tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC September 15, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EDT
of the gop establishment. are republicans in disarray? plus, they say that politics make strange bet fellows. how is this for strange? senate majority leader harry reid and lady gaga. the fda approves not one, but two machines that can literally melt away or freeze away your fat. good wednesday morning, i'm chris jansing live from msnb world headquarters in new york. so, the tea party could be a big spoiler for republicans. they thought they were going to be able to cash in big for the midterms in november, but quite a few surprises overnight. the biggest upset, the race for vice president joe biden's old seat in delaware. the tea party favorite christine o'donnell beat out long-time congressman mike castle who had never lost a race. don't ever underestimate the power of we, the people. >> the tea party prevailed in
new york state, too. carl paladino who beat out congressman rick lassio. norah o'donnell is breaking down the winners and losers. all right, certainly wasn't dull last night. let's start in delaware. so, you've got, you've got this christine o'donnell who, for a lot of people, it seemed, came out of no where. she beat a guy who had all the experience, had quite a bit of money, what happened there? >> well, now you have the republican hopes of winning joe biden's seat shattered. i mean, she is not the republican's dream candidate. she is their nightmare candidate. the state gop chair in delaware has called her dilutional and said she cannot be elected a dogcatcher. there are a lot of enraged and stunned republicans here in washington. saying privately they will probably not pour any money into that race and it's done and it's
now likely the democrats will hold that seat and hold on to joe biden's seat. i think what's also stunning about it. not only it shows the power of the tea party and palin-endorsed candidate, but also what christine od'donnell herself sad this morning republican canbleism because, chris, karl rove last night upon her victory said she doesn't have the character to be a republican nominee for the senate, called her nutty. this is karl rove to which christine o'donnell said, yeah, he predicted i would lose and this is canbleism going on in the party and she denounced what she called the humiliated backing of a moderate republican who many expected would win that primary last night, but was defeated quite handily. so, i think we have a sign now and in several places across this country that the tea party is alive and well and is also shaking occupy the republican party. >> if mike castle had gotten the
nomination, but he did. new york rick lassio, familiar face there. but the winner is upstate businessman who found himself in the middle of some controversy. paladino is a guy who at the state got 8% of the vote. >> in part the reason he got 8% of the vote because at the time it had come out that he forwarded e-mails to friends that contained racist jokes. he is a multi-millionaire and a tea party favorite. he is a political newcomer. this has rocked the republican establishment in new york, as well. this is just one of the first tea party candidates to win nomination for governor. this is condition candidate. usually republicans in new york nominate someone more moderate like a rockefeller type and they have gone far to the right. this is a man who said he is going to take a baseball bat to albany, yes, he's mad as hell and he represents the voters who
are mad as hell. so, again, a sign that he was the choice of angry voters out there, managed to capture that. didn't hurt that he was a poure lot of his money into this. >> let's talk about new hampshire. still too close to call there. >> it is. kelly who has been backed by sarah palin is attorney general in that state and clinging to a very narrow lead. you can see it right there as they continue to count the votes over a tea party-backed candidate. kelly who was the favorite in this. she was backed by palin and a lot of people see her as a national star for the republican party. a few women of natural stature in the republican party and she faced a tough contest in new hampshire and the expectation is that she might be able to pull it off, but it will be a narrow victory. chris? >> thank you so much. i want to bring in karen finny, former press secretary for hillary clinton and also ron
christy who is a republican strategist and former assistant to former president bush. you have at least eight races where these establishment senate candidates have been in trouble and then you have some of these other races like for the republican nomination in new york, tea party candidates. what's going on with the republicans? >> good morning, chris. well, i think, frankly, norah o'donnell hit it on the head a couple minutes ago. people are angry as hell across the country. i traveled across several states and people are very upset with washington. let us not forget that the tea party stands for taxed enough already. i think people are very upset with the size of government and they're upset with the spending going on and upset with the direction that the country is heading in. >> the republicans didn't recognize that. it didn't take, you know a political genius to figure out that people were mad as hell and weren't going to take it any more.
>> yes, ychris, i do. the republican establishment in washington, yes, i do believe they were taken off stream and i think a lot of the leaders here very comfortable in washington and don't get back to their districts as much and don't travel around the country as much. i've heard, i've seen it and it's not a shock to me. it's a shock to a lot of the people in the building behind me. >> do you feel like you were delivered this huge gift? >> i am not going to count any chickens before they're hatched because i learned a dramatic lesson during the presidential primary in 2008 the voters will have their say and all the predictions can kind of get thrown out the window. ron is doing a valiant job trying to spin this, but the writing was actually on the wall for the republicans, frankly in the bush term and going into the 2008 presidential where we saw the with ginnings of and what is a true conservative and the
republican party kind of lost its way and the real wake-up call it's interesting where we end where we begin the special election in new york '23 over a year ago where republican primary voters refused to be dictated to by the republican party about who their candidate is going to be. we said, no way, we don't care if we're going to win the actual general election. we want who we want. that dissension and anger has been building for a long time. republican leaders lost that signal until. >> i don't think that they're taking the big tent approach to this. if you look at the o'donnell race and nora said the state gop chair called christine o'donnell dilutional and then wait until you hear what karl rove had to say about her. let me play that little clip. >> there's just a lot of nutty things she has been saying that simply don't add up. >> sounds like you don't support her, but i will tell you --
>> i'm from the republican, but i have to tell you, we were looking at eight to nine seats in the senate and we're looking at seven to eight. this is not a race that we will be able to win. >> a lot of nutty things, ron. how do you go forward with all these people who are fired up, who are going to the polls, who are spending money and raising money. what does the gop do in the big picture with these folks? >> that's the one line that republicans have in november, chris. you look at the people who got out to vote in alaska and the people who got out to vote in new hampshire. you have a lot of conservatives that are fired up. i think the message that the republican leadership behind me should receive is that people are angry and they had enough and that the republicans can win not only in the house, but in the senate, as well, if they recognize they have to listen to these people and have a smaller government and more responsive. >> it doesn't sound like they're listening to them and it doesn't
sound like the gop leadership is listening. >> kind of distance themselves, ron. >> carl is a good friend of mine, i'm not going to insult him. my opinion differs from his. >> and -- >> one thing i will say is that i do think the sort of gray h r haired men of the republican party should be very careful to attack someone who is seen as an up and coming, young, vibrant woman. if you listen to her, she sounds a lot like a sarah palin kind of clone lmps and just the way she answers questions and her own sort of narrative. i think that's another challenge the republican party is going to have as they learn how to big a big ten party. i look forward to watching it. >> karen, ron, great talking to you guys. >> always a pleasure. a mess of the assault launched by afghan and u.s. troops is under way in afghanistan, even as we speak.
there are, in fact, hundreds of troops trying to establish a foothold near kandahar city, which is, of course, where the taliban movement was born. now, elements of the 101st airborne are involved in this operation, which is designed to prevent insurgents from moving fighters, explosives and drugs into those taliban strongholds. nbc tom as peljoins us live from kabul and tell us a little bit about this struggle and how it's likely to shape up there, tom. >> hi, chris. well, as you mentioned, it's the 101st airborne with hundreds of afghan troops and they're moving west of kandahar city. now, the objective is to deny the taliban safe havens in those areas. it's part of an ongoing operation, really, that has been happening for the last couple months trying to sweep the taliban not only out of kandahar, but helman province and southern afghanistan in
general. most of the attention in afghanistan today is focused on elections scheduled for this saturday morning. and we have seen the last minute campaigning, if you can call it that because it's very low key. most of the country has more than 17 million afghans prepared to vote in parliamentary elections. chris? >> let me go back to the offensive for a second and strategically how important is it viewed by the u.s.? >> well, i think it's going to clear a highway an important highway that runs west of the city there and i don't know strategically in the big picture it's, as i said before, to deny the taliban sanctuary in those areas. i think the u.s. is gambling a lot of men and a lot of material in these movements as they call them around kandahar city and if they can dislodge the taliban from those areas, then they think they can concentrate on eastern afghanistan, as well, and cut the supply lines from
neighboring pakistan. chris? we teld you it was going to be busy hurricane season and we weren't kidding. two big hurricanes right now and tropical storm churning in the atlantic gulf and now one is making landfall. bill karins joins us. you have your work cut out for you. >> this is reminiscesent of when we went back to 2005. we went through the alphabet and had to go to the greek alphabet. all the storms have not been near us. 2005 we had the katrinas and this year everything away from us. mexico had to deal with the tropical storm that happened about an hour ago. tropical storm karl made landfall north of belize and probably doing minor damage. more warm water should restrengthen. here's the forecast from the hurricane center and take it back out into the gulf thursday night into friday morning and bring it up to a category 1 hurricane and then makes landfall for a second time in mexico. texas, you look safe from this storm. here's our computer models and all stay well to the south
through the southern mexico. from texas to florida up the east coast, we're okay. the two big storms, this is just a rare event and kind of a treat to watch it from afar. you don't get two category 4 hurricanes usually this close to each other but igor and julia are out there. the large waves from igor will arrive this weekend doing beach erosion and rip currents and bermuda, chris, that's where they're nervous and waiting to see. it should weaken by then, but category 3 would still do a lot of damage. >> significant. okay, thanks, bill. american sarah shourd broke out a first time a free woman for the first time in more than a year. we'll get you up to date on that. and lady gaga took on the leader of the u.s. senate via tweet and, guess what, he wrote her back. and just when you thought flying couldn't get any worse, think about it. before rogaine, my solution to the problem was to go ahead and wear hats. i was always the hat guy. i can't even tell you how much it's changed my life.
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boy, haven't we been waiting for this. two new weapons on the war on love handles, not that i'm making any accusations. the food and drug administration has approved new devices for cosmetic body sculpting, use something called cooling energy to take away the fat. in one study, three inches of fat, on average in the waist, the hips, the thighs and both of these procedures are noninvasive, no down time, but don't plan it the afternoon before that big event because it takes a couple weeks to see results and, of course, you want to know how much to budget, about 1,500 to 3 grand is what they're saying. what if i told you could pay much less to travel by airplane if and this is a big if, i admit it, if you agree to occupy less than two feet of space. take a look. this could be the future of
low-cost air travel. it's called the sky rider. it's set to premiere next week at a california conference. fliers sit in a position that is kind of similar to riding horseback. it gives passengers just 23 inches of space. it's like being in a kiddy seat but you're not a kid any more. reggie bush making history, not of the good kind' first football player ever to return a heisman trophy. he got his in 2005. his return unpresdenned. the ncaa, they ruled bush and his family had gotten hundreds of thousands of gifts back when he was a college student. chances are the ncaa would have taken it back. american sarah shourd is out of iran for the first time in 13 months and now the u.s. is putting new pressure on iran's president to free her two fellow hikers. for her a joyous reunion in
arman. in the arms of her mom and her uncle. >> i really want to offer my thanks to all the governments and people of the world that have been involved. i'm grateful and i'm very hummabled by this moment. >> jim has the details now from london and, of course, now the focus goes to ahmadinejad and will they be able to get these other two americans out or will there be a trial? >> that's right, chris. what a whirlwind it has been for sarah shourd. with all those starts and stops in her eventual release. as you said, she is a free woman and she is in with scott today and she is trying to be as low profile as possible. hasn't called any new press conferences today. it's unclear how long she will be remaining. she is reportedly seeing a
doctor there today with her mother. her mother said in the past that sarah has serious medical issues including a breast lump and precancerous cervical cells. we have understanding that it is, in fact, a bail. we don't know if it is $500,000 and we still don't know what the source of that money is. but it is moving ahead. officials are saying that they're expecting that sum to arrive some time soon and that both u.s. and iranian officials are satisfied that no laws were broken. regarding the two other hikers, shourd said from the very moment she arrived last night in that emotional reunion, the focus now has to be on them, on her fiance shane bauer and her fellow hiker. chris? >> thank you, jim. coming up, how much alcohol should an airline pilot be legally allowed to have before taking off. a u.s. pilot is pulled off a plane in europe right before takeoff.
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all right. let me set the scene for you. a pilot shows up for a transatlantic flight from the netherlands to the u.s. and very apparently, apparently is drunk. so, dutch police pull him out of the cockpit, but it's not so cut and dry because a breathalyzer test found that the 52-year-old captain who, by the way, is an american from southern new jersey, had a blood alcohol content of 0.023%. that's just a hair above the legal limit in the netherlands, which has the toughest standards in europe. if he had been taking off in the united states, he would have been below the legal limit. so, the pilot is on suspension and delta is investigating. you know, we all heard fish tales, i caught one this big. a florida fisherman does have some serious bragging rights.
check it out. massive nine-pound lobster caught off the coast of miami beach. max ramos was fishing over the weekend and he sees this lobster more than two feet long, too big for a net. so, ramos said he grabbed it by the tail and the antennas. brave man. he said it took him 40 minutes to get the lobster to the surface. that was a major wrestling deal. worst nightmare scenario brought to life. okay, middle of the night, california teens's bedroom and then he wakes up and a snake is hanging out of his wall. the 15-year-old said the reptile bit him as he slept. firefighters came there and they found the snake coiled around pipes in the wall, as you saw there. the snake is about two to three feet long and did not appear to be poisonous, which is my favorite line. does not appear poisonous. wouldn't you like to know if he bit you. apparently, we don't know. ♪ and the home of the brave
dugout karaoke. this brave's catcher may have a career as a singer. against the washington nationals whose musical selection is electic. outgoing bp ceo tony hayward on the hot seat about the oil disaster in the gulf. this time from british lawmakers. and new hope this morning for at least one of those 33 miners trapped in chile. a really good part of this story. you wait for it. [ woman ] nine iron, it's almost tee-time... time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze... my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel.
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to walk out of middle east peace talks, if israel doesn't extend its curb on settlement construction in the west bank. secretary of state hillary clinton is hoping to work out an agreement some time today. and according to congressional investigators, salmonella was found hundreds of times over the past couple of years at those iowa egg farms linked to this summer's outbreak. republicans in new york state did not fear the tea party, but, apparently, they should have. former congressman rick lazzio thought he was a shoo in but rick paladino came seemingly out of no where and pulled out a landslide victory. joining me is jonathan capehart. this is not one we would have written a couple months ago, jonathan. what happened here? >> poor rick lazio, this is not the first time he has run for statewide office. in 2000 he ran against then hillary clinton and lost to her
in that race. the republican establishment, the republican party of new york was hoping that rick lazio could go up against andrew cuomo, the current state attorney general for the governorship, but what ended up happening was that carl paladino, you know, found a way to get himself on the ballot and to knock rick lazio completely out of the park. >> it seems like they were caught unaware maybe until murkokski. they didn't get things up and moving until late in the game. >> when you look at lazio's race, it was sort of the warning shot that got the attention of a lot of people around the country. if you read in the papers today, it was the murkowski's loss that sparked action into delaware and same thing in new york state and as we saw in both races, it wasn't enough. maybe it was too little, too late. >> he doesn't have a chance, does he? >> well, you know, i don't know.
i mean, the guy got elected. not elected, the guy got the nomination and as we've seen in these races throughout the country when you make, if you stand on solid ground and make a prediction, you'll end up being wrong. andrew cuomo has about $23,000 in the bank for his gubernatorial race. paladino has shown he'll spend as much money as he wants to in this race. >> here's the other thing about andrew cuomo, he's not exactly known for going out on a limb. he likes very controlled situations. it could be interesting if there's some debates. >> oh, no, it's going to be really, really fun. you've got andrew cuomo who is, you know, political dynasty, the como name. his father was governor and andrew cuomo was here as secretary -- >> people were begging his father to run for president, as i recall. >> remember he left the plane sitting on the tarmac in albany to go to new hampshire and
didn't pull the trigger, if you will. but then you have cuomo going up against paladino who when you read the stories about what he's done forwarding e-mails with racist or pornographic content and saying last night or throughout the campaign that he wanted to take a baseball bat to albany. now, albany might deserve it because it's one of the most dysfunctional legislatures in the country, but we're talking about a guy that both lots of people feel, both democrats and republicans in leadership positions who feel that this guy is not qualified to be governor of new york state and in november the people will decide whether he should actually take that baseball bat to albany. >> meantime, you have charlie rangel and he's in the middle of all these ethic investigations and his party not very happy with him and he basically has said all along, give me my day in court because i didn't, i didn't really do anything wrong. certainly nothing that deserves what i'm getting right now and he goes up against five challengers and basically
annihilates them. >> we knew this was going to happen. charlie rangel has been in that district for 20 terms. he's been in there for 44 years. >> heavily democratic district. >> heavily democratic district. the people know him, love him or hate him, they love him enough to give him the nomination again. but here's the interesting thing. he says he wants his day in court, but now that day in court has been pushed to after the november elections. so, the interesting thing will be what happens if charlie rangel wins that seat, which because it's a heavy democratic district, he probably will. what will he do after that? will he go through with the trial or will he decide, you know what, i'm going to go out on my own terms and people re-elected me and now it's time for me to stand down. >> never a dull moment in politics. >> especially in new york. >> that's so true. thank you, jonathan. >> thanks, chris. meantime, candidates everywhere are checking the balances in their war chest
because just 48 days left until the midterms. once again, we're seeing this dynamic that money from the outside, from outside forces could have a big impact on what happens. nbc news correspondent luke russert is live on capitol hill for us and he's been looking into this money battle. so, who's doing the spending and where is the money coming from, luke? >> in her first press conference since the congressional recess ended yesterday, house speaker nancy pelosi believe she will be speaker after november. listen to what she said after she said about the united citizen and how money from outside third party groups can be a connection. >> i think it undermines our democracy, but it is a reality and we're not whining about it, we intend to win. no whining. just go out there and win. >> well, most sounded like a football coach saying she won't whine about it.
just go out and win. look at this absluolutely stunng graphic. given over $10 million to republicans and only about $1 million to democrats. in the house, it's $3 million for house republican candidates and only $1 million for house democratic candidates. so, third party money is heavily going over to the republican side, almost ten times more in the senate and double in the house. a lot of house democrats i spoke to yesterday are definitely worried about this. they said they don't have the money to respond to a lot of these third party ads and they have been going on for months in their district and a lot painted them in favor of the health care bill, the cap and trade bill and all the controversial legislation that passed in this last congress is being thrown to the forefront by these advocacy group that could have a dramatic effect for democrats heading into november. >> follow the money. >> that's right, it is all about the money. >> thank you, luke. major developments we have been talking about today in
afghanistan. the big offensive in the south and protests in kabul, as well. let's start with the hundreds of american and afghan troops trying to get that foothold home of the taliban, by the way. they're trying to cut off those insurgent supply lines. there have also been a record level of u.s. missile strikes launched by drones against taliban militant strongholds. unrest in kabul, as well, police fired warning shots to disperse protesters. they're angry after that american pastor's threats to burn the koran, although it never happened. joining me at msnbc headquarters, jack jacobs. how significant do you think the koran burning is and is it having an influence in hearts and minds? >> i apologize, tail end of a cold. >> what's going on with you, jack? >> the tail end of a cold. it's very important to them. the afghans do not understand
the republican former democracy. we have the united states in which almost any idiot can say almost anything and do almost anything he wants. they don't get that. they don't come from a society that has that. that kind of history in there. >> the more they hear that and they don't hear the other side, which is the vast, vast majority of people who were condemning this guy. >> it does have an impact and don't forget they have radical imams over there in afghanistan, too. i think it will dissipate over time, but we can't have a whole lot of that and it will be that fact. >> let's talk about what's going on in kandahar right now and how big an operation and how important is it? >> real important. hundreds doesn't sound very big, but just the very beginning of a larger, wider offensive. one of the things that we do in the military is that we always commit a smaller number of forces in the beginning than we do in the end and it always takes more forces to hold on to an objective than it does to
take in the first place. we need to reinforce success. if we are successful in kandahar with hundreds of troops we'll probably reinforce it with thousands to secure an area for which to work. >> in terms of the overall strategy, where does this growing number of drone missile attacks fit in? >> it's very, very important. in many respects, it may be the most important thing that we're doing in southwest asia. >> why? >> well because of what's happening in southwest asia has less to do with afghanistan than it does with pakistan on the border. the bad guys are trained there, recruited there, operate from them there and they have a lot of support there. the fight in afghanistan is as much about pakistan as it is about anything else and the drones there for the drone attacks figure very prominently in knocking out the bad guys. >> sounds like it's getting dicy in kabul, what is that all about in. >> kabul is a separate problem altogether and don't forget afghanistan is very fragmented and people up in the mountains
opposite pakistan don't care about kabul, but to the extent that kabul goes to pieces, then i think we'll have a lot of problems there. still, don't forget, there's so much corruption in kabul. so much of the money that we send over there disappears down the rat hole in kabul and unless we get control of that, then we're not going to have a good time of it in afghanistan. >> jack jacobs, good information. even with the voice. >> very bad voice. >> but you look good, that's all that matters. thank you, jack. oh, listen to this. one of those chilean miners who is trapped underground has a new reason for hope this morning. aerial tacona is waiting for the rescue below ground but above ground her wife gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. mother and child are said to be doing well. he will be able to see pictures of his new baby thanks to capsules that are being sent down that three inch shaft.
engineers still say it might take until december before those men are rescued. a big loss for journalism and nbc. journalist broadcaster and author edwin newman has died. he is a society boy, graduated in 1935 and joined nbc news as a correspondent in 1952. he was there for so many big events from the funeral of england's king george vi, democratic and republican national conventions and he was on "today" show and "meet the press." every single nbc show there is. he was the first to announce president kennedy's death on nbc news radio. he nominated debates between ford and carter andrati reagan. earn a free night! two separate stays at comfort inn or any of these choice hotels can earn you a free night -- only when you book at choicehotels.com.
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the dash eating plan known to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol is also found to reduce the risk of heart attack. the dash diet emphasizes fruits, veggies and lean meats over saturated fats, red meat and sugar. researchers found patients on the dash plan lowered their risk of heart attack by 18%. an emotional day in court at the trial of two men accused of murder in the connection with a deadly home invasion in connecticut. new evidence was released by the court. take a look at these photos that show the ankles of dr. william petit after being bruised and bound with a rope. he is a lone survivor of that break in. nbc jeff rossen has the latest from new haven, connecticut. >> this is the last image ever taken of jennifer hawk-petit at a neighborhood bank withdrawing $15,000. prosecutors say to pay off the man holding her family hostage.
it was a mother's final, desperate act to save her family. husband, william, a prominent doctor and their two children. all of them tied up and tortured inside their own home. mccaluwas only 11, a girl scout, haly was 17 and just accepted to dartmouth. prosecutors say these two men did it. steven hayes and ex-cons who broke into the petit home as they slept. >> just tried to do the best i could for my family. >> reporter: william petit was the lone survivor and took the stand tuesday. gripping testimony about his family's last hours together. they tied my hands at the wrists and my feet at the ankles, he said. petit heard one of the suspects say, if he moves, put two bullets in him. because of the blood loss y was not functioning very well. he could hear his wife and children being tortured in another section of the house. i heard them moaning and thumps. i may have yelled out, hey, a
voice yelled back, don't worry, it will all be over in a couple of minutes. and it was. prosecutors say they raped petit's wife and killed her before burning the house down. >> making progress. >> how emotional was it for you to be on the stand today? >> very emotional. >> reporter: the jury saw evidence photos of petit's hand wound at the hands of his attackers. he told the jury about his own miraculous escape from the basementhere he was bound at his feet with this rope. i was working to get my hands free, he said. i really felt a major jolt of adrenaline. his feet still bound, petit hopped out of the house and rolled across the lawn to a neighbor's house for help, but it would be too late for his wife and kids. the suspect in this first trial, steven heys, kept his eyes down
in court. prosecutors are going for the death penalty. >> both defendants have agreed to plead guilty in return for life in prison without the possibility of release. >> but prosecutors will not agree to that. >> no. >> reporter: in an unusual strategy his client admits to raping and strangling petit's wife but it wasn't premeditated. things got out of control and no one was supposed to get hurt. >> the evidence was so overwhelming that the defense had no viable defense and not a credible one and this was the best chance to save the defendant's life. >> reporter: even as three lives ended and another was changed forever. this trial has already been here on day three, so emotional, so charged, chris. even in the first week here already four jurors have been dismissed, including one yesterday who told the judge the case is too confusing and he can't follow the evidence.
chris? >> i'm curious about what the judge had to say about that. i mean, is this case particularly confusing or is it just so highly emotional. i mean, it's such a horrible story. >> it's not really that confusing. the prosecution has presented all the photos and the evidence, but this juror was basically saying it was all out of order and he thought the prosecution's case was very disorganized in his words and he wouldn't speak with us after court as we tracked him down down the street but the judge was clearly disappointed and the juror said he couldn't keep up his oath. the defense came out and admitted in the very beginning that, yes, my client committed the crime but it wasn't intentional that it would end this way. probably just trying to save his life at this point. the death sentence off the table, which prosecutors refuse to do right now. >> jeff, thank you. an army specialist is about to receive the military's highest honor. the medal of honor. the first living soldier since the vietnam war.
they say politics make strange bet fellows. here's our happy couple of the week. the senator and the singer. i'm talking about harry reid and lady gaga who took to twitter saying "gay veterans were my vma dates. call harry reid to schedule senate vote. so reid actually wrote her back. there is a vote on dadt, don't ask don't tell next week. anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so, he wrote. gaga is thrilled and tweets, god bless and thank you, harry reid, from all of us, like you, who believe in equality and the dream of this country. we were born this way. reid has the last word, he tweets, it's the right thing to do, come back to vegas soon.
new friendship has blossomed. we're all touched by it. it's the highest military decoration awarded by the armd services for valor and action. the medal of honor and later today we will hear from the newest recipient who joins this prestigious club. u.s. staff sergeant who will become the first living soldier since the vietnam war to receive the honor and he will talk to the media from his post in italy. he earned the award october 2007 in afghanistan and he risked his life to rescue other soldiers from enemy fire. nbc pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins us live. it is hard to believe that throughout iraq and afghanistan there is no living medal of honor recipient but what he did was really extraordinary, mik. >> it was extraordinary and sergeant could be the poster boy for the u.s. military, actually. he joined the military, the army right out of high school in cedar rapids, iowa. and three years ago, as you said, he was with his platoon on
patrol in the valley when he and his platoon were ambushed. he was knocked to the ground when he was struck twice in the chest by enemy fire. his body armor saved him and he leaped to his feet and ran into the heart of the fire and rescued one of his fellow soldiers who was wounded and being dragged away by two taliban fighters. unfortunately, that soldier and another were killed in the action. but as of last friday, president obama, the white house announced, that he would be awarded the medal of honor for his valor and, typically hummable as we see many of those, these soldiers are. sergeant junta says it's not his medal of honor, but it's for those who fought on his left and right and every american serviceman and woman there in the fight in afghanistan. chris? >> he's based over in italy now. >> he is. he is with the 173rd company. he's been with that unit ever since he joined the military
seven years ago. and just briefly his wife, virginia, told us that she considers sal to be a hero, but she in no uncertain terms said she doesn't want him to deploy, again, to afghanistan after two deployments. she said, i want him to come home every day. >> mik, thanks so much again. that's at 12:30 eastern time we will get to hear from him. that will do it for me, i'm chris jansing. tune in at 3:00 p.m. eastern time, denzel washington will be on the showshow. takes on one of america's biggest challenges, look who's here, tamron hall. >> you mentioned denzel washington and i show up. >> she's here. you want to do the 3:00 show, instead. >> i would love to, but i'm headed to texas. i'm here for the next hour on msnbc. christine odonel is the sixth tea party candidate to win the primary, what impact on moderate republicans and should democrats really be rejoicing about o'donnell's victory.
we'll talk with the leader of the tea party movement to find out who they are putting on notice this morning. and senate majority leader harry reid is putting reform and a repeal of the america's don't ask, don't tell into a new defense bill. we'll get reaction to that. we'll also talk more about what chris was discussing, the tweets between mr. reid and lady gaga. how about this as a present for the next wedding you go to. a toaster that places an image of jesus on toast. no way. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? ♪
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