tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 8, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
a lot of fear over another recession. we'll continue this conversation tomorrow. and look, we're all also looking for the fed tomorrow. ben bernanke, 2:15 eastern, we'll have to see what he said. wolf blitzer "the situation room" starts now. this hour, the financial nightmare moving forward, your investments that are hemorrhaging money right now. president obama is taking new shots at the downgrade and at the rating agency, standard & poor's. and we're taking a hard look at questions on s&p's credibility. plus 12 million people at risk of starving to death. andersson cooper joining us from
the frontline of the famine in and around somalia, exposing the horrors and how the world can help. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." a disastrous day on wall street. many investors' worst fears realized in the first trading session since the downgrade of america's credit rating. the dow jones industrials closed down 634 points. falling below 11,000 in one of the biggest losses on any day of all time. the dow's losing streak is s getti getting worse. it's lost almost 15% of its value. all three major indices today, way, way down. take a look at the s&p 500, a strong indicator of what's happening to your retirement savings. it lost 6.35% today of its value and is down almost 18% from its high point in april, all told,
the impact on all of our investments is enormous. in the range of more than $2 trillion lost in equity since late july, $1 trillion in equity lost today. your portfolios, your 401(k)s, kbrour your iras, $1 trillion less than at the start of the day. richard, is there a simple answer to what has happened, why this market simply collapsed today? >> fear basically about what's happening. there's never a single reason on an average monday in august, the market falls out of bed. but if you look at the markets. bank of america is being sued
20%. but interestingly, the smallest losses were from those defensive stocks. those noncyclicals, proctor & gamble, coca-cola, johnson & johnson. you have a financial system that's deeply unhappy in politics. and today was the day they decided to head for the door. >> is it just the s&p downgrading america's credit rating? or are we seeing something much bigger at play today? >> today was the upside down pineapple cake of economic reason. the thing that was supposed to happen as a result of the downgrade of the united states was that interest rates were supposed to go up. interest rates as determined by treasury bonds. the ten-year note, upon which our mortgages are based went up in value, which meant the interest rate went down. the united states pays less to
borrow money today than it did on friday before we were downgraded. you should have send the response in bond markets. you didn't at all. they took the s&p thing in stride. stock investors who are less affected by this clearly didn't. they are jittery. i don't want to offend richard, but it's people who speak with his accent and others, but it's europeans that got us skiddish last week. this is just a continuation of not knowing where to go. take the blame for this. >> you're right to some point, but you're wrong on the main point. the reason the bond marks continued to fall on the yield, of course, they're dill still the most liquid market. but they know interest rates are not going up anytime soon. the u.s. economy is slowing down and that is why -- >> and nobody wants to buy european bonds. so what happened is people,
wolf, decided that, you know what, european stock markets, american stock markets, commodities, oil. no. they said no to everything except u.s. bonds, gold and silver. so people went to the safest investments. again, i point out. i'm using richard to make the example. if europe wasn't in the mess that it was in right now, people would realize that the american debt mess is not like the european debt mess which is a real structural problem that is very difficult to solve. the u.s. debt mess is just a matter of politics and discipline. it can actually be solved in 24 hours if we wanted to solve it. we could come up with a plan. so europe is dodgy and americans are nervous. is that fair, richard? >> ali's mathematics is almost as poor as s&p on the $2 trillion mistake. there is an element that u.s.
markets are the largest most liquid in the world. but gold rose as well. equities because of what's happening in u.s. jobs and what's happening in the political process. and yes, that is going to transmit itself throughout all markets eventually. ali is putting a favorable, rosey scenario on an unfavorable picture. >> what's going to be done in the short term to turn the situation around? i reported that $2 trillion in equity over the past two weeks has simply gone away. >> yeah. the thing that could have been done, and we speak it frequently. republican and democrat and the administration and the treasury instead of writing press releases and s&p for downgrading america's debt got together and
held a press conference and said we get it. this is a mess. we telegraphed a message that we're disorganized and undisciplined and we're prepared to hold paying our bills hostage to our politics. all you are greeted with in the world today is confusion about why this downgrade was done. whether the math was right on it. if you can make sense of this, you should be in the markets. >> stand by. no two reporters better than you when it comes to this kind of story. we'll get back to you ali, richard. two hours or so before the markets closed on wall street, president obama tried to reassure investors and the nations, indeed the world while taking a shot at the decision to downgrade america's credit
rating. >> markets will rise and fall, but this is the united states of america. we always have been and always will be a aaa country. . >> dan lothian is standing by. this is an added event to the president's schedule. he sought to reassure investors, i'm sure. twhen he started peek, the dow was down about 400. at the end of the day, it was down more than 600. >> that's right. this is the first downgrade, he's trying to point out to members of congress, this is an opportunity for them to tackle the issue of the deficit and debt in a significant way. but nonetheless, the confidence of a lot of americans have still been shaken yet again.
>> the stock market was deep in the red when president obama walked in the state dining room toll reassure americans that america still remains a aaa country. >> what sets us aparkt we've not only had the capacity, but also the will to act, the determination to shape our future. >> but the republican national committee, which is raising doubts about the president's economic team to turn things around called on mr. obama to relieve treasury secretary timothy geithner immediately. but geithner over the weekend made it known he was staying put at the president's request. with so much uncertainty surrounding the u.s. economy, there's added urgency to the work of the yet to be selected super committee. even president obama made news indicating he'll be weighing in. >> i intend to present my own recommendations over the coming weeks on how we should proceed. >> reporter: the bipartisan
group of lawmakers will be charged with finding up to $1.5 trillion in savings. the s&p downgrade may push that number higher. >> the recommendation that the president plans to lay out would essentially be the grand bargain with some tweaks? >> what we do not lack is policy ideas or plans. including -- in terms of very clear consensus on the measures we can take to address the long-term drivers of our debt. >> speaker john boehner who often has harsh words for the president said he welcomed the news that the president will be making these recommendations, but still, wolf, one of the big issues is revenue. we heard from majority leer cantor who sent a statement out saying he blooes that the whole issue of revenue should not be on the table. so still some divide even as the market slides and the u.s. economy continues to be under immense pressure. >> as you know, the president did say he would support some modest modifications in medicare
spending, which is not going to be pleasant for liberals and for those on the left in the democratic party to be hearing about. >> that's right. liberals have made it very clear that that's not something they want to get. on the other side, you have conservative republicans saying they don't want any of this revenue on the table so far. in order to get this fixed there has to be some sort of bipartisan effort. so he's calling on these lawmakers once they return from their vacations back in washington to make some significant gains in these areas. it will be interesting to see if that s&p edowngrade is the. you shall that they need. >> dan lothian at the white house. also, we're following the brutal riots in london. the city, at least parts of it right now in flames. stand by for the latest on the unrest and what's behind it. and a trickle finally getting through to famine-stricken somalia.
jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." >> i guess we ought to all send congress thank you notes. don't know where to send them, though. they're on vacation for five weeks. before they pushed through that phony bill on deficit reduction and the debt ceiling, they were told by the ratings agencies a minimum of $4 trillion in cuts would be necessary to preserve this country's aaa credit rating. they passed and the president signed less than $1 trillion in cuts. oh, and we may or may not get an additional $1 trillion or so from the special commission, but that remains to be seen. don't hold your breath. whatever, even if we get that, it's still not nearly enough. meanwhile, the president is celebrating hi birthday and congress is partying it up on vacation. the country has lost its aaa credit rating for the first time in its history. standard & poor's says there's a 1 in 3 chance the united states credit will be downgraded again in the next six months to two
years if the government doesn't come up with the cuts necessary to satisfy the current aa plus rating. meanwhile, the rest of the world is in shock. markets around the world, selling off trillions of dollars of valuation being wiped out. our stock market is headed straight south and our citizens are watching as their savings and retirement plans are becoming worthless andless by the hour. a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice disappearing right before their eyes and the president parties and congress is on the vacation. no one deserves a government that treats its people this way. no one. and none of these people deserves to be re-elected, not a single one of them. sadly, though, they will be. the reids, pelosis, boehners and mcconnells will be there along with many of the pres of the incumbents and that, you see, is the real problem. the country is being destroyed and we continue to send the destroyers back in washington.
i guess in the end, we get what we deserve, don't we? here's the question -- what will it take to change things in washington, d.c.? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. i wonder if the rich people would have rather had a small tax increase compared to what's happening to their portfolios these days. >> since july 22, equity 234 u.s. stock portfolios, the 401(k)s, iras, $2.9 trillion disappeared since july 22. $2.9 trillion. just gone. your portfolio, mine. everybody's. >> what did the government expect was going to happen if they flew in the face of a warning from the rating agencies, if you don't get your spending under control, we're going to downgrade your credit rating. did they think that wasn't going to happen? i mean, they told us up front, either do this or you're going to be downgraded. now we've been downgraded and people are being wiped out. and congress is on vacation and the president is having a birthday party.
ain't that grand? >> the only good news today -- you know what the only good news today, jack? you and i and "the situation room" team is celebrating our sixth anniversary here in "the situation room." that's the only good news in the day. >> i remember the first day we started this and it was even money whether we were going to see the end of the first week. >> august 8. thanks very much. you've been a key player. standard & poor's is dend fending their decision to dun grade u.s. credit. a lot of second guessing, mary, what are you finding out? >> that second guessing is coming from all sides. critics are questioning standard & poor's authority following its track record leading into the
2008 credit crisis. >> the last time standard & poor's, moody and fitch were questioned were when they were slammed for the ratings of mortgages. 5 standard & poor's also gave lehman brothers an a rating before its collapse. the federal government challenged its calculations. >> look, s&p's track record has been terrible. and as we've seen this weekend, its arithmetic is worse. >> standard & poor would have forfeited its good reputation if it had a good reputation to forfeit. it missed the entire mortgage-backed security problem right under its nose. >> s&p is on the defense. >> george will and everybody else who has an issue with our ratings should take some time to actually look at the track record of our government
ratings, particularly our ratings on national government, the group that i head. >> nyu economy professor lawrence white who's been critical of the agency says s&p has been slow in downgrading countries like greece, but he finds the country ratings yenly on target. >> the reputation issue is really a two-piece issue. there's the mortgage-related security where is they clearly messed up, but there's this other area where their reputations are still intact. >> reporter: s&p has been looking for the $4 trillion in debt deal, far more than the $2 trillion agreed in the next ten years. the president of the nonpartisan committee for a responsible federal budget said despite its checkered past, the agency confirmed what was already known. >> if we stop looking at the credit agencies, whether they're sort of on target with every call they make or not and start looking at our own fiscal situation, it's tough to deny that we're not on a sustainable
path and this downgrade makes a lot of sense, i'm afraid. >> reporter: and following the s&p's downgrade of u.s. government debt, moody's came out to confirm the country's aaa rating. fitch is still doing a review, but all three warned the u.s. wolf? >> much more on this story coming up. also, london in flames as vicious riots enter a third day. just ahead, the escalating fury over a fatal shooting. plus, it's the end of an era on capitol hill. up next, why the historic page program is now coming to an end. [ male announcer ] this...is the network --
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a new casualty in the unprecedented downgrade of the country's prized aaa credit rating. is your home mortgage loan now at risk? also the escalating war of words. why some candidates now say it's time to, quote, downgrade president obama. and a city plunged into darkness. ahead, the crippling new effects of the war against gadhafi is having on libyan civilians. you're in "the situation room." but first this -- a relief agency has now air lifted emergency aid into mogadishu. that's where 100,000 starving somalis are desperate for food and water in a devastating fami famine.
how bad is it? >> there's fam anyone in southern somalia. and the fear is with no rain to come, that famine is going to spread. this territory control by al shaba shabaab, an islamic terrorist group, so says the united states. >> i think we just lost our connection, unfortunately. we're going to try to reconnect. let me just give you this programming note while we await so reconnect with anderson. "anderson 3606" has a new time tonight. live at 8:00. dr. sanjay gupta will be reporting live tonight from the region's devastating famine. it's a new time, 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. if you want to help with the crisis in the region, go to
cnn.com/impact for more information. we're going to try to reconnect with anderson and get some more. obviously technical difficulties are totally understandable given what's going on in kenya and neighboring somalia. but anderson, sanjay, our whole team will report live starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern tonight. meanwhile, the british prime minister david cameron is heading his vacation short and heading back to london. some of the other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on in london, lisa? >> part of that city is now in flames and police have been clashing with gangs of youths. looting and smashing store windows. recent violence was prompted by a fatal shooting of a black man on thursday after his cab was pulled over by police. authorities won't say who shot him or why he was stopped. is 45,000 verizon workers are
hitting the picket lines. the mas strike s strike is the r the telecommunications giant since 2000. they've been in talks but couldn't reach an agreement before the contract expired on saturday. striking workers include technicians and customer support employees servicing homes and businesses across the northeast. and tropical storm is battling korea. it killed four people in seoul, south korea and left others missing. in china, hundreds of thousands were evacuated but no fatalities have been reported there. a new study published in the "journal of american cancer society" now show smokers who light up within an hour of waking up have an increased risk
of lung, head and neck cancer. the historic house page program is coming to an end. republican house speaker john boehner and democratic minority leader nancy pelosi issued a statement today citing advances in technology and the high cost as the reasons for cutting the student program. house pages, you know, they have aided members of congress in a number of roles on capitol hill for years. a shootdown of a helicopter in afghanistan, questions are emerging act the chopper and weapons used in the attack. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
anderson, you were telling us what's going on. millions of people are endangered. potentially they could die of starvation. what's going on? >> well, right now in northern kenya, you have about 400,000 somalis who have populated what's become the world's largest refugee camp. you can actually see it from space. i think we have an image of that for you. there's also about 100,000 or so in yemen and another 100,000 in ethiopia. it is a very complex situation. it is a drought here, the worst drought in 60 years.
there's a lot of moving parts to this, but the bottom line is some 29,000 children have died say relief workers in the last three months. 29,000 children under the age of 5 have died from malnutrition. and the fear is that many more may day in the weeks and months ahead. >> so you're in kenya right now. not far from somalia, but you're headed towards mogadishu. this is the first time that people can really get in there, given the collapse of the rebels taking over control. how dangerous is that environment, though, andersson. a lot of viewers want to know if you're going to be in any serious danger over there. >> i'm honestly not too sure. the transitional government is saying that al shabaab has left the city. we had planned to go there even
when they hadn't left the city. we'll see. we're obviously taking a lot of precautions, but we think it's an important story. not a lot of people have been in mogadishu reporting. again, there are acute food shortages in mogadishu as well as all throughout southern somalia. we'll be reporting on that tonight and tomorrow as well. >> and dr. jill biden, the wife of the vice president is there with a delegation where you are, right? haven't they just gotten there? or are they on their way? >> well, they arrived today. they were here for about an hour or so. they also came with dr. frist, former senator bill frist and jill biden were here. kind of a fact-finding mission. they talked to a number of refugees. they talked to relief workers here. they tried to assess the needs of the people here. we did an interview with jill biden and with dr. frist. that will be on 360 tonight. >> we'll be watching, anderssan.
be careful over there. we're learning more about the down of course a helicopter in afghanistan. 30 u.s. troops that were killed, their remains are being flown to dover air force base in delaware right now. should arrive sometimes tomorrow. military officials are opening up a bit about what happened aren't they, barbara? >> there have been hundreds of shoot doups of military helicopters. this one, sadly, there have been losses. this is, however, a catastrophe for u.s. operation forces and officials are finally telling us more about exactly what happened. aaron carson vaughn, matt mills, john brown, kevin houston, michael strange. just five of the 30 u.s. troops killed in the taliban shootdown
of the chinook helicopter. >> their loss is a reminder of the risks these men and women take every day on behalf of our country. day after day, night after night, they carry out missions like this in the midst of enemy driver and fallen danger. >> 22 were navy s.e.a.l.s, the same team that took out osama bin laden. mccraven spoke as he began a new job on monday as head of all special operation forces. >> our thoughts and praiseyers with you. we will never forget the sacrifice nor the ultimate price your loved ones paid. >> it happened in eastern afghanistan in the wardak province. the s.e.a.l.s had been called in to help military caught in fire. the rangers saw a
rocket-propelled grenade hit the chopper according to a senior military official. military sources tell cnn investigators will look at several key questions, including, is there reason to believe the taliban have any advanced shoulder-fired weapons now. was the helicopter equipped with all the necessary equipment to avoid a shootdown? were there other armed helicopters nearby? could they have fired at taliban forces on the ground? several u.s. military officials tell cnn at this point, they do not believe the taliban knew the helicopter was carrying members of the same unit that killed osama bin laden. as you say, the remains of the fallen will be returned to dover air force base sometime tomorrow. difficult to say this very precisely, but we must. we are told by the u.s. military the remains are in such poor shape due to the catastrophic nature of this incident, they
cannot yet be identified. they will do that at dover. but because they cannot be sure which remains are in which casket, there will be no media coverage of the event, we are told, and that is something that's not likely to change. the pentagon is holding firm to that now, wolf. >> all right, barbara star working the story for us. president obama feeling the heat across the political spectrum in the wake of an unprecedented credit downgrade. why some are accusing him of being afraid of conflict. and rick perry for president in 2012? ahead, new shines he could be about to jump into the ring. [ man ] behind every business is a "what if."
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contributors, the democratic strategist paul begala and mary matlin. paul is a senior strategy for priorities usa and priorities usa action. guy, thanks very much for coming in. i'm going to throw this out to you and then mary will respond. you probably saw that article of the new york times yesterday by drew weston of emory university. an article of what happened to obama. he's very krcritical of the president from the left, because he ses from the left, for not really standing up to the republicans. he prefers to dr. martin luther king jr.'s arc of history comment. he writes this, with his deep-seeded aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics in which conciliation is always the wrong force of action, he, referring to the president, has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward at least for a
generation. now, that's criticism of the president's style coming from the left, not the right. is that fair criticism? >> i like and admire his book "the political brine" one of the best books i've ever read about communicating. but yes, i think it's a little overdrawn to say the least. i think it's a little unfair. you hear this a lot from liberals right now. it's a political problem the president has. but i think it's very curable. it was just a few weeks ago that he showed the kind of bold ngs and courage on national security policy and improving the raid that killed osama bin laden. i think a lot of liberals are seeing let's see that same kind of boldness here. these moments of strength come and we don't know when for every president. george w. bush standing on that rubble pile when mary matlin was working for him. my old boss telling newt gingrich if you want somebody else to cut medicare as much as you want to, you have to find someone else to sit behind that
desk. ronald reagan firing the air traffic controller whence they went on strike in contravention of the law. i think this president's moments will come, but you can't force him. i don't think anyone wanted to allow the tea party republicans to push us into default. he had no option but to conciliate on that deal. >> did he stand up to the bullies appropriately, mary? >> listen, this president does not have a personality problem. he has a policy problem. if he is going to blame or liberals want to blame the president's problems on a minority in the minority, this is what they do, they demonize these tea partiers as the reasons that we're in the economic calamity we are. we have a debt ratio problem, a jobs problem. they're connected. both of these crises have been -- the president's policies have made both of these
problems, it's not bullying, it's not psychobabble, it's the political will to fix what's plaguing now all the countries around the world. they don't have personality problems with their leadership. they all have the same debt tot gdp ratio problems. they have aging populations and flagging economies being pulled down by these bloated welfare states. that's the problem. the president's issue is not his personality, but his political will to do what every economist and common sense dictates. which is to correct that debt and fix those entitlements. >> let me move on to one of your fellow texans. we're talking about rick perry. now word he's going to announce basically on saturday the same day as the iowa straw poll that he's going to runl for president of the united states. what do you think about the
timing of this announcement. he's not going to flatly say he's running but for all practical purposes, he'll be fronting. >> it seems to be a testament to the front-runner, mitt romney. they always elect the oldest white guy, and that's mitt. but he seems weak. governor perry could be an exceptionally powerful opponent for mitt romney and the rest of that field. everyone who thought george bush was too cerebral for them. he was remarkably dumb. but he's a great debater. he's a great speaker. he can rally the base of the republican party as well. if i were plit rmitt romney, i be quaking in my guccis right now. >> he's going to announce his intentions in south carolina. i wonder why in south carolina
but that's where he's going to be doing it. >> the oldest white guy running is ron paul from texas. not necessarily mitt romney. >> good point. >> rick perry, does he immediately emerge as one of the front-runner, do you think? >> well, before i said anything, we're pretty old white people here, wolf. happy anniversary. we've known each other for over 26 years. blags congratulations on all your good work. >> conservatives are serious. we want an electable candidate in the general election, but one that's unquestionably conservative. a fiscal conservative, a social conservative. 4 rick perry has a great jobs records and he's creating jobs and keeping debt low without raising taxes. removing the impediments to job creation. so yeah, he's going to be a significant -- it's going to
open this race wide open when he gets in. >> i'm anxious to see if he'll be in our cnn republican presidential debate on december 12 in tampa, florida. guys thanks very much for joining us. >> wolf, i wanted to add what mary said. six years ago you took on this show and you've seen us through three house speakers, two majority leaders an two preside presidents. >> you're in "the situation room." stand by for more breaking news here in "the situation room. massive stock selloff in this, the first trading session since the u.s. credit rating was downgraded. i'll speak with erin burnett. how much worse could it get? and the spiral of violence and death in syria. a surprising new condemnation of the government in damascus. we'll tell you what's going on. [ male announcer ] members of the american postal workers union
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today from the arab world, the blocky crackdown in syria. saudi arabia, kuwait, and bahrain all say they are recalling their ambassadors from damascus. this is something even the united states government has not yet done. this is as we get word from inside of syria on yet more deadly violence. the regime is restricting journalist access as you know to the country. let's bring in arwood damon, trying to follow what's going on in nearby brute. almost every time we speak, we can say it's going from bad to worse.
>> that's right. and it seems like the syrian military is not only intensifying its crackdown, but it is widening it, despite all of this international condemnation. and now what we are hearing from some arab leaders as well. on sunday morning, troops entered an eastern city. residents again reporting indiscriminant tank shelling, arrests appearing to happen at random, snipers stationed on rooftops. people being prevented from accessing hospitals. and in hamma, the city we have been talking about for over a week now, the siege there continues. and there's been some disturbing video posted to youtube. we do have to warn our viewers they might want to turn away at this point. but it's showing how residents are being forced to turn their garden into graveyards. in this video, you see these makeshift grave stones crudely etched with the names of just some of the victims of the regime's brutal way of handling
these demonstrations. you see a number of bodies also being buried there. and so the image that continues to emerge from syria is one of just growing and spreading brutality by this regime. >> and the latest estimates, human rights activists in syria, outside, they believe more than 2,000 people have now died in all of this violence. is that right? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. that's the latest that we are getting. bearing in mind, though, that the estimates for hama where the siege began as i was saying over a week ago are not entirely accurate. quite simply because communications into those two areas has been extremely difficult. and so many activists fear that in those two areas alone, the death toll could be much higher that's what's predicted. and all things are pointing to what would seem to be one fact, and that this is a regime that is increasingly turning its back
on reforms and seems to be more intent on using brute force to try to silence these voices of dissent. analysts say it's desperate actions against a regime that has never been challenged before, one that appears that it is going to ignore even the arab leadership as long as it's confident that it still has an ally in iran. so it's going to be interesting to see how the government reacts in the coming days, and especially what sort of statement, if any, comes out of iran, wolf. >> it's interesting. the three arab countries recalling their ambassadors from ambassador. arwa, thank you so much. saudi arabia, kuwait, and bahrain. the latest on just how much worse potentially the stock market could get. and two critical mortgage giants the latest casualty of the credit downgrade. could your home loan now be at risk? ts of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all.
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my money. my choice. my meineke. snooimp jack is back. >> i got a lot of mail on this. people get it. what will it take to change things in washington, d.c. brian says change washington? sorry. but barring divine intervention, i'm not optimistic at all. we want it all but want the other guy to pay for it. ins to good old-fashioned greed, what we've got here is a failure to communicate, which is a line from "cool hand luke." tommy writes the root of the problem gerrymandered congressional districts. too many congressmen live in districts where their biggest worry isn't from the other party's candidate but instead of getting primaried by someone from their own party. thus, congressmen have no incentive to move to the center and compromise. instead they move to the left or right extremes to protect
themselves from a primary candidate from their own party. jim writes, with the broken government, obama needs to abandon compromise and override an inept congress. if harry truman can obliterate 100,000 innocent japanese surely obama could ruffle some conservative feathers. game on. and from michigan, the only change agent in washington is the tea party. as long as we keep voting for big government spenda holiks like george w. bush, obama, pelosi, reid, and boehner we will keep getting a disastrous credit rating. zev, operation clean slate. let's replace every member in congress. use the primaries to oust the incumbent. then vote democrat or republican but at least the incumbent won't win. and the mother of all enemas. the far right and far left need to move to the far side of the planet so those of us in the middle can make a permanent fix.
to read more, go to my blog, or through our post on the situation room's facebook page. do you know where that is, wolf? >> of course. everybody does. jack, thank you. >> all right. and to our viewers, you're in "the situation room" happening now. wall street's worst day since the 2008 meltdown. after the u.s. suffers a credit downgrade, the bottom falls out on the dow. it's down 634 points today. paper losses for investors on this day alone, $1 trillion. with the market downturn, the 2012 republican candidates step up the blame game over america's creddet down grade. president obama makes some charges of his own. and misery in the horn of a africa. hundreds of thousands in the grips of famine. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news, political
headlines and jeanne moos, all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. and you're in "the situation room." a sickening plunge on wall street as the dow drops 634 points, that's 5 1/2% loss. the s&p fell 6.5%, and the dazz knack 7%. the loss to investors at least on paper, $2.9 trillion since july 22. almost $3 trillion of lost equity. the s&p is now down nearly 18% from its april high. the dow is down more than 1800 points or about 15% in the last 11 trading days. fears of a global economic slowdown sparked frenzied selling around the world, but the downgrade of the u.s. credit rating by the rating agency standard & poor's seemed to stun america's investors. that downgrade cutting the u.s.
rating to aa plus came after friday's market close, allowing plenty of time over the weekend for fear to build up. president obama came out today, and he tried to offer some reassurance saying the country's economic problems are solvable. >> markets will rise and fall, but this is the united states of america. no matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a aaa country. >> let's bring in erin burnett in new york. you have been speaking to a lot of analysts out there. what's the best reasoning why this happened today? >> well, you know, wolf, a lot of people expected this. you know, we talked a lot about it. s&p has been talking about a potential downgrade for months, and it was the right thing to do to go ahead and give the downgrade. it was much more symbolic. it was sort of what i would say, an emperor has no clothes moment. we're still the emmorer, but all of a sudden, someone said the truth.
you don't have any clothes on and you don't look good when you look in the mirror. and i know that makes you chuckle, but that's what this is. we have a debt problem, and now we have to face it. that's one thing. just the harsh reality of the situation hitting us in the face. and it also reminded investors that the downgrade and the outlook for america's debt situation comes on top of a weakening economic situation. and that is the most important thing. obviously, you have worries around the world with places like greece and spain and italy and japan and you name it. you put all of that together, and this was sort of the cherry on the top. and an emperor has no clothes moment. that's why you saw the big selloff today. >> how much worse is it possibly going to get? >> i wish i knew the answer, wolf. but it could get worse. you remember those sickening moments in the fall of 2008 when we had these in a couple of hours several hundred-point swings. and of course we had the flash crash just over a year ago. we could go down further. pretty much everybody that i have spoken to, the big investors out there, think that
the market has sold off too far, too fast. that doesn't mean that they are going to jump in and start buying immediately. you're not going to get all of this back quickly. but you may stabilize a little bit. and it often is the difficulty for the little investor is the regular guy usually sells when things are at their worst. so this may not be the best time to sell, and that does not mean you should jump in and buy with two feet, though. >> and what's probably going to make matters worse is the political blame game that we see going on here in washington. the right blaming the left, the left blaming the right. that's not going to necessarily reassure a lot of jittery investors out there. >> no. and that's a big part of the problem. s&p called it out fairly. this is the frustration everybody feels, is that washington isn't getting anything done, wolf, and they certainly have shown a complete inability to deal with the debt problem in this country. both sides of the aisle have been completely unable to make the tough decisions. and i think that's a frustration we all share and investors around the world share. you've got congress, maybe they
should come back. the people would say, no, don't have them come back. what will they really accomplish. but something needs to happen to show that the united states is the leader that the world is looking for. and that perhaps wolf could come from the fed tomorrow. ben bernanke, one of the most respected people in the world, a voice of calm, a voice of reason, is going to come out and talk about interest rates, and there are several things he could do tomorrow afternoon that could really provide some calm and leadership in the markets around the world. they really can only get that leadership from one place, and that's right here in the u.s. >> that's what need, a little calm and leadership on this issue. i guess what a lot of people are afraid of is another double dip recession happening, erin. how close are we to a double dip recession? >> it's tough, wolf, because i know you have talked a lot about, a lot of is semantics. technically, we have been out of the recession for a couple of years. obviously, for most americans with their home prices off more than 30% from the highs, and unemployment the way it is, a
lot of people would say it's ridiculous to say we ever came out of the recession. technically we did, but the numbers have been getting weak. the first two quarters of this year, january through june, the growth numbers were abysmal. we were only growing at.4 of a percent this year. and you had consumer spending coming in with a cut, a drop, for the first time in two years in june. those numbers are not good. but when you look at the wall street projections, even though they have all cut their expectations for growth in the economy for the rest of the year, they all describe the july jobs report we just got as solid, wolf, and they don't think we're going to see a double dip. but i would say if you don't get this leadership right now, you aren't going to get companies investing, people making decisions for those big ticket items, and this whole psychology moment that we're in right now could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. >> good point, erin. thanks very much. we'll check back with you. we saw today how the downgrade of the u.s. debt hit the stock market. that's a serious blow to the retirement accounts of many
americans. but now s&p is downgraded the government mortgage brokers as well, fannie mae and freddie mac. to find out what that means for you, we asked our own lisa sylvester to take a look for you. these aren't just numbers we're talking about, these are people's lives and their portfolios. the way they can put food on the table, if you would. >> and their homes are included in that list. in the short-term today, we saw interest rates went down. but over the next few weeks and months, there is a very good chance the downgrade of fannie mae and freddie mac will mean that if you are shopping for a new house, it is going to cost you more. there's a good chance that your mortgage loan is either owned or backed by either fannie mae or freddie mac. these private companies that receive private funding own or guarantee half of all mortgage loans in the united states. that's some 31 million homes. s&p downgraded fannie mae and freddie mac from aaa to aa plus.
in a statement, s&p said the downgrades reflect their direct reliance on the u.s. government. >> things have been -- >> reporter: lawrence is with the national association of realtors. what impact will this downgrade have? >> well, certainly the downgrade can have a negative impact in terms of rising mortgage rates, and also you can damage consumer confidence. many people who are ready to enter the housing market may now become more hesitant about entering. >> reporter: interest rates have been at historic lows, but the downgrade could over time reverse that trend. if that happened, families with adjustable rate mortgages ready to reset would have to pay more for their homes. another worry is that the downgrade could lead to a further tightening of credit standards. >> that makes it hard to get a loan, even though the rate may be very low. it's hard to get the loan at all. and that retards the recovery. >> reporter: but so far, bond investors have not been panicking. in fact, interest rates were down for the day as investors fled stocks. and looked for a safe place to
park cash. >> interestingly, what's happening today after the announcement of a downgrade is that interest rates are actually lower, which is quite surprising that the global bond investors feel comfortable even with the downgrade to hold onto u.s. government debt or fannie mae and freddie mac debt. >> reporter: but that could change at any time. freddie may and fanacand -- >> that could spark more jittery reaction on wall street, if you see states like maryland or virginia. some of the other states whose own credit ratings is tied to the u.s. government, that could have an effect. >> we are keeping a close eye, because that anoupsment could come at any time. it was something that standard & poor's said they would keep an eye on them and have them on a watch. so now we are waiting to see if
they act on that, wolf. >> you'll stay on top of this for us. by the way, if you want to read my blog, go to cnn.com/situationroom. i write about this horrendous day on wall street, cnn.com/situation -- cnn.com/situationroom.com. the horn of africa in the grip of famine. 100,000 starving people desperate for food and water. our own dr. sunjay goopta is at a camp for refugees. and the fallen s.e.a.l.s. they were warriors on the battlefield. beloved sons, husband said and fathers on the home frond. the eagle flies at dawn. the monkey eats custard. price-line ne-go-ti-a-tor.
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as president might have been downgraded right along with the country's credit rating. we have an unemployment rate stubbornly above 9%. the stock market is in the toilet, down 630 points today, 513 points last thursday. trillions of dollars evaporating from people's portfolios. we had the historic downgrade in our credit rating, the first time ever in u.s. history that it's happened. and it happened on president obama's watch. that's not good. there's also a possibility of a further downgrade if we don't straighten out our debt situation. and that's doubtful after washington's charades that passed for negotiations on the debt ceiling. economic growth under 2% and slowing, with many worried that we could be headed for a double dip recession. home values worth 1/3 less than they were five years ago. only 58% of working age americans are actually in the labor force. that's the lowest in almost 30 years. consumer confidence of two-year loans show majorities disapprove
of president obama's handling of the economy. all this of course not lost on the republican candidates for president. they have already linked president obama to the s&p credit downgrade, and the weak economy. and you can believe that they will ramp up their criticism as the election gets closer. perhaps the only thing working in president obama's favor is he's got some time. with the election still more than a year away, that's a lifetime of politics. but suffice is to say if the election was held today, he would be back organizing communities. if the president is going to turn this thing around, he better get started on it. americans that are out of who, and watching their life savings evaporated probably don't have much patience left. so here is the question. is the economy killing president obama's chances of a second term? we go to cnn.com/caffertyfile to comment on my blog. he's got some real problems going into a campaign next year, wolf. >> he does. as you point out, he still has more than a year to go, and that
is a lifetime. >> and that republican bench is liable to do something stupid between now and then too. >> once there's a republican nominee, it changes the scenario. >> absolutely. >> president obama says that 30 u.s. troops that lost their lives when that military helicopter was shot down in afghanistan this weekend represent the best of america. 22 were navy s.e.a.l.s from that same unit that carried out the raid that killed osama bin laden. and we're learning much more about these warriors on the battlefield. they are husbands, they are fathers, they are sons at home. let's go to cnn's report now. he is on virginia beach where many of the s.e.a.l.s were based with their families. what's going on there today, brian? >> reporter: more grieving, wolf. a town really reeling from this news over the weekend. while they were alive on and on their missions, we could never learn who they were and what they were doing. but now we are getting an
extraordinary window into their lives back home. we have that rarest of opportunities now to see them not as nameless, faceless, fearless warriors, but as friends, fathers, husbands. and kimberly vaughn is giving us even more. a glimpse into her last conversation with her husband aaron just hours before he and 21 other navy s.e.a.l.s were killed in a helicopter crash in afghanistan. she says aaron reached her and their young children on the phone as they were driving. >> so he got to talk to me and talk to my son in the back seat. it was actually a great conversation. probably just about time before he went out to work that night. but we got to tell each other we loved each other. so it was a great conversation to have. >> reporter: kimberly says aaron was eager to get back into combat and return to afghanistan just three weeks after their daughter, chamberlin, was born. over the past year and a half, three navy s.e.a.l.s who worshipped at this church were killed in action, including two in the latest incident. here and elsewhere in the community, the picture that we're getting of these men is
that on the one hand, they possessed have extraordinary va. on the other hand, they just like us. >> the commitment they put into this country while we're out doing the simplest things in life, they are doing incredible tasks that many of us don't -- i mean, may not care to know about, but they're doing it. and for them to just know them on a personal level too, and to see the sacrifice their family is making. and just further sacrifice just hurts us all and shocks us all. >> reporter: whether it's craig viccers remembered as a hulking football player from hawaii, or this kid from philly, we are now seeing superheroes as humans. talk about the pride in the community in virginia beach in these guys. >> they were soccer coaches, swim team coaches, volunteers all across the city. you don't even know what they do. and that's by design. >> reporter: and as we see the
flags here in virginia beach at half-staff, we're told that people here really won't be able to mourn the s.e.a.l.s in a public way. the mayor says that because these were men in such highly secretive units, the city can't hold any public memorials for them. those services, he says, will be held on their bases. wolf? >> brian, we're getting new information on the return of the bodies to the united states. what are you learning? >> reporter: that's right. we're told by military officials that the bodies of all 38 american and afghan service members who were killed in that crash took off from afghanistan a short time ago. they should be arriving at dover air force base sometime on tuesday. now the reason that the afghan remains have to be brought back to dover along with the american remains is because the nature of the crash was so catastrophic that they have to be able to identify all of the remains. they are going to try to do that at dover. once the remains are all identified, then the afghan remains will be returned home. >> brian todd, thank you for that report. brian working the story in virginia beach, virginia.
the dow plummeted today. standard & poor's says that the u.s. could get its aaa credit rating back on condition, if capitol hill can come together without all of the partisan infighting that we've been seeing. is that really possible, though? we're taking a look at the bigger picture. and on the frontlines of america's famine. sanjay gupta will take us to a tent camp, desperate refuge for hundreds of thousands of starving families. stay with us. you're in "the situation."
this comes amid a political blame game over the u.s. credit downgrade and the stock market downturn. now the republican presidential candidates are playing to win. let's bring in joe johns, looking at the escalating war of words. and it really is heating up. >> it is, wolf. the republican presidential candidates are doing what presidential candidates do. if you were expecting some change in politics as a result of the downgrade, it frankly has not happened, at least not yet. on the campaign trail, republican reactions to the downgrade were just about as predictable as the downgrade was itself. >> during the last 2 1/2 years, this president is primarily responsible for the failure of this economy to reignite, and for his own failure to take the action which is so obviously needed to restore our balance sheet. standard & poor's did not surprise anybody with this downgrade. >> reporter: though the evidence is overwhelming that both parties, both houses of congress
and the current and prior administrations all share the blame for the downgrade, in the altered reality of a campaign, it's mainly about what works. >> i think as we're gathered here this morning what we should be talking about downgrading barack obama. >> reporter: presidential candidate michele bachmann, whose recall of history has actually been questioned before, nailed it this time. >> we went through the great depression. we went through world war ii. we went through korea. we went through vietnam. we went through the conflicts in the middle east. and we went through 9/11. not once did any president ever lose our aaa credit rating. not once. >> reporter: and john huntsman, who once was the president's ambassador to china -- played his rendition of "hit the road, jack," for the benefit of the president. and then talked about job growth. >> i don't know about you, but the president has had 2 1/2 years to address the most pressing problem we as americans
face, infusing confidence in our overall direction, dealing with job growth and getting our economy going again, and he has failed us. >> reporter: meanwhile, a new cnn/orc international poll shows the president's approval ratings remaining steady in the mid 40s, which was suggest that all of the upheaval over the last couple of weeks has not affected overall views of president obama, though only 39% of respondent busineents say they the way he has handled business, wolf. >> more americans think the country is on the wrong track than the right track, and that's always from a political point of view very worrisome. joe johns, thank you very much. so how much of the credit downgrade and the freefall on wall street that we've been seeing can be blamed on the way lawmakers handled the debt ceiling crisis? president obama had a few barbs of his own today. listen to this. >> we knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over the debt ceiling, a debate where the
threat of default was used as a bargaining chip, could do enormous damage to our economy and the world's. john boehner and i came up with some good proposals when we came close to agreeing to a grand bargain. so it's not a lack of plans or policies that's the problem here. it's a lack of political will in washington. it's the insistence on drawing lines in the sand. a refusal to put what's best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology. and that's what we need to change. >> let's bring in our senior political analyst, david gergin. i know everyone says there's plenty plen plenty of blame to go around. but is one side more at fault from your vantage point right now? >> l., tfb impt listen, the te
party and this sort of -- the noncompromising stance was a serious contributing factor. but, you know, the white house had an awful lot of opportunities that missed on this. the democrats in congress, you know, objected to a lost the kbie entitlements. but i think what the problem now is that the -- that whole debacle over the debt ceiling, the process, created a sense of disgust out there in the investment community. and then along came s&p and the downgrade, which just confirmed and solidified the disgust and outrage over the weekend that led to today's round on wall street. >> it was almost like a whole bunch of things came together for this perfect storm. if you include italy and spain, deep concerns in europe about what's going on over there and fears of a double dip recession. when you combine all of that, we see the result. $2.9 trillion in equity here in the united states disappearing, at least since july 22. >> absolutely.
wolf, i just came back from the united kingdom. i was there for about 10 days. and i must tell you that the same kind of fear and anger and frustration that you see here you find there. with their governments. there is a sense that the underlying economy has some strengths, but that the politicians are completely ineffectual at dealing with their debt crisis. and that debt crisis has now moved from the periphery of europe into italy and spain. and italy and spain are the third and fourth largest economies in the eurozone. and back here, you find on wall street there is first and foremost a concern about where the u.s. economy is going. but there is this second issue about europe. and if europe starts going down, who's going to bail them out? the europeans don't have the money, and the germans won't pay for it. as someone pointed out to me today, the imf, the international monetary fund, may have to come to the rescue. and who pays for the imf? uncle sam.
we do. and we don't have the dough to pay for that. this is a cascading series of events, the perfect terrible storm. >> timothy geithner announced over the weekend that he is not leaving, he is staying. president obama welcomed that statement. but a whole bunch of republicans today, michele bachmann, the republican party chairman, are all calling for him to resign. pinning the blame on him is. that fair criticism? >> i don't think so. they are going to make him a scapegoat, but that's typically what a party does. instead of aiming their fire at the president, they aim at someone very close to him. and he'll pay that price. but i think the president made the right decision in asking tim geithner to stay. he is the senior person there. the biggest heavyweight. what they do need to do, wolf, is that their chief economist in the white house, austin goolsby, just had his last day as you know this past friday. it's astonishing they don't have a replacement there in place. and in fact what they really need is a gold-plated, very big
heavyweight economist to come in there and fortify this team with geithner and with others. >> good advice for the white house from david gergen. thank you, david. a good piece you wrote at cnn.com as well. viewers, read it. you'll learn something. >> you're very kind. thank you. >> thank you, david. stand by. this just coming in. the senate banking committee has begun what's being described asn unofficial review of the s&p downgrade of the u.s. credit standing. congressional sources saying that the committee is looking into the issue and gathering more information right now. meantime, the committee chairman, jim johnson of south dakota, calls the standard & poor's move, and i'm quoting him now, irresponsible. we'll watch this story. lots of hard news coming up, including blackouts, bread lines, and air strikes. ivan watson takes us behind the
scenes in libya, city under siege. and in africa, a merciless drought leaves hundreds of thousands in the grips of famine. sanjay gupta will join us live from a refugee camp there. [ male announcer ] to the seekers of things which are one of a kind. the authentic, the rare, the hard to define. to those always searching for what's pure and what's real from we who believe we know just how you feel. haagen-dazs. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to
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incredible shocking images coming out of london tonight. take a look at this. buildings engulfed in flames as gangs of youth rampage through parts of the british capital. it's the third straight day of rioting following the fatal police shooting of a young man. rioters smashed store windows, set cars and buildings on fire, and clashed with police. more than 200 people have been arrested. the british prime minister david cameron is cutting his summer holiday short to return home for an emergency meeting with his home secretary and the london metropolitan police commissioner. in libya, an international blockade of airports and seaports controlled by moammar gadhafi is making life harder on ordinary libyans. the embargo has contributed to widespread fuel shortages and electricity blackouts.
the gadhafi regime also accusing nato of bombing electric power stations and pipelines, charges the military alliance denies. let's go to the libyan capital of tripoli. what happened today, ivan? >> reporter: well, wolf, let me just bring you the latest news from the eastern rebel capital of benghazi. that transitional council that is meeting and governing the rebels announced that it has dissolved its 14-member council according to the rueters news agency. political turmoil in the wake of the murder of the rebel military commander last month. and we'll be following this story and bringing you more on that. wolf, back here in tripoli, meanwhile, a hardship for ordinary libyans as a result of this blockade and the tightening siege on gadhafi's stronghold. take a look at this report.
this is what downtown tripoli looks like on saturday night. pitch black on this street, except for the lights of passing cars. the widespread power outages have plunged entire neighborhoods into darkness. on a daytime visit to a market district, some people told us they hadn't had electricity in days. over the last two weeks, it got really bad, says this shopkeeper. people are used to having air conditioning. we can't keep our food from spoiling. and some babies just can't take the heat. >> the situation makes the libyan people angry, tired from everything. >> reporter: tripoli's also suffering from crippling fuel shortages, causing huge gas lines and even forcing some drivers to simply abandon their cars. hope for a reprieve died last week, when libyan rebels somehow
captured this libyan fuel tanker off the coast of malta. instead of docking in tripoli, the ship and its precious cargo of tens of thousands of tons of fuel sailed into benghazi on thursday, flying the rebel flag. officials in tripoli are accusing nato and the rebels of carrying out an act of piracy, charges the alliance denies. >> with this fuel tankership arriving in libya, we would have managed to rationalize the consumption of fuel for at least two or three months. and that would lower the pressure on the protection. >> reporter: bread lines. no question that it's making life harder for ordinary citizens, and many here blame nato. >> go, go, go. what you do here? go, go.
>> if nato would stay away from us, it would be better for the libyans and themselves. >> reporter: but in some restive neighborhoods where residents say gadhafi's security forces have rounded up and arrested hundreds of local men, some l libyans told us they support the campaign to overthrow the man's ruled the country since 1969. >> we want freedom. >> reporter: freedom from what? >> freedom for everything. freedom from we don't see since 1969. we don't see the freedom, never here. >> reporter: and so the siege of tripoli continues. with some neighborhoods dark from blackouts, while near nightly air strikes leave other parts of the city burning. now, wolf, the gadhafi regime is accusing both nato and the rebels of bombing electric power lines and sabotaging fuel
pipelines and that is causing some of the power shortages. we reached out tomato. they denied those allegations saying they bomb strictly military targets. >> ivan, you're in tripoli, the gadhafi held area. how hard is it for a reporter like you to actually speak with libyans who oppose gadhafi? >> reporter: pretty darn hard, wolf. we're pretty closely controlled by the gadhafi regime here. and to be fair, you know, governments that they feel we represent as media, the u.s., france, britain, have been bombing this country for months now. so we're viewed by many here, and they tell us by the gadhafi regime officials, that we are spying or agents. trying to talk to somebody who opposes regime is quite difficult. the man i talked to i managed to slip away from my government minders for about half an hour and speak with this guy on the street in a neighborhood where
many of the people clearly do not like this government, and they claim that more than 1,000 of their young men have been rounded up and arrested in recent months. claims that are very hard for us to confirm. >> ivan watson, one of our courageous reporters on the scene for us in a dangerous area in tripoli. thank you, ivan. good work. the united nations is rushing in food aid to famine plagued somalia, but it's already too late for 30,000 children, 30,000 children dead of hunger. cnn's dr. sanjay gupta is in the region right now, in a tent camp where thousands are arriving every single day. sanjay is standing by to join us live, right here on "the situation room." thanks to the venture card from capital one, we get double miles on every purchase, so me and the boys earned a trip to dc twice as fast! oh hi! we get double miles every time we use our card.
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the white house just announced that the president has authorized some $10 million in emergency aid to help the starving people in the horn of africa. unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs related to the horn of africa is the headline from the white house memorandum. let's go to scene right now. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is joining us now from a refugee camp in kenya, not far away from somalia. sanjay, you have covered some
horrendous stories for us. but we have literally tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of starving people. so many children who are starving. what have you seen there? >> reporter: well, this is the largest refugee camp in the world, wolf. and that should tell you a lot right there. one of the things that struck me right away is that -- just how much a chronic problem what we're describing has been for some time out here. this particular refugee camp had about 300,000 people in it a year ago. and over the last year, they have added another 100,000. about 400,000 people here now. it's only designed to hold about 90,000 people, wolf. so you can just get an idea of just how overcrowded the conditions are, how tough the conditions are. what happens, wolf, as you've heard now, is that because of the drought, the worst that it's been seen in the last 60 years, crops died. livestock that were dependent on the crops died. and people dependent on the
livestock, they had to immigrate. they had to leave, they had to walk sometimes up to 100 kilometers. we met a family yesterday that had been walking literally for over a month to try and get from where they were in somalia to this refugee camp. they made it with three small children, but they're the lucky ones. the children are very emaciated, in need of medical care. now what they are anticipating, wolf, is that the numbers are going to continue to increase, up to 2,000 refugees a day, wolf. so the problem as it stands right now continues, maybe even getting worse. >> so why based on all of the reports i have read, sanjay, are there so few doctors, nurses, medical experts and medical resources? this is kenya. it's not somalia. kenya, it shouldn't be that difficult to get the kind of help that these people so desperately need. >> reporter: i think that the problem is not so much here in kenya, wolf. i think they are starting to get resources here, and those resources are improving. like i said, some of the camps here, some of them have been here for 20 years, really since
1991, when they went through -- started the beginning of a famine again at the beginning of that time. i think the problem has been in part because of the conflict that has existed in somalia for a long time. there's been a ban on any kind of western aid coming into the country. and as a result, aid workers in the past have been killed. that ban has been lifted, as you may know, over the last several days. but there's still an atmosphere of mistrust. so people still have to cross the border to get here to kenya. then they get the resources they need. obviously, they need to expand the camp to take care of the people, and that's starting to happen. but what they'd love to do is take some of the aid and resources and move them into somalia. once there's trust that the people aren't going to be harmed. you may have heard, wolf, yesterday for the first time in five years some of the resources were flown into mogadishu because the rebels -- i'm sorry, the militants have moved out of the capital. they say they felt comfortable
enough taking some of that aid directly into the capital. that needs to happen more so this problem can start to be addressed here. >> sanjay, be careful over there. we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you very, very much for the reporting that you're doing. and this important programming note to our viewers. beginning tonight "ac 360" is moving to 8:00 p.m. eastern. anderson cooper along with sanjay gupta will be reporting live tonight from africa on the region's devastating famine. remember, starting tonight and every week night, 8:00 p.m. eastern. it's "anderson cooper 360." tonight, a special report, somalia on the frontlines of famine. and remember you can help what's going on. go to cnn.com/impact. you can impact your world. if you would like to help these starving people, and i know you do, the starving people in africa. president obama plans a midwest campaign bus tour next week. but is the economy ruining his chances of a second term? jack cafferty has your emails. stand by for that. and also find out what
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obama's chances for a second term? j.r. in washington, while i wouldn't rush to the polls to vote for president obama again at the moment, i'm not exactly enthusiastic about the republican candidates either. which have the yeen justs on the right would you like to see in office in mitt hey guys i'm unemployed, too, romney how about sarah i can see russia from my house palin. i know, let's go rick pray for a solution perry. sorry, unfortunately the republican candidates basically ensure president obama's re-election at the moment. jason writes on facebook, yes, he's been in office for more than two years now, he's primarily responsible for not preparing leading and coming up with a solution to the problem. he is the ceo of this country and is ultimately responsible for whatever happens. time for the board, the citizens, to make a change. dennis says i think obama will win a second term. hopefully we'll have a congress who will work with him and not the tea party crazy people. dan writes, if it is, i for one don't care. he was the first president to get a health plan passed.
he was also in power as the first downgrade hit the u.s. credit ratings. if we go into another recession, what do you think the people will remember the most? nick writes, listen to the president's comments today. i have a plan, i'll tell you about in two weeks. oh, and by the way, i have two fund raisers tonight. the president with the thinnest resume in our country's history, that's what you get. and roy write, you got it backwards. it's not is the economy killing president obama's chances. it's is president obama killing the economy. you want to read more, you'll find it on my blog at cnn.com/cafferty file. or through our post on the situation room's facebook page. check that deal out. >> i know you love that facebook page especially on this. the sixth anniversary. happy anniversary to the situation room. we started six years ago today. >> your hair was dark and i had some. it's been fun. >> a good six years. thank you very much. the dow took a brutal beating today as a wave of fear swept through the global
markets. dow i now investors are bracing for tomorrow's hope. a rm foremb of president obama's team will be on john king usa at the top of the hour. that's coming up for our north american viewers. and midair disversion. a swooping bat, yes, a swooping bat causes a sensation on a delta flight. they really make the dish. cream is really what makes it. i think you'll find it's the vegetables. the crunch... the texture. deliciously rich. delicious. fantastic! flavorful. [ cow moos ] hey, maybe we could... work together? [ female announcer ] introducing new stouffer's farmers' harvest. now classics like grilled chicken fettuccini alfredo come with sides of farm-picked vegetables... lightly sauteed with herbs and olive oil. and no preservatives. find more ways to get to the table at letsfixdinner.com.
here's a look at some of this hour's hot spots. in india, children swim in a flooded street. and in iraq, bakers roll dough. and in china, a man much with as waves roll in as the typhoon hits the coastline. and in germany, check it out, a seal sleeps upside down in the water of his aquarium. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. passengers got the surprise of their lives on a delta flight. a bat swooping around the cabin. here's jeanne moine moos. >> reporter: look at the wing span, not on the plane, on the balt. a bat being aboard a southeast flight from madison, wisconsin to atlanta. >> the say thi saw this flying
critter. >> reporter: so naturally mike schmidt took out his camera phone. >> they were trying to swat at it with newspapers, nianything their hand. >> reporter: the airlines doesn't know whether it was a bat or a bird, but mike schmidt knows. >> i know it was a bat. i've seen 100,000 bats in my life. it had cut outs on the wings. >> reporter: the passengers did not trap the bat using the time honored techniques demonstrated in movies like the great outdoors. no, the passengers of flight 5121 employed the close the lavatory door on him technique. the passengers clapped and gave the thumbs up. so the bat is trapped in the lavatory, the plane is diverted back to madison, wisconsin so that ground personnel can search for the bat and remove it. the thing is, they couldn't find it. the airlines says although the animal was not located, we are
confident in the maintenance search and that the animal was no longer on the aircraft at the time of the next departure. funny, last time we heard about a bat in a bathroom, it was a french prankster hanging upside down. but a guy dressed up as a bat can't top the real thing. mike schmidt thinks he knows where the trapped bat went by process of elimination. you mean you think it actually went down the hole? >> the toilet seat was up. and that bat was flying around in there and it found it way down that hole somehow. >> reporter: yuck. that's not a bat out of hell, that's a bat into hell. a hellish under world that we don't know how he managed to flush himself, this is one bat that really did go bat -- [ bleep ]. jeanne moos, cnn.