiration date on dan quayle, gene? >> not if that they're good. >> does the question literally mean it runs backwards? >> yeah, i think it's a gag gift. because there are ironic gifts
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to spite your issues with that question. >> so the dan quayle watch goes backwards. >> you get it? it's not a good watch. >> that sounds -- it sounds -- >> the way he wasn't -- >> so what was the question about this terrible watch. sorry? >> the question from the person? >> yes. >> the person was just saying -- >> i have a terrible watch. >> can you still make dan quayle jokes. >> oh, if it's true, you can pass on the information. but i wouldn't say that's a joke. >> you know -- >> like when a comedian wants to talk about a movie that's been out for 30 years. hey, i rented this movie last night. and then we get to do the joke. i don't know. she needs to find a way -- >> she's just answering the question you asked, which is do you have a political gift. >> yeah. i feel like we're -- like any good comedian or deconstructionist literary professor, you're going to the core of this, what are we doing. we asked people for their best and worst political holiday gifts. >> exactly. so she's just saying i got this thing. and the answer is dan quayle jokes aren't funny, but the fact of it is wonderful. >> i've got another one for you.
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from joe, he wrote in that he was given -- this is a true statement. according to joe, the o'reilly factor for kids. is that a good holiday gift? >> is that a dvd? what is that? >> bill o'reilly, but his message is for young people. >> if you're a child, just extraordinarily angry, child, who wants to just watch political news, yeah, it's a great gift. >> maybe o'reilly is really good with kids, that's his strength. >> yeah. i don't know. it depends on the outrage of the child over some of this stuff happening in schools of freedom. >> i was in like a junior statesman of america which is like a glorified debate club when i was a kid and there are those kind of kids so for them it would be a great gift. i want to be like bill o'reilly, sort. >>. >> who is the question. i'm assuming it's for 10-year-olds. but maybe 17-year-olds. >> yeah, i was in high school in debate club which may not surprise you. >> you're a lawyer. >> surprised you're not in debate club now. >> good gift for a 10-year-old,
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bad for a 12-year-old. >> i have another one for cheryl harris, a sweet one. i know you guys are not positive people. there is something about a lot of comedians i've met, they seem or act unhappy. we can get to that. but this is from cheryl harris, who is happy. >> i'll decide if she's happy. >> she wrote in, msnbc is the gift of knowledge, which she gets every day. >> i think you're reading happiness into that. she is saying she learns, but my guess is some of the things she learns upset her. >> that's true. >> i can't believe you picked that one as -- i mean -- >> that's happiness? that's your example of happiness? >> it's upbeat. >> wow. >> so over the top positive. >> when is the last time -- and this is also a gift you can give anyone for free last-minute. is compliment. when is the last time either of you have genuinely complimented someone in your life? >> probably earlier today. >> what is it? >> nice hat. i don't know. that's an example of something that could have happened. i really like your tie. >> anything? >> backstage, the makeup room, i was like, i look good, right?
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that was a compliment? >> i told someone they were doing a great job. >> okay. now, todd is very self-complimentary in a self-deprecating way on twitter. and your act is like that too. do you think that works? >> yeah, i think it works. oh. that's -- that's a compliment. >> that is a compliment. >> it just happened. just happened. >> what is your favorite town to play in, withstand-up. we're about to leave. >> we're about to leave? >> yeah. so what's your favorite? >> oh, gosh, new york, seattle, san francisco, boston. >> wherever it takes you? >> yeah, boston, seattle. boss-ton. >> smell bourne, australia. >> are you giving gift ideas? this is it. >> do you have one, before we go? >> 3-d printer. >> all right. todd -- >> the gift you gave me. that i got, was really nice. >> okay. >> lean forward sweatpants. >> todd perry and eugene merman, thank you both and we will be right back. clients are always learning more
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thanks for watching today. i want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and happy new year. and up next, "the ed show," with joy reid filling in. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show." live from new york, i'm joy reid in for ed schultz. and as ed would say, let get to work. women with women, man with man. they committed indecent acts with one another. >> living together! mass hysteria. >> and they have the due penalty for their perversion. >> real wrath of god type stuff. >> i actually thought what we said about african-americans in the south under jim crow was so much more offensive. >> jesus was a white man too. >> you can judge a