tv News Nation MSNBC August 31, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
e right now on "newsnation," developing news this hour as the president now wants to unveil his economic plan before a joint session of congress. this move as members of the president's base debate how big or bold of a plan he needs to put on the table. plus, talk about timing. the president's speech could happen at the same time as the republican debate. >> the president is focused very much on steps we can take together, congress, the administration, to grow the economy and create jobs. >> a sad waiting game. a major river could crest tonight in new jersey forcing thousands to evacuate. another sign of irene's furry now considered one of the costliest disasters in u.s. history. the latest on the flooding in
new jersey and hard-hit vermont. hold on. the government tries to stop a merger between at&t and t-mobile saying it would raise prices for consumers. and a 9/11 coloring book. its publisher says it's falling off store shelves. it depicts the attack and osama bin laden and it's for kids. that's in our "newsnation" gut check. "newsnation" is following developing news. president obama and his jobs plan. the president will lay out his plan to get americans back to work one week from today during a primetime speech. nbc's mick viqueira is live at white house. mike, timing is everything. we knew before this week that the president wanted to unveil his plan after labor day. >> reporter: right. >> and now you've got the buzz going that this coincides or may overshadow the republican debate. >> reporter: lo and behold, 8:00
p.m. next wednesday night, a debate scheduled right here on msnbc, coincidentally. jay carney, the president's spokesman asked repeated questions about that timing wondering if the president was intentionally stepping on the republican debate. he said the timing was purely coincidental, but let's get right to it, yes. that much anticipated major address, and it doesn't get any more major or at least more conspicuous than an address in primetime before a joint session in congress. that request was made of the congressional leadership. we can assume that they are going to say yes. the alternative would be something of a controversy, to put it very mildly. jay carney, i said appeared before reporters earlier today. he had this to say about the speech. >> this speech next week, he will certainly put the need for jobs, job creation and economic growth within the context of an overall long-term plan for dealing with growing our economy and getting our fiscal house in order, but the speech tomorrow -- rather, next week, will focus on the immediate need to create jobs and spur economic
growth. >> okay. tamron, the nuts and bolt. the meat and potatoes. what's going to be in the speech? a lot of this we already know. the president has been talking about it for a while now, an extension of the payroll tax credit that was enacted last december t.expires at the end of this year. something for employers. a tax credit perhaps for those who hire new workers or perhaps a payroll tax credit for employers as well. he's talking about new spending for roads and infrastructure. the president told an interviewer yesterday with tom joyner, a popular radio host, the economy essentially had a heart attack back in 2008, and the recovery has been difficult. it's taken longer than expected. here's a little bit more from that interview. >> there's no doubt that we can take steps that would mean the economy was growing a percent or percentage and a half faster. that could mean half a million to a million additional jobs. that gets the economy moving. it makes businesses more confident that they are going to have customers, and it starts putting people back to work. >> reporter: the white house is emphasizing that many of the
proposals that the president is going to come forward, although, again, they haven't given us a lot of details, are things with bipartisan support in the past. the president telling joyner yesterday if republicans stand in the way of this, he's going to take it to the american people. obviously he's going to do that right from jump street next wednesday night. he also talked about the coming election, not being a referendum on his presidency or the economy as it stands right now but a referendum on republicans in congress. that's the hope of the president as we head into next november. tamron? >> mike viqueira live for us at the white house. thank you, mike. the last of five job fairs hosted by the congressional black caucus sunday way. thousands of people in line hoping to land a job. last night the cdc held a town hall, another chance to hear from voters. congresswoman maxine waters says the administration needs to help for americans suffering financially across the country. >> it's time for the bully pulpit of the white house to bring the gangsters in, put them around the table and let them
know that if they don't come up with loan modifications and keep people in their homes that they have worked so hard for, we're going to tax them out of busine business. >> the latest now from today's jobs fair. >> reporter: jobs fair is taking place in the parking lot of a mega church here in los angeles. can you see employers have already set up their booths. there are 167 employers here offering 3,000 jobs. that was one of the conditions for them being here. they had to have available positions. they could not come to this event simply for advertise are or recruiting. the turnout has been massive. thousands of people have gathered here, lines stretching around the block. some people lining up as early as 3:00 this morning. now they are being brought inside where people are filling out registration information before they head out to the actual job booths. now, this is a community that's very much in need of jobs. california has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, and black unemployment in los angeles is above 19%.
after this event, the cdc says it will be makeing changes. >> take a look at this latest video into our newsroom. the murky water as the passaic river is rablging through parts of paterson, new jersey, the state's third largest river. the river crested yesterday at 13 feet above flood stage catching people off guard and forcing crews to scramble in boats to rescue 600 people. the waters have been receding but could crest again tonight forcing 4,000 more people to evacuate. homeland security secretary janet napolitano and craig fugate, fema director, are set to meet this afternoon.
michelle franzen joins us. i was told your shot is unbelievable. and it is. lack at that raging water behind you. >> reporter: it is, and the water has receded here along the passaic in paterson all morning since it crested, but let me get out of the way so can you see this dramatic video still. got a vacant building, of course, behind us, but it demonstrates and gives you some perspective of just how high the water has come to this area. we're about a block away from main street. there's a high rise beyond that, one of them that has been evacuated. some of the evacuations you were talking about earlier, and as you mentioned janet napolitano, along with fema administrator craig fight here on the ground, both in new york and new jersey today, earlier meeting with new york's governor cuomo and surveying the damage up in prathsville, one of the harder hit areas in new york. this afternoon they will probably get a good look at this all along the passaic river, tamron, and the mayor of paterson, i spoke with him
today, and there's still so much cleanup to do once this water leaves. >> our problem will be that three, four, five days out we're still going to have a series of problems. we've got to do the kinds of cleanup that many towns won't have to. we'll have debris all over the place, sewers we have to check, infrastructure. cracks in our roadways. we don't know what kind of damage that's going to bring. >> reporter: and he hopes that he'll have a chance to express that sentiment of the needs here in paterson alone to napolitano and fugate when he sees them this afternoon. tamron? >> thank you. right now relief workers in vermont are funneling supplies to towns that are completely cut off by irene and left without running water or power since this weekend. only one town, wardsboro, has not been reached. that has forced national guard helicopters to airlift food and medicine to the people trapped this. nbc's ron mott is tracking the relief efforts from rutland, vermont.
a lot of damage and debris behind you, ron. >> reporter: hey there, tamron. good day to you. you mentioned the relief drop from the vermont national guard. there's one expected to land here in about 30 minutes. we're actually in killington at the popular ski resort. there's a little babbling brook babbling here. emfranzen has a raging river. we have a brook here, 10, 15 feet wide but it was enough water to take down part of this lodge here. the bar and restaurant area will have to be razed at some point. what officials want to do is sheer this off. this is a very popular place during the wintertime, a huge economic boom to this part of vermont, so they want to be able to continue their operations going forward in the wintertime with all the skiing tourists who come to the area. this truck down in this pit here. you mentioned the little town of wardsboro, the only town starting today that did not have access to other neighboring communities. officials are working hard and worked all the way into 9:00 last night before it got too unsafe for them to continue to do so to try to t access to
those folks. they have to get out of here to get work, get medicine, food and things of that nature so that's why things of the national guard is bringing more supplies here to killington, and i believe they will probably have to atv those material to those folks in wardsboro. 12 of the 13 towns, as you've mentioned, have been cleared. killington -- parts of killington being one of them, killington mountain, so we have people coming off the mountain who have been stranded since sunday, and you can imagine they are happy to get out of there after three days being shut in, tamron. >> i can't even imagine even from the beginning the damage that those people have had to endure and deal w.thank you very much, ron. earlier today, by the way, president obama approved federal disaster money for people in north carolina. the approval allows people to receive low interest loans and grants for repairs or building. irene caused $71 million of damage in those seven counties alone. coming up, the wars in iraq and afghanistan have government america more than $1 trillion, and now there's a report that up to $60 billion has been lost to
waste and fraud. and raging willed fires sweeping through texas have destroyed dozens of homes and forced hundreds of people to flee. a live report and update for you on that. >> not making statements. there's no at the same time attached to this book. >> and a new coloring book has set off a huge controversy. take a look at this. the book is filled with images from 9/11, including the planes flying into the twin towers. some parents say it's inappropriate, even offensive. it's our "newsnation" gut check. it's a cascade complete pac. the best of cascade powder and gel combined in one vessel. fire! ♪ [ mom ] wow! [ female announcer ] cascade complete pacs. love it or your money back.
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government changes the way it awards and manages contracts for help on the battlefield. one committee member says that the rampant abuse overshadows the sacrifices made in battle by military contractors. >> thousands who have lost their lives, and the sad thing is it's almost like they have been expendable. they haven't gotten the kind of attention that their deaths require. >> joining us is retired colonel jack jacobs. why is this happening? why could this be happening? >> because when we started the war against the bad guys we had an unlimited amount of money. we wanted to get things done quickly, and when you want something bad, that's how you get it. we handed out and are still handing out lots and lots of cash in order to get things done. in fact, when we first started to go over to southwest asia we wanted to do it easily and without having a draft and a big military. and when you do that, you're going to require lots of people, lots of contractors, and -- and
since we can print money we just started handing it out. >> but the reality is we could not print money because we've not paid for these wars, so the idea of an unlimited amount of money, that was fiction. >> total fiction. >> and you remember the old commercial said pay me now or pay me later, we're paying them later, and we're continuing to pay because there are no controls over the expenditures. >> now this wartime contracting commission has urged congress to quickly put in place dozens of recommendations to overhaul. a little bit later we'll talk about recommendations made by the 9/11 commission and 9 of 40, a very important 9, not done, so what's -- what's there to make us believe that these recommendations or improvements will be made for the next wars moving forward? >> if it's anything like the recommendations made by the 9/11 commission, we will do the things that are, a, easy, b, cost a lot of money and, c, produce absolutely nothing, and ignore the ones that really make sense. you've got to have an inspector general to keep track of the money that we're spending, but the likelihood is he's not going
to have another power to supervise things. we need to keep track of the money that we're spending, but we have to keep in mind this one thing. because the united states wants to have a small military and because the requirements for conducting military operations requires more people than we're willing to cough up, we're going to continue spending lots and lots of money needlessly because we don't want to put the forces out there required to do the job. >> and the co-chair of this commission said if these recommendations, and we showed them on the screen, some of them are not implemented, there ought to be a hall of shame. there's an opportunity at hand. >> well, there's an opportunity for congress. >> how about the war still going on and the same thing is happening. >> i don't think anybody is going to do anything. if they are, it's going to cost us money. i think in an election year, election cycle like we're going into, you'll hear a lot of this from people who are running from congress, but the likelihood is that nothing will be done, and we'll continue to waste a lot of money. by the way, if we're bringing troops home, that means the
contractors are still going to do lots and lots of work back in afghanistan and iraq, and that's going to be more money wasted. >> colonel jack jacobs. unbelievable report. unbearbly hot and dry weather is making it difficult to control a sires of raging and destructive wildfires now burning in the southwest. the blazes burned at least 3,500 acres in north texas, destroying dozens of homes and forcing hundreds to evacuate. authorities say at least three people have been injured, including two fire fighters. none of those injuries are life-threatening, and the cause of this massive fire is still unknown. meanwhile, grass fires just to the north in oklahoma have destroyed about a dozen homes and consumed at least 1,500 acres. fire crews say the area involved in heavily wooded but not many people live there. no major injuries have been reporting, and -- and take a lack at this, in southern louisiana, a blanket of smoke from a 1,000-acre marsh fire filling the skies in jefferson county and baton rouge tuesday.
smoggy conditions made the air quality over new york practically unbreathable. new orleans, nine helicopters equipped with 500-gallon buckets are working to douse the blaze. you can see the effects there in new orleans earlier this week. still ahead, the justice department tries to block a big merger between at&t and t-mobile warning it will hike prices for millions of customers out there. plus -- >> a repeat of what -- [ speaking spanish ] >> new york mayor michael bloomberg spanish speaking alter ego shows up on twitterer. we'll explain coming up. time for the your business entrepreneurs of the week. evelyn anderson and husband jerry have built high end playgrounds in north carolina. hit hard by the recession they let their employees go and move into a motor home. our makeover team helped them rebrand and redefine with a new website, new marketing strategy
and new name. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. [ male announcer ] heard this one? listen to this. three out of four americans don't get enough vegetables. so here's five bucks to help you buy v8 juice. five bucks. that's a lot of green. go to v8juice.com for coupons. you can count on us. five bucks. that's a lot of green. finally, there's a choice for my patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or afib, that's not caused
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ask your doctor if pradaxa can reduce your risk of a stroke. don't our dogs deserve to eat fresher less processed foods just like we do introducing freshpet healthy recipes of fresh meat and fresh veggies so fresh the only preservative we use is the fridge freshpet fresh food for fido welcome back to "newsnation." one of mom member's sons is reportedly trying to negotiate his surrender. that's according to the rebel commander in tripoli who spoke to the ap associated press. the commander says he told gadhafi's son al saadi if he
surrendered he would not be harmed. al saadi order ed soldiers to fire on protesters. the federal government is trying to block a multi-billion dollar merger between two of the nation's cell phone customers claiming it will hurt customers. at&t, the second largest carrier, wants to buy t-mobile usa for $39 billion. during a news conference today, the justice department said the move would violate antitrust laws. >> we feel the combination of at&t and t-mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the united states, facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products. >> cnbc's sue herera joins us live now. thanks for your time. what response have we heard from at&t and t-mobile?
>> well, basically at&t is vowing to fight this. they say that they met with department of justice officials several times because they were worried about antitrust issues and got no indication at the time from those officials that there would be a problem. also. if at&t walks away from this deal, they will pay a $3 billion penalty, so obviously they have a lot invested in seeing this go through. t-mobile feels the same way, obviously, but some of the competitors that think that basically consumers would get a better shake if this deal did not go through, they are very happy about the latest developments. >> obviously. the fcc chairman said that vibrant competition and wireless service is vital to innovation, investment growth and job creation which is obviously -- if you're a consumer and you believe what the justice department is saying, it's hard to say, yeah, let them have this deal. who wants to pay more or who wants to be trapped into paying more. >> exactly. i think there are very legitimate concerns because if
these two companies do indeed merge, they will have about 75% of that particular industry. that's a lot of pricing power. it's a lot of power overall, so consumers probably would be a little bit better off, according to officials that we've had a chance to talk to, and analysts that we've had a chance to talk to. if indeed the deal did not go through. however, it's going to be a long, drawn out fight because of the high stakes and the big bucks that are involving. >> you mentioned a long drawn out fight with at&t vowing to fight in the past when companies have been blocked or this kind of thing have happened. are the odds against at&t in this merger? >> you know, it's hard to say. that's the excellent question. that's the million dollar question, or perhaps the $3 billion question. i think it will be a long drawn out process. i think there will be a lot of legal ramifications of this, but the federal communications commission has never gone against the department of justice. so if the department of justice pursues this and says we're not
going to let this deal go through, i don't think it can happen, because the fcc will not go against the doj. it sounds very complicated, but basically those two government entities are not going to fight with each other over that. >> wow. sue herera with this big development. thank you. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> a huge fight breaks out at an amusement park as scarves are banned from certain rides. more details on what happened here. plus, rick perry leads the pack of republican presidential candidates and yet another poll surging again ahead of mitt romney. we'll tell you how he stacks up against president obama in this latest poll that's out. [ male announcer ] this is the network. a network of possibilities.
excuse me? my grandfather was born in this village. [ automated voice speaks foreign language ] [ male announcer ] in here, everyone speaks the same language. ♪ in here, forklifts drive themselves. no, he doesn't have it. yeah, we'll lookn that. [ male announcer ] in here, friends leave you messages written in the air. that's it right there. [ male announcer ] it's the at&t network. and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. welcome back, everyone, to "newsnation." tracking katia. the storm is tracking now in open water over the atlantic, and, yes, it's expected to become a major hurricane by sunday, and taking on terror. a new report reveals major security gaps in the government's ability to prevent and respond to a terrorist
attack in a post- 9/11 world. and leading the pack, potential voters put rick perry at the top of the list of republican candidates and in a tight matchup against president obama. we'll have what the polling indicates, or at least one poll. lost and found, chris brown loses a $22,000 rolex, and you won't believe how he recovered it. now to the latest on irene and president obama has approved federal aid for the hardest hit areas in new york and north carolina, and for the first time new york's governor andrew cuomo is putting an estimate on the cost of cleanup saying today he expects damage in his state to top $1 billion. and in vermont, rescue crews have reached 12 of the 13 towns that have been cut off from the rest of the state when irene washed out roads and bridges there. tropical storm katia is gaining power and may turn into a full hurricane today. joining me now is weather channel's jeff morel. so many people are like, oh, not
again, but these are the realities of hurricane season. what's the latest there this. >> all right. well, tamron, you're right. we're not even into the peak of the hurricane season yet. that comes generally the first week, week and a half of september, and have you to expect that we'll see these things coming. of course, irene made it all the way across. let's take a look at very latest that we have here with katia. again, a tropical storm as you mentioned. this is as of 11:00 a.m. advisory. a new advisory will comout at 5:00 eastern. 65-mile-per-hour maximum sustained winds and moving north northwest at 21. what we think will happen here, tamron, it will track a little farther north than irene did and probably miss the winward islands in the caribbean. we do think it has a pretty good shot of becoming a major hurricane. the other question is where is it going? these are the computer models
that we look at. north of the caribbean and towards bermuda. looks ominous to the east coast of the u.s., but right now it appears the most likely scenario would be for katia to recurve and move out into the atlantic and miss the east coast, but that is by no means certain at this point. we're still five, six, seven days away from that. it's something that we'll have to continue to watch. >> it's not katia. >> get my name right. >> thanks very much for the outlook there. >> all right. >> a new report out today shows nearly ten years after the tragic events of september 11, there are major gaps that remain in the government's ability to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. according to that report the u.s. falls short on 9 out of the 41 recommendations made. the u.s. is, quote, completely lacking in detective explosives hidden by passengers boarding airplanes. emergency communications used by first responders in urban areas are inadequate and efforts to
coordinate rescues are a long way from being fully implemented. i'm joined by slade gordon, former 9/11 commission member and republican senator from the state of washington. >> delighted to be here. >> jay carney was asking about some of these lapses, and he felt that 9 out of the 41 is not a bad record, that most of the things have been implemented. what's your response to that assessment? >> well, first i think we should emphasize the positive. it's been ten years since 9/11. there's only been one terrorist attack in the united states, inside the country, in all that period of time, the ft. hood massacre, so clearly we've been doing some things right but we would like to do even more things right in the future. >> let's talk about some of the things on this list. as i mentioned, the u.s. is lacking and detecting expleasives hidden by passengers boarding airplanes. we know what happened with the so-called underwear bomber.
what can be done to prevent this from happening, if anything? >> we had two of those, and -- and now, of course, it's one of the reasons we have to be x-ray scanned going through many airports, but i guess i would emphasize two others of those nine. the first is that while we created a director of national intelligence, we didn't give that office all of the power it needed, over money and over people, and i think that we're wasting money and we're waiting intelligence not having as powerful director of national intelligence as we ought to have, and, sec, the most spectacular failure is we wanted congress to concentrate its oversight authority in just three or for you committees instead of almost 100. and congress has totally ignored that recommendation to date, and really it -- it reduces the ability of congress to see to it that the administration is doing things right. those would be the two top ones on my list of failures.
>> also on the list though is that the homeland security in congress, the panel of the committee, faults them for failing to create a way to track when people leave the country and not implementing tougher security requirements for identification or identity cards. >> that's exactly right. we've done very well in seeing who comes into the country, but we still don't have a good system for figuring out who has left, and, therefore, who has overstayed a visa. that's perhaps not as important as seeing who is coming in, but it still is very important. it hasn't been implemented. we hope this administration will do so. >> i don't want to oversimplify here, but if you can, how would you grade our progress at this point in relation to the recommendations and what's been accomplished? >> well, as a member of the 9/11 commission, i think i can say that there's been no commission in the history of the united states more of which recommendations have actually been adopted, but we would like to be able to give an a-plus, maybe we can give a "b" right
now, but we're still a distance away from that "a" or a-plus. >> and a "b" talking about national security. it would sound good under any other circumstances but under these circumstances -- >> it's a problem under these circumstances. >> greatly appreciate your time. a court day for a maryland man suspected in the disappearance of his traveling companion in aruba tops the story around "newsnation." a judge in aruba is expected to decide whether there's enough evidence to hold gary giordano for another 60 days in the presumed death of robyn gardner. he claims farner disappeared during a snorkeling trip an amusement park in westchester county, new york, is open for business today t.closed for about two hours after a scuffle between police and a group of muslims celebrating the end of ramadan. the fight happened when park officials told women in the group not to wear their scarves on certain winds because it violated safety codes. the safety codes prevent people from wearing baseball caps and
things on rides. they called the incident an unfortunate misunderstanding. and the ncaa has suspended eight football players from the from the miami hurricanes for accepting improper benefits from a university booster. all eight players must repay the value on everything they got for free, from meals to trips to the strip club. the hurricane season opener against maryland is monday night. new poll numbers out today confirm rick perry's rise with conservative voters and foreshadow a close contest for president obama in 2012. rick perry has a six-point edge against mitt romney and still undecided sarah palin. the president still hold a slim lead, you see it there, over the new gop front-runner in this poll, but the same cannot be said for an obama/romney matchup. that's a dead heat in this poll with romney getting more support from independents than the president. let's bring in nbc deputy political director mike murray. my goodness. so rick perry -- this is insane.
mark, rick perry is ahead of the president, but romney does better in a head-to-head matchup. we know that that's because rick perry is very popular with conservative voters, and you've got several articles now saying that romney is in the afraid but he may be courting conservatives more in the coming weeks and days. >> tamron, a lot of interesting developments. this poll struck me a little bit because one of thing arts that you're going to hear mitt romney make against rick perry in the coming months ahead, particularly if it's a close race and rick perry maintains that poll lead and that gop races, that mitt romney will say i'm the more electable republican, nominate me. i have a better shot against barack obama in november 2012. but that poll showed that rick perry isn't all that far away from mitt romney's head-to-head matchup. now, of course, it's just one poll, it's important to note, but if rick per demake the argument, look, i'm not unele unelectable, can i actually make it as close as mitt romney can, that could really deflect that
argument that we're going to see coming from the romney camp if he continues to be behind. >> and real quick, let me transition to the president's speech before a joint session of congress. it may hit in primetime during this debate. the republican debate planned. any response from the republican leadership or even the candidates for that matter, i should say? >> tamron, i haven't heard anything just yet. it does provide some very interesting theater. you're going to hear from the president of the united states, of course, addressing congress, a very big stage for him, and then if it turns out that the debate ends up holding on the same day, that -- that you would end up having republicans being able to respond to that, so -- so very interesting development here. i do think that september 7th is probably shaping up to be a humongous day in american politics, and i can't wait for it. >> much better than all of these random polls out. this is good stuff coming up september 7th. thank you very much, mark. >> thanks. coming up, how prince william and princess kate want
to give you the scare of your life this halloween if you happen to be in london. we'll have details on that, but, first, there's a lot going on today and here's some things we thought you should know. after being in, then out, and in again, christine o'donnell will not speak ahead of sarah palin at an event in iowa. and fans of politics and the tv show "the good wife" are in for a real treat this season. donna brazile, the one-time campaign manager for al gore's presidential campaign will make a cameo on the hit series this fall. i'll be watching. and if you live in the new york city area, you probably heard just a few times during the coverage, the important coverage of hurricane irene. [ speaking spanish ] >> obviously the mayor wanting to get important information to the spanish-speaking community,
and it was those spanish-speaking updates by mayor bloomberg that inspired the twitter page that's a mix of spanish and english. it turns out elbloombito said the mayor's spanish was easy to poke fun of. just a little levity out there. some things we just thought you should know. for a very long time. ♪ knowing that i could smoke during the first week was really important to me. [ male announcer ] chantix is a non-nicotine pill proven to help people quit smoking. [ jeff ] chantix reduced my urge to smoke, and personally that's what i knew i needed. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these,
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ask me why i'm glad i didn't wait 'till i was too old to enjoy this. start asking real owners. ask me how to make your first move... find out more about the tempur advanced ergo system! call the number on your screen for your free dvd and information kit. to find an authorized dealer near you, visit tempurpedic.com. tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. i'm martin bashir. coming up at the top of the hour, the president is set to deliver his jobs message to a joint session of congress. will the republicans hear his call? help needed for millions affected by irene, but will badly needed funds fall prey to partisan politics, and whose tea party is it? guess who is now in charge of the guest list? now back to tamron. thank you, martin. in new jersey, parents want to make sure that their kids are safe at school, but some
superintendents and school board members say a new law taking effect tomorrow goes too far. under anti-bullying bills, bullies can be reported to crimestoppers. younger children will be told the difference between telling and tattling, and students are taught they must step in to stop bullying. joining me now is nationally syndicated talk show host michael smerconish and a great dad. i'm sure this hit home with you. >> sure. >> do you think this goes too far, crimestoppers involved? >> in one particular district crimestoppers will make a report both to the school district and to the police, and i'm not so sure that that's the way we want to go. bullying is bad, but one wonders if this isn't an overreaction and not everything is bullying and everything will be treated like it is bullying. what we've seen in the past, for example, these messages, for example, that sit on facebook or text messages, they have been traditionally categorized as a rite of passage but who can tell
when it escalates and what child processes in ways that they overcome it and sadly commit suicide? >> i think social media has changed all these dynamics. that's interesting is the new jersey law was put on the books and the strongest of all 50 states, and as a response to that terrible tragedy last september when a young man took his own life from the george washington bridge. the more that continues, themore i'm disbelieving is whether sexuality is really driving when was going on there. i think it was a horrific invasion of privacy but i'm not sure it was predicated on watching two guys as opposed to watching any calm. >> two things that stood out to me the whole telling versus tattling. i think that puts pressure on the kid. why not tell your teacher and the teacher decides if it's trivial or if it's something more serious, and the step in if you see bullying. i -- again, i'm not saying that you should walk away, but telling a 9-year-old if you see somebody bullying, you need to step in, that's a lot to ask. >> our youngest guy is now 10. they grow up too quickly.
i'm thinking how would he process that sort of a distinction, and i think it's a heavy burden to ask of them. i think that a lot of responsibility needs to come from home. that's the answer to this. >> we've had situations where kids and their parents say, listen, i reported it, and it was dismissed. >> no doubt. >> maybe the onus should be on the adults and not a 9-year-old. >> if everybody is a valedictorian, then nobody is really a valedictorian. if everything is bullying you're taking attention away from the real bullies. >> great point. you'll be hosting "hardball" today. >> i will. >> bravo has made a decision on the premiere of "the real house wif housewives of beverly hills" and the new cast of "dancing with the stars" has caused a floodgate of e-mails to come in, and chris brown has lost his $22,000 rolex but i should say it's now found and kate's
haunted house. courtney hazlett is off today so let's get the scoop from bradley jacobs. let's start off with this "real housewives," decided to go on with the show. >> the show will go on. it's going to premiere monday, which is labor day, less than three weeks after russell armstrong killed himself, so it's kind of controversial, but bravo says they have been re-editing the episodes. >> re-editing, will they take him out of the episodes? >> it's not possible. he owes an intricate part of the show, and -- and one of the plot lines of this coming season is his breakup with his wife taylor who is one of the housewives, so you can't take him out entirely, but they -- bravo did say that they are going to be running psa for suicide prevention. >> yeah. >> i expect it to be handled well, and they also reinterviewed all the women just yesterday to get -- to get their reaction and i'm sure you'll see those peppered in. >> wow, it is incredible to see them handle this, and it will be interesting to see how they handle it. >> a real challenge
programming-wise. >> let's go here and talk about abc. they put out their list of "dancing with the stars" cast, and apparently a lot of people are upset about chaz bono and even nancy grace. what's the beef here? >> well, the beef is that the message boards have been lighting up with a lot of bigoted notes about chaz bono. >> really. >> remember chaz is formerly chastity bono. >> people have been going on homophobic rants. >> really, wow. >> there's a group called the media research center which is a conservative group which says this is another example of hollywood, quote, tearing down traditional families. >> didn't they have a contestant, openly gay contestant, the new kids -- >> lance bass. >> carson kressley this coming season, but something about chaz bono is different because he's transgender. i think it's going to be -- that's really -- that's sort of the lightning rod of controversy, and chaz is going to be dancing with a woman. >> if that's the problem with chaz, what's the problem with nancy grace?
>> i think the problem with nancy grace is just different. >> just nancy. >> just nancy. >> i don't know how she's going to do both her shows and "dancing with the stars." >> it will be interesting. >> okay. >> and she says she's not a great dancer so maybe she won't be there very long. >> that's never the point. >> dancing is never the point. >> chris brown was performing, electrifying performance on the mtv vma awards decked out in white and flying all across the audience and apparently his rolek, a $22,000 rolex fell off. >> it was like bugging him. he had like a tick about it, so he took it off mid-performance and was trying to throw it to his assistant. >> he toss it had. >> it ended up in the audience and then his poor publicist or manager had to go through the audience after and asking does anyone have chris brown's rolex and believe it or not somebody actually hand it had over and returned it and chris didn't get to thank the person in person, but thanked him. >> he had time, and there is time. he needs to thank them. a lot of people would have pocket that had watch. >> yes. >> the last item, kate middleton
and prince william are turning their home into a haunted house. >> you can tour buckingham palace, any single day anybody can tour it but the four days prior to halloween you can take kind of a ghost tour of buckingham palace, because apparently there are 400 years worth of ghosts and goblins. it's kind of a gimmick. the whole thing has been about getting pr and the royals anyway so why not take it to the next level and make it about halloween. >> good to see you this week and for the very latest entertainment news, logon to scoop.today.com. right after the break, our today owes xwut check. my employees are like family. and, i want people that work for me to feel that they're sharing in my success. we purchase as much as we can on the american express open gold card. so we can accumulate as many points as possible. i pass on these points to my employees to go on trips with their families.
take a look. it's called "we shall never forget, the kids book of freedom." it describes the 9/11 attack and shows images of osama bin laden plotting his attack and the twin towers burning. it even shows a navy s.e.a.l. shooting bin laden at his home in pakistanch the book is made by really big coloring books, incorporated. the publisher says it can help parents explain what happens on 9/11, but the council on american islamic relations says the book paints all muslims as extremists as they call it disgusting. >> we feel that he just capitalized on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. >> we're not making a statement. this book is based on market research. it's based on what people tell us that they are looking for. >> the publisher says the book sin tended for kids ages 10 and older. it's got a pg rating and also claims they have sold thousands of copies already. so what does your gut tell you? is a 9/11 coloring book
appropriate? go to newsnation.msnbc.com to tell us what you think. yesterday's gut check, a labor group told republican lawmakers they were not welcome at this year's labor day parade because they opposed collective bargaining rights. today the group is backing down after the mayor told the group it would have to reimburse the city for the cost of the event if that ban wasn't lifted. we ask if the labor group should ban republican politicians from their parade. an overwhelming 80% of you said yes. 16% of you said no. i knew that was going to happen. that does it for this wednesday edition of "newsnation." i'm tamron hall. you can get "newsnation" every weekday at 2:00 p.m. my colleague martin bashir is up next. n: downloading music can be expensive. so to save money, i trained my dog and this cockatoo to play all the hits of the '80's woman: hit it, mr. butters. ♪
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