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tv   Up W Steve Kornacki  MSNBC  November 29, 2014 5:00am-7:01am PST

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be a part of the bigger picture. ♪ and your kindness makes ♪ the little things that you do for me ♪ go to dawnsaveswildlife. black friday in ferguson. good morning and thanks for getting up with us this holiday weekend. part of the holiday for many americans is the shopping ritual known as black friday that played out yesterday. the frenzied high-traffic official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. it's the kind of annual event where we think we know what's going to happen. but in and around ferguson, missouri, yesterday on black friday and even up to 1700 miles away from ferguson, missouri, black friday was being redefined.
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protesters urged shoppers to boycott black friday in response to the grand jury's decision not to indict a ferguson police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager. one of the most popular shopping malls in st. louis, demonstrators actually lay down on the floor. more rallies were held outside big box stores in st. louis county. in san francisco, meanwhile, on the west coast a group of about 300 protesters marched through the downtown shopping district breaking windows in union square. across the bay, about 20 people chained themselves together through the doors of a b.a.r.t. subway system, one heavily used by shoppers. meanwhile back in missouri on the streets of ferguson, police made 15 more arrests in front of the ferguson police department. richard lui joins us now from ferguson. richard, thanks for taking the time this morning. looks calm behind you. i was on the air the night before thanksgiving and it seemed calm then. what's the expectation for today and for this weekend? is the expectation that the protests will be kicking up
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again a little bit or more petering out? >> you know, steve, you described it so well because what we are seeing are different phases since monday. of course the monday-tuesday phase where we saw a lot of protests and violence. we then moved into the holiday and thanksgiving and saw a downtick of violence and yesterday a different stage where we saw those die-ins where demonstrators basically laid down in different malls. the galleria mall in st. louis, also west county mall, that was also here in the ferguson area. that's where the protesters went after. and then in the evening, the reports of protests, and those protests in the evening at the police department where there was some conflict there, where 16 individuals were arrested, according to the st. louis police department, and then that takes us to today. this is the first weekend since the no indictment came down here
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in ferguson. so the question is now that we've moved past that phase of the holiday, that downtick, right, that new phase of the holiday shopping season where they were saying don't -- do not shop, an economic protest, right, as they move into today, saturday, whether as we see the temperatures here, and you were commenting earlier it's going to be 10 degrees warmer today. so does that mean we'll see more activity tonight. and again, that activity it's hard to estimate because each evening when it does happen at that right before midnight time period, it's hard to tell what may or may not happen. but you asked about what might happen today and tomorrow. and, steve, there's naacp and in a matter of hours that will be kicking off that seven-day walk and protest. it will be 100 miles. it will be seven days long. i was just speaking with cornell brooks, the president and ceo. he says what their hope is here, steve, is to rewrite history and
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what is the understanding of what this means. the no indictment decision there of the killing of michael brown. >> all right, richard lui live on the ground in ferguson, missouri. obviously keeping a close eye on that this weekend. thanks for the update, appreciate that. now i'm joined by our panel. we have robert george of "the new york post." we have co-executive producer of "the alpha house" jonathan all thor. we also have mike peska with us. we got the update from richard lui there. the naacp is leading this march. i think they're going to jefferson city, the capital of missouri. as we had in the intro there, the shopping malls and big box stores across the country where protesters yesterday came in. i guess the question i have watching all of this is what are we seeing here? are we seeing just a temporary response, frustration to the decision by the grand jury? is it just people who want to be
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expressing their frustration with that? or is this leading to something more? is this leading to something bigger? are we going to be seeing protests like this for a long time and are there specific outcomes that could lead to? >> i think that's a question a lot of people are asking. i think the initial frustration with the no indictment is understandable. if they want to try and possibly put pressure on the doj to look into it from a civil rights perspective that makes some sense. but kind of going forward in terms of what they want to do locally, i think that's an open question. and -- >> it seems like you say -- it seems like the idea of a doj prosecution here seems very unlikely to happen. the other -- legally speaking, the other thing is can the family do a civil suit against the officer. i'm led to believe there's a little more plausability there.
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>> on this particular case i think it's important that people focus on what lawrence o'donnell was talking about on his show just before the holiday, which is that the assistant district attorneys gave the grand jurors a law about the use of lethal force that was extremely important in their decision. it basically said that, you know, police officers in missouri are allowed to use lethal force even if they don't feel that their lives are in danger. the problem is the law was declared unconstitutional by the u.s. supreme court and the jurors were never told about this. so that's on a narrow thing. so we need -- we need to have the american public understand that this was a true miscarriage of justice. that's the first thing. >> but hold on a second. >> that was clarified later in the grand jury proceedings that
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the law was declared unconstitutional. >> it was ultimately clarified for the jurors? >> it was ultimately clarified, but late in the proceeding. >> what i'm asking is it's a key point when people hear that. one question it raises, does that mean there could be the equivalent of a mistrial called here? >> i don't know the answer to that question but there are other things, for instance, that half of the witnesses according to this pbs chart that was done breaking down this voluminous eyewitness testimony, half of them felt that -- believed that mike brown's arms were raised as were first reported. if you have conflicting eyewitness testimony, that's to be resolved by a trial, not in a grand jury. >> i've read hundreds of pages of the documents. i remain unconvinced he should have been indicted not just because of the law. i think in many other jurisdictions he wouldn't have been indicted. he says that a man went for his gun and then he can claim that just him being within 20 or 30 feet if this guy showed he
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wanted to go for his gun that is potential deadly force. most experts questioned how the grand jury was done. it's very unusual but he was allowed to do that. i think there are forms needed retraining the cops. here's a simpler one. president obama and eric holder, they run the justice department. we have the worst statistics on how often this happens. we can't even say that this many black people are killed or this many white cops do the killing. that's pretty simple. but the discussion, it's better for the protesters if it gets off ferguson. even though there is no such thing as a perfect victim, he really wasn't a perfect victim. if we start debating were his hands here, were his hands here, and that was the debate, it doesn't matter. the issue is real in society not just michael brown. >> just to mike's point about how difficult it is to indict a police officer in these cases, outside of cleveland a few months ago where you had a young black man in a walmart
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purchasing a bb gun, legally walking through the store, somebody came in and said he was point at somebody. cops came in, shot him dead. a grand jury was convened there and the cops were not indicted. it is very, very difficult to indict police officers. but that goes to the point and that was a clearer case where the person who ended up dead was basically doing nothing. >> well, to me the problem i have here is it seemed clear to me when you look at the prosecutor here, this is a prosecutor who looked at this at the beginning and this could be a totally good faith conclusion on his part but he said i don't think there's a case here. i don't want to go before a trial jury and try to make a case here. at the same time, this guy acted like a politician and you could see he had the conclusion i don't want to be the guy who is standing up saying there's not going to be a trial. i don't want to be the guy saying i'm exonerating this officer, therefore, i'm going to give all of this evidence to a
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grand jury and use them to try to give me cover. but this idea that he threw all this evidence at the grand jury and they didn't know what to make of it, that's true because that's a prosecutor who doesn't want to make a case but also doesn't want to be the guy to stand up and say they don't want to make the case. >> i've never seen that except in an instance where you're prosecuting a cop. >> just to get to the larger point, i think you make a good point that we want to move toward larger reforms. to me there is one that is central and that is a vest camera on every police officer in the united states. the technology is available. and so we should set a goal as a nation that by 2017, 2018, every police officer in the united states has one of these things. this would address a lot of these problems. it wouldn't solve the problem but it would be an enormous help in these situations. >> what about a taser. carry it in the car. again, this might not have stopped that case, but if it
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stops one death -- >> the problem is the demonstrations are too kind of ill formed. they're just -- they're diffuse. they're just kind of protesting in general, sometimes smashing windows which of course is very counter productive. even when they're peaceful, they're not focused enough. >> they're expressions of frustration. >> which is the cause of some urgency. but we really do need the signs up there, you know, vest cameras by 2018. really focus it to go into the state legislatures and get this done. we have a precedent for this that president obama was involved with in the illinois state senate which is getting interrogations videotaped, which is now quite common around the united states and has been very productive and supported by prosecutors and defense attorneys. this can be the same kind of thing. >> anyway, got to squeeze a break in. when we come back, big news on the ray rice case overnight. we'll get to that when we come back. yo ured in days.
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other big news this morning is that one of the nfl's biggest stories of the year is now back in the headlines this weekend. this is because an arbitrator has now thrown out the indefinite suspension of former baltimore ravens running back ray rice. this means that rice can now sign and play with any nfl team that wants to sign him, if any nfl team wants to sign him. former judge acting as the arbitrator basically said that commissioner roger goodell went too far. in a 17-page decision she said that the league's assertion that rice misled them about his actions was arbitrary and, quote, an abuse of discretion and must be vacated. goodell extended the suspension after the videotape surfaced, the videotape of rice punching his then fiancee, janay palmer, back in february. palmer, who married rice after
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that incident, describes how she felt in a new interview with matt lauer that was taped before the ruling. >> we've only seen you months after the incident. >> yeah. >> and i can't imagine that you were that calm when you started to realize exactly what happened in that elevator. can you describe those emotions? >> i was furious. we came home and we didn't talk the entire ride. well, i didn't speak to him the entire ride home. he tried to talk to me. i didn't want to hear anything. i just knew he hit me and i was completely over it. i was done, didn't want to hear anything. i just didn't even want to entertain it, entertain him, anything that he had to say, any explanation. of course in the back of my mind and in my heart i knew that our relationship wouldn't be over because i know that this is an us and it's not him. >> and you can see that whole interview starting monday on the "today" show. this is the kind of morning where i am glad -- i'm always
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glad when mike is here but am really glad that you're here right now because there's twor angi -- two angles on one. the reasons it was lifted was -- roger goodell issued two suspensions. the arbitrator is saying roger goodell didn't learn anything new the second time. >> he just underpunished him and screwed up the first time. if people are mad and think there's an injustice because this horrible guy shouldn't be playing in the nfl, whose fault is that? ultimately it's the perpetrator's fault but roger goodell is at fault because the first time out he gave a two-game suspension and the arbitrator had said if it had been indefinite from the start then i'd have no reason to say you can't have an indefinite suspension for the whole season. i also think roger goodell thinks he's judge, jury and executioner. sometimes he gets it right
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enough there's no legal recourse and sometimes he gets it wrong. and in this one instance where he didn't understand the issue and didn't understand how serious it was, you can look at it like it was the one time he was being lenient but i think it was the consistent time he was being wrong. goodell wants the process to be him, the owners want goodell to be the process and that's hugely problematic. it's another loss for goodell. >> and in between him giving the two-game suspension and then the indefinite suspension, he changed the discipline parameters for domestic abuse saying that indefinite suspensions could be an option. so it really looked like he was making it up as he went along and any arbitrator is going to find that very, very peculiar. the fact is, though, no team is going to sign ray rice with four games left. >> what about next year? >> it would be smart to have a club sign him that's not in a major media market.
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it would be easier on him. one thing that's interesting to me about this is however bad what he did was, he told the truth according to the arbitrator and that's kind of a good lesson. because honesty paid in this case for him. if he hadn't been honest, if he had been even a little bit dishonest when he went in and talked to the league, he'd be out now. >> i was reading this from "the new york times" this morning and they said here are a couple of examples of players who have been through issues somewhat like this. leonard little, defensive lineman, played 12 seasons in the nfl after killing a 47-year-old mother in a drunk driving incident. donté stallworth, wide receiver, played three seasons after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a hit and run accident that occurred after he had been drinking. of course the michael vick situation, we all know about that. so what jonathan is saying, he did apparently tell the truth from the beginning in this. his situation with his wife, all we know is his wife is still
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with him and she's out there defending him. is there a future in the nfl for him? >> he's a good running back which is why i think he'll be signed. there are 32 teams in the nfl -- >> and his production is on the decline. >> every running back who turns 30 gets a little hurt but if you look at teams that need a running back, they say, oh, he's been away from the game. 31 teams are like how dare you and the one that does it has their fan base rally. you know, you're right, let's give the guy a chance. let's give the guy a second chance. if he does well on the field, i don't know if all is forgiven, but in the nfl, especially with guys who aren't quarterbacks, they're all just useless pieces of meat who's there for our glory and if he can help the arizona cardinals get two more wins or a first round bye, arizona cardinal fans will accept that deal. >> mike, though, actually touched upon this earlier. what the real focus is going to be on this, you're going to see the nfl players association use this ruling to try to push back against goodell's overall power
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in terms of discipline. they have been kind of itching for a fight since the last collective bargaining agreement and this may give them more ammunition for it. >> we've been talking goodell issues and goodell status all along. it seems like the basis for this ruling raises a lot of questions about goodell. >> don't think adrian peterson who's been indefinitely suspended, don't think that will change because it's a different part of the arbitration, it's a little bit technical. we shouldn't say goodell is not earning his $40 million. this is why they pay him so owners don't have to mete out the suspensions. we're also keeping our eye on a missing ohio state university football player. he has not been seen since leaving his apartment at 2:00 a.m. on wednesday. he is a defensive tackle for the osu buckeyes. according to a police report, he texted his mother complaining about concussions shortly before he disappeared. up next, what's league and what isn't when it comes to
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abortion could look very different a year from today than it does now. we'll explain next.
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well, republican victories in congress were the headline in this month's election. if you really want to feel the impact of the gop wave you might want to focus away from washington and on your local state house. the election has left republicans in control of two-thirds of all state legislative chambers in america. the party hasn't had that kind of reach since, well, ever. 31 governors will be republicans come january and one area where republicans seem very interested in using all of this power is on the issue of abortion. some republicans have been trying to pass a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks in congress, but that effort hasn't gotten far and isn't expected to get any farther in the coming year. when it comes to all these republican-controlled states, it's a whole different story. 13 states have already passed bans on most abortions after 20 weeks. now many others may be lining up to join them.
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exit polls show national voters are divided over abortion. a slight in favor of legal abortion in all or most cases. there's also the question of how far you can restrict the procedure and still comply with roe v. wade, which is still the law of the land at least for now. so what kind of new laws are we looking at when it comes to abortion and how will they go over with the voters who just handed the gop all of this power? i want to bring in page winfield cunningham, a health care reporter for politico, author of the piece we just mentioned. she joins us from st. louis. paige, thanks for taking a few minutes this morning. we have a number of states, this has been a story we've been watching the last few years. a number of states, republican-controlled states moving legislation on abortion. we say that 20-week restriction thing has come up a lot. where in the next year are we expected to see the most action on this and what kinds of new laws are we going to be looking at. >> well, you're right in the last few years we've seen a huge number of states pass abortion
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restrictions. in fact 231 anti-abortion measures have been passed since 2011 and that's the most since roe v. wade. a couple of things happened this year and a couple of things at place next year will prime the ground for more restrictions. as you said earlier, you saw more republicans take over state houses. in fact more than half of the states have completely republican-controlled legislatures. we saw a few more governor seats taken over. and then you have four states that will be meeting next spring that only meet every other year, texas being one of them, south dakota another one, places where normally you could see more restrictions very likely there. something else, another interesting state to watch is tennessee. a couple of weeks ago during the midterm elections, voters approved a ballot initiative saying that the state constitution doesn't guarantee women the right to an abortion and that basically opened the door for the legislature to start passing abortion restrictions for the first time in 15 years. so i think that you're going to
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see more movement in the states that have already passed a lot of restrictions, a lot of the southern states, texas, mississippi, south carolina potentially, alabama, oklahoma, maybe wisconsin, and then there's a new opportunity to do so in some new states. west virginia being one of them. republicans just took over the legislature there. the 20-week ban that you mentioned earlier, that's very likely to come up again. so i think the ground is really prime for a whole other flood of restrictions to be passed next spring. >> let's take texas as an example because texas is an interesting one because it was a year ago when wendy davis in the state senate staged that all night filibuster, became a hero to some liberals and launched her gubernatorial campaign on that issue. i fast forward to a year later. she didn't just lose the texas gubernatorial race, she got clobbered. she got just 39%. democrats usually do a little better than that in texas. so it says something, i think,
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about the popularity with voters in texas of what the legislature there did on abortion. what they did was have a 20-week ban you talked about and they also did things about requiring places that perform abortions, doctors to have admitting privileges and hospitals to pass restrictions on that level. given that they did that, given that wendy davis lost by such a big margin, where in a state like texas do they go from here? what's the next restriction they come up with? >> i think you'll certainly see more next spring. you're right, the strategy of anti-abortion advocates has worked pretty well. the state had 42 clinics and now under this law if the law continues to stand it will be fewer than 10. beyond -- i mean there's sort of different strategies that they can take. one is limiting abortions beyond a certain point. the other is placing more restrictions either on the clinics themselves or on women seeking an abortion. so texas could kind of -- there's a whole batch of things
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that legislators could explore as far as requiring women to wait longer before they receive an abortion or other regulations to make it harder on clinics to stay open. >> paige, i guess in a lot of these states there's a balancing act or maybe they don't care in some cases. at what point does it trigger something that goes to the supreme court? at what point does this become a challenge to the legitimacy of roe versus wade? do you think these laws will lead to the supreme court hearing that and reconsidering that? >> well, i think there's two laws that would be very likely to be heard by the supreme court at one point. one is the ban of abortions past 20 weeks. so far the court hasn't decided to take that up but it could in the future. the other is admitting privileges. and that's requiring doctors that administer abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. you saw a lot of states pass those laws this past year and there has been a lot of legal challenges to them. in fact they have actually been
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blocked in four or five states at least allowing clinics to remain open at least temporarily. but i think you'll see those cases continue to wind their way through the courts. and like most other courts when you see appeals circuit courts split, that would make it the court likely to take up those challenges. >> paige, go billikens, thanks for up time. appreciate that. coming up next, the one thing democrats dread more than anything else and here's a hint. it has to do with the supreme court. (vo) nourished. rescued. protected. given new hope. during the subaru "share the love" event, subaru owners feel it, too. because when you take home a new subaru, we donate 250 dollars to helping those in need. we'll have given 50 million dollars over seven years. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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the office this coming monday. since being sworn into the high court back in 1993, ginsburg has been treated for colon and pancreatic cancer. she's never missed a single day of oral arguments. calls have increased from some liberals for ginsburg to step down so president obama can replace her with a younger justice with similar views but this summer ginsburg was having none of that. >> people know that i'm here to stay and my answer is i will do this job as long as i can do it full team. when i feel myself slipping, when i can no longer think as sharply or write as quickly, that will be the time for me to leave the court. >> but her latest medical trouble does raise a touchy subject. republicans have now won control of the u.s. senate. that means they will have the power to block any obama nominee if they want to. so if ginsburg does end up
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stepping down in the next two years or if any other justice steps down in the next two years, what happens? here to help us answer that question, we have msnbc's jane tim. jane, thanks for joining us. so let's take -- let's use ginsburg as an example. let's say it's a totally voluntary thing but for whatever reason a year from now ruth bader ginsburg steps down from the court. you have a written senate that's wanted to block all sorts of nominations that feels the democrats have trampled over them when it comes to judicial nominations. what happens then? >> there's no one that these far end conservatives would like to get rid of more than ruth. she is the person that says her dissents don't just say i oppose this and i'm against how you ruled, this is here's how you're going to fix this mess later on. she writes down what progressives want to hear and puts it in beautiful terms. >> so maybe they would be happy for her to leave the court. >> they love it because you need 60 votes for put a new person
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back in that court and they know that they can't -- democrats can't pull that off unless this is a pretty moderate or conservative, you know, justice. >> i've heard two different theories on it. one is that it's always about the balance of the court. so ginsburg, the most liberal member of the court. so if president obama had to appoint a successor to ruth bader ginsburg, one theory is republicans would let him put a liberal on there because it's a liberal for a liberal. whereas if scalia left, you have a far right conservative on the court and obama puts a liberal that, would not stand with conservatives so they would fight that more aggressively. >> i can see that. i can see mitch mcconnell striking that deal. i can't see ted cruz striking that deal. i can she hee him having a pret big fit if he says we're going to keep the balance where it is. he'll say absolutely not. i want to overturn these
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rulings. roe v. wade, he wants more viegd ideologues. he wants the court to be idea logically where he is. >> and that creates a test. we always have been saying ted cruz is mitch mcconnell's biggest headache the next two years. it's the perfect example. ted cruz stakes himself out as this is the position of purity, this is the position of -- this is the absolute pure conservative position. and it puts other republicans, mitch mcconnell or anybody else, john mccain, lindsey graham, anybody else, puts them in a position of having to argue pragmatism to a base that likes conservatism. guys, here's what we'd all like but here's reality. >> in this sort of partisan bickering environment, it just doesn't work. we saw obama try to nominate a very conservative democrat out in georgia for a court and progressives said absolutely not. this is, you know, compromise is just not being had when it comes to these court nominations right now. >> is there any way, because
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it's funny you pull the statistics about when ruth bader ginsburg was nominated back in '93. there was a whole circus before she got picked in '93 with others, you know, who clinton offered the seat to and everything. but anyway when she finally got picked, the vote was like 96-3. when stephen breyer was put on the court a year later, it was 98-1, something like that. can you ever see us getting back to the day where basically the question for supreme court nominees are basic fitness. are these competent people, good legal minds. ideology aside, if they're competent, solid legal minds, they belong on the court. can you see us get back to that? >> i think when you know how all of these people are going to vote like, you can see their records. warren was appointed by -- he was a republican. he was brought onto that court and came out with a very different and far more liberal agenda. i feel like it's a lot hard tore find those stealth nominees that
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can get onto a court. people who fit sort of the political hole but don't exact -- have, you know, their own views and aren't going to vote a party line. i think that it's increasingly this court has not become the legislative, protecting the branch of government it's become just another part of the partisan -- >> i think it's true. i think there's a little more emphasis on the conservative side but they have this down to a science. they know exactly what these justice to be doing, they know exactly what to look for in potential candidates and they know exactly how to get those potential candidates through as best they can the confirmation process without saying anything of substance. it's true. it's kind of depressing but that's the reality. it's the big question mark for the next two years. if there is a supreme court vacancy, we don't know how it's going to play out. thanks for joining us this morning. six years later, where do things stand on the very first action that barack obama pursued as president. we'll talk about that, next. ring ring!... progresso! it's ok that your soup tastes like my homemade.
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this was one of the most overlooked stories in recent days. the fact that inmates are quietly being transferred out of the u.s. detention facility at guantanamo bay, cuba. closing the prison was the very first policy action that president obama carried out after he took office. he signed the executive order on january 22nd, 2009, two days after he was inaugurated as president. he's faced lots of opposition and procedural hurdles as he tries to carry out that order. kristen welker joins us from the north lawn of the white house. kristen, what can you tell us about -- this is a very underreported story and seems like a big development. >> reporter: you're absolutely right, it has been underreported. before the end of the year, the obama administration will transfer more prisoners from guantanamo bay. now here's how to think about this. this official is telling me there's now a renewed focus on getting prisoners out, especially with republicans set to take control of congress.
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as you know, steve, republicans have consistently blocked president obama's efforts to close guantanamo. now just last week the department of defense announced that six guantanamo bay detainees had been transferred out of the prison camp, so this brings the total number of detainees at guantanamo down to 142. that's from a high of nearly 800 after the 9/11 terror attacks. the republican chair of the house armed services committee, buck mckeon slammed the releases. he argued that the detainees could rejoin the battlefield. that's their main line of argument. but administration officials pushed back against that. they say it's inaccurate. they point to the fact that 90% of released detainees don't return to fight. that means that 10% do. this renewed focus on guantanamo is also shedding more light on the decision to replace defense secretary chuck hagel. this is why by law the defense secretary has to approve any prisoner releases.
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but one administration official tells me there is frustration here at the white house that hagel has not moved quickly enough to certify the release of detainees. one defense department official pushes back against that and tells me while hagel is still in office he will continue to review transfer cases in the same manner he's been doing. of course the main roadblock has been republicans, which we've discussed, who have been calling for more congressional oversight, particularly after five prisoners were swapped for the release of sergeant bowe bergdahl. patrick bentrell has the official line from the administration. he tells me the administration will continue to call on members of both parties to work together to ensure that congress lifts the remaining restrictions and enables the closure of the detention facility at guantanamo bay. still, the thinking here is that there will only be more opposition once republicans take control of congress and that's going to get a lot more difficult. steve. >> kristen welker, thanks for joining us live from the white house this morning. good segue there too, because up
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next, more on what guantanamo has to do with the abrupt departure of chuck hagel from the pentagon. n kind? those to clean this mess. you would f then i'll use a bunch of them. what are you doing? dish issues? ... ... get cascade complete. one pac cleans better than six pacs of the bargain brand combined. cascade. now that's clean. with
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as kristen welker just reported the u.s. is quietly going to release more detainees from guantanamo bay, cuba. senior administration official confirms there is a renewed push to clear prisoners out of guantanamo, particularly with republicans set to take control of the u.s. senate with only two years left in the obama presidency. six more detainees have been released just over the last nine days. this is a remarkable shift from nothing to, well, something. as kristen welker just said, many are wondering if this has something to do with it. by law as defense secretary, chuck hagel has to sign off on any transfer out of guantanamo bay. as many have been reporting in the days since his departure was announced early in the week, administration officials have privately complained that hagel
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has moved too slowly to certify detainees for release. aides to hagel counter that he makes a point of thoroughly reviewing all of the evidence before signing off but it's a major policy difference between the white house and the man who won't we in charge of the defense policy much longer. other reports say hagel was pushed out because of concerns that he wasn't up to the task of leading the defense department in the fight against isis, it required a different set of skills that he doesn't necessarily have. that he needed to be more aggressive instead of low key. but if that's the reason, if it's policy differences and not some personality conflict or power struggle that got hagel booted out of the administration this week, will bringing in a new defense secretary do anything? isis, egypt, libya, russia, iran, if anything else, hagel's departure is just a reminder of how many threats and challenges the president is now facing.
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msnbc military analyst colonel jack jacobs and nancy, thank you for joining us. nancy, let me start with you. on the point that kristen was raising saying there's a dispute between the white house and the administration and chuck hagel when it came to certifying these detainees for release. hagel in the white house's eyes going too slowly. is that a real issue? is that why this is happening? >> i can tell you from the defense department we heard several times secretary hagel was reticent on signing off on these because he saw it as very personal. anybody he signed off on, if that person were to join isis or another extremist group that it would be his responsibility, that he was the person who released that person. so the word that we heard from the department was that he was very, very cautious about signing off on these releases. that said, his departure was a product of a number of factors. ultimately being one where the secretary was seen as not in
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step with the administration in terms of how it functioned, his contributions to it. i think there's an expectation when he came in that he would be a bridge between this administration and congress vis-a-vis sequestration, that didn't happen. then as the united states confronted the islamic state that he wasn't as willing or able to provide key advice in terms of how to take on this really intractable problem in the middle east. >> so, colonel that, point is interesting to me because the story of obama and hagel goes back really to the 2008 campaign. chuck hagel was sort of the symbol that barack obama used publicly to say my foreign policy has common ground with republicans, with the republican tradition. it's bush and the hawks and neocons who have gone way out there and hagel was a symbol of that and bringing him into the administration was a continuation of that. when you see now that apparently there are some pretty big differences between them.
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hagel is being pushed out. what does that tell you about the obama administration's foreign policy and just how this country has changed in the last six years? >> i agree with you, it tells you a great deal with the white house. much more about the white house than anything else, including the congress and we know lots and lots about the congress because of the way they have acted over the last few years. i think that hagel was selected in the first place because he was compliant. i think they thought that he could get easily confirmed. >> that didn't happen. >> i think they were taken aback by that. in actual fact he was selected because he was compliant. i'm not -- like nancy, ike there's a lot of reasons he's not here, guantanamo may be one. he didn't have the temperament to be secretary of defense in an administration where power was 17 rcentralized in the west win.
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i think anybody who will take the job next will have to not be flattered by being selected or in the alternative saying i'll take this job but these are my requirements and you can't do everything from the white house. he did not have the leadership ability to lead a defense department in an environment where power, authority is centralized in the white house. in fact i think the white house tried to separate authority and responsibility by making the secretary of defense responsible, but didn't give him the authority to get stuff done. >> did it surprise you what you're saying in terms of his temperament, in terms of what's required in this job and him in your view not being up to it? did it surprise you having seen him for so long with his background, his background as a soldier, with his background in the senate, his back ground leading policy role, did it surprise you? >> no, not at all. as a matter of fact we've said on this show when he was -- on msnbc when he was first nominated that just because he fought in vietnam does not make
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him a good secretary of defense and able to focus his attention on national security matters. what you really need is a junkyard dog. pi n p pinett, a, successful. gates, not happy but successful. having somebody compliant just doesn't work. having a guy in charge of a first tier ministry, especially in this administration. >> nancy, the quick question then, who would want this job right now? this is the final two years of the administration, the lame duck years. i heard like jack reed, the senator from rhode island, get mentioned. why would a guy give up a safe senate seat for a two-year stint in the administration. realistically who would take that job? >> that's a great question and one of the ones dominating the discourse here in washington. as you point out, this would be a caretaker secretary of defense for two years during war time and at a time when the budget -- the defense budget is being cut,
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which is something we haven't seen before. that's interesting as well, this would be the fourth secretary of defense under this administration. no president has had four secretaries of defense since truman, who was the first to have a secretary of defense. whoever comes in will come in at a tumultuous period, a period where the tenure has already been determined by the end of the administration and at a time when the policy itself will likely not change because of who the secretary of defense is given that it comes out of the white house, the policy, not the defense department. >> my thanks to colonel jack jacobs and nancy usef. another full hour of news and politics straight ahead, so stay with us. 
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the health care law versus economic recovery.
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thanks for staying with us on this final saturday in november. one of the top ranking democrats in the u.s. senate served up a rather harsh assessment this thanksgiving week diagnosing what he believes democrats have done wrong during the obama years, a time that has seen the party go from controlling both chambers of congress with massive majorities to now controlling neither. the most surprising and the most controversial area that new york senator chuck schumer criticized his party over this week, health care. while schumer ak cknowledged th system clearly needed to be fixed, he said pursuing health care so early in the obama presidency when the economy was devastated and unemployment was climbing toward double digits sent the wrong message to too many voters. >> to aim a huge change and mandate to such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense, so when democrats focused on health care, the average middle class person thought the democrats are not paying attention to me.
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>> schumer knows a think or two about the electorate. he ran the democrat senate campaign committee in 2006 and 2008 when they racked up those huge majorities that were there when president obama took office. obama and democrats did address the economic meltdown with the stimulus in early 2009, but then schumer says they took their eye off the ball. >> after passing the stimulus, democrats should have continued to propose middle class oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus. but unfortunately democrats blew the opportunity the american people gave them. we took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem. health care reform. >> not surprisingly, schumer's tough words are getting push back from president obama's defenders in the party. former white house speechwriter john favreau tweeted funny, i don't remember chuck schumer giving that advice when he was
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privately and publicly championing the affordable care act in 2010. we have former congressman walt minnick who voted against the affordable care act. also joining me is current msnbc contributor howard dean who was chairman of the democratic national committee from 2005 to 2009. so, walt, let me start with you because a lot of republicans think, a lot of democrats think 2010 was the health care landslide that swept republicans into power. you lost your seat in 2010. is it your opinion when you look back on how you lost your seat in congress that health care reform and your party's pursuit of it was the main reason? >> no. the main reason was i represented the most republican district in the united states who elected a new democrat in 2008 and i couldn't withstand the president's and speaker pelosi's low approval ratings two years later.
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>> but until terms of health care, do you agree with schumer's assessment that your party as a whole was hurt in 2010 by this? >> absolutely we were hurt. but i disagree with his assessment as to why. it was the right issue but the wrong bill. >> can you elaborate on that? >> yes. it was wrong both substantively and the process by which it was enacted. the way major legislation is typically done in a more functioning congress is you do a white paper that collects the best ideas, the executive and legislative branch. the committee shares that white paper with a ranking member and gets input as to what's acceptable, what's not acceptable. pick up a few good minority party ideas and make the process bipartisan. none of that was done with this bill. >> so governor dean, what do you make of what chuck schumer said
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this week? he's basically saying, yeah, it's right to do health care, but given the economic realities of 2009, 2010 we needed to do much more on the economy. >> i think walt has got it right. it wasn't the fact that we did health care. and i have to say favreau is right, at this hear chuck complaining about this. harry reid and chuck schumer and i were talking on a very regular basis while this was going down. and i think walt's right. the process was the problem and the bill was the problem. there was an easier, quicker bill that everybody could have -- we could have passed and we'd gotten it done with. >> what's that? >> what we should have passed is a bill that allowed people under 65 to sign up for medicare i if we'd done that -- i signed up for medicare a couple of years ago when i turned 65. tooked me ten minutes on the website. meanwhile the other website was collapsing and caused a huge problem. the way this was handled, into the white house went the
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insurance companies, the lawyers, the doctors, the hospitals, the drug companies. everyone got their deal. incredibly publicly. you can't do that, especially if you're the president of change. >> i guess the argument from the white house on that would be, look, how many presidents tried and failed to get health care reform through over 100 years before it finally was signed into law in 2010. some of the failures are basically if you don't bring those principal players in and make deals with them, you get the harry and louise ads and they kill it. >> it's not a problem to bring them in, you should. what you shouldn't do is make a big deal every time you do it. i sat down with a couple of guys from indiana who turned out to be republican. both of them voted for obama, both of them told me they would never do it again. it was because of this ridiculous parade of special interest groups going into the white house. you can't do that. of course you have to make deals but you don't do it publicly and pound your chest and say it was a great idea, which was what was going on on the white house
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staff. i think first of all chuck is exercising his prerogative. he's a very smart guy and i like him a lot and he's going to be very, very well, has and continue to do but this is revisionism. the fact of the matter is he was leading the charge. it got screwed up in baccau's committee. we have this bill and it's going to work but it was a bad way to go about it. >> but what about the -- and again, walt, i'll ask you about in in terms of the timing on this. part of what chuck schumer is saying isn't just the process of getting health care through, he's saying the timing. he said in 2010 the unemployment rate was hitting 10% in this country. we had this meltdown in 2008 playing out as president obama took office. he's saying we as a democratic party put the stimulus through. we got the stimulus through in early 2009. the message we sent to voters was there, done, economy fixed. now on to health care. do you think that was -- do you think that's the message voters got and was there a mistake there? >> i disagree with the senator's
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conclusion on timing. we passed a billion dollar stimulus bill. we pumped more money, did everything you could to pump up the economy. it was going to take time and the next big issue was health care. it was time we dealt with it. but the problem is we crafted a bill through a process that was foreign and one party partisan and it was a bill that i gave an a plus for expanding coverage but a d minus for reducing costs. the fact that it really has got substantially cut american health care costs is the reason more than any other why it's unpopular with american citizens pretty much across the political spectrum. it's why we democrats lost the partisan debate. but if we'd had a few republicans' ideas into that, ideas like controlling malpractice, ideas like letting the social security negotiate drug costs so we wouldn't be paying eight times as much for
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prescription drug in the u.s. than you do in canada, if we put some of those republican bipartisan ideas into it, got a few republicans to have supported it, they wouldn't have been able to hammer us three elections in a row and we wouldn't be in the minority right now. >> do you agree with that? >> i do. i think those particular things he's talking about, tort reform, should have been in there? >> well, look, he's right in general about the necessity of having some sort of bipartisan approach. in fairness, the republicans were not interested in cooperating at all. >> the case the administration would make is hey look, there was no republican who was ever willing to vote for this thing so ultimately it was going to have to be -- >> and i think there's some truth to that. the republicans decided at some point they could hang this around the neck but i go back to two things. first of all, one i do agree with chuck on and that is we needed to do a lot of economic stuff as well and the stimulus package was clearly not enough. there probably needed to be some other things we should do. in fairness, the president did do with his shovel ready
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projects an attempt to do more stimulus. >> but schumer was saying that message never got through. the voter going to the booth on november what it was 2010 said this is a democratic party -- >> that goes back to the point walt made which was the process. the process took too long. it went on and on and on and on. if you had a simple bill normal people could understand -- >> but you're talking about a bill that affects one-sixth of the economy. a bill of that magnitude to get through two chambers of congress twice and signed by a president, they made pretty good time. >> the senate was incredibly slow and very difficult. they went back and around and around and around. this thing did not go through until scott brown beat martha coakley in the senate race and then we lost the 60 votes. and that really damaged our ability to make the kind of changes that needed to be changed. now you were stuck with a bill that was essentially written by
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the insurance company. >> again, the point, though, from schumer is, look, 85% of people already had health insurance that they were happy with. so he's saying the middle class -- >> first of all, they weren't happen with it. that is revisionist history. the costs were out of control and nobody was doing anything about it. you cannot say that. it was true that chuck was in the leadership of getting this done. chuck schumer did a great job getting this bill through in my opinion. >> but do you think -- do you think that the average voter who was in there in the voting booth in november, 2010, looked at the last two years and said president obama was elected with the economy collapsing. the unemployment rate reached up to 10% there. everybody i know around me has been affected so acutely by this. do you think the average voter looked and said the democrats have done everything they could on the economy the last two years. >> no, i don't think so. >> and that's what schumer is saying is that is the message we sent. >> well, maybe we're splitting hairs here. i think the message we sent is we got all involved in this really complicated business. nobody could understand what the hell was going on which is why i thought the public option would
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have been a much better idea. look what happened when ryan and george w. bush tried to undo medicare and make it private. there was a huge firestorm. stick with what you know in this business. medicare and medicaid are great programs. the republicans are paying a huge price in their states for not expanding it. where they missed the boat was not expanding medicare to cover people under 65. if they did those two things, everybody would have understood it. it would have been none of this complicated you keep your doctor. >> the republicans paying the huge price. hey, page got re-elected, walker got re-elected. but that could be something in years to come. howard dean, walt minnick, appreciate you both joining us this morning. up next, in the words of the immortal lee corso, not so fast my friend. (vo) nourished.
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so it's that time. it's the past the 2014 midterms. we're on to talking about 2016. as we've said earlier today and last week as well the field is starting to take shape on both sides. we thought we would take a closer look at the republican side. one particular candidate, one particular name on the republican side that i think comes with a few red flags that i want to tell you about here. so the name is jeb bush. you know you hear jeb bush razz sort of the one that's hovering above the rest of the republican field. everyone is waiting for him to make up his mind. his father was president, his brother was president. this is the guy the establishment can rally around, the most electable one. these are the courts of things you hear all the time. the former florida governor.
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we thought let's take a closer look at jeb push in terms of the numbers we have right now. so we go over to the big board and what we have this week, there was a new bit of polling that came out, quinnipiac university, they put all the names up there. all the usual suspects for 2016 and asked republicans who would you vote for in this group. notice that they put mitt romney in here. mitt romney probably not running in 2016 but it's a good gauge when you include him how they think about everybody else. as you see romney continues to lead there with close to 20%. jeb bush down only at 11%. ben carson, who's made a little noise on the right the last couple of years, he's made a little noise, chris christie at 8 there. so the takeaway from this is jeb bush, given what his name represents, given the clout of his family in the republican party, given the kind of coverage he gets, it's very surprising when you stack him up against mitt romney and rest of this field that he's only sitting there at 11%. okay, let's see what happens. let's take mitt romney out of this and see if jeb bush then
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just gobbles up that 19% and becomes this big front runner we keep hearing about. look, he doesn't. he's at 14%. he was at 11% without mitt romney. you take mitt romney out, he's at 14%. chris christie moves up to 11. this is not showing you that there's this huge consensus within a significant chunk of the republican party that they are looking for jeb bush to get into this race. this is very lukewarm right now. now, to put this in more perspective, we want to look back to what happened when his brother, when george w. bush ran for president back in 20,000. the interesting thing about george w. bush was he cleared out half the field. he got into this race and there were ten others running and within a few months half of them got out of the race because there was so much support for george w. bush early on in that process. his name meant then everything people are thinking jeb bush's will mean now. take a look at some of the polling. this is a head-to-head. there's one other i wanted to
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show you. in the poll of republican voters taken at this same time before the 2000 campaign, george w. bush was at 38%. his brother, jeb, 13%. george george w. bush was 48%. that's when he ran against elizabeth dole and john mccain. one of the reasons that george w. bush was so attractive to republicans back then was at this same point they tested him head-to-head against al gore, the vice president. look at this, george w. bush was ahead 49-46% so electability was always an argument that the bush people were making. the democrats have had the white house for eight years. give us george w., he's an electable candidate, he'll beat al gore and get the white house back to the party. that was a big argument. can jeb be making that argument? here's jeb against the most likely democratic candidate, hillary clinton. he trails by five points. that's in this week's quinnipiac poll. not disastrous, but it's not the same as his brother. but to put this in some context,
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if you're a republican and interested in electability, you've got jeb bush running five points behind hillary clinton. you put rand paul up there, you get the same result. we're hearing all the time that rand paul may be a little too far out there, may have some extreme fringe positions, may make people uncomfortable. right now when you test them, rand paul runs just as well against hillary as jeb bush. then if you throw in chris christie, look at this, chris christie keeps it within one point. again, it's early, it's fluid and all of these things, but the basic argument that george w. bush had from the beginning, late 1998 into 1999 when he got that republican party to coalesce around him like it had never coalesced around a candidate so early before, electability was a key part of that. you don't see that same clear obvious argument right now when you look at jeb bush. again, when you go back to the beginning there and think how jeb stacks up with other republicans, that sort of bush fever not so much there with republicans like it was in george w.'s time. in fact you say it's not bush
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fever, it might be bush fatigue. so that's something to watch in the next couple of months as this field takes shape. anyway, one of america's favorite or at least favorite thanksgiving traditions appears to be catching on around the globe. we'll tell you what it is. that's next. my frequent heartbu. because it gives me... zero heartburn! prilosec otc. the number 1 doctor-recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 9 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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americans drink 48 billion that's enough plastic bottles to stretch around the earth 230 times. each brita filter can replace 300 of those. clean. clear. brita water. nothing is better. i was pretty stunned myself.
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removes fourteen years of stains. see? crest whitestrips work on a deeper level than paste. whitening toothpaste only removes surface stains, but whitestrips go below the enamel surface to safely remove deep stains. don't miss our buy one get one free offer this holiday season! shoppers camping out for hours in the bitter cold for a great deal on a television. shoppers willing to drape themselves onto the box of a tv so other shoppers can't buy it. police being called in to contain the violence that ensues. these are the now familiar images of black friday, the unofficial day after thanksgiving start to the holiday shopping season here in the united states. but here's a new twist. those pictures of those bargain battles were not taken in new york or chicago or l.a. or anywhere in the united states of america. they were taken in london, which last we checked does not celebrate a holiday that comes about after colonists sought to
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escape persecution by the british. black friday, it seems, is going global with deals and skirmishes similar to the ones that you'll see on this side of the pond. what's next in britain, the fourth of july? kelly joins us live from london. black friday in london. tell me how this works. i'm a little confused. >> go figure, isn't this bizarre? you'll never see british decorum fall apart like it did yesterday when people were going to these bargains. people were lining up in the middle of the night and that was the end of the lines, which is typically a very british thing to do, to stand in line for hours very patiently until you get your turn at the cash register. no, this was a free-for-all. and people are talking about it because it's so very unbritish to break with this decorum and be so impolite and stomp all over your fellow countryman, to get a discounted tv. but this is what happened. there were big sales in the united states.
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retailers here want to make a profit as well. they want the profits to come in earlier rather than later. the traditional sales day here is boxing day, the day after christmas. but why wait that long when you can get people in so much earlier? so it started and i don't think it's going to stop. >> kelly, it's a normal work day in britain. like here half the country is off work a day after thanksgiving. it's a normal work day over there, right? >> it is. so people actually took the day off work so that they could go to these stores and grab these discounts. and we're not even talking about massive discounts, like 75% off. i think the average discount was like around 40% off. i mean these tvs were around 40% and 50% off. deals talk really get at other times of the year and even later in the christmas shopping season. but no, people took time off work, they lined up in the middle of the night just like they could in the united states. they went in to get their tvs. as you've seen, these pictures have been all over british
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papers because people are just in shock over them. they dragged themselves on those tvs and coffee makers and electronics so that they could get the best deal. >> all right, kelly cobiella joining us from london. i'd ask if you got a new tv yesterday but thanks for the update. so what do we make of an american tradition based on an american holiday suddenly going global? our panel is back to talk about black friday. jonathan alter, robert george, mike pesca. did anybody do black friday shopping? >> can you imagine doing that? you'd have to have your head examined. >> there's a reason for this. online competition has gotten so big and important as a part of our economy and the global economy that retailers need to figure out new ways to get people into the stores. and so they're creating these new -- you know, these new sales and marketing the sales and getting people.
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>> i usually completely stay away from black friday. however, my mom is visiting and actually my first eight years were actually in england actually so we lived over there. >> you left too soon. >> we left too soon. but mom is visiting and so i had to take her to macy's and stuff like that. it was completely and totally insane. >> could you even move? >> you could barely -- you could barely move. it was completely a zoo. however, i'm not surprised that just given the global economy that, you know, we may borrow some things from the u.k. and the u.k. now borrowing some crazy economic and shopping trends from us. >> exactly. >> what do we borrow from the u.k. >> they give us simon cowell, we give them obesity and black friday. i call it a wash. it's a work study thing.
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you know, this idea of the british decorum, there are as many mouth-breathing dimwits in britain as there are in america. the reason this is big, yes, amazon started the sale, amazon is local. it's about the internationalization of the economy. what great free advertising for retailers. the and the tabloids love these pictures and tv loves these pictures. studies show that without black friday, retail sales would be exactly the same or almost exactly the same. >> i want to see them ransacking harrod's, though, that's the image you really need to see. that's the macy's an neiman marcus and so many others just rolled into one. a huge, huge store there. if they were really giving in to the black friday stuff, you'd know we really won the war for independence. >> who are the ones, the guards -- they're supposed to be expressionless at all times.
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>> with the big hats? >> are they diving after like toys? >> if they found out a dvd player was being sold for 79 quid -- >> you stand there making faces at them? people in this country continue to do it every year and i guess -- you're saying it sounds like what we end up doing is just taking sales that maybe we spread out over two weeks and tru put them in one day. >> there was another story that in the u.k., this is not a joke, they are starting to celebrate thanksgiving as well. so it's not just the commercial side of things. >> in the u.k.? >> in the u.k. >> why? >> i do not know. >> what holiday can we take from them? >> actually i think some of the -- some of the anonymous people are taking guy fox day. >> the victory over --
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>> it's about revolutionaries. >> no, they tried to take over parliament actually. >> you can see why the radical anonymous folks would want to take over. >> enthusiastic about thanksgiving. what were the pilgrims fleeing? religious persecution in great britain. >> it's very interesting. well, here we go. maybe i'll go over there for black friday and thanksgiving one of these years. it would be a fun trip except i don't like to fly. up next, we're going to shift gears because we have a new documentary to talk about that offers a new perspective on the penn state sex abuse scandal. we'll talk to the man who made that documentary on the other side of this break. get ready for some german engineered holiday excitement. at the volkswagen sign-then-drive event. right now, for practically just your signature, you could drive home for the holidays in a new volkswagen. like the sporty, advanced new jetta and the precisely engineered passat tdi. ah, the gift of clean diesel. for the new volkswagen on your list this year, just about all you need, is a pen. festive, isn't it? hurry into the sign- then-drive event
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what does an apron have to do with car insurance? an apron is hard work. an apron is pride in what you do. an apron is not quitting until you've made something a little better. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? for us, everything. the penn state nittany lions wrap up their regular season today against their big ten rivals, michigan state. it's more of a fake rivalry actually. they created the land grant trophy game 20 years ago but they play it every year 20 years now and it's also senior day in
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state college pennsylvania. the day the football program recognizes all of its graduating seniors. the class that graduates this year which came in in 2010 was once a highly touted class of 20 scholarship recruits. today when the school celebrates whoez graduating seniors, only five of them from that original class of 20 remain. a lot of that has to do with the november 2011 charges against long-time penn state assistant football coach jerry sandusky which decimated the football program. joe paterno was fired and then he died three months later of lung cancer. the ncaa then banned the school from appearing in postseason play for four years and erased years of the school's storied wins from the record books. it's all played out three years ago. since then, jerry sandusky has been found guilty on 45 out of 48 counts of sexual abuse. earlier this season the ncaa actually eliminated the school's postseason ban, cut it off after
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two years. so with a 6-5 record going into today's game against the spartans, it appears that penn state is about to make its first bowl appearance since that 2011 season. in a new movement by the penn state community to restore joe paterno's 409 victories has more than 12,000 signatures. supporters held a rally at state college earlier this month. the community, the football program, the university seemed to be on their way toward moving past the 2011 scandal. the new documentary gives voices to some of the people you didn't hear from at the height of the scandal. sue paterno, joe paterno's wife is one of those voices. in this clip she described what life looked like inside the paterno house right after joe paterno was fired. >> we were getting into bed. when it rang, i gave joe the phone and he said okay, okay. he hung up. he said good-bye. and he said they just fired me.
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so i redialed the number and i said after 61 1/2 years he deserves better, good-bye, and i hung up. i couldn't believe that's how you -- they can take your heart away that quickly. >> amere barlev is the director of "happy valley." i spoke with him earlier this week about his film. >> so three years ago the whole country is transfixed about this. it's still when i think about everything that played out in the course of about three months in late 2011, early 2012, the revelations about jerry sandusky, joe paterno getting fired, joe paterno dying and then the conviction of jerry sandusky. you got in there and started talking to some of the principal players, joe paterno's wife, his son, sandusky's kid fairly early on. how did that come about as a filmmaker? >> well, i was watching the news
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like everybody else and transfixed by this story. and, you know, i wasn't as interested in jerry sandusky as the effect jerry's crimes had on the rest of us in society. and it seemed to me that it was just a strange warping effect. i remember the riot, for instance. >> when paterno was fired. >> it was the first riot in favor of authority that anybody could ever remember. and then there was a prayer on the first game after he was fired. the opposing teams got together and had a -- knelt and held hands and had a prayer. ron brown, the nebraska running back coach, said, lord, there's a lot of little boys watching this game wondering about the definition of manhood right now. i thought that's a strange thing to say. jerr jerry's crimes make me feel outraged, sad, lots of things but the definition of manhood is
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not questioned, by me anyway. >> so you're watching and all of a sudden thought i'm going to state college. >> it seemed like there were a lot of interesting ideas at play that i think actually even three years later are very much still in play today. >> how did that work? so you got access. again, this played out, this happens in late october, early november, and by january joe paterno is dead and you got access to his family in that time? >> people in happy valley were very sick of the news by the time i got there. but we don't really do news. we're trying to -- documentary is a great medium to help people with empathy. that's why i love it. so we really talked to everybody across the spectrum of perspectives here. people who don't agree at all with each other but we were able to convince them that, you know, we would be letting them put their best foot forward and the film represents that. >> so tell us about -- there are a bunch of different angles here. let's go through a couple of them. from the paterno standpoint, because this guy it was the ultimate fall from grace. he was the most revered figure
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in college football, maybe in all of sports to some people, and he ends up being the guy who looks the other way. is that a fair impression of him? >> well, he's a great character for a film really because he is enigmatic. he did represent protecting youth for 61 years, there's no disputing that. i think the paternos rightfully so feel that, you know, his legacy was almost literally bull dozed in a bit of a rush to judgment. that said, there's some pretty unfortunate facts about joe paterno. >> the bottom line question on this is do you get a sense looking at this, talking to all of them, when you walk away from them, do you think joe paterno looked the other way? >> i think joe paterno in his own words, he said it very accurately. he didn't do enough. and, you know, i think that's indisputable. but i'm -- >> but do you think he -- one of the things in the outgoing governor of pennsylvania, tom
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corbett, who was the attorney general as all of this is happening, he has since said that he doesn't think joe paterno shu been fired. he doesn't think joe paterno actually fully understood what he was being told because this assistant coach, mike mcqueary comes to him, he's shaken up, he's seen something in the language. we're not sure what language mcqueary used to paterno. do you think he understood the basics -- >> all you have to do is look at what joe paterno himself said. he was told it was something of a sexual nature to a young boy. that's joe paterno's own words. but honestly it's a film really -- i mean joe -- also in joe paterno's words he said, look, i'm not the beacon of integrity. we sanctified joe paterno. we as a culture turned him into saint joe. i don't think he was comfortable with it and i don't think his family was comfortable with it. then when he didn't live up, we turned him into the devil. and his family is right saying he's neither the devil or a
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saint. >> the other side or another side is the sandusky family. you talked to matt sandusky. this is his adopted son. >> yeah, jerry sandusky's crimes are horrible and they bear scrutiny, but they're about the least interesting part of this story for me in a way. because what's far more interesting to me is the way we try to distance ourselves from what happened there. to my mind, you know, when you have a failure like this, where, you know, so many kids are grievously wounded like this, it's bigger than one or two or five men or even just a town. this is about so many things that are in the culture today. football, spectacle, celebrity worship. these are things that are -- you know, that are part of the news cycle right now with bill cosby and all these things happening. >> the ncaa came down very hard on the penn state program after this, a four-year ban from postseason. this year they ended up saying, you know what, two years is enough, you can go to a bowl this year if you qualify. they sort of backed off a little
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bit. the penalties against the program, were they too much, were they too little, were we looking in the wrong place? >> these are all great questions and i don't answer any of them really. i think everybody will answer these questions slightly differently. it's a film about ideas. there are a bunch of very compelling ideas kind of competing with each other and the audience is going to have to decide for themselves. you know, it's not a -- it's not a film you have to endure. these are actually pretty interesting ideas, despite the pain that's at the heart of this story. these are things we need to be talking about as a society, i think. >> well, i mean in the story and the paterno side of it goes on and on. he had the 409 wins, which was the all-time wins. they stripped 111. now there's a movement to try to get those wins restored so that the paterno legacy question goes on and on. i really appreciate you coming on, very interesting film and i hope people check it out, so thanks a lot. >> and "happy valley" is playing
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growing up in massachusetts, i yulsed to listen on the radio
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to eddie avelman, he's a legend and around thanksgiving every year, listeners would call in with what the show called the thanksgiving turkey awards, prominent figures in the world of sports that listeners said had a really bad year for some reason or another. he would listen and chime in and decide how many gobbles each would get. the more gobbles, the bigger the turkey the person was. we thought with the big midterm election, this would be the perfect time to steal his great idea and hand out our own thanksgiving turkeys. not for sports figures, but for political figures. for people who have been in the news this year. i asked our panelists to bring in a few nominations of their own. i guess it's my responsibility to start it off. gentlemen, i will nominate for my political turkey of the year there. this is the guy who had the honor of running against a member of congress on staten island facing a 20-count federal
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indictment, and he lost, if you want to know why, i think we have sound of this. jon stewart explained it pretty well. >> when i was on the local school board, i ran a student exchange program with japan for r the students of his district that he represents, all right, with japan. i've been to israel. i've been to italy. i've been to many, many countries across this world. i met a japanese exchange student. it's all good. i can see schumer doing this, oh boy. >> if you want to lose to someone facing a 20-count federal indictment, i think that's how. >> put the reck in recchia. that's pat quinn. governor of kwiillinois.
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one of many democrats incumbents that lost. in addition, he surprisingly for illinois governor, also facing ethics investigations about hiring practices, raiseded income taxes, and so as a result, illinois has a republican governor coming in jan january. >> i've got two. one is jay nixon. >> not given much praise for how he's handled this. >> he could have gotten a democratic attorney general to intervene so we couldn't have had this horrible conflict of interest and the other is martha coakley. >> i think that's unfair! >> sorry. she has to be one of the all time worst candidates to run for statewide office.
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it's a democratic state she lost. she lost to scott brown for the senate. now she lost to charlie baker for governor. and she just wasn't getting it done as a candidate. there are certain basic candidate skills. most famously in the scott brown race. why would anybody want to stand outside of fenway park shaking hands in the cold? >> she didn't know kurt schilling. >> the rules of the first annual up thanksgiving turkey awards are. my guests get to pick the turkey. i will register my objections. mike, who is your pick? >> i just wanted to note in that staten island senate race when one of the lightning round questions, you read neither guy could come up. >> that's right! and then tom clancy. >> that's right!
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>> there that has to be a winner. there has to be a louzer. is it fair or unfair? some have a bad landscape. i want to pick on the pundits, the experts. sam wok who runs the princeton consortium. where they try to pick who is going or likelihood of who will gain control. now you can get it wrong. in the senate. yes. his methods were i'm only go toipg to look at polls. i'm not going to do what "the new york times" does. if you look you say wow, that seems like a big outlieer. and then the election comes and he got it totally wrong. and then another pundit wrote a book about how texas is becoming purple and this is the year texas is going to win. and when wendy davis polled within nine points saying she might beat greg abbott. >> and mine was chuck hagel, our
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departing secretary of defense. >> i had one more as well, which was anthony brown from maryland. the democratic candidate for governor of maryland. when me won the primary he said the general election is a mole hill to take in november. when you talk about the general election, you are asking people to vote against you. >> that mole turned out to be cancerous. >> it was a tough loss for democrats and anthony brown. those are my turkeys. those are your turkeys. my thanks to our panel next week. you're always welcomed back as a guest. all in good fun. thank you for joining us this morning. thank you for joining us today on "up." join us sunday morning at 8:00
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eastern time for a feisty debate on which city should host the democratic convention in 2016. three finalists. three icons of the city will join us to do a little trash talking and self promotion coming up next. melissa harris-perry is next.
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this morning my question. is watermelon racist? plus the story of one night in ferguson. and the response to brutality at the university of virginia. but first, a 12-year-old boy joins a list that keeps on growing. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. we start today with ferguson, missouri, where 16 more arrests were made in front of the police department las