tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC December 18, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EST
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they're free. make your mark with ink. chase what matters. go to chase.com/ink. unfinished business, a critical day in the senate that could change the course of people's lives. what two senators hope to accomplish in just a matter of hours. whiteout, a wintry blast is paralyzing travel overseas. how some countries are coping and how it could affect the u.s. police call them million dollar burglars. how they uncovered a warehouse crammed with loot. holiday getaway, why you shouldn't be surprised if you see more people hitting the road this weekend. good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. welcome to msnbc saturday. the senate plans to vote on hotly contested measures today, number one, repealing don't ask, don't tell, and the dream act. it offers a road to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought
here as children. in addition, there are several other key issues that it hopes to vet on before the holiday break. ken strickland live on capitol hill, it's a busy day. what all is on the agenda there this morning, alex? >> good morning, alex. i would call it a rare saturday session, but since the election, this is the second time the senate has been, like christmas shoppers, trying to get things finished up. let's take a look at what congress is working on today. first of all, as you mentioned, there will be a vote at 10:30 today, a procedural vote on the dream act. it's an immigration reform bill designed to give adults who are brought to this country a path to citizenship. also a vote on the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. that's what everyone is watching for today. supporters of the repeal say they have the votes to do that. confirmation of a couple of federal judges and, of course, the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. those things will probably be worked on today. but what about next week? there's still the s.t.a.r.t. treaty that they need to finish.
in addition to that, they have to do the government spending bill. right ow now, the bill that funds the government runs out on tuesday. both republicans and democrats have been very clear that there will not be a government shutdown, but they have to go through the process of getting that done. very important to senators from new york, the 9/11 first responders health bill, now, i mentioned the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. democrats think this is a big day for them. it's a key procedural vote where they need 60 to get over that hurdle and they're going to need some help from some republicans. so far, there are four republicans that can push them over the top and give them those votes. those republicans include susan collins of maine, scott brown of massachusetts, lisa murkowski of alaska and oh olympia snowe, also of maine. the case was made yesterday that
repealing the.ban on don't ask, don't tell is also about addressing a civil rights issue. >> literally, we are telling men and women who want nothing but to serve this country and to die for this country that they cannot based on who they love. with this repeal, we will restore the civil liberties and civil rights of men and women who have dedicated themselves to our freedoms and our nations. that's why this vote is so critical. >> opponents of the repeal of don't ask, don't tell led largely by republican john mccain, his concern is really about timing, that basically the united states is in the middle of two wars and what affect it will have on the troops who are actually out there in the fight. he also questions the report that was done by the pentagon and questions the validity as to whether or not that report gets to the question of whether or not a repeal is even necessary or warranted. we'll find out at 10:30 how the votes go, starting with the vote on the dream act, then don't ask, don't tell. all that starts about 10:30. alex. >> can i ask you about the
timing of whether or not the senate expects to get all of this done today? and if it does not, do they plan to be in session tomorrow, monday? do you have any idea how that's going to go? i know it depends on how it plays out today, but nonetheless, contingency blands. >> i think there's a reasonable expectation that the dream act will be done today, depending on how that vote goes. they don't expect the dream act to get the 60 votes it needs. they do expect don't ask, don't tell. it is a huge priority for president obama, but there's no clear path that it can actually get done. and then as far as the funding bill, we know that's going to happen, but how it all happens, how quickly it happens, that all depends on cooperation and sometimes that's in short supply on capitol hill. >> stay put, ken strickland, and let us know what's happening. thank you. president obama signed the massive holiday season tax bill into law on friday. that bill had been hammered out between the president and
republicans. it includes 2% cuts to social security tax, which will give the average worker about an extra $20 per week. tax credits for parents and college students are also in the law. the president hopes it will help spur the economy. >> and right now, what all of us care about is growing the american economy and creating jobs for the american people. take it as a whole, that's what this package of tax relief is going to do. >> the law includes a provision president obama campaigned heavily against in 2008, that is extending tax cuts to the wealthiest in this country. learn more tomorrow on "meet the press" which joe biden is the exclusive guest. snow, ice, subzero temperatures are paralyze iing
travel in europe. drivers are facing deadly consequences from this storm. let's go right to nbc's jenny winnel. she is n right there at buckingham palace. the weather outside is wicked, but it looks better than it did last hour. >> yeah. i'll tell you what oob, i'm now being hit by small balls of ice. the rest of the country, this weather is causing absolute chaos. the roads, the railways and the airports have all been paralyzed. here in london, the two major airports, they've been closed well into this afternoon. british airways, they're canceling pretty much all of their flights out of heath row at the moment. and in terms of the chaos that it's causing at the moment, there were hundreds if not thousands of motorists stranded on the roadways across the country. the snow is so bad and it's
hitting the roads and, really, driving conditions are just so incredibly poor. you put that all together with the fact that this is the weekend before christmas. and you've got people heading out for shopping, as well. so it really is chaos across the country at the moment, alex. >> we can imagine. in terms of how the local and national governments are handling this, though, any complaints? or does it all seem to be going as well as expected? >> well, it's always, i think, a little embarrassing about how it seems to catch us by surprise even though we've had -- well, last month we had the heaviest or most widespread snow we've had since 1965 and it's still going on. we're now into december. so yeah, people are annoyed because the roads grind to a halt and there are always a number of complaints about whether or not we salt the roads enough and why we mix grits with salt. so people are upset about it. but we've got a stiff british
upper lip, so we get on with it. >> yes, you do. in fine style there, outside of buckingham pallan, jenny wibble, thank you so much. back in the states, brutal cold in parts of this country. this is the temperature sign in fairbanks, alaska. believe it and read it, negative 35 below zero there. in 1933, the temperature plunged to 52 below zero. wow, let's get a look at the national forecast and go to bill ca carins. good morning, bill. >> good morning, everyone. and it's our last busy weekend. the last thing you need is a stormy weather pattern. that storm will be out to sea. everyone from boston northward, you look fine to get all your errands done this weekend. on theest contewest coast, that
your stormy spot. right now, nothing, no accumulating snows from that ocean storm, so in boston, it looks like a nice weekend. temperatures will be in the mid 30s, which isn't bad for this time of year. it will be cloudy and cooler monday and tuesday, maybe a chance of flurries. wednesday, near 40 degrees. as far as the rest of the northeast goes, chance of showers around buffalo. not too big of a deal. the rest of the country, light rain. the west coasters, where the nasty weather is, high elevation snows. even areas like los angeles and san diego and san francisco, you're going to need that umbrella handy today and tomorrow. alex, all your friends out west, they're the ones who will be getting all the nasty weather. back to you. >> that is not nice. thank you very much, bill karins. so ready, set, rush, more americans are expected to travel farther this year for the holidays. kevin tibbles is live for us at
chicago's o'hare airport to tell us an ek doelthly if what i said is true. what do you think, kevin? does it look like a busy time? >> it's a mad house in here this morning. i've not seen this many people in here since thanksgiving and everybody has a lot of luggage. it's -- the good thing is that people seem to have packed their patience this year when they came to o'hare. but santa claus isn't the only guys that's going to be flying this holiday season. air travel is up 2.8%. that means people are spending more money and the airlines are saying to us that don't expect to be lonely on the plane because all the seats are going to be full. this security line has been jam packed since well before the sun came up this morning. 4:30, 5:00 in the morning, people were standing here, heading off on wherever it is they're going. the real unfortunate part of this, alex, is that i've been asking them, some of them where they're going and we've just
spoken to some people who said that they were leaving chicago to go to vail and, of course, that really makes my day because i'm not going to vail just yet. but my heart does go out to the people over in london who are drinking their tea and dealing with the snow over there because we here in chicago, of course, find that very funny, indeed. >> oh, my gosh, you went there. i hear you on the vail thing. >> don't you sound a little bit like prince harry? >> a little bit. how would you put your tea this morning, harry? no, no, but do you see people going to warm places? when you're in chicago, you think the first thing people want to do is head south. >> well, i did speak to lots of people who were going to jamaica, which really rubbed it in because it is quite chilly here in chicago today. it's about 12 degrees fahrenheit. and we aren't expecting any snow today pup guys may be getting
some snow out east, which could cause some troubles for people trying to fly through new york and boston, but here, it's just supposed to be cold today. and let's hope that all of these good people get up in the air and get to where they're going and have a wonderful christmas dinner. >> a very nice thought. kevin teibbles, good to talk to you again. thank you. looking ahead to next year in washington, we'll talk about the big political issues that will dominate 2011. plus, the top tech toys for this holiday season. ♪
the senate will cast votes today on don't ask, don't tell, and the dream act for illegal immigrants who entered the country as children. but a brand new congress is waiting in the wings and it is eager to tackle a host of new issues and revisit others that you thought were resolved. live in mon washington, good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> so some more predictions that we're going to talk about, the health care law, because you say you should brace for fight and funding and a supreme court showdown. >> that's right. with john boehner coming in as the new speaker and republicans taking over the house, expect a fight over funding health care. sth a top priority for the ht with the landmark health care
ov overhaul, but republicans are going to be able to affect the purse strings. we saw mandates that require people to buy health insurance are unconstitutional. there have been differing court opinions on this, but everyone seems to think that it's moving towards the supreme court to have the final say. >> how about the combat troops who start coming home from afghanistan in july, what does this mean for the political world? >> afghanistan will be a real focus in 2011. troops are supposed to start coming home in july. what that means politically is that, you know, there is a real warning sign in our poll showing that while the majority of the country approves of the war, there's a real split between democrats and republicans. republicans are for it, democrats are not. and that can away problem in 2012 for president obama because war is a real issue that fires up the liberal activist base and president obama needs them to be as enthusiastic as possible to
be knocking on doors, doing the hard things on the ground, to help him with what's going to be a tough re-election bid and, you know, if they're not fired up, well, we saw what happened in 2010. >> yeah. i want to get a final catch all prediction here from you. what did we see from the tax bill getting passed? we saw the president and republicans working together. do you think this is going to be the first of many bipartisan efforts to come or is it the generosity that's going to end with the holiday seasons? >> democrats and republicans are democrats and republicans for a reason. id idealogically, they line up on different sides of the aisle for the reasons. on fiscal issues, i think this president is going to look to carve out a middle ground with republicans to be able to get that center back. he really needs independence back on his side and he needs to playcate republican opposition. so one area where he sort of
signaled he's going to make a push and listen for this in his state of the union address is on a push to reform the tax code and on long-term debt and deficits with potential cuts to medicare, social security, raising the retirement age as his fiscal commission had recommended. >> okay. thank you. for even more of the 2011 predictions from the nbc news political union unit, log on to firstread.msnbc.com. new numbers suggest a surge in holiday sales which is projecting a 3.3% total increase in sales this holiday season with today and next wednesday potentially ranking as the numbers 2 and 3 biggest shopping days after black friday. so why are shoppers loosening their money clips? i'm joined now by rick newman. rick, good morning. >> hi, alex. >> what do you think this is? is this a case of savings fatigue, given doctor we've all saved for so much and people are just like, i'm done because i want to spend a little bit. >> fatigue, this recession as we
know is over technically but a lot of people still feel it. this has been going on now for almost thee years. people have been putting money aside, make sure they get through, hold on to their money and so forth. you might call this pent up demand. people have put off purchases for different types of things. they now feel more freedom to get out and pend. you said recession is over. it is? >> technically it ended in 2009. we've still got over 15 million unemployed people. the otr people have had pay cuts. we've so the of got two economies right now. we've got the mainstream economy is bouncing back and we're seeing more and more signs of that. and we've got a lot of people, though, who are still disenfranchised. and that's a huge group of people and that is going to be the big question going into 2011 and 2012 is how quickly do those people rejoin the mainstream economy? >> i deviated somewhat because i wanted to get into the economy. tiffanys, sales are up.
are you surprised by that? >> i'm not surprise. the federal reserve's actions so far this year have helped push the stock market up and who owns stock? those rin vest hers, middle and upper earners are feeling pretty good because they've regained a lot of the wealth that went away during the recession through home equity losses and stock market losses. so people are definitely feeling they're getting their wealth back and we are seeing lots of pick up in purchases like that, luxury items are coming back, for sure. >> and when we look at the shopping that has been done for the holidays, and what's to come, the retail feds ragz said lots of consumers out there were done with their holiday shopping by the second week of december. that means there's a fair amount left to come. >> and some people have more reason to feel optimistic. so this tax deal tells people, okay, now you know for sure your taxes will not go occupy. people know. now they don't have to worry about coming up with extra money. in fact, you'll get more money back through that payroll tax
cut that be than anybody was expecting. people can say, look, that is finally done. we know where that is going. washington seems to be on the case, which i think is going to have a psychological impact on a lot of people as well as a real impact on the economy. so i think people are feeling generally pretty good at the end of the year. >> ask well, and if what you're saying translate, it's doing exactly what the president hopes is happening, it's spurring the economy. >> for a while. until we have to pay for it. give the gift of learning this holiday season. how you can help children in one country who don't even have desks at school. we'll hear from my colleague lawrence o'donnell of msnbc's last word.
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>> i did. i just set the time. you can see it right here. >> hold that up like this. right there. this is incredibly cool. you can see 8:25. >> i just set it right now. as you can see, it looks like a normal pen, but it's a computer in a pen. so you can write and while you're writing -- keep this up. it's upside down. go ahead. >> and while you're writing, it's recording everything you're writing and anything that's being said while you're writing. it's great if you're a student, if you go to lots of meetings, i would just tap on the page and it would play back what's being said. >> so you can take it to class? >> take it to class, put it on to your computer and hear exactly what the professor was saying. send it to classmates, if you want to colleagues, post it on facebook, it's great. >> and how about remembering what you wrote? exactly. you tap on it and it will say it back to you or you can go on the computer and it will have everything you ever wrote on it. >> wow. this is $150.
it's from life scribe echo? >> yes. >> what about this right here, we have an internet radio. 90 bucks. >> it's an internet radio, maybe you can get thousands of stations from around the world. the screen is really big. it's affordable and offers really great sounds. >> that's good to know. how about the kodak pulse 7 inch digital frame, pricey? >> no. it's very affordable at $130. what we found great about this is there are so many different ways you can get your pictures on this. whether you're giving tight parent or grandparent, set up an e-mail address, send them pictures from your smartphone or your computer. send them photos from facebook or the kodak gallery. >> how about if you want to take movies, a popular one right now? >> 450, you may think it's pricey, but it's actually very affordable for an hd camcorder.
everyone has hd tvs now and you want the display phenomenal video quality and this will low you to do so. >> the cheapest thing on the table here is this hot purple poody. >> $44. i actually own one. i got one for my sister this year for the holidays. as you can see in the drawstring, there's headphones. and then there's a cord that runs through the pocket. you put in your ipod, your mp3 player. that's cool. >> exactly. everybody has a problem with cords getting tangled. no more. you don't have to worry about it. great sound quality. >> really? >> we were impressed. i put it in the washing machine, let it air dry and it still works. >> great news. so you can run with this, walk around town with it, you can do anything with it. >> walk the streets of new york and i got my tunes going. >> excellent. it's all very good. thank you for bringing it to us. >> my pleasure. after a tough year, the president's poll numbers have not budgeted. are his personal trants keeping him out front, though?
well, the president has postponed his christmas vacation to hawaii. he says he is going to stay in washington while congress plows through business. mike is at the white house. let's get right to it. first of all, the president, he's staying behind but the rest of the family is taking off, right? >> as are certain members of the press core who are supposed to be with him in hawaii. we're not going to mention any names, alex. the first lady and the first daughters along with the dog bo are expected to arrive in hawaii today. but like last minute holiday shoppers, alex, the president examine shoppers are eyeing some big ticket items in december and today backers of repeal of don't ask, don't tell are hoping for a christmas week miracle.
>> for president obama, a much needed and hard fought victory. >> there we go. >> signing tax cuts for all americans into law. after a battle won with the help of republicans. >> there are some elements of this legislation that i don't like. there's some elements that members the of my party don't like. there's some elements that republicans here today don't like. that's the nature of compromise. >> but even with christmas fast approaching, today, prosecute obama is pressing for more cooperation on republicans on another priority, the s.t.a.r.t. arms reduction treaty with russia. >> it's time to get this done. it's time to show the same spirit of common purpose on our security that we showed this week on our economy. it's time to remember the old saying, politics stops at the water's edge. >> this treaty imposes a legally binding limitation on u.s.
missile defenses. >> the senate debate starts today. but there are more key votes this weekend. repealing don't ask, don't tell, the ban on gays openly serving in the military. many believe there is new life for the measure which just days ago was left for dead. >> let's say for now i'm confident that we've got more than 60 votes. >> less certain is the dream act, offering a path to citizenship for children brought illegally to this country by their parents, provided they either serve in the military or further their education. but that measure may not survive today's senate vote. the president was scheduled to leave today for his boyhood home of hawaii, but has delayed his family vacation while the senate acts. >> more rapid than eagles his cores urss they came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name. now dasher -- >> friday, the president read to a group of virginia second graders where one student shared what she had in common with the president's eldest daughter. >> your name is ma leah, too?
give me a high five for that. that's a great name. >> and alex, on that repeal, the military's don't ask don't tell policy, it's been 17 years that the supporters of the repeal have waited for this day. if it doesn't pass the senate today -- and mind you, it is expected to -- it would be a still longer wait, months if perhaps not years because of the new balance of power in congress starting january. alex. >> we know the president will certainly head to hawaii to join his family before then, but i guess it remains to be seen what day he can take off. >> okay. the city of bell, california, is on the brink of going broke. eight city officials were charged with misappropriating millions of dollars collecting as much as $1.5 million in salary for part-time positions. now the "l.a. times" reports that the city may drastically need to close its services, including closing its police department and partnering with the l.a. county sheriff. in southern california, residents of an apartment
complex have to find another place to live for a while and it's all because the building's backyard collapsed right into a canal. at first, residents had noed in what happened. >> i thought it was an earthquake. it was so weird. it was strange and i'm still shaken up over it. it's been an interesting evening. >> i'll bet. engineers and geologists are checking to see if it's safe enough for residents to return. in mexico, more than 140 prisoners escaped from a prison near the u.s. border. this is the biggest jail break since the mexican government launched its war on cartels a few years ago. it is not clear who is behind the break. people threw sticks and stones and bottles at each other in argentina. this is one in a series of clashes between squatters and residents in argentina's capital. moving to austria, a tiger
with a toothache got much needed help. zookeepers noticed a white tiger would have been was feeling under the weather. they kwan quillized him and gave him an examination and found a bone from one of his previous dinners lodged under his teeth. they removed it and 45 minutes later, the tiger was feeling much better. in this country, the federal government has spent about $157 billion on education. contrast that with what's going on in a place like malawa, where most students don't have desks. lawrence o'donnell saw that first hand in a recent trip to that african nation and decided to take some action. >> when i went to malawi, i hoped to provide some desks and chairs to malawi students. i didn't know how to do that before i arrived in the country. but with the guidance of unicef, i found a way and i was able to furnish enough classrooms and desks and chairs for all of its students. >> joining us now is lawrence
o'donnell. really good morning to you. >> thank you. >> thanks for coming on and talking about this. when we think of malawi, we think of madonna adopting her kid. >> and she is also building a girls' school in malawi. she didn't just do an adoption there. she's balancing girls school in the country. when i hear about things like that, wow, that's kind of overwhelming. the reason i got involved in the desks is a friend of mine went to malawi and visited schools and said they don't have any desks, they don't have chairs and the kids are sitting in the cement and dirt. and i thought, maybe i could get a desk. the desks that we delivered are $48 apiece. i could afford to, myself, outfit a classroom. and the website we've set up to make contributions to do this, $720 will outfit an entire classroom in malawi. $48 per desk. normally in mol most schools,
three kids will squeeze on to that desk easily. the bench attached to the desk. it's designed for two and in an ideal world that's the way it will be in ma allowy. but this is something anyone can do. and look, i know it's a tough year for people to make contributions and if you're tapped out, don't even think about this. other people will step up for this. i know a few people who don't need anything. what they're going to get from me for christmas is one of these desks delivered in their name delivered to a school in malawi for $48 and it's going to be the best gift they'll get this year. >> and what you're doing in addition to helping the education, you found, what was it, a hardware store? >> what i didn't want to do is go to to some supply house in new jersey, buy desks, ship them over. if i was going to spend money, i want the money to be spent within the malawi economy. so i found someone there, with
unicef's help who knows how to make these things and was already under contract with unicef to start making them and he was able to make 30 of these for me in a very quick turnaround time of 48 hours. he brought people in and worked 24 hours a day, which was great for malawi, because those workers were otherwise not going to make any money that week. so you're spending money within malawi, which means you're feeding hungry malawi families and at the end of that process, a desk gets delivered to a school. this wood and steel design will last for many years there. literally, hundreds of students will use a single desk over the next few years there. and it will change their educational experience. >> yeah. and when you're talking about, what, 45 million kids? >> the need is endless. and if we ever manage to get malawi schools outfitted properly -- and i'm not sure we will ever get there, but if we
do, the rest of the continent of of ka has a similar need. and so this is something that we really need to focus on for as long as we can. >> this will really allow them to learn better. it's -- the set up is remarkable that you've got here. it's so easy for folks, right? lastworddesk.msnbc.com? >> right. or 1 -800--for-kids. >> i can promise you, when i get done with this show, i'm going to give them this gift. lawrence, it's inspirational. good job, lawrence. >> thank you very much. you can all catch the last word with lawrence o'donnell. it is week needs at 10:00 eastern on msnbc. that is the stocking stuffer gift for my kids. it's a good one. in this last week before christmas, hitting the road. why you'll have more than a
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you only have until december 31st to enroll. call unitedhealthcare today. it's been a trying year for the white house. 48% of people disapprove of the job the president is doing, but 45% the still approve. that's according to the newest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. those numbers aren't all that different from last december. back then, 47% approved of the job the president was doing, 46% disapproved. charlie cook, good saturday morning to you. nice to see you, charlie. >> good morning, alex. by the way, i really liked that story. lawrence's project -- >> the malawi story? >> yes. i wrote it down. we're going to do that. >> you do it. it is so easy. i did it yesterday for each of my two kids. you get an e-mail. you'll feel great about doing it. it's $48 for a desk and that provides for two kids.
it's incredible. i mean, you can't i can't go on enough about it. >> well, the cooks are in for five. >> that's awesome. the president, we're going to talk about these numbers. in the past year, bp oil disaster dominated the headlines. the gop won big in the midterms. you remember that term, shellacking, right? unemployment has remained high. why haven't the president's approval ratings budgeted? >> well, the big movement was during 2009. and you just sort of watching it from the beginning of the year. and the group i watch is independents. and prior to memorial day 2009, the president's approval rating among independents was above 60. and then over the summer of 2009, it traversed to the 50s and came out around labor day and breaking into the 40s and high 30s. and it's been stable since then. >> okay. the poll shows the president
leading a generic republican candidate, as you look ahead to the election by about three points. a lot of people find the president very personally likable there. this poll shows 74% of people say he has strong family values. do you think that is what keeps him out in front? >> well, i think he's -- i mean, right now, you can call it tied or one way or the other, but the thing is, the fact is that they haven't given -- most voters haven't given up on him personally you know, about 35%, 38% view him hostilely. and then of the others, they still like him. they think he's well intentioned. they're not wild about everything that's happened. but that helps prop him up some and keeps things from getting worse. but so much of his fortunes are really tied to the economy, how the economy performs over the next two years, what happens to the unemployment rate, and his fate more than anything else is tethered to that economy. >> okay. let's do some matchups here as
we take a look at leading republicans discussed as 2012 presidential candidates. the president is ahead of might tell romitt romney. let's move to sarah palin, leading by a whopping 22 points, obama is 55, palin is 33. what do you make of these leads? how do you interpret them? >> well, i think if the economy is not doing well, almost any major republican whose last name isn't palin would have a fair chance -- at least a fair chance of beating him. but the thing is, with sarah palin, it's almost like a no-fly zone. her negatives are so, so, so high. and the nbc wall street judicial poll it was 28% positive, 50% negative and 20% neutral. in the gallup poll wibt was 40 favorable, 52. but here is one way to look at it. in the gallup numbers, 81% of republicans viewed sarah palin positively. but it was only 30% among
independents and 30% among democrats. she's like a no fly zone among independents. >> but this is what is interesting. when you look at the republicans who support her, those are the people that would put her into contention by using all the primaries and voting for her and therein lie that's question that i always love to see that can be swered. do people vote their conscious and what they believe or do they vote because they think someone can win? >> generally speaking, paragraph ma timp, because someone can win, is not a strong motivator. but the thing is, what i would argue, though, is that 80% of republicans may view her favorably, but i think there's a widespread view that she would have a very hard time winning. and i think for we knows, i think republican voters, they're not going to look at the long list of republican candidates and necessarily say who has the best chance of winning? but if there were a republican candidate in the mix that just looked like they were a nonstarter and that couldn't
win, i think that would probably hurt that candidate enormously. and so i think of all the republicans mentioned, you know, if you were just going to look objectively at the data, overwhelmingly, she would be the one you could say, wow, it would take truly horrific circumstances for president obama to lose to her while a lot of the others would have a decent chance of beating him, you know, after the course of a long campaign. >> always interesting talking with you, charlie cook. thank you so much. >> see ya, alex. a travel nightmare in europe. british airways suspends all nights from heath row after this huge snowstorm. some people say it looks like narnia. we'll have the latest from london in our next hour. [scraping]
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secrets. assange is free on bail this morning as he fights an ex tradition from sweden. joining me live now from london via skype is new york types robbiea. good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> so julian assange is staying where? >> he's saying in a place called ellingham hall. it's so big, in fact, it's in two counties. >> okay. and the latest revelations by wikileaks have been perceived what? i mean, has he had anything of profound importance or information content in the last few days? >> it's a matter for debate. the cables are shaking the words according to her supporters. his detractors are saying, well, we knew that, anyway. >> let's listen to what he, assange, had fos about the number of documents wikileaks has released so far. >> have seen, wikileaks is a
robust organization. during my time in solitary confinement in the basement of a victorian prison, we continued to release, our media partners continued to write stories of the important revelations from this material continue to come out. we have approximately 2,000 cables into 250,000. >> rovi, do you think wikileaks has released the most damaging material already or is there more? >> well, they talk often of their insurance, the fact that they have some earth shattering revelations they're holding back and they put out an encrypted file in case anything grave happens to julian assange. but obviously, we have no way of putting out. but obviously, we have no way of checking what those revelations are. it's difficult to tell. >> do you think there is any chance that wikileaks has peaked as more .more files trickle out there? do you think people will start to ignore the interest and die down at all? >> i think it depends.
it will be a story with such a fascinating entity with julian assange is such a character. i think it depends on what is in the bank. they say they have documents that people think are related to bank of america which will be released in january. you can imagine that will have a fair amount of interest attached to it, but we don't know yet. >> what about the u.s. and his thoughts that the u.s. is prepare to go indict him? does the u.s. have a case against him? >> the u.s. has said they're pursuing a investigation but they refuse to comment on the progress of that investigation. and legal commentators have said and continue to say that they can't see a way in which they could charge him under the 1917 espionage act which was designed for a world before the internet. >> absolutely. that you can very much from london there. the "new york times" rovi samiah. thank you. >> thank you, alex. a huge vote on senate hill. we'll live from alcohol after this short break.
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