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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  September 29, 2010 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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was a top model mix-up the real deal or a publicity stunt? hello. i'm chris jansing live at msnbc world headquarters in new york city. tropical storm nicole pounding south florida, strong winds, heavy rain. it is expected to last into the evening hours. here is what this morning's commute looked like. this is south florida. the afternoon rush expected to be just as challenging. the rain is already making travel difficult in north carolina as well. flood warnings posted there in several counties. and schools in craven county actually had to close early. eric fisher joins us from ft. lauderdale, florida. wow. looks fun out there. >> oh, yeah. it's a barrel of laughs here in ft. lauderdale. the rain has been coming down. we are waterlogged. some towns have picked up three, four inches of rainfall since yesterday afternoon. as you can see, that rain continues to come down. the main threat with this storm is not the wind. it's not going to be a classic tropical storm. it's just a huge moisture
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machine. you have to think about this. the center is just south of cuba. the moisture all the way up from the caribbean into pennsylvania. that's where they're starting to see rainfall already. so pretty remarkable event. don't think of it as tropical storm nicole or what will become a nor'easter. just think of it as a heavy rain-maker. now, we are already seeing hydroplaning on the streets as the cars start their evening commute home. we're expecting a very slow ride. some schools have canceled their activities for the end of the day. call ahead to check on those. city officials went to work. most of the schools did stay open. people will be out and about. we just want them to be safe. the emergency management officials have been checking all the pumps, making sure they're working, pushing the water out. it won't stop right here. the rain will probably end late tonight. but as we head through the rest of the week, north carolina is going to get slammed by heavy rainfall, big flooding there. and then eventually all the way up into the northeast. so, chris, this is a pretty widespread event. >> what kind of problems might
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we see as it moves up the east coast? >> we've got our eyes on wilmington, north carolina, especially. they've seen over 11 inches of rain this week. you add in what we're expecting with this, which could be another 6 to 10 inches of rain. that could be a very, very damaging situation for them. >> eric fisher from the weather channel, thanks, eric. there are new and heightened concerns today about a suspected terror plot in europe. now, officials there say the plans originated in pakistan with a group, quote, threatening to wage a mumbai-style attack on cities in britain, france and germany. that means armed gunmen in public places. now, you'll recall that in mumbai, more than 200 people died. this threat caused the evacuation of the eiffel tower twice. it's been reopened despite authorities' warning that there is still a threat. does this plot reveal a new strategy on the part of terrorist organizations? here's homeland security secretary janet napolitano on "the daily rundown" today.
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>> we don't comment on specific threats one way or the other. but we are always constantly working on our own security as well as the security of our allies. we know al qaeda, its affiliates and terrorists are constantly thinking about ways to attack the west. >> roger is an nbc news terrorism analyst and president of good harbor counseling. hey, roger. how are you? >> good to see you, chris. >> you know, last week, as a matter of fact, janet napolitano did warn that such an attack on publicly accessible areas are a major concern here in the u.s. now, we don't know that there are any ties in this particular case. it looks to be europe-based. but how big are these concerns? what do you know about concerns? is this a shift in strategy by some of these terrorist groups? >> well, ever since mumbai happened in november of 2008, a lot of the jihadist websites have talked about why wouldn't we want to try this type of
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attack, too? you don't have to come up with the grandiose car bomb, the dr. evil type sophisticated plot when you see the carnage and death and destruction that a couple of guys with ak-47 and grenades caused in mum bbai. it's not the only threat. the people i've been talking to in the government say we should be careful not just to focus on a mumbai scenario. soft targets are certainly under consideration. transportation. but this is a very credible threat. that's why the european capitals are taking this so seriously. >> i guess that's what i want to focus in on. we do hear about these time and again. we talk about them. there can be sort oa lf a littl reaction like the sky is falling, the sky is falling. but i was struck in the "wall street journal" article that they really talked about a counterterrorism official who said this isn't your typical washington talk. people are very concerned about what they're seeing. that's what you're hearing from your folks?
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>> yeah, absolutely. this is a threat that dates back into the summer. so the good news here is that western european officials and american officials have been on top of a threat. it emanates from pakistan. probably has ties back to the al qaeda central organization. what we've all been debating for months now is whether or not they still retain the capability. if this can be tied back to al qaeda central, we now have an answer. what we don't know is whether or not the individuals that might be involved in the actual operational component of this plot are being tracked, what their status is. one real concern is that because of how this operation is coming to the public light with all of the attention, if there are individuals operatives at large in europe, they may see the press coverage and go underground. so there's a race against time component to this as well right now. >> roger, thanks so much. it's good to see you. president obama is taking the gloves off at two different campaign events today. now, any minute we're expecting him to talk about the economy in
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richmond, virginia. we will have that live when it happens. but true to recent and presidential campaign form, earlier today, he met with a family in des moines before holding another backyard gathering with their neighbors. and he went after the republicans as well as their pledge to america. >> you can't say you want to balance the budget, deal with our deficit, invest in our kids, and have a $700 billion tax cut that affects only 2% of the population. >> these events may be having an impact leading up to the november midterms. look at this. asked which party should control congress, 46% said republican. 43% said democrats. that's a six-point gain for democrats since august. cynthia tucker is with the "atlanta journal and constitution." it's good to see you. >> good afternoon, chris. >> were the rumors of a gop
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landslide in november premature? >> well, i think those polls were quite early and they -- they highlighted the most engaged voters, the angriest voters, the voters most likely at that point to turn out in the -- in the elections in november. and those happen to be voters who were going to vote for republican candidates. just now, i think, democratic voters are beginning to get engaged. and, quite frankly, this is traditionally the time after labor day when most working folks start to get more interested in the elections that are coming up. so i think some of what we saw in earlier polls was a little early. that said, democrats have made gains, but i -- in the polling, but i think it's still going to be difficult -- a difficult night in november for democrats. >> well, i guess the question really is how -- how difficult? and i think the view that i hear
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from most of our political strategists is that, you know, he can cut the number of losses potentially, help cut the number of losses. it doesn't mean that the democrats are going to hold on to the house. what you're hearing from him over the last several days, over the last week, the style, the substance, is that what's going to -- to move some voters? maybe potentially obviously in the case of him going to places like the university of wisconsin last night, some young voters who might not otherwise have gone out in the midterms? >> well, chris, what president obama and his strategists know very well is that democrats' chances for holding the house are much better if younger voters go to the polls. much of what polls have been measuring since last summer was an enthusiasm gap. showed huge enthusiasm among republican voters. they were absolutely going to the polls. democratic voters turned off, frustrated, depressed, not interested, apathetic, whatever.
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democratic voters, particularly the younger voters who turned out in huge numbers for the president in 2008, they were less likely to go vote. but if the president succeeds in getting them energized, helping them to understand the stakes, then the democrats have a much better chance of holding on to the house in november. >> cynthia tucker, thanks so much. and coming up at the half hour, president obama will talk about the economy in virginia. again, we said that before, wrapping up his four-state tour. all of this, of course, try to rally the base ahead of the elections. still ahead, a major, major mishap on live television. australia's "next top model" is announced and then -- >> i'm so sorry. it's amanda. i'm so sorry. >> was this a model mix-up for real? or was it all a stunt? we'll talk about that. and it could be a plot from one of his movies, but james cameron is on a real-life environmental mission. the hollywood director joins us live. i'm coming to take over the world,
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> trust me on this one, live tv can get pretty crazy. there's just so many moving parts. usually, the chaos is confined here to the control room. however, however, that certainly was not the case in the live finale of australia's "top model." you have got to see this. watch what happens after the host announces the winner. >> oh, my god. i don't know what to say right now. i'm feeling a bit sick about this. no.
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i'm so sorry about this. oh, my god. i don't know what to say. this is not -- this was a complete accident. i'm so sorry. it's amanda. i'm so sorry. it was read to me wrong. >> that's all right. it's okay. >> oh, god. >> it's okay. >> this is what happens when you have live tv, folks. i'm so sorry. >> it's okay. >> this is insane. >> wow. okay. let's bring in ashley pearson from london express newspapers. ashley, that's probably like the fifth time i've seen that today. and i can't believe it. i can't believe what it must have been like for those two women who i presume that it's like "america's top model," they've gone through weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks. what do we know about what happened here? >> well, i love the fact that "american idol" host ryan seacrest tweeted that what happened is his absolute worst nightmare of anything that could ever happen on stage.
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you know, what do we know? what we see is just absolutely appalling. what's being speculated upon today is whether or not the host there, sara murdoch, was in on it, whether it was some kind of a publicity stunt. everybody is talking about this program today. >> yeah. and obviously we wouldn't be showing this if it wasn't for the fact that this gaffe happened. we're talking about the host being of the murdoch family, correct? >> yeah, absolutely. she is married to rupert's son, lacklan. what's interesting, her explanation for this is that actually she heard -- her ear piece went dead. she had no communication with the control room whatsoever when she was supposed to announce the winner, so she went with the most recent information she had been given, which was that kelsey was the winner over amanda. amanda is the one in the red dress who was the actual winner. let me ask you this.
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sara has an executive producer credit on this program. does it seem likely to you that she would be left in the dark like this? >> it doesn't seem likely to me, but on the other hand, ashley, i just have to think that there's a line. when you're a ryan seacrest or you're her, there's a line at which you'll make yourself look, you know, really, really bad and i think it's such an uncomfortable moment that even though normally i'm so skeptical and my first thought was it's a setup and, oh, the hands to the face. on the other hand, do you really think she would do that, put herself in that position? >> well, in a word, no. she has vehemently denied that it was a setup. she said i wouldn't do this to my worst enemy, let alone two girls i've come to care about on this program. she's saying it was simply a mistake. you know, i guess she had two options at that point. she could have said my feed has gone dead. i need to talk to the control room. who is the winner? or she could have gone with the
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information she had. i guess she chose the latter. not to such a great -- not a great idea. >> yeah. and real pro like you, ashley, would have gone with the former. but, hey, maybe next year. >> i'm just glad i'm not in that position. i don't want her job. they didn't ask me to do her job, and i won't be getting her job. thank god. >> well, we hope you'll come back and see us again. ashley, great to see you. thank you. we are at our halfway point of our special week-long series "education nation." next, we'll take you live outside to learning plaza. hear how you can help make a difference in your own neighborhood. plus, economists say the recession is over, but do americans feel the same? we'll take a look at what's the new normal after the great recession. ouch! these men are being punished. they're being voluntarily whipped. we'll explain. there is a reason for all of this. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?
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so we're now about midway through our "education nation "week. one thing we've talked about is the rise in popularity of online colleges. minority groups represent about 43% of those web-based programs. well, now a well-known supporter of historically black colleges and universities is going online. joining us now, radio host tom joiner, founder of hbcu's online. good to see you, tom. >> thanks for having me. >> let me ask the obvious question first. a lot of people went through traditional colleges and universities. they hear online and they think scam, missing something. what would you say? what would you tell the skeptics out there about online learning? >> online learning is very different. and it is a major decision. it is very necessary right now. people can't afford to alter
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their schedules to go like we did to a college, spend four years to get a degree, maybe another couple of years to get a graduate degree, and then come out into the world and get a nice job. most people have to piece their degrees together. and a lot of people aren't finishing. statistics say that most of these people that are on the unemployment rolls are people with only a high school education. and that means that you really must have a degree these days. the community colleges are full. and the -- the online universities like phoenix, kaplan and the like are just filled. and they have no capacity problem. >> i know you know a lot about this. what do we know about the quality of the person, their knowledge, their nsunderstandin that comes out of an online degree as opposed to a more traditional degree? one thing i think about is that
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so much of my college experience was about that interaction, was about forming those relationships, debating those ideas. how is the online experience different? and how does that apply to the workplace? >> well, the online experience is much different than -- than what you came from. the social interaction. you're basically all alone late at night in your underwear like the commercials say and you're studying by yourself. it takes a real discipline to learn like that. it's accredited. it's a good education. but it is not the traditional education. so what we have done with hbcu's is we have -- we have created -- we have taken hbcu's and brought them up to the level of -- of online education in this -- in this country. so the traditional caring, nurturing studies that you get at a historically black college
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is what we're doing virtually. and we are -- we have -- we have advocates. we have counselors who will stay with you with our program from the time you register to the time you graduate. we will work with you from step one to the last step across the stage when you -- when you go to that institution. and we represent real schools. we represent -- we have two schools online. that's hampton university and texas southern. and when you register with us, you are a student of hampton. you are a student of texas southern. we'll be adding more schools in the next few weeks. >> well, you know what, there's nobody who is going to disagree with the fact that we need more college-educated folks out there. tom joyner, thanks for being with us. >> thank you. there's a new pledge to america's schools that is ramping up here at nbc. it's the american express members challenge. nbc's rehema ellis is out on the
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plaza to explain what that's about. >> we've been talking about the problems are concerning education. people have been saying what can i do? look where we are. call to action. there is something you can do. right now, i want to bring in charles bess. you've been saying to people you can get involved. how? >> between now and friday, now and october 1st, people can take a pledge to improve education in our country. that could be donating spluppli to a school, volunteering to help a kid learn to read, and if 100,000 people make such a pledge between now and friday, members project from american express will give $1 million to classroom project requests on >> that can help buy a lot of pencils, a lot of construction paper, a lot of crayons that kids need. oftentimes we find our teachers are having to take that money out of their pocket and some parents who may not have the means these days have had to buy those supplies to bring to
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school. so this is really, really significant. just got to get those people to make a pledge. >> that's right. it comes down to $10 a pledge that american express will donate to classroom projects on our site. it's 100,000 pledges that will trigger $1 million in giving. it's amazing. >> it doesn't have to be so complicated. this is one of the pledge cards. it's talking about donate school supplies, host a foreign exchange student, tutor a struggling student or help a child learn to read. all very valuable things. it means that you take a little bit of time out of your day, a little bit of money out of your pocket. >> it could be time, but we need people to act now. >> between now and friday. so there's not a lot of time. >> there's not. a million dollars in classroom project funding hangs in the balance. we need folks to take a pledge that fits with their schedule, with their calendar. it's simple for people to do, but it will have a huge impact. >> thanks very much. you can find all of this on
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chris, back to you. >> what a great plan. thanks so much. good to see you. president obama is about to speak live in richmond, virginia, talking about the economy. we're keeping our eye on that for you. and the tea party has really taken off this election season. i'll talk to the man who's being called the wallet behind the political movement. [ indistinct conversations ] ♪ ♪
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here's a look at how stocks are doing today. the dow down about 40 points. the nasdaq down about 7. and the s&p 500 down about 4. a sign that the housing market is struggling, applications for home loans are down for a fourth straight week. despite record low mortgage rates. the index fell .8% last week to its lowest level in two months. the u.s. government may make a profit on its bailout of aig stemming from the financial crisis.
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steve miller says the company is going to close and finalize a plan to allow the government to sell its stake in the company. the treasury wod convert its $49 billion in preferred shares into common shares to be sold over time. that's it from cnbc. chris, back to you. here's a look at our headlines on wednesday. a strong earthquake struck off the coast of eastern indonesia. it has a magnitude of 7.4, centered 15 miles beneath the ocean floor. that quake has the potential to trigger a tsunami. former president jimmy carter will spend a second night in a cleveland hospital. he got an upset stomach while he was flying to cleveland yesterday. so the former president canceled his scheduled book signing events in washington today. and the chicago sun times reports that rahm emanuel will announce he's running for mayor of chicago on friday. boy, that was fast. a source tells the paper that he'll move to chicago over the weekend and start his campaign next week. and meg whitman's former
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housekeeper is accusing the republican of treating her, quote, like garbage. she held a news conference with gloria allred today. she says she asked whitman for help with her immigration status in 2009 but whitman refused. whitman says in a statement that diaz confessed she was an illegal worker only after nine years with her and that's when whitman says she had to fire her. whitman accuses her former maid of falsifying documents when she hired her. the recession has changed life as we know it. while the feds tell us technically the recession is over with, the question remains when will families all across the country stop feeling the crunch? richard louie is here with a look at the new normal and what's ahead. the question is is this the new normal, right? >> as we hear that phrase so much recently, chris, we might be surprised by one thing. folks evidently might not be
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getting married as often because of this new normal. marriages have fallen to a record low in 2009. look at the statistics here. with over half of adults 18 and older not getting hitched according to the associated press. the reason? some are thinking about their significant other's financial situation as a reason. i don't believe that. we went down and talked to folks on the street today. this is what they told me. >> i have friends that have had prolonged engagements because they don't want to mesh their finances. >> i don't think people are as -- as flashy. >> rich or poor, you know, family grows and you cannot -- you can't wait until the perfect moment. it's never going to be a perfect moment. >> he's very positive saying, you know, i'm going to have a family anyway. he was married. the other two saying, you know, concerned at the moment about whether our finances when they mesh together will be a positive. well, that's not true, though. when we take a look at the economy, when it comes to
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cutting costs, they are definitely doing something different. they are cutting their costs. especially food. and some restaurants are feeling that from a reduction from business people and their companies. this is what two restauranteurs told me. >> they're tired of all the negativity. maybe, you know, it's time to have a little fun. >> there's no lobster. there's no shrimp. there's no expensive bottles of wine. there's no port after dinner. there's probably no cordials. >> two general managers from two very popular restaurants frequented by both real estate professionals as well as bankers. what they told me, they really feel a pinch in wine sales. one was saying they did see some sales increase. the other one is saying i'm down by 20%. the second guy, lenny, he has 200 bottles under $60. that's more than triple than from before this new normal. >> i guess the question a lot of
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people have is when is it going to end? >> when will it end? as we try to understand what it is. well, when might we have this new new normal? well, some experts say seven or more years before this new normal. >> seven or more? >> seven or more years. that's right. it could be a long time. when i was speaking with those men, they said, no, we can't wait seven years. things have got to get better now. on the flip side, there's billionaire ken fisher who says, you know, this whole idea of a new normal, that idea is idiotic. a professor from the university of maryland puts it in perspective politically for me. >> biblical references aren't useful. neither is blind faith that president obama can return the second age of the administration of bill clinton. bottom line, barack obama's taxes, his programs, are too burdensome for the u.s. economy. he's not doing enough to fix what's wrong with china. when he wells up the cards to do that, america will recover. if we elect the republicans in
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between, not much good will happen other than we'll get lower taxes and lower spending. bottom line, we need new leadership. we're getting it from neither party. >> all right. he's not liking either of the solutions. he said for folks like you and me, to look for two things. our paychecks and gas prices. when those two things get better, that's when we can expect a new new normal. >> all right. thank you, richard. we've got breaking news. the house has just passed that long-debated and controversial 9/11 health bill. this was to treat a lot of workers who are seeing lingering health problems from the time they spent at ground zero in the aftermath of 9/11. you'll remember there were two new york congressmen who famously really went at it, both on television and -- including on this network as well as on the floor of the house. about how to approach that. peter king, anthony wiener. remember that back and forth with those guys? there you see nancy pelosi
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announcing that 266 to 160 the house 9/11 health bill has, indeed, passed. so that's good news for a lot of those workers. and developing right now, let's look at live pictures from richmond, virginia. that's where president obama is about to speak at the southampton recreation association, talking tax cuts, the deficit. wrapping up this four-state tour aimed at rallying democrats. we'll let you know when that's going on. and the tea party. it's a political force, even the president says it can't be ignored. our new poll suggests that movement is gaining steam. 42% of those polled said the tea party is a good thing for politics. only 18% said it's a bad thing. sal russo has been a republican consulta consultant. he's chief strategist for the tea party express. good to see you. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me.
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>> you have been called either the karl rove of the tea part y which is the chief tactician and chief financier. how do you see yourself? >> well, you know, the tea party movement is strong, not because of any individual but because it's really a grassroots effort by millions of americans who became disenchanted with both political parties in terms of their response to the physical issues that america faces. you know, i think clearly in this election cycle, the tenor of the times is people are fearful of a growing and intrusive federal government with the accompaniment of higher taxes, ohigher deficits and now we've got a skyrocketing national debt. >> i think you've really expressed very well what i understand to be the central tenets of this movement. how do you take that frustration, that anger, however you want to characterize it, the
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belief in smaller government, lower taxes, less spending by the government, how do you take that and turn it into real change without some sort of centralized organization? whenever i talk to people who have been organizers in various yares areas of this tea party express, they really talk about it being grassroots and sort of an organic organization. can you remain that and -- and really be powerful? >> absolutely. i think that's the key to this success. there are maybe 4,000 tea party groups now in america. we now have a couple hundred of them in europe and asia. it's not just an american phenomenon. we've seen what is happening in greece and in europe and the rest of the world. governments have gotten out of control. and spending and raising national debts all over the world. people understand that you can't grow an economy when you have debt and excess spending. so this is a movement that, you know, is really focused on the economic issues, the economy,
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getting the economy going again. now, some of the 4,000 groups have ventured off into social issues and foreign policy issues. the tea party express has been focused only on the one issue. and i think that's the one issue that unified all of the tea party movements. by doing that, it also -- >> let me just ask you about -- about one of the groups that you talk about. a spokesman for the group, the tea party patriots, told the "new york times" this. talking about your group, by the way. quote, they are the classic top-down organization run by gop consultants and it is the antithesis of what the tea party is all about. do you think that's fair? >> no. there's a lot of, you know, supposed leaders of the tea party movement that are caught up in their own self-importance. the reality of it is, the movement is driven from the bottom up. in our organization, we are a political action committee. we don't have any cash reserves.
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we're limited to individual contributions. no corporations. we can't take more than $5,000 from anybody. so what we have to do is we have to go out to the people and our members and say, here's what we want to do. we want to support a great candidate in nevada like sharron angle. do you agree with this? if they agree with us, they'll send their doctors. our average contribution is about $63 a person. so we're really at the most democratic, i think, of all the tea party groups. >> sal russo, it's good to talk to you. thank you. >> thank you. we also have some more breaking news from capitol hill. and it is from the democratic caucus. which was informed by the leadership today that there will be no vote of any kind on the bush tax cut extensions. now, this, of course, has been one of the major debates in this campaign season. do you extend those tax cuts for everyone? is there the money to extend those tax cuts? if you don't extend them, does it hurt the economy? and that very sticky issue of do
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you extend them for the middle class but not for people making over $250,000 a year? luke russert is on top of this. he is going to be coming before the camera. we'll get to him right after this break. a decision made, apparently, that there will be no vote on the extension of those bush-era tax cuts until after the election. ♪ [ male announcer ] we touch a lot of things throughout the day. so it's nice that clorox disinfecting products help kill the germs that can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
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after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now, i can join the fun and games with my grandchildren. great news! for people with copd, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, advair helps significantly improve lung function. while nothing can reverse copd, advair is different from most other copd medications because it contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help you breathe better. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems.
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tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. i had fun today, grandpa. you and me both. if copd is still making it hard to breathe, ask your doctor if including advair will help improve your lung function for better breathing. get your first full prescription free and save on refills. 45 minutes past the hour. we're following breaking news off of capitol hill. nancy pelosi apparently telling a group of freshman lawmakers there will be no vote on extending the bush tax cuts. really interesting, luke russert, that this decision is being made. now luke russert, i know there are a number of democrats who thought they could really gain some political advantages by forcing the republicans to vote on this. what are you hearing? >> this is a really big deal, chris, because it shows the real division there was within the democratic party, that the leadership decided that doing nothing was the best course of
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action. earlier today, john boehner and the republicans offered a resolution to postpone the adjournment of the house, saying, look, we're not going to get out of here until we tackle this tax cut issue. 39 democrats joined republicans on that motion. it only passed 210-209. speaker pelosi had to cast the deciding vote in favor of it. amongst the democrats that wanted to explore the issue, it reads like a who's-who of vulnerable democrats. the guys who are really in trouble come this election wanted to have a chance to vote to extend the bush tax cuts for the highest earnings. there are a few that wanted to put republicans on the record as against -- as being against tax cuts for the middle class. so that being said, there is a lot of division within the caucus. the leadership decided the best thing to do was to punt. that being said, however, i spoke to one republican strategist today, chris, who said this is going to severely
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hurt a lot of democrats. everyone that voted to go along with this adjournment, of those 210, we're going to say you voted to raise taxes on every single american before the november midterms. that is going to sting a lot of vulnerable democrats that speaker pelosi counted on to get that thing through today. >> another big story today, we all remember when anthony wiener and peter king went at it over the 9/11 health bill. it passed. what does this mean? >> it passed. today, the bill, which is about $7.8 billion, which contains funds for those first responders who first came on that horrific day for all the health troubles they have encountered, over 36,000 people have had a hospital visit directly related to being there. what's interesting about this bill, chris, is there is a possibility that it was not going to pass today because there was worry that the gop would offer some port of
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poisoned pill amendment, that it would bar funds from going to undocumented workers who showed up on that day. the gop actually offered an amendment that had to do with health care. it had to do with tort reform, taking out the $100 million that joe lieberman got for a hospital or university in connecticut. so it does go forward. it now goes to the senate where it faces a real uphill climb, but the house will be able to go back to their constituents and say they were able to pass the 9/11 first responders bill. it's a victory for the new york delegation who was united in this. >> thanks, luke. life imitating art? james cameron vows to look into claims that a native people in alberta, canada, are being targntar targeted to get precious material from their land. we'll talk to the director live next. replant a forest?
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in james cameron's blockbuster move yes "avatar," outsiders attempt to exploit the resources of pandora. now, cameron is using his global fame to draw attention to what he says is a real-life threat to indigenous native indians in canada. he travelled to tar sands of alberta. air the jath size of england it is currently mined for crude oil but cameron says the mining produces toxic lagoons that leak contaminated water into the environment. the u.s. state department is currently considering whether to okay a 2,000-mile pipeline that would run from the tar sands in canada all the way to refineries in southern texas. james cameron, who of course won't academy award for best picture with "titanic" joins me live via skype from edmonton, alberta it is good to see you, i'm very curious about. this i know when you went, you said you were going to keep an open mind.
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i'm curious that at this point, what you've seen, what you think about this project. >> yeah, well i think i did keep an open mind and i did learn a lot. it didn't change my overall kind of framing opinions about tar sands and certainly about oil in general. but i certainly learned a lot of specifics and areas even quite hopeful that -- if the appropriate caution is taken with the way this resource is developed. i think that what, you know, i was certainly unaware of, i live in california is that you've got 142,000 square kilometer deposit, a fifth the size of the province of alberta, it is all mineable. so, this thing will have enormous, enormous impacts it is literally the second largest oil deposit behind saudi arabia, ranked above all the others, ven necessary wail will and everything else. there is a tremendous amount of, you know, capital and attention from the oil industry going into what's happening up here.
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>> and also, it helps you to understand why the government obviously can mean a lot of money for canada. >> sure. >> a lot of the members of this -- these indigenous people who say, look, we need jobs, this will bring jobs. so i think it's easy to see the positive side of it. what are your big concerns? >> i think the concerns are obvious. you have surface mining that has these enormous tailing ponds much the tailing ponds, you know, are not -- are designed to withhold toxins from leak nothing the environment, but there's fairly strong scientific evidence from a -- from the stud cuffs to dr. david shipped letter and other scientist i talked to when i was up here that the toxins, which are carcinogenic are getting into the water supply, getting into the watershed. some of it is probably airborne. some is coming directly out of the smokestacks of the refineries, you know what they call the upgrader facilities here. and, you know, right now, they are only at 2% of what can be developed here over the next
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several decades, store, is a gold rush of a scale that we haven't seen in north america since 1849. and, you know, i think it is time to put the brakes on and consider what the impacts are to the first nations community. they are the one on the ground affected by this the most, at least regionally, right around the development. >> and do you think that there is a happy medium that can be reached that live with those concerns, the environmental concerns but also vet real possibility there that this could be an economic gold mine for canada and for the people in that reegen? it will be an economic gold mine and i think that there's an opportunity here for all of north america to be weaned, to some extent, off of, you know, opec oil. so, that's why it makes me verier in rouse that the proper precautions, the -- you know, the proper staging of this are not going to be followed because, in a sense it is so great. everybody is going to want to
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stampede into this. we need more science. there are a lot of gray areas here. the reclamation process has not been proven out yet. it hasn't even been proving these tailing ponds can be reclaimed, can be turned back into, you know, arboreal forest and the new technologies that wouldn't have such a big surface footprint, which he they call sag d, which is a process where he they pump steam down, liquefy the tar underground and pump it up as, you know, pump it up to the surface, those show promise in keeping the footprint to a minimum at the surface, but they are very, very energy-intensive and have their own problems. that is a relatively new process. i just think we need to slow down and need to study this measure twice and cut once or the capacity for an ecological disaster here on an unprecedented scale is possible. >> i hope we have a chance to talk to you about this again. this is something that is going to be an ongoing question and concern and as we said, the u.s. is considering this as well.
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so james cameron it is good see and you thanks for taking the time. >> thanks. good to see you. >> that our show for this wednesday. i'm chris jansing. up next on the dillon cat rat began show, confessions of a lobbyists. dillon's washington insider guides us down the special interest money trail. [ female announcer ] it can creep up on you. dry skin.
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