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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  September 8, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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( drop plinks ) brita-- better for the environment and your wallet. this hour on the "big picture" the new feisty push from president obama. >> time to do what's right for america's working families and put aside partisanship, stop saying things that aren't true. come together as a nation, pass health insurance reform now. >> but today, a crucial senate republican delivered a whopper about end of life care. >> between government running everything and paying a doctor to give that advice. >> what will the democrats do now? and what can we expect from tomorrow's big speech to congress? today, the president spoke to america's children about working hard and staying in school. >> don't ever give up on yourself because when you give
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up on yourself, you give up on your country. >> the president's speech a far cry from the socialist agenda critics were accusing him of pushing on school children. later, the preacher in phoenix calling for president obama's death. >> i hate barack obama. you just mean you don't like what he stands for. no, i hate the person. >> this weekend, protesters arrived but is there more that can be done? plus the cinderella story at the u.s. open. and the other things we thought you should know. all this hour on msnbc. good afternoon, everyone, i'm tom ran hall live in new york. >> i'm david shuster live in washington. congress is back at work today and in the big picture there have been fast-moving developments this afternoon involving negotiations over health care reform. within the past hour a crucial bipartisan senate panel known as the gang of six started meets face to face and reportedly
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discussing a plan by democratic chair max baucus. the baucus plan would help uninsured americans get coverage. it would not include a public option. baucus has been trying for months to attract the support of the top republican, chuck grassley. grassley mischaracterized how reform would address end of life care. >> between government running everything and paying a doctor to give that advice, everybody figures that the government's going to be in the middle of end of life issues just like they are in england. >> in fact, there is nothing in any democratic plan that mandates the consultation. there are developments today involving another crucial gang of six republican, this woman, senator o olympia snowe. her proposal for a public option trigger appears to be gaining steam now in the senate and house. first in the senate.
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snowe's proposal getting embraced by centrist democrat ben nelson. >> i don't mean a hair trigger. i mean a true trigger, one that would only apply if there isn't the kind of competition in the business that we believe there would be. >> today in the house, several progressive democrats who threatened the vote against the bill that does not have a public option said they would be open to considering a trigger mechanism. president obama met just a short time ago with house speaker nancy pelosi and senate majority leader harry reid to talk health care reform strategy. speaker pelosi refused to say if democrats in general would access a public option trigger. in stead she spoke about why a public option is important. >> i believe a public option will be essential to our passing a bill in the house of representatives. because as the president has said and i listen to him very carefully, he believes that the
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public option is the best way to keep the insurance companies honest and to increase competition. >> meanwhile the president is trying to put the final touches on a speech he will give to congress tomorrow night. joining us now, nbc chief white house correspondent chuck todd. we heard a few moments ago from senator harry reid talking about the goal is bipartisanship. despite what chuck grassley said in an interview this morning. is that the approach of the white house to reach out to republicans tomorrow night? >> reporter: i don't know if you're going to hear him reach out to republicans. advisers say to me, look, the number one audience for the speech tomorrow night is not members of congress, not democrats, congressional democrats or congressional republicans. it is the american people. they're trying to lay is out in layman's terms what the president's plan is and that that will be another result of the speech is that it will be -- if they're successful then, you know, joe and jane in kansas
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city will be able to say what the president's plan is whether they agree with it or not. they want to go that next sthep and be able to convince joe and jane the president's plan is the best plan moving forward. that said, i think what we're seeing, though, is a lot of maneuvering going on, right? you have the president right now still tweaking his speech. at the same time you have max baucus trying to make sure he's not irrelevant to the process and suddenly is speeding up, hurrying up to try to get their proposal in to play before the president's speech. when the president speaks, david, and he outlines what he's for and what his -- what he envisions the health care bill to look like then that's going to be the plan and everybody else is expected to work off of, you know, the president's playbook at that point. so it is important -- i think this is what senator baucus is stressing to this gang of six, hey, we've got about 12 hours to make sure we're relevant in this process. now, two developments we're going to be looking for.
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number one, right now that gang of six is meeting. will enzi and grassley, two republicans, hinting all month long they might not be able to sign on to a bipartisan proposal that can't get other republicans on board, will they remain in these talks of this meeting today? there's every chance we'll know today whether enzi and grassley are still in the gang of six or if the gang of six really is going to become a gang of four, which in this case is a gang of one, about olympia snowe. two, is this development on the trigger, david, the fact is, it is clear house progressive, liberals, that side of the caucus has gotten the message, hey, if you're going to get, you know, if you want any form of the public option you better support the trigger. if you don't, you could end up with a co-op and have no chance at a public option. >> nbc chief white house correspondent chuck todd. great reporting as always. thanks for helping us on this intriguing afternoon. >> reporter: absolutely. the bigger picture.
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former president bill clinton telling democrats not to worry about grief from republicans in this health care debate. clinton's efforts to revamp health care failed in the mid mid-90s zz. he says lawmakers should focus on putting together the best form they can. don't worry about the republicans, let them figure out what they're going to stand for. as long as they're sitting around waiting for us to mess up, they don't have a chance. don is a former adviser to president clinton, former communications director worked on the health care reform under the clinton administration. thank you so much for joining us. when we started off this health care debate many said this new administration could basically look at what went wrong during the clinton years in the '90s, try to correct those mistakes and that this wouldn't be smooth sailing but we wouldn't have people shouting down one another and shouting down lawmakers in town halls. this has not been a good month for this administration with this debate. >> no, i think they overlearned
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lessons. thought you shouldn't come out with a pragmatic set of solutions and push those forward and actually lead as president which is what president clinton tried to do. instead they've receded from the battle field and let congress deal with this and left open a real vacuum at this point has been feeled by a lot of rank rouse voices. if the president wants to be known as a leader he needs to lead. >> i read the comment from former president clinton saying not to worry about the republicans. when you heard our report, it says the president has to lay what his plan is, what are the terms. whether people agree with it or not they know the plan. i think that speaks to the point you mentioned about leadership. a second ago we heard from speaker pelosi and senator reid and they had that tone of grayness that we're hearing from the president. so it is on his shoulders. >> yeah, it's very much on his shoulders. you know, the american people expect a lot more from their president. their one national leader than they do from the leaders of either house of congress.
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it's time for the president to step up and really play that presidential role that he hasn't done thus far. the speech tomorrow night needs to be practical, pragmatic and, frankly, grown-up and responsible. he needs to remind the american people why health care reform is a national priority and all of the buzz words and jargon, a lot has been lost in terms of just helping the american people to remember why this is a priority and then he's got to be very concrete about the solutions that he's proposal. >> don, does that also require him very carefully and very clearly saying what he believes about the public option and then in the end if that ends up something that becomes a trigger, negotiations, that's fine, but he's got to make the case for the public option if the white house is willing to jettison it in the weeks ahead. >> i think he has to make the case for a number of different alternatives. i'm not sure he needs to embrace the public option. he needs to show there's a need for competition in the marketplace and we need to get
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to competition in a way that's truly effective. he can talk about that. i think the american people are wide open to hearing, as i say, a grown-up conversation about this that the president has to lead. >> well, incredible insight you've got there, don. after years of experience in the '90s. great talking to you. always a pleasure. tomorrow night, watch president obama's primetime address to congress right here on msnbc at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the coverage will be ankered by keith olbermann, chris matthews and rachel maddow. it's incredible, david, at the beginning of the debate people thought the playbook would be look at what went wrong with the clintons and try to correct on that. you have a mess of other entanglements this administration had found itself in. >> yeah, i mean, it's so fascinating on so many levels. the lessons they've learned from the clinton administration. here we are, 25, 26 hours before the president is going to hit the final send button on his speech to his advisers. does he hit the republicans over the head or anybody who stands in the way of reform? that's one way.
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does he reach out a fig leaf and explain to the american people in a calm fashion, here's what's in it for all of you? does he try to go to please the democratic caucus? against this, he has the moving parts in congress today which makes the situation more precarious and dramatic. >> with all the options, from the things we've read over the weekend and from speaker pelosi and reid, the option is not going to be to hit the republicans over the head with what they have or what they wauns called a mandate from the american people. >> i think that's right. in the end, if the white house is going it alone with democrats and missed an opportunity to really explain here's what the opposition wants in health care reform and why they're the opposition. in any case, fascinating stuff. we'll keep everybody posted on developments from the hill. coming up, protests against a pastor who gave a sermon titled "why i hate obama" and who prayed for the president to die. are these comments covered by the first amendment? >> are they even covered by the
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bible? also, great white sighting possibly up to five of them. all of this happening just a few miles away from martha's vineyard, that is where they shot the movie "jaws." a popular vacation spot. the beaches were closed over the weekend. we'll show you the pictures of the seals that with there. the victoria's secret, the only news story you'll hear about queen victoria. years later it seems they've found her dirty undies. i'm racing cross country in this small sidecar, but i've still got room for the internet. with my new netbook from at&t. with its built-in 3g network, it's fast and small, so it goes places other laptops can't. i'm bill kurtis,
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and i've got plenty of room for the internet. and the nation's fastest 3g network. gun it, mick. (announcer) sign up today and get a netbook for $199.99 after mail-in rebate. with built-in access to the nation's fastest 3g network. only from at&t. now there's new heart health advantage from bayer. its non-aspirin formula contains phytosterols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease... by lowering bad cholesterol. new heart health advantage from bayer.
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developing story now on
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msnbc. look at pictures coming in to us from chatham, massachusetts, that's where another, yes, another, great white shark was reported off the beach. >> tamron, this morning, three great whites were tagged nearby bringing the total spotted in the area up to five in the last week prompting the beaches to be closed in the area. joining us on the phone, a senior shark biologist with the massachusetts division of marine fishery. we've also gotten video of seals just off of the beaches there. literally hundreds of seals. see the video. is this why the great sharks are coming so close? >> yeah, we think so. there's a pretty good abundance of those animals in there. we think that's drawing them in. >> what's the danger to people who may find themselves in the water nearby? >> well, the town of chatham has taken it upon themselveses to close the beaches. in that area no one is going to be going in the water. the adjacent towns haven't taken such measures yet. >> how unusual, greg, is it to
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see great whites this close to the massachusetts coastline? >> well, you know, we know great whites occur throughout new england waters this time of year, but the occurrence so close to shore and such numbers have to admit, up to 27 years of doing this, is very unusual, but given the size of the seal population, which has expanded in recent years, no great surprise that they're starting to camp out there. >> greg, you mentioned the size of the seal population in numbers. we were talking about the size of the great white we saw in the video. this isn't shark week but it feels like it. the size -- are these impressive in the length there? they look massive. >> we've seen a pretty incredible size range. seen somewhere around 6 feet but up to about 15 feet in length. when you see these larger animals it's absolutely impressive. the girth on them is incredible. >> greg, thanks so much for helping us out. we appreciate it. tamron, another visual reminder
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for the people on the coast of chatham, don't go in the water. >> i learned to swim this weekend. i can swim, like, two inches now. this is why. this is why i don't know how to swim. oh, all right. president obama, david, went back to school today. he spoke in virginia. a highly-generated speech that gained criticism from the right. the president urged school kids never to give up en if they don't like every class. his speech steered clear of politics, instead offering words of encouragement to the students. >> i expect all of you to get serious this year. i expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. i expect great things from each of you. so don't let us down. don't let your family down or your country down. most of all, don't let yourself down. with us, tiger lily
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genyoung, she watched president obama's speech today with a group of friends. she had a sleep over last night. she is almost 9 and will be starting school in brooklyn tomorrow. thanks for joining me. >> you're welcome. >> let me complement you. you look adorable today. what did you think of the president's speech? >> i thought it was nice. i liked it. >> what did you like about it? >> i liked that, like, he didn't really, like, he just, like -- he just, like -- >> did he talk to you kind of like how your parents would talk to you? giving you good advice? >> yeah, he talked to me giving me good advice about my school. >> did your parents or anyone else told you there has been controversy, there were some people out there who didn't want kids like yourself to see this speech? did you know about this? >> yeah. >> your mom told you about it in. >> yeah. >> did that make you curious to see the speech? >> yeah. >> you saw it.
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the advice the president gave you, stay in school, i'm sure your parents have told you that. >> yeah. >> does it mean something when you hear it from the president? >> yeah. >> why does it mean something to you? >> because it's my school and my, like, getting good grades and my school means a lot to me. >> you were with some other kids, right? >> yeah, i was with other kids. >> you had a sleep over. what did they think? >> they thought it was really, like, amazing. >> amazing? >> yeah. >> that's such a strong word. why did they think it was so amazing? >> didn't exactly tell me, but -- >> you just got that feeling from chitchatting with them? >> yeah. >> you're back in school tomorrow and you're going to take that advice the president offered you? you were going to do that anyway, right? >> yeah. >> thank you, tigerlily. i didn't want to put you on the spot. the reason i didn't let david shuster ask you questions. he's known for being tough. i protected you. thank you, very much. >> good for you, tamron.
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tigerlily is adorable. >> did you hear david? she heard you, david. you want to say thank you? >> thank you. >> you're very welcome. tigerlily, i think you and your classmates learned amazing lessons about how silly adults can be when it comes to your schooling. thanks for coming on. >> don't repeat that. adults always know what's right, okay? david, i knew -- that's why i said, tigerlily let me talk you you before david shuster has you up in arms. you're awesome. the cinder rell la story. you'll like this story, tigerlily from the u.s. open. >> you've got to start them young. huge upset from a teenager from georgia. this is a phenomenal story. we'll tell you coming umg next. tylenol pm quiets the pain that keeps you awake. and helps you sleep, in a non-habit forming way.
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save up to thousands of dollars... on potential out-of-pocket expenses... with an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan... insured by united healthcare insurance company. call now for your free information kit... and medicare guide and find out... how you could start saving. there are a lot of things that could be considered news in this world. >> david, there are only a few
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stories that make you say -- no, way! first up, how clever that al rider put in victoria's secret. a pair of 120-year-old bloomer once belonging to queen victoria are in the royal collection. the underwear, 56-inch waist. pfs brought from a private collector for nearly $1,000, officially designated an important part of english heritage. she had nine children and keep in mind, there were no treadmills back then. hard for a girl to get back in shape. >> she was not pushing herself a away from the table, tamron. >> she's a royal. all right. david. now to the cinderella story. 17-year-old melanie oudin extended her remarkable run from a come from behind victory over nadya petrova.
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third consecutive upset. she beat former champ maria share powe va. the teenager from marietta, georgia, will play tomorrow in the quarter finals. >> believe that i could do it and, like, now i know that i do belong here and this is what i want to do and i can compete with these girls no matter who i'm playing, you know? i have a chance against anyone. next, tamron, she'll face 19-year-old caroline from denmark who came from behind last night. the crowd was cheering for caroline but she realized oudin will be the crowd favorite tomorrow. joining us in studio, sports writer who writes for "the nation." she's 5'5". is that why she's an amazing story? >> that's one of the reasons. she looks like a regular person. 5'5", not huge.
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she's out there hitting all sorts of exotic and interesting ways. charging to the net, going back. plays with grit and determination and captures people's imagination. a lot of people don't know the only reason she's in the u.s. open, she's 17 is because her parents were keeping her home from school to see obama's speech. that's a joke. >> all right. has this been totally random? is she really a great player playing with incredible determination and grit? have these opponents had bad matches? >> no, no, she could be great. there's a huge vacuum at the top of woman's tennis. nobody has established themselves as being dominant other than the williams' sister. she plays with a style a lot of people on the circuit have not seen in a long time. there's been robo tennis on the tour. this is one of the reasons she's so popular. the style rooted in eastern europe, 5'9", 5'10", you slug it
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out until your opponent falls asleep. she keeps her opponent awake, keeps her fans alive. she's 5'5", has a twin sister from marietta, georgia. her parents t cry after every m. it has an all-american sheen to it. the nfl season hasn't started yet. we're all about oudin. there's a huge vacuum right now. this is going to be the first u.s. open since 1881 where there hasn't been a u.s. man in the quarter finals. that means in united states tennis, american tennis, people are looking for that star. it's going to be oudin. >> they showed video of her in times square. it's amazing the response fans had for her. clambering to get attention, just to get her autograph. you mentioned the william sisters. would she be the -- her tennis style is so different from the two of them. would she be the next in line to
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have all of the admiration of the young tennis fans out there? >> without question. we started seeing articles about the william sisters 15 years ago. they have been on the map for a long time. the william sisters, i say this to their great credit, have other interests than tennis. part owners in the miami dolphin, gone to fashion school. they want to have lives and not become tennis tragedy/tragedy. what, they're normal? that's a bad thing? the thing about oudin is she comes along after this 15-year gap before we've seen that new face. >> she's going to have one problem. here boyfriend's two years younger. in georgia when she reaches the age of 18 -- that's terrible. >> how could you say such a thing? they have a wholesome relationship. >> i'm sure they'll work it out. tamron, i'm sure they'll work it out in georgia. they always do. >> david, leave it to you to bring it up. her boyfriend is 15 an what will probably happen as our colleague
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said, she'll probably be swept off her feet by some other guy. since she's in the limelight. she's going to have a lot of suitors at her door. now that we talked about the poor kid's dating life. up next, the the pastor who gave a sermon entitled "why i hate obama" and he prayed for the president to die. >> free spech versus hate speech? protecting your heart includes watching your cholesterol. now there's new heart health advantage from bayer. its non-aspirin formula contains phytosterols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease... by lowering bad cholesterol. new heart health advantage from bayer. but did you know you also get hotel price assurance? it's a one-two punch of savings -- pow! pow! lower hotel booking fees mean you get a lower total price. plus, if another orbitz customer then books the same hotel for less, we send you a check for the difference, automatically.
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your cnbc market wrap. stocks end on a positive note on wall street today. the dow picked up 56 points. s&p 500 gained eight points and the nasdaq up nearly 19 points. oil prices jumped higher today as the dollar weakened. pushing investors to seek commodities like oil and gold. oil rose above $71 a barrel. as mentioned gold jumped higher today for the first time since february. rose above $1,000 an ounce.
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celebrity photographer annie leibovitz is at risk of losing her copy right to her life's work of images and four homes. that is if she doesn't pay back a $24 million loan today. art capitol group sued leibovitz in july claiming she breached a contract. she's trying to resolve the matter. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now back to msnbc. welcome back, everyone, live in new york. >> i'm david shuster live in washington. tamron, in the "big picture," how far is too far when it comes to free speech? protesters in tempe, arizona, gathered sunday outside the church of pastor steven anderson. delivered sermons which he prays for president obama to die because of his stance on abortion. he set off a firestorm with remarks he made during a sermon last month. watch. >> why should barack obama die
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like the unkindly birth of a woman? why should its children be fatherless and wife a widow as we read in this pass sj? i'll tell you why. since barack obama thinks it's okay to use a salty solution, right, to abort the unborn, because that's how abortions are done, my friend. and the embryo melts like a snail and i'd like to see barack obama melt like a snail. >> so in the bigger picture, david, as the far right, or some of them, taken their opposition to president obama too far? does freedom of speech give religious leaders the right to publicly hope and pray for the president's death? rachel winer has been covering this story for "huffington post." there are many conflicting things on this. here's this man that a lot of people would never have perhaps known about were it not for media attention. it is our job to bring out this part of the conversation if people are subscribing to it. let me start off with crazy
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people do crazy things, but does this guy have some kind of credibility, does he have a voice within his own community others are listening to? >> definitely i think so. if there's a perfect example, a member of his church showed up at a speech of obama's in arizona with two guns. i think you can see sort of a direct connection between those words and the threat of actual violence against the president, you know, whether or not it had been spread online. >> and in his sermon, we heard him flat-out say and compare the president to -- the president's position on abortion to the death of the president. and you have people wondering if you can say this. is that protected speech? when does it become hate speech? has that been part of your reporting? >> a little bit. i'm not a constitutional lawyer. i think it's kind of beside the point. he's been very careful to say, you know, i hope obama dies but
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he's never said i'm going to kill him or somebody should. he says i pray that it happens. he's been careful that way. just because something is legal doesn't mean it's right. i think you can say this is bad and dangerous and has a real negative effect in the world without, you know, even if it's not illegal. >> we've consulted with the constitutional law professor jonathan turry on the legalities. so many people are going to want to know, can somebody get up and say this stuff? here's what jonathan turry said. i consider this protected speech. you're allowed to pray for the death of individuals. there's a legal difference between praying and planning for a death. the constitution allows you to be a hateful death-praying fanatic. i think a lot of people agree this particular pastor is. rachel you said something that caught my attention. that a follower of this pastor showed up at an obama rally with guns. two people. how do you know it? >> that was on cnn. his nape was christopher
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browden, he happened to go to his church and said he was a huge fan of steve anderson. he came to the president's most recent appearance with a gun. so, you know, again, you can't say this speech legally -- he didn't say go to this speech with a gun but i think you can see a connection and just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right. i think cnn also reported that the secret service might be sort of investigating that connection even though the pastor, himself, said he hasn't been contacted by the secret service. so it's something they're obviously worried about. >> okay, rachel, thank you very much. thank you very much. david, i guess, you know, people are certainly have asked us why this guy's in the news. when you hear one of his supporters who was interviewed on msnbc by chris matthews showed up at the town hall with the gun, you know, one does wonder who -- when these words cross, if not legal lines then lines of responsibility, especially from a church leader. >> yeah. i mean, it's -- i mean, it's
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dust gusting on so many levels. there are a lot of religious people in this country who mean well, do well, read the bible as do unto others as they would do unto you. for this guy to take, sort of disparage religion and in the way he has by suggesting something in the bible suggests president obama should die buy of his views, it takes it to a whole new level. >> the sad part, david, many other cultures, people have used the bible to oppress, enslave, kill others. >> that's true. >> he's not the first of his kind. he will not be the last. hopefully his influence will not extend beyond his own mouth. >> we talked about freedom of speech. obviously everyone on the sidewalk outside the church also have freedom of speech as well. the senate returned from its summer break today. the session opened with a moment of silence in honor of the late senator ted kennedy. >> in memory to our friend and departed colleague, late senator edward kennedy.
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>> this was the first time in nearly a 50 years the senate convened without senator kennedy. his desk is dlaped in black with the white roses on top. he died august the 25th after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. sonia sotomayor took her seat on the high court today. the court held a ceremony where the court formally welcomes its newest member. no cameras allowed for the ceremony. justice sotomayor walked down the steps with john roberts. she posed with her family in front of the court. sotomayor will return to work tomorrow for an argument in a key case against campaign finance laws. still ahead, the backlash over conservative attacks on president obama's speech to school kids today. did the controversy hit the gop? plus, the first lady's personal trainer spilling the beans. spilling his secrets on how she
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welcome back. in today's "face-off" president obama made his back to school speech to the nation today. made this a controversial speech for the president.
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>> did president obama stress a socialist agenda? was it an effort to indoctrinate our children? you decide as you watch the basic theme he used throughout the speech. >> the circumstances of your life, what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home, none of that is an excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude in school. that's no excuse for talking back to your teacher or cutting class or dropping out of school. there is no excuse for not trying. here in america you write your own destiny. you make your own future. >> so did conservatives with their criticism of the speech hurt the republican party? or did conservatives hurt the white house by grabbing all the attention, thereby, taking it away from democratic talking points on health care reform the last few days? democratic strategist richard goodstein and brent littlefield. did the republicans who criticized president obama's speech, did they do the gop any
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favors? >> i think the white house did itself a disservice by putting the speech together so close to his discussion of a health care reform. it distracted from the message they were trying to sell. >> wait a minute, he's giving a speech on staying in school and working hard. it's the president's fault? >> he gave a speech on staying in school in the middle of trying to argue for health care. >> the first day of school. >> the criticism was not about the speech. everybody can agree it's wonderful the president of the united states is going to speak to the nation's schoolchildren. the problem is the white house has encouraged teachers to have students write about how they would help the president. >> they did it at the beginning. a week ago they changed the material so it would say how could you help yourself set educational goals? richard goodstein, what do you make of this? >> i think the right wing is getting unhinged. i think this is exhibit "a." the notion on the first day of school, this just doesn't happen to be coincidence with with the health care speech.
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it's the first day of school for many kids. the notion the president could come, give a stay in school, work hard speech and that's objectionable, think about it politically. you're a moderate voter, you look at people bringing guns to town hall meetings, having this preposterous notion about death panels, having preachers talk about death to obama and then objecting to the president talking about the value and the virtue of staying in school. if you're a moderate voter you say, i don't know, i'm not positive about obama. i know for damn sure i don't want to be part of that crowd. >> brent, how does the republican party handle that? here you have the former first lady laura bush coming out applauding and saying we need to respect the president when it came to gives the speech to kids and newt gingrich saying he recommends the kids read the speech. how do you balance that with some of the fringe activity that can be detrimental when you're talking about moderates or maybe some independents out there who aren't quite satisfied with what they're seeing from the obama administration?
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>> well, tamron, i think you talked about what former first lady laura bush had to say, what former speaker gingrich had to say and what i just said, students should be excited to see the president talk to them. the white house changed it because they had criticism. it seems to be a pattern with the obama white house. they face criticism and jump back from the original statements like health care when the president said he was in favor of a single-payer plan and now saying it's for a public option and now maybe for a trigger mechanism. they will change depending on the criticism they receive. >> let's spoeds they left it in, encouraged students in an optional plan for teachers to tell students, hey, look, write down the ways you can help president obama achieve the educational goals of this country. richard goodstein, is that controversial? >> well, that's what bush the elder did, exactly. exactly to a "t." the notion this number of years
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later that would become this firestorm. incidentally this wasn't a firestorm. this was a match that was looked at through a magnifying lens. there was no firestorm here. i guarantee you there wasn't a participant in th parent in this country who doesn't listen to rush limbaugh daily who objected to this. no sane-thinking person would. the suggest was unobjectionable. we hear the objections coming from people on the right after the white house pulled back from, again, the very thing the bush the elder did. it doesn't make any sense. the only thing that brings it together is, forget obama, we're going to bring him down. it doesn't matter what we say or do at all costs bring him down. that is what people in the last administration called un-american and unpatriotic. i'm sorry. they did. >> brent, we'll give you the last word. >> well, again, the very fact we spent our time sitting here talking about this while independent voters by large margin say obama's job approval numbers are dropping, his own home state poll in "the chicago
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tribune," the majority of people don't agree with the health care plan. >> the same polls don't show the republicans are able to benefit from it. the polling shows the president's approval is going down. it doesn't show people are thus going to the gop for comfort. >> well, actually, some of the prognosticators today came out and said the republicans will probably benefit next year's elections. the president is in trouble and we're spending time here today talking about a speech he's giving to students that former first lady bush agreed with instead of talking about his health care plan in serious trouble. that's a problem for the white house. >> the larger problem is the right wing of the gop is facing more problems than health care reform is in part because of the views moderates have of the republican party based on incidents like this. brent littlefield, richard goodstein. i think this is one of these things that crystallizes for a lot of people their views of a particular political party and
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sometimes these things have a way of sticking. >> you know, to brent's point, i just think when the republicans point out the approval numbers for the president are declining, why aren't the numbers for the gop on the rise? he said that will happen next year, reminds me of the chicago cubs always saying, well, there's next year. they never come around next year. not that i don't like the cubbies. go cubbies. up next, things we thought you should know. >> the secret of michelle obama's arms and former congressman mark foley. remember them? >> yeah. >> he has a brand new gig. on "hardball," chris matthews talks to david gregory and chuck todd about president obama's big test tomorrow night. "hardball" starts in eight minutes. watching your cholesterol. now there's new heart health advantage from bayer. its non-aspirin formula contains phytosterols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease... by lowering bad cholesterol. new heart health advantage from bayer. your hair mixes with pollen and dust in the air. i get congested. my eyes itch.
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actor george clooney has been a sex symbol since he appeared in the nbc hit "er." after making a joke out of a question about his sexual orientation, watch what happens when another aspiring journalist gets a chance to ask the star a question during a press conference at the vienna film festival. watch. >> i am gay, george -- >> here it comes. >> george, please, choose me, george. please. please, choose me, george. may i kiss you, please? >> it's hard when you take a big chance and it doesn't really work. it's always embarrassing when you take one real swing for the fences and it just falls flat. >> what? >> wow.
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>> did you see the underwear? it said choose me, george. >> nice. >> nice. >> here are a few more things we thought everybody should know. >> apparently anti-american venezuelan president hu go chaves learned a thing or two from president obama and his wife after receiving a standing ovation at the venice film festival yesterday, chaves fist bumped dictator -- director, i'm so sorry. director oliver stone. my apologies for calling -- >> some saying he is a dictator, tamron. >> the applause was at the prepeer of stone's latest movie "south of the border." portrays chaves emp thetically and a hero to the people. but -- >> fist bumping. i guess that's the thing we do these days, right, tamron? >> yeah, apparently, david, i guess. i don't know what to say about that. >> i'm going to show you the scripts i botched over the years and what you just did, that was
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nothing. >> thanks for pointing out i botched it, david. >> i'm your friend. congressman mark foley is making a comeback as a talk radio show at a local station in west palm beach. he resigned in 2006 following the sexual e-mails he had a number of underage congressional pages. a longtime personal trainer has revealed a secret to michelle obama's sculpted arms. after an intense routine of card you workouts mrs. obama finishes with triceps pushdowns and hammer curls. he explains in the october issue of "women's health" magazine. okay, david, he does hammer curls, arm shape -- arm shaping set of triceps pushdowns. do you know how to do that? >> no, i don't and i -- great
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role model she's working out that much. i wish -- >> hammer curl? >> hammer curl? >> i think that's lifting it up like that. >> that's pretty good. good for them. >> okay, moving on. the past three months, david, president obama has given more than 20 speeches, press conferences or remarks on the topic of health care reform. tomorrow's could be the most important one, at least, of these seven months and perhaps beyond that for him. >> let's get to our "next read" on politics with stories we're watching heading into tomorrow. mark murray joins us happen mark, what do you have? >> david and tamron, tomorrow in primetime, president obama gives his big address to congress on the issue of health care and how that speech is received could be very well impact whether or not legislation ends up passing sometime this fall. and what that legislation actually ends up looking like. also tomorrow, louia

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