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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  February 18, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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invading women's rights. that's just uncalled for. particularly when we need to expand medicaid so that folks have health care. protect our rural hospitals. >> jamie harrison, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you so much, lawrence, and take care. stay safe. >> thank you. chairman jamie harrison gets the last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. xxxx >> well, good evening once again. this was day 30 of the biden administration. texans are enduring a fourth night of freezing misery in the wake of a winter storm that seems to have unleashed a growing humanitarian crisis in our own country. an act of god followed by an abject failure by man. meantime tonight, one man, ted cruz, is getting a whole lot of attention, none of it good, for
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leaving on vacation in cancun before thinking better of it, after one night at the ritz carlton. more on his story in just a bit. while the power is back on in all but about 350,000 homes, and that's a lot but it's not 5 million, the weather has left exploded pipes, major floods, people's homes have been destroyed. while taps are dry and millions are going without running water, food is also now in short supply. grocery shelves, refrigerator cases are largely empty. getting away is something most people can't do. many highway overpasses are just closed because they're frozen. fuel is in short supply. gas stations running out. no one seems to have any propane. tonight in a great state of 30 million people, people are focused on their survival and their loved ones. >> right now we're just -- we're really concerned about how fast the temperature is really dropping insides. >> it's, you know, either you
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stay in your house and, you know, you are cold and you freeze to death and you have no food. >> i don't know how many gas stations we went to. five maybe. >> at least. >> at least. and we haven't been able to find fuel. >> we only have like two cases of water left, so we're trying to divide it between two families. >> there are still folks in danger. there are still people without power. and there are a lot of people who simply can't afford to go into the stores, so we're trying to do mass distribution sites. but things are real tenuous for a lot of people in the city. >> our friends at the texas tribune report things could have been worse if such a thing is possible. officials say the state was, quote, seconds and minutes away from a power grid failure that could have caused a monthslong blackout. this week's weather has been deadly. some 30 people have lost their lives. the feds are now stepping in to help. the president today authorized fema to supply texas with
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generators and water and blankets and the like. which brings us somehow to senator ted cruz, who as we said, flew to cancun, mexico, as his constituents were freezing. it was late last night when the pictures started showing up on social media. yep, that was ted cruz and his family at the houston airport. nbc news confirmed that cruz's staff even called up houston police officers to escort him through the airport. "the new york times" reports that his wife heidi sent text messages out to friends in the neighborhood saying, quote, their house was freezing, as ms. cruz put it and she proposed a get away until sunday. ms. cruz invited others to join them at the ritz carlton in cancun where they had stayed many times, noting the room price this week, $309 per night and it's good security. the text messages were provided to "the new york times" and confirmed by a second person on the text thread who declined to be identified because of the private nature of what they
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shared. amid the growing ensuing outrage, at 6:00 a.m. this morning, cruz booked a new return flight from cancun to houston. a source telling nbc news he was initially booked on a flight returning saturday. upon returning home, with protesters in front of his house, a rather shell-shocked ted cruz admitted cancun may not have been a great idea. >> we left yesterday. the plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family. that was the plan, and, you know, i have to admit, it was -- the last week has been tough on a lot of folks. our girls, when they got the news that school was canceled this week, they said, look, why don't we take a trip. let's go somewhere, where it's not so cold. and heidi and i -- this has been a tough week. it's been a tough year for kids, kids all across the state of texas. so we were trying to be good parents and said, okay, we'll do
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it. and so we booked the flight. i have to admit -- i started having second thoughts almost the moment i sat down on the plane. >> cruz appeared tonight on the friendly confines of the hannity show, not so much contrition, though. he did lie about wind energy in texas, saying it supplies a quarter of the state's energy, and that is false. right wing media and the texas governor, as you may know, have tried to falsely blame frozen wind turbines for the state's troubles. the nation's other ongoing crisis, the pandemic, is getting even closer to having cost nearly a half million american lives. today we learned covid has indeed had a corrosive effect on all of our lives that has caused a drop in american life expectancy. it fell by a full year in the first six months of the year 2020. that's the largest drop in our society since world war ii. it declined for black americans by nearly three years, nearly
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two years for latino americans. on the vaccine front, white house covid advisers say johnson & johnson's vaccine could end up being a two-dose regimen. if it proves to offer more protection than a single shot. companies already filed for emergency authorization of its one-dose version, which has shown to be 66% effective against moderate to severe cases of the virus. meanwhile, many are still wondering about whether vaccines ought not be required for our teachers reentering schools, and about the effectiveness of vaccines against these new strains of the virus coming in from overseas that we're hearing so much about. earlier on this network, dr. fauci weighed in on both issues. >> i think to say that you're not going to open up schools until every single one of the teachers get vaccinated, namely, making it a sin aqua non of opening, i don't think we can go
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there to get the schools open. >> how close are you to finding a vaccine to handle the south african variant? >> that will take a few months. we're already working with the moderna company. pfizer is doing it on their own. >> with that, let's bring in our lead-off guests on this thursday night. abby livingston, washington bureau chief for the texas tribune. josh wingrove, white house reporter for bloomberg news. dr. vin gupta, assistant professor at the university of washington institute for health metrics and evaluation. good evening and welcome to you all. abby, given the subject matter and the immediacy, i'd like to begin with you and i'd like to read a quote from the atlantic. this is david graham. it's tempting to turn the hypocrite label on cruz, but his sin is worse. every politician is a hypocrite at some point. cruz's error is not that he was shirking a duty he knew he should have been performing. it's that he couldn't think of anyway he could use his power as a u.s. senator to help texans in
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need. that's a failure of imagination and of political ideology. abby, cruz watchers heard the insurrectionists drop his name. they saw cruz vote pro insurrection. they thought maybe this will ding his presidential hopes. then came cancun. now people are wondering if it will ding his career in the u.s. senate from continuing beyond this term. but more immediately, locally, as a journalist based with a texas publication, are we overplaying this or under playing it, the political aspect, mr. cruz, and the overall human tragedy unfolding there? >> well, some democrats have complained to me this is something of a sideshow in comparison to the human misery of what's happening in texas. to be clear, a senator's job in this kind of situation basically has three things. the first one is they need to
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advocate to fema on behalf of the governor to get funds and engagement to the president. the back end of it is a senator will have to deal with the clean-up, and that means advocating for funds back in the state after the crisis is over. but in between is more symbolic. it is being there with the constituents. they even have certain clothes they wear, polo shirts, wind breakers, things like that. just talking to normal people in the state, friends of mine who are not political junkies, my phone has been exploding all day long. these are -- the scale of how big the state of texas is hard to convey. we have like four chicagos that are all under pressure right now. and the texans who are well off are doing things like filling their bathtubs with potable water, or using the neighbor's pool water for toilet flushing. and so this is just a blow to morale in the state. so i think it is something that texans are fixated on because
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it's just -- it's symbolic more than anything, but that is still a very big factor in how things are going because we are still in a pandemic. and i mean, mental health is starting to really wear thin in the state. >> there is also the sympathy and the empathy among those of us not in texas who have watched texans through no fault of their own lining up in droves in food lines. people who never thought they'd need help. now they're lining up for drinkable water, with their empty propane tanks. it's really more than you can take if you're born with any empathy. josh, of course, here we are the weather has now interfered with vaccine shipments during the new presidential effort to speed vaccine shipments to as many americans as possible. and i'm quite certain you're going to point out that the white house is aware of potential negative optics and potential negative outcomes here. >> yeah, we were expecting something on the order of 12
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million shipments this week, including to pharmacies. the white house said we haven't said yet how many of those are affected. we've had weather delays in the past. they haven't really caused structural, you know, changes. it's been more of a road bump. i think they would hope that's the case here. the suffering that we're seeing is just harrowing. the images are stunning out of texas. you know, i think it's true that this ted cruz thing is both a powerful image, but a sideshow. there's a lot of important reporting coming out over recommendations that were made a decade ago over this very issue, and the lack of regulations with respect to insulating, you know, the energy infrastructure in texas for these type of extreme weather events. i actually think that we'll see president biden, who by the way, spoke with governor abbott earlier this evening. the white house just released a statement, maybe move forward on this. remember, he's been calling not
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only for infrastructure spending, but for energy infrastructure, in particular for climate resiliency in infrastructure, in particular both those buckets going to come into play on this. but, you know, i think if possible -- [ inaudible ] we should hold ted cruz -- [ inaudible ] -- >> we've had a freeze on camera. vin, that brings us to you. i don't know what you carry in your magic black bag or if it's a solution for what ails us now. we've had our mutual friend dr. redlener on last night. this has been his life's work, the intersection of infrastructure with a public health crisis. truly the public health. this, of course, comes at a time where we're looking in our rearview mirror for these variants and trying to outrace their arrival here. >> good evening, brian.
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let me speak to texans, a place where i have family. and i know texas is hurting right now, but there is good news. it will be my role here on this panel to deliver some good news. what we're seeing, and andy slavitt from the coronavirus task force quote this had out, what we're seeing, we're not talking percentages any more with the american people. it's the efficacy of these vaccines to start to normalize life. andy slavitt tweeted out among the nursing home residents that received the vaccine, we are seeing a decline in cases in connecticut in nursing homes in places that the vaccine has gotten into arms. obviously there is a delay in texas, and that's going to be remedied, especially with the president declaring a national emergency. hopefully this is a temporary blip, brian. but in addition to that connecticut data point, there's great data out of israel. for example, showing that amongst those who are 55 and older who have gotten the vaccine, they're 92% less likely to actually end up in the hospital with severe disease.
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so this is just phenomenal news. this is the type of data that we can hang our hat on despite the variants because all these vaccines crucially keep you out of the i.c.u. regardless of the variant that you may be infected with. so that's something we have to hang our hat on as we scale up vaccination in people's arms across the country, disaster or not. >> abby, we reported the power outages are down to 350,000 customers. and let's be candid. if 350,000 people on the east coast where most of the news media are headquartered were in the dark and in the cold, it would be a lead story several nights running. we'll see about national interest in texas and trying to sustain that. when the power comes back on, as it is for more and more customers, that doesn't end the problems, of course. and this is going to be a real challenge in a state where you look from one end to the other as you put it of this vast
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state, and you come up with really nothing but republicans to look at for the fix. >> i think that there is an impetus to deal with this. the state legislature is in session now. they're all in austin and austin is the city that may be hit the hardest. that is one fascinating aspect of this, is the political class is feeling this as much if not more than anyone else. and on top of that, suddenly there is interest in infrastructure. there is interest in looking at these things. but it comes down to cost. and i think this is a central question facing texas voters, and i don't know the answer of which way they will go. but texans love small government. and do they want to continue on that path? or do they want to take a different approach? and i think that is going to be a huge issue in governor abbott's reelection which is only about a year and a half away. >> josh, let's give your wi-fi another spin here and see if it holds. are there any concerns on the part of the people around the
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president about the handling of this? yes, a hardened cynic would say, stand back, offer the help you can, but for now the republicans in texas are doing their own bang-up job. >> it's been no whiff of that. thank you, brian, for your wi-fi placations. joe biden sees his role as trying to be a national healer. i think we'll see more of that going forward. i think that what we, you know, what he wants to take from this is, is the sort of -- show support, but again, i do think he'll try to pivot a little bit out of it and say this reflects the need for increase in not only energy infrastructure, but infrastructure at large in the u.s., the patchwork in particular in texas sort of raises the fear that this will happen again because it's
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happened before and it's happening now. so president biden, i don't think, is taking any glee in what is happening here at all, any sort of partisan silver lining at all. but, you know, right now absolutely texans are at a crossroads on this one and ted cruz in particular is going to wear this for a while, the optics of his trip given that sort of optics is such a big part of the way he does his job as a senator. i mean, this is a guy who looks for cameras. and now, of course, the cameras were looking for him. >> and finally, doctor, i hear your good news. i see your good news. and i so appreciate hearing good news, especially on this broadcast. sadly, i need to counter it with this. this is from one of your medical colleagues, dr. atago wande today. he said i know covid seems like it is subsiding, but the b-17 variant is spreading. what we do now to stop it
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determines whether it takes over and fills hospitals again in two months. it's going to make more than vaccinations. the supply won't come fast enough." and, doctor, he adds his voice to all these other warnings, dire warnings we are hearing about these variants which are truly scary imports in this country. >> well, brian, you know, dr. gawande is channeling what is dissident in the public domain about our existing public policy at the state level, across all 50 states, where we're telling people to double mask, minimize their time in grocery stores. and yet indoor dining is open in 48 states. schools are open with variable mitigation efforts. ventilation is not a top priority per the guidance released recently. and there is concern. especially when you think about the b1-17 variant mentioned.
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we need to be humble. we need to think about testing and ventilation and all the strategies we've been preaching about as we open up society because we all want normalcy. but he's right, as for ramping up opening, we need to keep cases down here. that's high-quality masking and minimizing your time in public. that's wise public policy that's consistent across the line so we keep cases down. >> yeah, indeed, as we reported here this week. in europe where they are in another lockdown, the countries dealing with these variants look at us, the uniquely american way of throwing the doors open and reopening society, and they wonder what it is we're up to because they know what's coming. abby livingston, josh wingrove, dr. vin gupta, on a big night, thanks to our big three for
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starting us off tonight. coming up we talk to a member of the texas congressional delegation who has chosen dallas over cancun. we'll ask him what's being done to make sure something like this never happens to our citizens again. and later, our political professionals weigh in on all 30 days of this new presidency and that man. all of it as "the 11th hour" is just getting underway on this thursday night. this thursday night for people living with h-i-v, keep being you.
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i believe that the energy and commerce committee will be taking up some form of -- when i say investigation, i mean a look into it to see how things could have turned out better and will turnout better in the future. >> by the way, this won't be the first time the federal government gets involved in a massive power failure in the state of texas. it's been a decade, but a
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similar cold snap left millions of texans in the dark. at that time an investigator found, quote, the single largest problem during the cold weather event was the freezing of instrumentation and equipment. called for weatherization improvements. scotch for that, that did not happen. texas has its own power grid, which is great when it works. for more, we are happy to be joined by congressman colin alred, former nfl player, i almost made you a basketball player, former obama administration official and importantly a member of the house transportation and infrastructure committee. congressman, i have to share with you and our viewers these pictures out of san antonio which i know is not your district, but it is a genuine tragedy, a massive apartment complex has gone up tonight, multiple alarms. there is a hydrant right in front of the building. it's frozen solid, so departments are bringing in tankers, trucks of water, but
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it's going to be a total loss. they have since had a partial collapse that has started the cars on fire in the lot. so it's just one tragedy in a state full of tragedies. what do you need most in your district in dallas? is it firewood? is it water? is it plumbers or propane? or some combination of all of those? >> well, thank you for having me on, brian. we've had a week of the dark ages here in texas where you've seen texans burning anything they can get their hands on, breaking down furniture or their own fences for light and heat to texans dying of hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning. what we need now in dallas is different from what we need in houston, different from what we need in austin and san antonio. in dallas we still have water thankfully, but we are seeing folks coming home now with their power turning on and all their pipes have burst and their homes are flooded, and so they have
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maybe nowhere to sleep. and we still have cold weather here and, of course in houston, in austin, we have boil water advisories so they can't drink tap water. depending where you are, the crisis is still going even though the power is coming back on thankfully. >> so, what do you do from your perch? you are a democratic member of congress in a red state. a blue guy within a blue circle, and i note a blue den to boot. what do you do to harness the anger you have felt, the passion you have felt the past few days in a state where its republican politicians as far as the eye can see, what can you do to improve a power grid that has decided years ago to go it on its own? >> well, as you said, texas is unique in the lower 48 in terms
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of us having our own power grid. it also means the state bears the responsibility for not listening to the recommendations that they were given a decade ago about an incident just like this. i'll just say this, brian. this storm was not unexpected. we knew it was coming for several days. when we knew to try and prepare for it in our own personal capacities. but the power system was not prepared for this. and so what we can do, number one, as a member of congress i'm working with fema, i've been on the phone with them to make sure we bring in generators, blankets, potable water and make sure we get that distributed across the state. and then afterwards, this is going to be one of the largest clean-up projects. the damage is unbelievable. the insurance council of texas has estimated this is going to be the highest claim event in the state's history, higher than hurricane harvey which came in about $180 billion. so this is -- the cost is going to be enormous in terms of the recovery. we also have to invest in winterizing and hardening our
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infrastructure against whether it's this storm or some other event. we know we're going to continue to have these extreme weather events in the state of texas. we've had them for several years now coming in different forms. so we have to be prepared for that and the federal government can play a role in that, too. >> so, what does it do to you when you hear media on the right when you hear your governor even flirt with the idea of blaming the green new deal, blaming green energy efforts, blaming wind turbines for causing this? >> well, first of all, we have to understand renewable energy makes up about 10% of the texas power system. and so while every single form of energy has gone offline during this crisis, it's certainly not the fault of renewable energy that we're in this. the vast majority of the power we lost was from thermal sources, natural gas, coal. to blame it on renewable sources
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is bizarre. it's against the spirit of what we've been been doing in texas, diversifying our energy grid. and doing it in a good way. we are the state that leads the country in wind power. that's a great thing for us. you also have to weatherize that wind power. they get cold in the dakotas and iowa, but they're able to get wind power there. they use natural gas in alaska, but it doesn't freeze in the winter like it has here. so we have to make sure that we're prepared for these weather events and not try to find these political games that we can play, who we're going to blame this on, and actually look into what happened, make sure we protect people because texans have died. texans are facing just terrible, terrible conditions. and they don't need a governor or anyone else going around trying to find and pursue their own political agendas instead of trying to find solutions. >> congressman, we're so sorry to watch the suffering from here. i'm sorry for you and your home and your friends and your family
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and your constituents for what you're all going through. we're watching very closely, trying to do what we can. texas democratic congressman colin as lred, thank you very much for taking our questions tonight and stay safe. coming up our next two guests have a thing or two to say about that man and his excellent short lived adventure. james carville, mark mckinnon standing by after this. by aftes i'm happy to give you the tour, i love doing it. hey jay. jay? charlotte! oh hi.
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after about three hours and we're able to get about 20,000 people to, you know, portable water so they can shower and, you know, so they can flush the toilet and the sewage and everything. so it was pretty hard, but being a council man here is just a title. everything else goes out the window when disaster strikes. we kind of roll our sleeves up and, you know, get to work. >> as we said last night, that gentleman is a politician. he's just not the fancy kind. he's in the building trades. that's south houston council man willie rios. he worked at the waste water treatment plant to allow his constituents to flush their toilets. then there is texas senator ted cruz. tonight he is admitting it obviously was a mistake to fly to cancun last night. daytime high 83 degrees, while
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millions of his constituents were freezing without power. dallas morning news captured the reaction this way. quote, ted cruz insists he's just "good dad" taking the girls to cancun, but leaves after one night -- long enough to get blistered. back with us tonight, james carville, veteran democrat, mark mckinnon, former adviser to george w. bush and john mccain. he is on "the circus" on showtime which thankfully is back on the air. hey, mark, i have to read you this. this is manu raju, the able chief correspondent at cnn. he writes about hannity who really tried to give an assist to his friend ted cruz tonight. hannity keeps saying cruz was just going to drop off his kids in cancun and make a quick round trip. yet cruz admitted he was planning to stay through the
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weekend. texts leaked he was planning to get away with neighbors. mark, you've spent a lot of time in politics, a lot of time in texas. lindsey graham likes to joke if ted cruz murdered someone in the senate, what is it -- no, if ted cruz were murdered in the senate, there wouldn't be a single vote to convict. rick wilson always repeats the joke, people who hate ted cruz and ted cruz. is ted cruz as bad as he is being portrayed in this 12-hour period? >> there are people who said they saw him putting on a human suit recently. i did my first campaign with james carville in 1984, learned most of what i know of politics from james. i wish you would throw the question to james. can you imagine a worse scenario for a politician -- first, i'd say natural disasters make and break candidates. and office holders. i mean, rick perry got a lot of
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his stature from ably handling hurricanes and tornadoes. i remember katrina very well from george w. bush. so it's -- it is the most obvious and easy opportunity for a politician to do good stuff, to be on the job, and to not only not be on the job, but to take a hike with your kids to can cruz is just astonishing. the final point i'll make about ted cruz, what's amazing to me he was one of the foot soldiers that tried to overturn our democracy, that helped lead to an insurrection at the capitol. the thing he'll probably be held accountable for politically is his trip to cancun. >> yeah, mark, i was on the ground in new orleans for the famous air force one fly-over overhead. that is not a good feeling, not the proud est moment for 43. so, james, take on this topic and this guy and these optics. >> i think the most interesting thing is the cruz family friends
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dimed them. these texts that they were going to go to cancun and got a room at the ritz carlton for $300 a night, they were texting everything that were friends. this afternoon people were calling me and a lot of people had these different texts. apparently they're not very popular people. he's not a very popular guy and he's in trouble now. no one is going to come by and defend him. a lot of these republicans can't stand him. they're just going to leave him as i said, in watergate, to twist slowly in the wind out there. sometimes in life people get in trouble. they've built up friendships and loyalties over life. people come and rush to their defense. other than sean hannity, i think it's a short line rushing to the cruz's defense out there, i really do. >> mark, a fair question. why isn't a winning strategy for the gop? i mean, first of all, they can just look around texas where this is going to be an
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existential threat to them in the future in a very red state. why isn't fixing america a priority with them? they lost four years with trump, but they all went along with him in not making it a priority. >> well, it's a great question, brian. we're focusing on that on our show this week. this is related to climate crisis, right. this storm system that moved into texas is a direct result of climate, and so, you know, we went to detroit and we talked to the auto makers. the interesting thing is business, which is generally thought of as being conservative and republican friendly, they're leading the way on climate change. the ford motor company this week laid down the marker that they're going to make all of europe electric within ten years. so texas is really behind the curve -- they're climate deniers on there. they went off the grid and now they're paying the price. >> both of these gentlemen have agreed to stay with us. i'm just going to slip in a
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every time we've made progress in america, we've confronted backlash and emerged from that backlash to continue to make more progress. the framers of the constitution were not perfect. they didn't promise a perfect country. but they did promise a journey toward a more perfect union. >> congressman jeffries who was a guest of ours just days ago with jan palmeri, one of mark's co-stars on "the circus." james carville and mark mckin an. james, i'd like to start with you and i have a dual question. part one is the grades you would give him after 30 days.
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>> well, first of all, congratulations to mark and hakeem, he's one of the most talented people in the democratic party. i don't know where he's going, but he's going a long way, i'll tell you that. >> agree, james. >> i would love to be mildly critical of what the new president has done. i really can't think of anything so far. i think his talent fool was right on the money. he seems to be -- i'm sure it's a bit of a honeymoon. we'll have plenty to complain about later. as of right now, i think he's doing extraordinarily well, and his demeanor and his policies and everything that he's done so far. but this is not going to last, but right now i'm 100% -- i think a lot of people feel that way. he's doing an awfully god job so far. >> well, james, i have a
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follow-up. forgive the snark. i can see the democrats are doing a bang-up job and don't need the president's help. it's probably fraught what biden does now for texas. bill crystal was theorizing on twitter that maybe an admiral mcraven or a will hurd could be asked to be a kind of white house emissary on the ground in texas. he floated some other names, but maybe appoint a special master, an ambassador to go out there and run the administration effort. >> well, they may not like bill -- he's a friend of mine, we worked together on the campaign. there's a lot of talented people in texas. my friend colin allen. he could do anything in the world in the dallas area. i've been around these texas democrats a lot, texas republicans. there are real talented people. i'd like to have a democrat, but i think there are plenty enough people to do this, and i think
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they'll kind of figure out how to do the grid. they have the cowboy stand and it bit them. they're going to have to -- they have a lot of smart people in texas. they'll figure this out. there's a lot of talented people in texas and a lot of them are elected in the congress of the united states. >> a state of 30 million americans certainly has its share of talented people. hey, mark, let's talk about the senate. i don't know whether it's mcconnell's senate or trump's senate, but they certainly have operated as a block over the past several years on the republican side of the aisle. any of these issues that biden is floating, whether it's coronavirus relief, whether it's outreach to iran, whether it's immigration reform, an area where republicans have certainly made positive noises in the fact -- in the past. any of that going to cause people to at least be tempted to come across?
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>> well, we'll see, brian. the fact is he has been pretty bold out of the gate, particularly on climate, for example, shutting down keystone. even progressive on the climate side, we're impressed and said, wow. but that causes problems for people like joe manchin and jon tester who we talked to just today about this issue. immigration is going to be interesting. i campaigned with george w. bush in 1999 on immigration reform. he was proactively reaching out saying we need to do something on this issue. it's been two decades now. the biden proposal is not only bold, but it's very different than what we've seen before. it's not the usual trade-offs for more enforcement. that's what barack obama did. so this is a much more sort of progressive notion on immigration and we'll see how -- i mean -- [ inaudible ]. inviting everybody over. we'll see like hakeem said. for every progress you make there's going to be a backlash
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so get ready for the backlash. >> i am old enough to remember when republicans campaigned on immigration reform, indeed. mark, we'll be watching you sunday night. james, we watch you whenever we get the chance. james carville, mark mckinnon, two of our friends. much obliged. thank you for joining us. coming up, after seven months and 300 million miles, a chunk of american ingenuity is tweeting from the surface of mars. so at least we can still do things like that. ike that
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there is a new and beautiful film compilation in 4k hd, and it shows all the incredible pictures and vistas that the two previous rovers have recorded on
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mars a. is most "o" six-month voyage to get to mars, so far away from earth that radio communications take 11 minutes just to travel through space back to earth. and yes, you'd be forgiven for thinking we can do this, we just can't keep the power on in texas. and that's true because nasa works on a higher plane than the rest of us. they've gone and done it again. earlier today the just-landed new rover called perseverance sent out a tweet as one does reading i'm safe on mars, perseverance will get you anywhere. nbc news correspondent tom costello has more on today's pivotal moment inside mission control. >> tones indicating everything is normal. >> reporter: the tension inside mission control as real as if this were a human mission, watching and waiting as 127
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million miles away, perseverance was in its final descent through the thin martian atmosphere. at 3:55 p.m., confirmation. >> touch down confirmed. this is it. safely on the surface of mars, ready to begin seeking the sands for past life. >> reporter: perseverance stuck the landing. then the first shots of the landing zone, the crater billions of years ago a massive lake. soon perseverance will drill into rock and soil, searching for evidence of ancient microbial life. >> did that ancient life adapt as life on earth has? and is it somewhere underneath the surface hiding from the radiation, hiding from the stark low pressure of mars' atmosphere. >> reporter: the samples likely brought back to earth in ten years. also on board a four-pound mini helicopter, and a microphone so humans can hear what mars sounds
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like. president biden was watching the landing. >> i could not be more proud of the team. i got a phone call from the president of the united states and his first words were, congratulations, man. and i knew it was him. >> reporter: the planet that's held our imagination for a holding its secrets. a little more for those who can't get enough. you can guess the topic. millennia millenni (sam) gamers!
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this is the epson ecotank color printer. no more buying cartridges. big ink tanks. lots of ink. print about this many pages. the new epson ecotank. just fill and chill. tonight. the unmitigated disaster in texas and by that, of course, we mean ted cruz. flying to cancun during the biggest statewide crisis in the modern history of the state might not have been the best idea. in fact, it could have been the cruziest thing the republican senator and insurrection enthusiast has ever done. and that's saying a lot.
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think about it. donald trump savaged ted cruz and his wife, no problem. cruz became a loyal trumper. rioters savaged the senate chamber, including senators' individual desks. no problem, he still voted with the big lie. his brief trip to the ritz-carlton cancun set a new kind of standard. sure enough it launched 1,000 memes and hashtags from snake on a plane to cancun cruz to flying ted. chris christie even got roped into the fun. our friends at the daily show quickly went to work on a brief history of the hypocrisy of ted cruz. >> it's crazy that we'd be taking a recess. let's not take recesses. let's work weekends and get the job done. apparently the majority leader made the decision it was more important for senators to be home on vacation, home playing golf, home doing anything but
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being here on the floor of the senate doing the people's business. >> president obama and for that matter hillary clinton and the democratic party, they're so out of touch with where the american people are right now. >> he goes and plays golf hundreds of times with his buddies. he is not focused on the people who are hurting, who are paying the cost. >> we got a job to do and we got a short window of time, and so we ought to stop taking recesses, stop taking time off and just keep going until we get it done. >> apparently playing a game of pool is a higher priority for this president than it would be to go seem the humanitarian crisis he's created. ♪♪ >> so rest easy, texans. your senator is back home tonight, warm and cozy at his home in houston where apparently the power has been restored. not as warm as cancun, but when millions around you are suffering, it'll do. that is our broadcast for this
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thursday night with our thanks for being here with us. on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. we landed a car on mars today. breathtaking feat of american ingenuity and exploration, just a stunning example of what is possible when americans put their heads to the to do something truly grand, just an american feat of brillo and it made your heart sing to see the team celebrate at the jet propulsion lab, to see the first pictures being beamed back from the surface of mars, where we have our rover now. it's just amazing. we'll have more on that later in the show tonight.

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