Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 30, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
[ speaking foreign language ] russians are certainly on high alert as the country is trying to figure out what's going on. the president deploying additional special forces to the south. >> how do you stop a single islamist bomber, a single suicide bomber who's determined to blow himself up or herself up. we begin our coverage with jim maceda. he joins me live from moscow, which is about 400 miles from the city of of volgograd. explain to us what we do know so far about what the police leads as to who could have caused these bombings? >> reporter: hi, thomas. first of all, russian officials have declared a state of emergency in volgograd while officials have said this morning's bus bomb was carried out by a male suicide bomber.
8:01 am
they are going under the strong suspicion that this is all about an attack, a series of attacks by islamic terrorists, islamic militants. investigators in volgograd have now started, we understand, to make connections, links between the two attacks, the most recent attacks. they're saying that the same group they believe or a cell carried out both the train and trolley bus bombings, that the explosives used, like the shrapnel used to maximize carnage, were extremely similar. investigators are also linking the bombings to a public appeal, if you recall, made several months ago by the chechen war lord, an appeal directly, publicly to his men to kill civilians and disrupt the upcoming sochi winter olympics,
8:02 am
an event which of course russian president vladimir putin has staked his prestige on. which is why he's deployed some 40,000 special forces police and aenl agents around sochi to make it safe. thomas. >> jim, for all of the people back here at home, explain geographically the importance of the city. the former city known as stalingrad now volgograd, explain the importance of this city and how it's positioned. >> reporter: sure. first of all, it's an important transportation hub. if you were to take -- if you wanted to go to sochi or come from sochi and travel through southern russia, you would really have to go by train or bus and go through volgograd. it's a major transportation hub. it's only about 400 miles from the olympic venue of sochi. by the way, that other car bombing that took place on friday, which killed three,
8:03 am
that's only 170 miles from sochi. so it's really the proximity to sochi. so close now to the games that sending out a frightening message, and it's obviously a very deliberate message coming from these militants, that they can strike anywhere and at will. they don't need to strike sochi. they can go for softer targets, the so-called underbelly of the country, in places like volgograd but not just there, also in moscow or st. petersburg, they could detain their goals, which is to strike fear and paralyze the country. back to you. >> jim maceda reporting in moscow for us. jim, thank you so much. i appreciate it. we move back to our other top story today has to do with politics here at home. while the president and his family continue their vacation in hawaii, the white house is welcoming a surge in obamacare signups. the administration is reporting out of its original end of year goal of 3.3 million, about 1.1
8:04 am
million have signed up since october the 1st, so one-third. boy march 31st, officials still hope to reach that seven million signup goal. however, certain lawmakers say they are very skeptical. >> the data does show that less healthy people are signing up. younger people are signing up less frequently than hoped. >> obamacare is a reality. unfortunately, it's a failed program that is taking a less-than-perfect health care system from the standpoint of cost and making it worse. >> meanwhile on a different note over the weekend, long-term unemployment benefits expired for more than a million americans and the president calls reinstating the aid, quote, an urgent economic priority. he spoke to jack reed and dean heller on the phone friday. they are co-sponsoring a bill to extend it for three months. republican opponents say they want it paid for with offsets. >> many of those same people who say i won't vote for it unless there's offsets won't offer any offsets unless they say
8:05 am
generically let's cut some other program. that's robbing peter to pay paul. if we do not extend unemployment benefits, we'll lose 200,000 jobs next year and about 0.25% of economic growth or gdp growth. so another battleground on the economic andin yum inequality fight. the minimum wage fight. the democrats will make it their economic prioritpriority. this week 13 states will raise the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to more than $9 in certain states. that's boosting pay for some 1.4 million workers. as many as 11 more states and washington, d.c., are planning to consider increases this year. joining me right now, independent senator from vermont, bernie sanders. sir, it's good to have you here. i want to start with you on the news about the aca, obamacare. we've got two days to go before health care coverage kicks in on january the 1st. obviously with these new numbers we see that interest has picked
8:06 am
up for certain americans. your state's former governor, howard dean, says that he thinks it's going to be a success, but the number of young and healthy people, they just haven't gotten on board yet and they are what's needed to float the boat. do you think it's too soon to worry about that group not paying attention? >> well, i think we've got to worry, but i think we also have to understand that at a time when we have 48 million people in this country without any health insurance and even more people with high deductibles and co-payments, the affordable care act in my view, thomas, is a modest step forward. even if it had been implemented perfectly would still leave us very far behind almost every other major country on earth in terms of universal coverage. and by the way, in terms of the cost of health care. we are spending today almost twice as much per capita than any other nation on earth. that's something we've got to look at. but we are making progress. we still have a long way to go. >> so the implementation,
8:07 am
obviously, yes, a lot of bumps in the road into getting that rollout and now a lot of monday morning quarterbacking, so to speak. but we have a reuters report coming out saying supporters of the aca are urging the administration to pick a ceo to run the federal marketplace. we have three names that have been mentioned, possible picks. we've got former aetna ceo ronald williams, george hal verson, the former ceo of kiez permanente and john kingsdale the head of mitt romney's massachusetts exchange back in '06 when it rolled out. are you surprised something like this wasn't considered at the forefront. >> there is no question but that the rollout of the affordable care act was very, very poor. i think the president will be the first to acknowledge that. i think they are making some progress right now. we still have a long way to go. >> but are you surprised that someone like this in a role, say, kingsdale would represent,
8:08 am
someone that has the ability having run in '06 mitt romney's successful rollout in massachusetts, are you surprised that the formulation of a role like this wasn't established long ago? >> i'm not surprised, but i think there is no debate but that the entire rollout, the organizational structure for decision-making was not as strong as it should have been. >> all right. so as we also talked about here, the unemployment benefits that have now expired, they did on saturday for 1.3 million people, that's about $300 a week for some. about 650 people from your state are losing out on those benefits. what's your opinion about the bipartisan bill i mentioned earlier. we've got majority leader harry reid saying he's going to bring it to the floor a week from today. in your opinion do you think it's good enough? >> well, we'd rather have a year than three months, but three months is a start. look, the reality is that if we
8:09 am
do not extend unemployment benefits, 1.3 million of our friends and neighbors, people in many cases who have worked their entire lives, many of them older workers, are going to be shut off completely. and a major source of their income is not going to be coming in. that is to my mind absolutely unacceptable for us as a nation. but the second point that i think jack reed made earlier, if you don't extend those unemployment benefits and if you don't put income into the hands of people who need it, they're not going to have that income to spend. that will result in the loss of some 200,000 jobs in our country and a decline in our gdp in the next year of 0.2 of 1%. so it is foolhardy from a moral perspective and from an economic perspective not to extend the unemployment benefits. i would hope that we can do it for a year. three months is a start. >> meanwhile, while we have that conversation existing, there is also the long conversation and one that continues to percolate
8:10 am
through democratic circles that they may hang their hats on come the midterms is the minimum wage fight. we've got 13 different states raising the minimum wage on their own. in your state of vermont, it's going up 13 cents to $8.73 an hour. again, the average being $7.25. is this year going to be the turning point on this? and do you think democrats are going to go all in on wanting to see a federal minimum wage hike to pull republicans out from where they stand on it? expose their position? >> look, here is the story. the story is that the national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. i think most people understand that is a starvation wage. individuals can't live on it, families can't live on it. if we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour which doesn't go as far as it should, that would be a raise for 30 million americans. the vast majority of them are adults and that's not just people making $7.25 an hour,
8:11 am
it's people making $8 an hour, $9 an hour. at a time when almost all new income, thomas, is going to the top 1%, it is time that working people, lower income workers get a raise. and i very much hope the republicans will go along with it. i hope they understand that the overwhelming majority of the american people across the political spectrum understand that we've got to raise the minimum wage, so i hope we can get this done. >> vermont senator bernie sanders. sir, thanks for making time for me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. as we all know as we're watching the calendar, 2014 just days away now. with the new year comes the midterm elections. we look ahead at the races that could shift the balance of power in congress. also ahead, "the new york times" reporting these new revelations about that dead low attack in benghazi. remember that video that they blamed and then they didn't blame? well, there's no evidence that it may have actually played a role after all.
8:12 am
and our question of the day is about this "new york times" report. after it has been written and everyone has read it, do you think that it vindicates susan rice, who was villified, as we all recall, by republicans after her appearance on five sunday talk shows? give me your thoughts. send them to us on twitter and facebook. explaining my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis to another new stylist. it was a total embarrassment. and not the kind of attention i wanted. so i had a serious talk with my dermatologist about my treatment options. this time, she prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems,
8:13 am
serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. make the most of every moment. ask your dermatologist about humira, today. clearer skin is possible. we still run into problems. that's why liberty mutual insurance offers accident forgiveness if you qualify, and new car replacement, standard with our auto policies.
8:14 am
so call liberty mutual at... today. and if you switch, you could save up to $423. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
8:15 am
okay. so as we gear up for the 2014 midterm elections we've been looking at key contests that could shift the balance of power in congress. today, what the senate might look like after election day on november the 4th. right now there are 53 democrats and two independents who caucus with them and 45 republicans, but 35 senate seats are up for grabs next year. 20 are currently held by democrats, 15 by republicans. joining me now, perry bacon, political editor for
8:16 am
and an msnbc contributor. perry, good to see you. let's start with the states where democrats or republican senators are retiring. montana, south dakota, west virginia, georgia. any of those likely to change hands? >> i don't think so, particularly when you talk about south dakota, montana, west virginia, democrats pretty strong underdogs in those states. those are states where mitt romney won by large margins in 2012. unlikely to see a change of hands there. i would say georgia is a little different in that the demographics of the state are moving in the democrats direction, meaning that there are increasingly numbers of voters who are black, latino and young. that group is growing. obama only lost there by seven points in georgia in 2012, so that's the one place where you could see an upset. michelle nunn, her father was a senator so she has name recognition. >> let's look at the democrats who do have a fragile ten-seat majority.
8:17 am
which democrat incumbents face the most serious challenges? >> the most serious challenge i would say is two of them. mark pryor in arkansas. he's another democrat in a state where romney won by a lot of points there as well. he -- his poll numbers have been down. he's running as a pretty strong house republican whose name is tom cotton. that's probably the most vulnerable incumbent democrat on the map. also look at louisiana, mary landrieu, in alaska, north carolina, kay hagan. those are democrats running in states where romney won and obamacare and president obama are very unpopular. >> as we look at the other side, republican incumbents who might face the most serious challenges. who are they? >> the most serious challenge is mitch mcconnell and he's really the only republican i can see losing next year. even he i would say is a favorite. but mcconnell's approval ratings are low. voters there when -- i've been there a few times in the cycle already and voters there seem like they are tired of him.
8:18 am
even republicans say they would like to see -- he's been there in the senate so long and he's kind of become a symbol for the dysfunction in washington. and the candidate running against him, allison grimes, is a popular democrat in kentucky. >> but also his primary challenger too, correct, is took a good job, matt bevin? >> he's probably going to beat matt bevin, but mcconnell has to move to the right even further than he would want to because of the primary challenger of matt bevin. >> bottom line, what do you expect this new composition of the senate to be after november the 4th? we'll log this tape and show you on november 4th. >> i expect the republicans to gain between four and six seats so there are 45 now. i would expect they're going to win those three i named at the beginning and two or three and they know one or two others. i'm going to go ahead and be bold and say that republicans will win 50 seats so the democrats will still control the senate in 2015 because joe biden is the 51st vote. >>'s perry bacon. good to see you. >> thank you, thomas.
8:19 am
still ahead, another setback in efforts to free that ship that's stranded in ice off antarctica. plus an historic step forward for the boy scouts. they prepare to open their ranks to gay children this week. what does the mean for young scouts across america? we'll talk about that straight ahead. in the nation, we know how you feel about your car. so when coverage really counts, count on nationwide insurance. because what's precious to you is precious to us. ♪ love, love is strange just another way we put members first. because we don't have shareholders. join the nation. ♪ baby... ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪
8:20 am
8:21 am
8:22 am
so there's more than 70 passengers stranded in a ship in antarctica since christmas and they're going to have to wait a little longer before they can go home. this is all after a third rescue attempt had to be aborted because of bad weather. the australian ice breaker ship got within ten miles but had to turn around due to heavy winds and snow. this morning on the "today" show the leader of the trapped crew talked about the options that are still on the table. >> the big thing is the weather, the low visibility at the moment. one possibility is hopefully the ice breaker will try again. we could also try a helicopter
8:23 am
evacuation or alternatively the american ice breaker, a beautiful vessel is in the region soon and if that were to come first, it would definitely get us out. there's a variety of options. we're just keeping hope. >> nbc's martin fletcher joins us from our london bureau with more on this. these people have been stranded on a ship surrounded by ice for almost a week now. however, we are communicating with them, we are having interviews with them, following them on social media and the tra veils that go along with this so at what point does it shift gears to be more critical and more dangerous than it already is? >> well, thomas, you know you're right. these people must be the most in communication people who have been trapped in history. there really is not many people -- there's so many people trying to help them, it's not really a matter of danger at the moment anyway, it seems all under control. i guess the only real concern really is the weather and the timing. the ice is so thick, that so far
8:24 am
ice breakers from france, china, australia have all failed to get through. there's plan b, evacuation by helicopter but that also depends on the weather, because too much snow, too much wind and the choppers can't take off. and that is the situation at the moment. there is, however, plenty of food, fresh and dehydrated, for a few weeks, thomas. >> so what's morale like as we're seeing, again, these crew members who are giving interviews. they're also tweeting about this. but the morale of what the crew is like. let's just remind everybody what this ship is actually doing in that area. >> well, they went there -- they're scientists on board and they're volunteers and 20 russian crew. they went there to do experiments in the arctic, in the antarctica. they finished their experiments. on their way home, they got trapped. the question is didn't they know enough not to get trapped? apparently the wind changes very
8:25 am
quthere, packs up the ice. they knew there was a problem and they got stuck. they are well fed and they communicate easy on the internet and there does seem to be enough alcohol on board too, as the lady we just saw said. so according to this passenger -- >> so the rations are good as long as the food and apparently the alcohol, if it stays -- if it sticks, they'll be good. martin fletcher for us following this for us from london. martin, thank you, sir. i appreciate it. >> reporter: thank you. so here's a look at some of the stories topping the news. public opposition to the war in afghanistan reaches a new high. 18% support it while 82% oppose it. that's above opposition to the war in vietnam. a nationwide manhunt for an alleged cop killer and bank robber is over. 40-year-old mario garnett was killed in a shootout with police after a robbery in phoenix. he was also wanted for robberies in alabama and the death of a police officer in mississippi.
8:26 am
the family of a girl in a coma after tonsil surgery has just hours to find a facility that will take her. a judge's ruling will allow a children's hospital to take 13-year-old jahi mcmath off life support today at 5:00 p.m. pacific time unless her family can find another facility that will keep her on a ventilator. seven-time formula one racing champ remains in critical condition in the hospital in france. he collided with a rock while skiing in the french alps and is now in a medically induced coma. after four seasons with the washington redskins, coach mike shanahan has been relieved of duties by the team. the team lost to the giants yesterday, finishing with only three wins this season. shanahan made a brief statement this morning thanking fans for their support. >> you go through some rough times and i can't tell you how supportive this fan base is and to be able to coach here, be the head coach in front of fans like
8:27 am
that, that support you the way they do, made me feel very special. >> peyton manning breaks the nfl's single season passing record. manning threw for 266 yards and four touchdowns in the first half against oakland on sunday. the previous record was held by drew brees. and michael bloomberg will no longer be mayor of new york as of wednesday. new numbers from "the new york times" show that michael bloomberg spent a good chunk of his own change while in office. according to the "times" bloomberg doled out around $650 million of his own money in connection with his job as mayor. is the best.
8:28 am
8:29 am
8:30 am
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. police in michigan are looking to youtube for clues about the whereabouts of a medical resident missing since december the 5th. >> hi, baby. good night. it's talika. it is a little past midnight and
8:31 am
i just wanted to tell you about my day. >> 30-year-old dr. talika patrick was last seen right there. this surveillance video on the night of december 5th. her car was later found on an interstate ditch nearby in indiana. police say the videos which show patrick singing to an unknown love interest were posted three weeks before she disappeared. kevin tibbles is in chicago with the latest on this search. kevin, what do police know so far about these videos and how they have been able to try to link them through the activity seen in them to whoever this unknown love interest is? >> reporter: well, that's who the police are trying to now locate. they have taken this case. the fbi is calling it a missing persons case, but obviously the circumstances here, thomas, are quite bizarre, to say the least. a young woman, who is obviously respected in the community, who is a resident doctor in the community, shows up at a hotel trying to book a room without any i.d., paying in cash. she fails to do so.
8:32 am
then ends up getting on the hotel bus to go back to the hospital where she works to pick up her car to then drive to indiana where the car is then found on the side of the road. that along with these videos where she seems to be speaking to someone that we don't know who that person is, and her family in florida, of course, says that they were unaware of any love interest. obviously a lot of red lights go up in this case. and of course her mother was expecting her home for christmas and of course she did not show up. here's what her mom had to say. >> she should have come for christmas. she bought her ticket. it was a somber christmas. it's a roller coaster ride. sometimes you feel hopeful and other time it's every minute exacerbate your hopes, you know. >> reporter: the family has now hired a private investigator in the kalamazoo area to look in the kalamazoo area to see if
8:33 am
there are any further clues to help the authorities locate this missing woman. again, a young girl, apparently disoeriented in the hotel lobby and then disappears. obviously a lot of people are concerned. >> kevin tibbles reporting from chicago for us. keep us up to speed on any updates, we appreciate it. "the new york times" benghazi investigation has reignited the debate over last year's consulate attack there. and lone star senator ted cruz and this is 2013 antics. and the red state/blue state divide. is it producing competing americas. those are the topics for our agenda panel. irin carmon, victoria soto, also an msnbc contributor, and corey dade is a contributing editor for corey, i want to start with you and "the new york times" because it's this report that they have
8:34 am
disputing mainly republican claims that al qaeda was involved in last year's attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi that killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. instead the "times" said that local militants carried out this attack. however, we've got lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pushing back. take a listen. >> there was this clear attempt, and andrea send it veaid it ver there was an attempt to cover up cia activities but went out on five stations and told a story that was at best a cover-up for cia and at worst something that castaway this idea that there was a real terrorist operation in benghazi. >> i dispute that and i think the intelligence to a large volume disputes it. do they have differences with al qaeda core? yes. >> i think the intelligence
8:35 am
paints that some came to murder, some to troy property, some came to loot and some came in part motivated by those videos. >> there's just no chance that this was an al qaeda attack, if by al qaeda you mean the organization founded by osama bin laden. if you're using the term al qaeda a little differently, if you're using the term al qaeda to describe even a local group of islamist militants who may dislike democracy or have a grudge against the united states, if you're going to call anybody like that al qaeda, then okay. >> so, corey, in your opinion how does this help move the ball on the facts of what we know, on what really happened in benghazi? >> well, thomas, i think for starters this is some vindication to some degree for susan rice who was the first from the administration to go out and explain these attacks in part as being motivated by the video that was made here in america that was critical of
8:36 am
muslims. but beyond that, you know, the political part of it is the usual reaction. you expect house republicans to say the earth is flat when mainstream media or the administration said it's round. i think going forward, the vindication is going to be muted because the republican response is going to put out the fact that still in this report it shows that there are -- there were intelligence failures that the administration has to address that did not take these potential threats seriously about what the outcome could have been here. >> let me ask you, as corey points out, the intelligence threats that may not have been taken seriously, we knew what a situation it was, the arab spring that was spreading and yet there are still people that want to attach this at hillary clinton's feet and it's a tragedy, of koefcourse, what happened there. so again, how does this change
8:37 am
the narrative of the facts that we know for benghazi and how does this change anything, if ever, in washington, d.c., for hillary clinton? >> over the weekend you saw some suspicion both on fox news and republican lawmakers saying that potentially this very definitive "new york times" account, which they have been demanding that the mainstream media cover benghazi and here they are, but the suggestion was that "the new york times" was trying to, quote, clear the field for hillary clinton. i mean there are many reasons why the republicans remain obsessed with benghazi but one of them is they think it's going to hurt hillary clinton. that there were not only intelligence failures that failed to protect the americans in benghazi but also that this was al qaeda. now, the former does seem to have more substantiation. it does seem to be that they ignored intelligence that suggested this was a dangerous situation, they should not have had relatively unprotected vulnerable americans on the ground. but, you know, again, if you want to academically say it's a
8:38 am
semantic question of what is al qaeda, there is no evidence that what the rips say happened, happened. so that's ultimately only the most crazed conspiracy theorists are going to associate this with hillary clinton down the road. >> it was certainly a talker on the sunday shows. this also was a talker, victoria. let's get to the potential 2016 presidential candidate that is republican senator ted cruz of texas. we saw him yesterday morning taking a pretty defiant tone, even concerning and distancing himself from the recent government shutdown. i just want to play a small portion. take a look. >> i think it was absolutely a mistake for president obama and harry reid to force a government shutdown. >> now, you know even john boehner has said this was a republican shutdown. >> look, i can't help what other people say. john, i understand that in the media, every day the media reported the republicans shut the government down. >> come on. >> also we have to point out there was the senator's 21-hour filibuster that some people call the faux filibuster to challenge the president's health care law. victoria, he's among the most
8:39 am
conservative voices in the republican party, certainly a tea party favorite. what do you expect from him come 2014? >> ted cruz has had a bang-up year in 2013. many folks look at what he did this past year saying is this going to be his springboard for running for the presidency? are there bigger plans? you know, thomas, i don't see that. a lot of folks think there might be a ted cruz for president campaign, but he is smart enough to know we may not agree with him, but he knows that the math doesn't add up for him being able to win a general election. i think we need to start to look at ted cruz as a jim demint. jim demint left, he's passed on the baton to ted cruz. he's an uber jim demint. he's serving as a pace car. he is moving the republican party farther and farther to the right and that is what makes him feel good. that is where he can come home and say job well done because i have moved the conservative base farther over to the right. so i'd be cautious about 2014 and 2016, him moving farther
8:40 am
into the white house prospects. >> one thing we do know is that "the dallas morning news" has retained counsel to renounce his dual canadian citizenship as a result of him being born in canada to his american mom, cuban father. corey, what does that tell you about the 2016 likely presidential ambitions of ted cruz? >> i think ted cruz is sort of purifying himself so that everyone knows that he is a true american. i think that, you know, whether he actually runs for the white house or certainly puts in a bid so that he can be perhaps the standard bearer of the republican party, you know, he's trying to be the standard bearer of the conservative wing of the party. and he may need to run for president to prove that. but i think in 2014 what you're going to see is him testing his mettle across the country, not just in washington. fund-raisers nationwide, really aligning himself with different candidates for the house and senate who are running as tea party candidates.
8:41 am
that's going to be important for him. >> certainly has name recognition. we'll leave on this because we got one of last year's most divisive politicians to an increasingly divided america now. dan balz writing a fascinating article that i want to just read part of it. he writes political polarization has ushered in a new era in state government where single party control of the levers of power has produced competing americas. one is grounded in principles of lean and limited government and on traditional values. the other is built in the belief of the essential role of government its and the tenets of cultural liberalism. is that how you see things happening, especially now that we do have the right and the left and certainly this strong opponent of the tea party being able to flex its muscle within the right? >> at a point of complete legislative paralysis at the federal level, when even the most modest gains are heralded as progress, yes. the states have definitely become laboratories both for very progressive and very conservative legislation as they become more polarized. what's going to be interesting
8:42 am
going forward if you have one state where there is a medicaid expansion where women have access to reproductive services, where people can vote fairly and another state where you have a minimum wage statute in place and another state in which it's increasingly unequal and polarized, difficult for minorities in particular to vote, you know, what are going to be the long-term impacts. are people going to leave those states? are people going to want to live in the other ones? it usually takes longer than the every two years elections. one thing very clear is that democrats who ignored state politics in the last cycle are now paying the price in some of these states that have become totally controlled by republicans. >> 2014 should be an interesting year. so we round out the end of 2013, days to go. happy new year to all of you. irin carmon, victoria soto and corey dade, thank you all. you can find more from our panel and join our agenda setters on our website,
8:43 am
you need a bunch of those to clean this mess. then i'll use a bunch of them. then how is that a bargain? [ sighs ] no, that's too many -- it's not gonna fit! whoa! cascade kitchen and math counselor. here's a solution. one pac of cascade complete cleans tough food better than six pacs of the bargain brand combined. so you can tackle tough messes the first time. that is more like it. how are you with taxes? [ laughs ] [ counselor ] and for even more cleaning power, try cascade platinum. [ chainsaw whirring ] humans -- sometimes life trips us up. sometimes we trip ourselves up. and although the mistakes may seem to just keep coming at you, so do the solutions. like multi-policy discounts from liberty mutual insurance. save up to 10% just for combining your auto and home insurance. call liberty mutual insurance at... [ thump ] to speak with an insurance expert
8:44 am
and ask about all the personalized savings available for when you get married, move into a new house, or add a car to your policy. personalized coverage and savings. all the things humans need to make our world a little less imperfect. call... and ask about all the ways you could save. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
8:45 am
8:46 am
2013 marked a turning point for voting rights on the state level, and next year we could see a showdown on the federal level. eight states passed laws restricting voting rights in 2013 and similar legislation was introduced in over a dozen other states of the biggest blow to voting rights this year was the supreme court's decision striking down a key piece of the voting rights act of 1965. since then, north carolina passed the nation's most restrictive voting law and the justice department is suing north carolina and texas and pennsylvania and wisconsin and are also facing challenges to their laws which have yet to go into effect. joining me now is former president of the naacp and the national urban league empty mark morial. ben, let me start with you. we had a federal judge announcing the trial over north carolina's law won't take place until 2015. so when we do the math on that, it's well after the 2014 election. though advocates are pushing for an injunction.
8:47 am
how confident are you that opponents can get an injunction before the midterms? >> look, we'll push and there's reason to be hopeful. but at the same time the courts are sort of very conservative and so there is reason to be concerned here. and it's -- look, this is a law that cut early voting, killed same-day registration, killed the preregistration of 16 and 17-year-olds and requires photo i.d. this law was put in place to make it very hard for working people who are disproportionately people of color in that state to get out and vote. and, you know, this is the type of thing that, quite frankly, we wouldn't have to deal with if the supreme court hadn't gutted section 4 of the voting rights act. and so we are dealing with this across the country right now. the good news is that we're
8:48 am
winning in more states than they are, but the bad news is that where they have won, as with this law, they are rolling the clock back. >> all right. so, mark, on right now we've got zachary roth rating the top five villains and heroes of the year. for voting rights villains it leads chief justice john roberts, north carolina governor, kansas secretary of state kris kobach, texas attorney general greg abbott and ohio governor john kasich. accurately, who would you say is the -- who's been most, i guess, heavy handed in setting back voting rights? >> thomas, the supreme court decision striking down secontio4 is perhaps the most egregious step because it disabled a very important tool that's been in place since 1965, and a tool which has yielded much fairer voting practices all across the nation. so to a great extent what the
8:49 am
chief justice in his majority decision did was in effect send a signal to many, many states that the gates are now open for what i would call extreme oppressive voter suppression laws. so that decision, what that points to is an absolute need for the congress and the president to pass a new provision of the voting rights act that restores the protections of section 5. i also think that it requires, and the attorney general should be given credit for this, for action to be taken under the remaining provisions of the voting rights act. i'd point out that the justice department just hired pam carlin, one of the nation's most talented voting rights lawyers, to assist in this effort. so this is going to be a fight. it's going to be a continuing fight not only by activists, but i think with the justice department fulfilling its responsibility as a protector of the constitution and the vote. >> so, ben, we've got the
8:50 am
co-founder writing for the huffington post the need for the freedom summer of 2014 saying, quote, a new freedom summer could reverse the impact of the attempted voter suppression it's like florida. you put in very restrictive voters registration laws, laws that said if you had a form out of the office, a voters registration form for more than 48 hours, you're facing jail time and/or a very big fine. our volunteers at the -- showed up there the tuesday after the martin luther king holiday 2012 and sheriffs across the states were threatening to put them in jail. but they signed up more than 120,000 people to vote and that's why the president could
8:51 am
win by 60,000 votes. the only way to fight back is to do a door to door cypress gardens up people to vote, making sure they get their ids and showing the right wing we will not be -- we will not have it. >> appreciate it. coming up, equality and boy scouts, a big change. coming up, we're back after this. from nationwide insurance and we'll replace stolen or destroyed items with brand-new versions. we put members first. join the nation. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. way to go, crestor! yeah! getting to goal is a big deal, especially if you have high cholesterol plus any of these risk factors. because you could be at increased risk for plaque buildup in your arteries over time. so, when diet and exercise aren't enough to lower cholesterol, adding crestor can help. go, crestor!
8:52 am
♪ ♪ oh, yeah [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone, like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking. call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine, or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. crestor! yes! [ female announcer ] ask your doctor about crestor. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
8:53 am
8:54 am
starting january 1st boy scouts will begin accepting openly gay members. this is an historic change in its history as it opens up its ranks to gay identifying children. it will still exclude gays from leadership. good to have you here. bsa distributed explanations on the policy and topic of whether a scout with march in a gay pride parade. it says in part each youth member is free as an individual to express his or her thoughts or take action on political or
8:55 am
social issues but not use scouting official uniforms and insignia when doing so. also regarding sleep arrangements, if a scout or parent of a scout, if a parent makes a request to not tent with a scout, their wishes should be honored what do you make of this new policy. is it fair enough? >> i think the boy scouts have gone an enormous distance in what they have done, demonstrated leadership against odds. boy scouts up against a mob, a bully, frankly, in the folks trying to oppose this. they stood up to them, by the same time haven't gone far enough. when they announced this half position, allowing gay scouts but discriminating against gay leaders. it was difficult for more organization, we struggled with it. there are tens of thousands of boy scouts that are no longer going to have to live in the closet while they are boy scouts. they are proud and supportive
8:56 am
and seek camaraderie and leadership boy scouts offers. >> how quickly do you think they will change those identifying as gay to grow up and also be a part of the organization? >> i think it's going to happen overnight. as we have seen time and time again with last vestiges of discrimination against lgtb individuals, when the discrimination ends, what ends up happening is pretty much nothing except individuals affected by it feeling a certain degree of freedom and certain degree of affirmation of their individual choices. when i was senior patrol leader of my boy scout troop, wii we had a bully in the troop. that bully was similar to the ones pushing back there policy. in the end we have to do the right choice. thankfully boy scouts have done mostly the right choice. >> thanks for joining me. >> my pleasure. >> that's going to wrap it up for me.
8:57 am
"now" with alex wagner, joy-ann reid filling in next. it was different than the other times i tried to quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix varenicline is proven to help people quit smoking. it's a non-nicotine pill. chantix reduced my urge to smoke. that helped me quit smoking. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking, or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix, and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental-health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these, stop chantix and see your doctor right away, as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood-vessel problems or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping, and unusual dreams. my quit date was my son's birthday, and that was my gift for him and me. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
8:58 am
8:59 am
9:00 am
republicans are sticking to the same old story. it's monday december 30th and this is "now." i'm joey reid in for alex wagner. a new reports in "new york times" proves no evidence on an attack on a pair of u.s. compounds in benghazi. an anti-islamic video did inspire events that led to the death of four americans including ambassador chris stevens. the months long organization said no evidence of al qaeda or terrorist groups had any role in the assault. contrary to the assertions of many republican lawmakers, the attack was fueled in part by anger