tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC October 2, 2009 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
brazil will host the very first olympic games to be held in south america. rio's victory is chicago's defeat, a personal pitch from president obama himself was met with indifference. the president's hometown was the first city to get the boot. and republicans quickly using new job numbers to knock the president for his olympic lobbying trip. america's unemployment level rising to its highest level since 1983. and the "new york times" has new information on an affair involving senator john ensign, which suggests the senator may have gone too far to get his lover's husband a new job. >> i have a little story that i would like to tell you and the home viewers as well. do you feel like a story? >> yikes. and the story he is telling is no joke. david letterman revealing a real-life tail of sex, extortion and finally, arrest, of fellow cbs employee busted of trying to
blackmail the talk show host over affairs with some of his female staff memberses. i'm norah o'donnell, nbc's chief washington correspondent. >> i'm john harwood of cnbc and the "new york times." this is the "new york times" special edition. and on the front page this hour, norah, chicago has lost their bid for the 2016 olympics. >> stunning. >> what a blow for president obama. >> what did you think when you saw that headline? >> well, i expected rio to win in the end, but nobody thought chicago was gonna be eliminated so quickly and it is certainly an embarrassment for the president having said he was too busy to go over there, then changing his mind going, thinking they could tip the last few votes. not a good day for them. >> absolutely, a lot of chatter about whether it was worth it for the president. david axelrod, one of the president's senior advisers was on cnbc earlier and said it wasn't a waste of time. listen to what he said.
>> this president can go anywhere he can to promote this country to try to bring good things back to this country. the fact is that he left at 7:00 last night and he will be back in an hour or two. so it isn't exactly like he was gone very long. >> you can hear they are already sort of saying he wasn't gone very long. we hear that the president learned about it aboard air force one and he was disappointed. these are the scenes from rio, of course, cheers on copacabana beach, the ioc president announced they are the winner. it will be the first time the games will be held in south america. let's go now to nbc's miguel almaguer rah in rio. the party has already started there? >> reporter: yeah, norah, i'm about two blocks away from the beach and i've gone inside a hotel so you guys can hear me, but i can still hear the sound and celebrations pouring through the doors and the windows here. it is quite a scene here in rio.
when we hit the beach this afternoon, there was certainly anticipation and there was certainly concern. many of the people will tell you before the announcement was made, they were worried that president obama was going to make a strong showing in copenhagen and they said they fell this was a two-city race between rio and chicago and they were optimistic, even with the president going overseas, that they could still win these games. when they made that announcement on the beach, it was electrifying. the crowd is expected to reach about 100,000 people. it is really difficult to at the time exact number because we were in the middle of the crowd. you could see people from end to end, from beach end to beach end. and when that announcement was made, people immediately started to scream and some started to cry. they were hugging, they were kissing. it was quite the celebration here for rio. as you mentioned, they have never -- south america has never hosted the olympic games. they believe this is their time this is their moment to shine. as you recall, the pan american games were here back in 2007.
they thought that was a primer, a test run, full, for the olympic games. they say they are ready, they are certainly enthusiastic. the big concerns in rio, of course, as you guys also know that the infrastructure is simply is not here and there is also some very serious crime. rio believes they can address both those issues. the party here just beginning. it will carry well into the night, guys. >> i know you are going to have a report on all that. nbc's miguel almaguer, thanks so much. appreciate it. >> for chicago, more on how the city is reacting to the news, nbc's john yang. john, if memory serves there is either a song or movie that says "blame it on rio." is that what they are saying in chicago today? >> reporter: i tell you what listened to miguel talk about being on the beach this afternoon. it is a little -- this it is cloudy it is chilly, it is beginning to rain and they were hoping to have that partying, that dancing and that music under this plaza here in downtown chicago outside city hall, but as you can see, they are taking things down.
the party's of to other. the wind really came out of the crowd here in the windy city when they announced that chicago had lost in the first round, the low vote getter in the first round and was falling out of the competition. it really was quite a surprise here. i think a lot of people like you, john, thought rio had a really good shot at it the first time in south america, but they didn't expect chicago to be eliminated the first round. a lot of them thought that chicago would end up going head-to-head with rio. so, there's a lot of disappointment here, but sports fans in chicago know something a little bit about disappointment. shortly after the vote, people started chanting 2020, which is sort of the olympic version of wait until next year. john? >> nbc's john yang in chicago. a gloomy chicago. thanks so much. now we are going to switch over to accusations that senator john ensign may have broken the law to cover up a sexual affair he had with the wife of his close friend and top aide.
>> yeah, this is a pretty stunning story in the "new york times" today. ensign's former mistress, cynthia hanson and her husband, douglas a at the time "new york times" that the senator violated ethics laws, using his contacts to get mr. douglas a consulting job and some clients. well, today, the republican leader of the senate, mitch mcconnell, was asked about this on capitol hill. just look how he reacted. he didn't even want to touch this issue. >> i don't think today is a day to make any observations about the matter. it just appeared in the newspaper today. >> there you go. all right, joining us now eric lipton, effective reporter for the "new york times" here in the washington bureau who helped write this piece. good to see you. thanks so much for joining us. >> good afternoon. >> explain what you found, this really exhaustive piece that you helped report. what was senator john ensign doing and was it just unethical or was it illegal? >> that is not a question we can fully answer at this point, but clearly what he was doing was that once it became known among a small group of people, not
publicly, but a small group of basically friends of his that he was having an affair with the wife of his aide, he began the process of trying to find a landing place for his aide back in his home state. and he made a series of calls and essentially helped line him up jobs and the job that his aide took was, doug hanson, essentially as a lobbyist. and the problem then is that his aide was subject to a one-year ban that prohibited him from lobbying and doug hanson came back and immediately started lobbying senator ensign's office. >> eric, i know and i know you know this as well, a lot of americans are very skeptical about washington. they think there is a whole lot of inside dealing and lobbying deals cut all the time. how do you, as a reporter, tell the difference between as usual in washington and something special or to extra than ensign may have done to relieve himself of this political and sort of scandal personal burden? >> yeah, i mean, it's not too often that you encounter
something where there is a very black and white rule or law and this is actualle lay criminal law it is a felony to violate this. and you see, you know, e-mail exchanges which, you know, a layman would look at and, you know, be a question mark as to whether or not you are crossing the line, when his former aide, doug hanson is writing to senator ensign's chief of staff and asking him for assistance for a big power company in the home state and the chief of staff writes back that he is going to call the department of interior secretary's office that same day. i mean, you know, outsiders looking at that, is that lobbying? so, you know, to a person outside of the beltway, you might think, well, who cares, but these are laws that were toughened after the -- some of the scandals in recent years and if you're going to have a system that relies upon the integrity then, you know this is an example i suspect will be examined. >> erik, we just heard senator mcconnell, the republican leader say is not a day to talk about this i suspect no other day any time soon will be a day to talk
about it for him either. but what have you found in terms of how his republican colleagues, ensign's republican colleagues, that is, have reacted to this and how serious they think this is as a matter for the ethics committee and something that will keep john enensign in hot water for a long time? >> yeah, you know, i have been calling around some of the republicans in his home state and talking to them today. and you know, there is really very little, it seems, for them to gain to say, you know, call for his resignation, not that i have heard any republican leaders in nevada doing that. so it doesn't appear so far that there is a movement among his colleagues to take such a step. and you know, the ethics investigation if one is now going to be accelerated is going to take some time. we are going to have to see how this plays out. it is unclear, there is a lot of uneasiness. everyone -- there is a lot of chart but exactly how this is going to play out is unclear. >> eric, one of the most stunning things i thought about your reporting was that the happen as soon as, of course the aide and his wife who had the
affair with the senator, first requested some $8.5 million in a settlement. >> right. >> and then that was rejected and there was a $2 million offer and all this was being negotiated through another senator, another republican is senator, senator tom coburn, who is a conservative, known as a huge anti-abortion opponent, as part of the c-street group. >> didn't he call it pastoral counseling? >> he is negotiating a figure between $2 and $8 million how much the family should get? what does that suggest about this story and whether it will continue to have legs? >> it was a very odd arrangement, where you have, you know, the odd thing is that these guys essentially are housemates they live together at a place in capitol hill called the c street house and sponsored by a religious group. but coburn saw himself as the senator's friend and doug hanson's friend. he explains it, at least, he was trying to achieve reconciliation between the parties and see a way that the hansons, who
clearly have been harmed, could be made whole. and you know, but it -- >> with money? >> right. yeah. it was very odd and i'm sure that's going to be looked at as well. >> well, this was a long piece. you guys have clearly done a lot of great reporting. eric with "the new york times," thanks, we appreciate it. >> thank you. all right. health care reform is now getting closer than ever before to the possibility of action on the senate floor. >> that's right. you know, the senate finance committee worked until 2:15 this morning to try to hash out what amendments would be included in its bill and the committee will hold a final vote next week, seems like they have been voting forever. of course -- >> you say that for the last amendment? >> exactly, 2:15 vote. they were working on it until 2:15, i should same after the congressional budget office figures out how much the measure will cost, then they are going to do this final vote, right? >> next week. that's right. with us now is david herzen horn, congressional correspondent for the "new york times." david, to what degree would you
think that the baucus bill remains on track as we thought it was a couple weeks ago when he first laid it down? >> it certainly seems to be on track, a lot of people thought this could be a very device is sive process. ed big test will be the cbo score, the congressional budget office has to look at the changes being made, big changes, little changes and come out with a number f that number gets too much higher than where it was to start, i mean, it was in the 700, 774 billion range, president obama said he wants this bill to cost $900 billion, no more, over ten years if they are off on those numbers, they may have to go back to the drawing board for a bit but if they come in on target this bill is headed for the floor. >> david, one of the things we have all been watching is what is going to happen with olympia snowe, the one republican who has talked about cooperating? win interviewed her a couple weeks ago, she was undecided whether she was going to offer
an amendment to go to the triggered public option as opposed to the co-ops that are in the baucus bill in committee or on the floor. what's the outcome of their negotiations with olympia snowe? >> i think she is probably still undecided officially at this point but what you saw during the markup was no real change in her pragmatic approach. she was really voting with democrats, with the republicans, depending on the particular amendment under consideration. and her big concern, one that she articulated again at the very end of the session last night, this was 2:10 in the morning, she was saying, look, i want to know that we are going to have time to review the cbo score, time to look over the bill. max back cubs the committee chairman was reassuring her and kept insisting, how much is reasonable time, because he said woe make a good faith effort and she really wants to be able to look this over and she said that at the outset, once she has done that she will vote for the right policy, so we will find out if she is ready to support it now. she could vote one way in the committee and then come back out on the floor if changes are made and vote a different way there
depending how the bill shapes up. we will find out more in the days ahead. >> david, if you had to bet your house on it could you tell us what youny will be in the bill next week, what we will see? >> well, look, the broad parameters are already clear, right, there will be substantial government subsid i do help people who don't have insurance be able to buy it there will be a requirement of some sort that most individuals with certain exemptions but people in the united states will be required to buy health insurance beginning in 2013. insurance companies will have all sorts of new restrictions on them, they can't ban you because of pre-existing medical conditions. so a lot of the broad contours people talking about for months are clear. what we are looking ahead to is some negotiating still on how exactly it gets paid for, what are some of the new tax on high-cost insurance plans, for instance, which is what the senate is proposing, how does that shape up versus what the house democrats have proposed and income surtax? >> i feel like we are talking about a lot of the same issues, eight weeks later. >> a ways to go. >> but that says that, you know they on track it hasn't changed
a whole lot. >> yeah. >> david herszenhorn, i hope you get more sleep tonight than you got last night. thanks for being with us. >> thanks so much. for much more on the reform debate, go to health care.msnbc.com. among other things, our site has a fact or fiction feature that has some of the claims made on the issue. one of the featured questions right now is are progressives pushing the public option really hoping for a single payer house care system? >> yes, they are. and coming up, will we ever see an end to the angry tone in washington from either side of the aisle? we will talk to new york times columnist nick cristoff ahead in the on edge. nypd makes an arrest in the extortion plot revealed last night by talk show host david letterman. wow. we are going to have the details straight ahead. this story gets more and more interesting. this is the "new york times" special edition right here on msnbc. gecko vo: geico's the third-largest
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david brooks takes on conservative talk show hosts and points to out despite their fury and fervor, causes often fall flat. brooks writes, "it is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. this it is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but represent a mere niche, even in the republican party t is a story as old as the wizard of oz, grand illusions and small men behind the curtain." so, rush limbaugh is the "wizard of oz"? >> i love david brooks, of course, rush limbaugh decided to take on david brooks today and said that david is jealous and some people are saying there is
a reason rush limbaugh makes $100 million. >> i'm sure david is jealous of the money but i'm not sure that david brooks is not right about this, because there's so much noise in our culture often isn't backed up by what happens on the ground. >> but it is interesting how many republicans kowtow, even though it is just a niche, how they kowtow. >> they are scared of the noise. >> all right. next up on the on edge, is the recession really over? well, paul drugman thinks not. in mission not accomplished, he writes, "it is time to shift our focus from economic stimulus to the budget deficit. no it isn't and the complacency now setting in over the state of the economy is foolish and dangerous." do you agree with that john? >> i'm writing my column this week, if i can get people on the phone this afternoon for this timing problem for democrats which is they have got the unemployment rate, they think the obama stimulus package is working, unemployment is going up, will for a few months, republicans can make a lot of
hay between now and next november. >> certainly a lot of americans out there that don't feel the recession is over, still hurting a lot. >> absolutely not. because unemployment is the indicate they're most average people look to tell them whether the economy is good or not. they don't look at stock price. >> on op edge, tom freedman says there is no more "we" in american politics, drawing parallels between the attitudes surrounding israeli prime minister itzhak rabin just before he was as is nate e sas s sass nate and president obama from the far right f we destroy the legit mass so i have another president, we are in serious trouble. >> now going to bring in nick cristoff, live from new york. let me start out by asking but tom's point. you have written a book "half the sky" about women in the
world and the importance of lifting up women around the world as a way to make everybody better off but what do you think about that idea that american politics there is no more we there is no more communal impulse or action? >> i think that tom has a pretty good point and i also think if we want to lack for there is an we in the news media to some extent have to look in the mirror. that increases the divide and polarization, things in the media, the blogosphere has done. >> anything to do with the economic difficulties that the news media is in or in fact is the news media going more polarized because that's where the only place to make money? >> i think there are a couple of things going on. traditionally, the u.s. news media tried to appeal to a broad constituency, we wanted to have
liberals as well as conservatives reading our newspaper or watching our tv station, then fox discovered there was a pretty good business model in appealing to a political niche. and i think that that is indeed. whatever your point of view, you can find news media sources that will re-enforce your prejudices, whatever they are, whether they be on the left or right and that tends to re-enforce all of our perspectives about the world and our sense of illegitimacy of the other side. i think what is an unfortunate tendency, coming on, trying to reach out and try to read new sources likely to challenge our prejudices. >> nick, it's norah o'donnell. i want to follow up more on tom freedman's column because i think it was pretty provocative what a lot of people were thinking but maybe not ready yet to say out loud. it became all the more scary this week when there was this facebook poll, which i understand now an arrest in that which someone asked should obama
be killed? tom freedman talks about meeting with yitzhak rabin before he was assassinated. how concerned are you about the tone that's out there the news out there? >> i think tom is exactly right, that the tone really is scarry. and there are people in the united states who really feel disempowered, who feel betrayed when they hear these kinds of things it amplifies that sense of grievance, outrage and can make people really do crazy things. >> i just want to say something this came up last week, nick, something that was on the right, that got a lot of play, these school students singing a song about president barack hussein obama. it was during black history month, those on the right, conservatives used that to say they are now indoctrinating kids essentially in schools. and i think this is sort of a silly issue, i do, i will just say that i am not an ideologue and i got ham nerd the blogs for making that comment and i just
wonder what it was then when we can't allow our children to praise the president or sing about a president, whether they are a republican or a democrat or an independent or even people of different religions. i don't know what more -- to sort of say about that nick, but i wondered if you wanted to weigh in. >> i absolutely agree with you. i think that people have, you know, that the blogosphere has discovered if they draw blood, they think and hope that maybe the mainstream media will, you know, pull back a little bit. i think that's probably what they were trying to do with you, norah. i also think this is tom's point it doesn't really help when a columnist like myself who tends to be a little bit more on the liberal side of things tends to scold the right and say you are too extreme. it really has to come from within that sector and i hope indeed that some you know, many terrific conservative columnists and pundits will look on their own side and will try to ask them to change that tone because it's not something that is going to be meaningful coming from me.
>> all right. >> nick kristof of the new orleans times, thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> blocks really picking on you? we have to put a stop to that. >> sure they never picked on you either, john, right? president obama really put himself out there in the personal push for the 2016 games, but will it hurt him politically? more ahead, this is the "new york times" special edition, only on msnbc.
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someone has tried to blackmail him. he also admitted that those creepy things that he said were having sexual relationships with women who worked with him on the show. i mean, people thought it was a joke when he said that. of course, now, the man who allegedly tried to get letterman to pay him $2 million to keep it all secret is being arraigned on charges of attempted grand larceny. nbc's jeff rossen is following the developments for us. and jeff, everybody thought this was a joke when letterman announced, he sort of went out and said, yeah i have been sleeping with people i work with he sort of put it honestly and it sort of surprised people what else have we learned today? >> not just anybody who allegedly was extorting him out of $2 million. this was a fellow cbs employ yes, a producer on the cbs news magazine "48 hours mystery." he worked on the september 11th attacks. i mean this is somebody who has worked at cbs for quite a long time. there are also reports that one of the women who works on the
letterman show used to live with him. and so there may be a connection between one of the women that david letterman had a sexual relationship with and this man. that has not come out yet. he is due to be arraigned today. the d.a. here in manhattan, new york, a news conference earlier, said he will be charged, he has been indicted and will be charged with that one count of attempted grand larceny. this all happened, david letterman said a few weeks ago. there was a package on the back seat of his car around 6:00 in the morning when he was going to work outside of his manhattan apartment. he looks at the package and this letter from this man saying, "i'm going to write a screen play, i'm going to write a become about all the terrible things i have a done. and by the way, i have proof you have done these terrible things." david letterman set up a meet agent a local hotel, very nice hotel here in the city with this man and they realized he was serious, so they went to the manhattan d.a. and basically set up a sting operation. and sew gave him this bogus $2 million check and it was all on tape. and that's when police arrested robert j. halderman that cbs
news producer, outside of cbs news headquarters in manhattan. so it is unclear what the motivation here is, but certainly a bizarre story. and david letterman not only admitting to one sexual relationship but, by the way, notice, norah, he said sexual relationships with women who work on this show. and so, he said it is their prerogative if they want to come out and say who they are. >> letterman was single at the time or he was not married, i should say at the time. has cbs said anything about this yet? any statements from executives? >> the only statement they have put out is that david letterman's comes last night on the broadcast on "the late show with david letterman" speak for themselves but not said anything beyond that remember, he is not only david letterman the star, he is david letterman the boss of these women, he is the head of the show. so there may be a violation of cbs policy there as well, for a sexual relationship in the workplace between an employee and an employer, supervisor,
which is what he is. >> i guess he owns that company, of course. >> right, worldwide pants. >> jeff rossen, thanks so much. >> thanks, norah. coming up, the push for health care reform clears another hurdle up on capitol hill. but is it going to make it through the next leg of the race? plus, iran agrees to allow international inspectors in its newly revealed nuclear facility, but will a move like that really change iran's tense relationship with the west? you are watching the "new york times" special edition only on msnbc. when it comes to things you care about, leave nothing to chance travelers. insurance for auto, home and business.
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this year he'll make $57,000 an hour. another family used to live here before they filed for bankruptcy. 62% of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt. this man is living his dream while this family lives a nightmare. if the insurance companies win, you lose. we need good health care we can afford with the choice of a public health insurance option. >> rio de janeiro. >> welcome back to the new york times special edition i'm he john harwood. >> i'm norah o'donnell. i am pro-america, john. >> a chauvinist.
>> showing some of the reaction in rio deshan nair rocker pretty happy, slecked to host the 2016 lines i and of course it is going to be the first topic on caucus, our roundup of the week's top store writes top journalists from the "new york times." >> and joining us this week, jeff zeleny, white house reporter for the times along with washington correspondent david kirpatrick and elizabeth view miller who covers defense and foreign policy. jeff, talk about the disappointment they are feeling in the white house after reversing the president's same that he was too busy, going over and then finishing last? >> oops. it is sort of ten-fold here. for one, they are all disappointed because it is chicago. even if he hadn't gone, they would have been disappointed for the home team aspect. two, thought maybe we shouldn't have gotten involved in this but the overall thought, one of disappointment. a little bit of a humbling experience, which the white house hasn't had many of, perhaps a good test run for the next couple of mons to come. in the end thinking, look, if he
doesn't go and chicago loses, he will be blamed. if he does go and chicago loses, he will be blamed, why not at least try to make this happen? he had a lot of his supporters, campaign supporters encouraging him, valerie jarrett at the white house wanted him to go. he said yes. >> do you think there will be any finger pointing within the white house sort of saying, like, why did we risk presidential prestige by making this big deal out of it and that there will be finger pointing? >> i think always a little bit of finger point bug a bit of decompression time on the airplane there is three hours sort of for the president, the first lady and valerie jarrett, the woman who want them to go senior adviser wanted them to go sort of captive to talk about this. you know, at the end of the day, this is the president's decision to go he decided to go. so, there's not as much finger pointing as -- >> walk around and say whose idea was this anyway? >> jarrett made the case to him when he was up at new york in the u.n. he said, listen, i think it is a
good idea. pressed to go and didn't want to go i think there would be more finger pointing it is what it is. >> we got a statement a few minutes ago from the head of the rnc, mr. steele. >> you want me to read that? >> sure. >> said the president's verbal gymnastics will not hide the fact that more than 263,000 americans lost their jobs in the month of september alone and the national unemployment rate increased yet again to 9.8%. president obama can either acknowledge that his economic experiments have failed and change course or continue down this path and see even more americans lose their jobs. david what do you make of those numbers? >> they are not good, obviously. the question for the democrat, people worry will this be 1994 again when we lost a lot of seats in the house in the real worry might be 1982. back in 1982 we had a very popular republican president, he had come in with a lot of wind at his back and still come the 1982 midterms by that time, he owned the recession, wasn't getting better and the republicans lost a lot of seats that year. >> eliz berkts you covered the white house and politics before
defense and foreign policy, does that sound like an attack line that can get traction for the republicans? >> sure what they have got, the best thing they have got right now with the president, still very popular, even though a lot of his policies are not popular. i think i see this as a -- foreshadowing for 2010, midte midterms. >> the president, that was part of the trip, overreaching headline going to copenhagen for the olympics but managed to do something else when he was there he managed to meet with general mcchrystal, of course, who had been in london, said, you know, make the short plane trip over and met for some time. why the private meeting together then? >> the president has been -- very interesting, mcchrystal gave an interview to "60 minutes" in which he said he had not talked to the president since he submitted his grim assessment. >> was that a little public signal there? >> the assessment came in at the end of august, hasn't talked to the president since. there was a video link in the situation room on wednesday with
mcchrystal, you know, phoning in from london. and i think that was just a good -- they saw it as a good chance to show that this president is you know, focused on this war and on his commanders, a lot of contrast with president bush. >> but mcchrystal had some pretty interesting comments in london about a timeframe, didn't he? >> right. >> keep extending these signal very publicly about we can't wait for a decision. >> right. for a commander whose job is to take orders from the commander in chief, from the civilian commander in chief, he was pretty blunt in london and he was asked, you know, did he think that this limited strategy put forward by vice president biden, just going after al qaeda, you know, not perhaps sending in 40,000 troops, does he think that was gonna -- did he like that strategy? he said no. and that's really blunt talk for a military man. >> any sense at this point who is winning this argument between the more limited strategy, the pullback strategy or mcchrystal? >> a really good question. we know sort of that the white house political advisers have a
lot of doubts about that going in big. we if know that vice president biden has doubts about it. those are the doubts that are being aired right now, that we hear coming out of the white house. the military, admiral mullin, the joint chiefs of staff, general mcchrystal, are pretty o unified in support of this gates is in the middle. i also think that politically, they have to air the a tomorrow let the liberal democratic base of the party know that they are not just rush nothing rubber stamp the general. >> we are talking about difficult things for the white house right now. do they feel like they are getting any traction on iran and the negotiations that have been going on and the concessions that iran appears to have made? >> one of the things sort of overlooked this week, i mean, with the olympics and with the -- the meeting with the general mcchrystal, but they think that they have on their path to doing a good thing here, what president obama after all, during the presidential campaign, he was criticized for
but he pledged to dork sort of open up a dialogue with the regime, so i think the white house is pretty cautiously optimistic. is anything going to come from this? certainly not in the short-term. they think they have had a good week on that front, haven't quite gotten as much attention big elephant in the room, challenge is afghanistan, dom make the the president's time. >> did seem like iran at least was one of the brighter spots between jobs and afghanistan and the olympics. the extension you call the nuclear arm to iran the bright spot. >> but they felt they had a lot of -- >> at least first time -- >> there were talks and thought they had a lot of leverage this week, the disclosure that iran had facilities. it came up. >> it seems to me the olympic disappointment will likely be transitory if the administration
can continue making progress on health care. going to get a vote in the finance committee next week, look like he will get a bill to the floor promptly, which is what he want? >> almost certain, bill going to get out of the finance committee, on the there are to the senate. i would say there is quite a bit of optimism among the democrats there is a sense of inevitablity that some bill is going to get passed, they are going to get a bill to the floor in both chambers, both know it will be a disaster for them. they will get some kind of boost. >> i do think if president obama had had a boost between olympics in chicago in 2016 or national health care reform, i think he would take health care. >> i would agree. >> jeff zeleny, david kirpatrick, elisabeth by miller, thanks for being with us. death toll rises in indonesia as rescue workers try frantically to pull more survivors from the rubble. solving the problem of how to feed hundreds of kids a day
and make the meals nutrition. this is such an important issue. all the news that's fit to print. glad we are talking about it watching the "new york times" special edition right here on msnbc. you could end up taking 4 times the number... of pills compared to aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthris pain all day. when it comes to italian sauce, some people prefer this jar. but more people prefer this sauce. winner of the blind taste test. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
get more complete relief. with new sudafed pe® triple action™. also find sudafed® behind the counter. a new study finds americans consume too much sodium. more than 1,000 milligrams over the recommended daily amount. experts say cutting salt intake could eliminate 11 million cases of high blood pressure and extend thousands of lives a year. they also estimate the country would save about $18 billion in annual health care costs. time now to take a look at some of today's other it top headlines n indonesia, the death toll is now 1100 and still rising. thousands are still trapped under debris and hundreds of buildings were completely
flattened when the 7.6 magnitude quake struck off the coast of sumatra, but amid all of the tragedy, there have been amazing rescues. this morning two women were pulled alive and conscious from a collapsed school. and workers are delivering water and medicine to survivors of tuesday's devastating tsunami in the samoan islands. the death toll is nearing 200 there and searchers still recovering bodies from the sea, under mud, sand and debris. officials say drowning appears be to be the main cause of death there. time for tape from the new york times. just last month, president obama sounded upbeat about the economy, but today, a setback. u.s. unemployment rates rose to their highest since june, 1983, 9.8%. >> small businesses, of course are the first in line to notice the affects of recession. "new york times" reporters have been following three small businesses around new york city to see how they are coping with this economic crisis.
>> reporter: six months ago, mike manna of manna's meats in the bronx was hopeful about the prospects for the summer. >> it is starting to come back, maybe the nice weather is one thing. >> reporter: with a sizable energy bill hanging over his head, the stakes were high, but the summer was unusually cold, dampening prospects for a good barbecue season. >> we lost all of june, half of july with the weather. but we saved it. >> reporter: located near blocks from wall street, mohammad's restaurant was hit hard by the financial collapse. >> comparing the last six months, i see a little bit of improvement as far as lunch but like i said, dinner is still the same thing. some months it's even worse. >> reporter: now, unemployment is the biggest concern for these small business owners because when customers tighten their purse strings, affects their bottom line. you can see this video and more at video.nytimes.com.
and coming up, hear what john mccain's a former campaign manager has to say about a possible sarah palin bid for president. what it would do to the gop. >> and i got reaction from sarah palin's camp i will tell you about. every week, the "today" show asks where are we today and friday, we all get to answer. take a look. >> on thursday, we showed you the shot of an undisclosed location. >> the answer, a well known site off of route 66 in amarillo, texas. >> your pick city of the day today, amarillo, it texas. and the forecast looks great for the weekend, plenty of sunshine both today and tomorrow. temperatures will be in the comfortable category as well with highs right around 70 and then 74 on saturday. you can't say that for the whole nation, as storms move through parts of new orleans. today,al is at 70, more sunshine though and comfy temps all the way back through l.a. enjoy your weekend. eeeeee
pail.does have some talent, but it could be devastating for the republican party if she ran for president. listen. >> she would not be a winning candidate for the party in 2012 and in fact, were she be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result. >> catastrophic. did you hear that? he said catastrophic. >> sounds like the point david brooks was making in his column, sound and fuhr roint one hand and political traction on the other. >> i e-mailed the story to meg stapleton, sarah palin's spokesperson and replied back, the governor will write about all this in her book, there will be plenty of time to talk about it then. i imagine this book will have some score settling as well. >> smack schmidt but not today. >> that sounds like that is going tonight case, yeah. all right. now it is time for fit to print, some stories from the pages of the new york times that you might have missed. we start with a battle over
prayer in a small california town. one self-ascribed free-thinker and atheist is challenging a tradition at city hall council meetings in load die, california, an invocation to start each meeting. the council members are resisting her efforts ruling wednesday night that the prayer was appropriate, that it took place before the opening gavel. you think it tough trying to make a healthy meal for your kids? well, how would you like to face the task of creating interesting nutrition meals for thousands of students with very discriminating tastes. i don't know about the discriminating tastes. they are kids. >> you could do it. >> the times profiles the executive chef for the new york city school system and what has to come one in terms of tasty menus, despite a limited list of approved ingredient. the question is whether it's healthy. all right. that is it. >> that is it for this hour. join us next friday the 2 p.m. for another hour "the new york times" special edition. i'm john harwood. >> i'm norah o'donnell.