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edible arrangements for summer. order in store or online. >> all right. of the president is getting a briefing on this whole thing as we speak right now. we'll keep you posted on that and what if anything we're learning of what he plans to do or commits to do. again, all local, federal, state authorities are working in unison to deal with this crisis. it's a crisis now, even though it's a category 1 storm. it's going to stick around and that can be the dangerous type. and joe was among the earliest to say this could telegraph a very, very busy hurricane season, but joe, first to this one and what happens now? what are you worried about? >> well, it's the flooding and this is why we, from the beginning said this had a shot at being a catastrophic event
from back on monday. this is going to stall and indeed, what it's doing here and it's looping around. now, we've seen dozens and dozens of storms that have looped around, dozens and dozens of storms that have exploded, intensified rapidly in a 24 hour period. there's nothing magical about this. what is unusual is where it's stalling. it's stalling over coastal, the coastal bend of texas and it's going to be looping around and as a matter of fact, i think this is back out over the water monday evening and then the second part of the-- the second leg of the journey starts. if it just goes back inland tuesday into wednesday, it won't reintensify. if he stays over the water and goes north to galveston and houston, it's a bigger problem and adds to the problem. right now, let me point out to folks, as bad as this is, i'm not down playing how bad it is, it could have been worse. if this storm had gone into
corpus christi which has 300,000 people and a major naval base for the united states right there. this could have been a disaster in that particular area. but it went a little further north, corpus christi had a very bad storm and now there's a lot of rain, but rockport. as bad it is, it doesn't have the population that corpus christi does. and a lot of texas that's getting hit, there's not a lot of people. the there. i'm sorry for the people there, but because of the history of hurricanes, it's not a lot settled. if there's any silver lining on the dark cloud, it's that area. david: it could have been worse. harvey is the eighth named storm, the third hurricane, there were predictions early on, 11 to 17 such storms which i guess we qualify saying those in excess of 39 miles per hour
to put it to busier than normal season. are you in that camp? >> now, you know what i do? i look at the ace index, accumulated cyclonic energy. you can name a ham sandwich. three of those storms would never have been named in the 1950's. when we look at the power of the storms versus in the 1950's. average ace index was 10.6. now it's 6.9. why? they're naming more storms and they're weaker storms involved. i don't look at the names, i look-- >> are there going to be stronger ones? what do you see? >> neil, neil, this -- if you go and look at our weather bell site, may 12th having nothing, but red around the united states because we felt it was a high impact season on the united states coast. storms would intensify as they came toward the coast. and irma off the coast next week maybe.
and the hurricane drought would end this year. it's part and parcel of a pattern based on things in the past. we have to watch out the rest of the season, you're darn right, it's just getting start started. neil: all right, buddy, thank you very much. i'm sorry, we've got breaking news with steve harrigan in rockport, texas. steve. >> back to you. neil: steve, what's the latest there at rockport? >> we're in rockport here and you can see the category 4 hurricane and what it left behind. this is a sea water apartment complex, basically just a lot of sticks right now. we're seeing a few people just stagger around, looking for possessions, but we've heard no reports of any casualties. so, certainly a testament to how the authorities have done their jobs here in carrying out a mandatory evacuation. we have to guess what was here. you see some washers and dryers
up there. that must have been a laundry room. all the way in on the drive in here, roads were flooded, power lines down or debris down, so, we're really seeing the structural damage that 130 mile per hour winds can cause. there's no sign of any recovery as of yet, no sign of any emergency vehicles. it seems like the big challenge is going to be to clear those roads so people can get here. hats off for chris for a signal up here. already people are without power. the first major hurricane to hit the u.s. since 2005. and it's been a real shock and hard times for people here in rockport. they've got the worst of it. back to you. neil: steve, thank you very, very much. and i want to go to michael brown, the former fema director during, of course, katrina. and michael, we were chatting yesterday, but i want to update you on some things that
rockport looks like the first serious damaged area from this hurricane, that we know of. we're getting more as we go deeper into the state, but what was interesting about rockport, as you probably know, michael, is that acting mayor there was telling those who refused to evacuate, do me a favor and put your social security and name on your arm if case we have to identify your body. what did you make of that? >> well, there's a part of me that says that's the reality and the mayor was probably correct in saying that. that's the harsh reality. what worries me though is that gets spread out by the media to everybody, and then, people around the country think, oh, that's hyperbole and that's overreaction. it may be an overreaction to somebody sitting in los angeles or new york, but for that local community, he's exactly right. because they can't afford to put the first responders in harm's way. you and i had this conversation for years now. do you want to be the guy that
ends up causing a first responder to be either injured or lose their life because you were too stupid to get out of the storm? i don't think so. neil: you know, you were that guy. i think that history has been unkind to you and i've raised this before, you were the guy, contrary to the press reports at the time warning administration and other officials about the danger of approaching storms, flooding, the stuff that later came to pass in new orleans and elsewhere. but they always say to those who get that dramatic or at least paint that potentially devastating of a picture that they're being crepe hangers or alarmists. how do you balance that? >> here is the problem. maybe i wasn't clear earlier, but i think for that hair to do that in his city was the right thing to do. the problem is, is that we live in the-- you know, in a 24/7 news cycle. neil: right. >> so that story gets picked up by people and they hear it in los angeles and new york or hear it in denver and they think that's just, that's crazy.
no, it's-- it maybe crazy for you in los angeles to hear that and not understand it, but in that locality, that was precisely the right thing to say. neil: what he was trying to say, you know, think twice before sticking around. one of the things i-- you always deal with and you and i touched on this before. you had so many competing interests in various agencies, individuals, politicians, all supposedly deal with the same sort of issues, and all rivalling each other. the rap against the federal government in this case is that so many key positions are being filled by either, you know, an acting administrator, or someone who, in the case of, you know, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, has an acting person in charge because a full-time replacement hasn't been named, the director of national hurricane center, that's a position that remains vacant. and the hurricane specialist unit remains vacant.
and a lot of those are filled by a person, and that it's working. how does that come into play. >> let's go back to katrina, and you and i have had that position, also. one of the things i told my political appointees, they're the ones that take the risk. i said you've got to push the envelope and if that means you've got to break a rule break a regulation, violate some law, i don't care, do it. the goal has to be doing whatever it takes. the problem is, and this is not meant to bash the permanent civil service, that it's difficult to say to a bureaucrat, i want you to break the law. i want you to break a rule, i want you to break a regulation, i want you to do whatever it takes to get x done. you can say that to a political appointee and hold them accountable and as i told my staff during katrina. look, i'll take the blame for it, they can haul me through congress, i'll testify, blah,
blah, blah. you can't really do that to a permanent civil service employee, so my concern is, as we go through this storm and look, i'll jump ahead for a second. the seriousness of this storm is going to be the flooding we'll see over the next several days. neil: right, right. >> that will be difficult for the media to cover because you can't really get the great visuals of the flooden and you have to tell them the first shot that's fired, when you don't have the political appointees, willing and capable of doing that, then you have people starting to second guess, looking over their shoulder. neil: always do. quickly, the president wants to visit texas next week, how would you advise him on that? >> well, you know what?
i know he wants to, as i told you yesterday. there should be a white house advance team with brock long right now, so they can decide when and where he goes. depending on, you know, if this storm does what joe just described and goes out and strengthens or goes back up towards houston he might be able to go to rockport, but he won't be able to go to houston. so it's that balancing act because the president travels with a huge bubble and that bubble shuts down everything. it shuts air space, it shuts down travel, et cetera. neil: all right. brock long, the acting fema administrator. thank you very, very much. very good seeing you. >> you bet. neil: all of this happening and then the president announcing yesterday a couple of big things going on. a key resignation and then a key pardon in the middle of all of this. doug mcelway at the white house on shall we call it, odd timing, doug? >> so true, neil. president trump may be an outsider, but he's not above the classic washington game of
the friday night document dump. he tweeted last night just as the full fury of harvey was lashing the texas coast, i'm pleased to perfect you i've granted a full pardon to american patriot joe arpaio who kept america safe. he continued the life's work protecting the public from scourges of illegal immigration. he's now 85 years old and after 50 years of admirable service. arpaio followed up, thank you, president trump for those asking how to help, donation to my legal fund and going directly to pay off legal fees from this fight. and neil, there was yet more palace intrigue at the white house last night with either the resignation or firing, depending who you believe, of a familiar face to fox news viewers, sebastian gorka, gorka
was known as a hawkish hardliner especially when it comes to islamic terrorism and islam hardlinism. he was seen as a close steve bannon ally and his departure is seen as another sign that the bannon wing of influence is fading, pivoting to the new york wing of influence with jared kushner and ivanka. in a breitbart piece this morning that has steve bannon's fingerprints all over, it a breitbart writer trashes a background, it reads. in the body of the media covering the resignation of dr. gorka from a white house official, sebastian gorka did not resign, but i can confirm he no longer works at the white house. then goes on to say, sadler's claim that she is a senior white house official is not true. she is not a senior white house official. she's a low level press staffer and commissioned officer as special assistant to the president. and lastly, the breitbart
article says in addition her claim that gorka did not resign is also not true. gorka sent the president a detailed resignation letter as media outlets detailed. bannon said he will support the president in his agenda and also looks like he's supporting steve bannon's agenda and amounts to the classic friday night document dump which all recent administrations have done, none nor exquisitely than the obama administration, back to you. neil: depends where you're from and where you're working at the time being. thank you, doug mche will -- mcelway from the white house. and we'll have more on harvey in a minute. d it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on very quick very prompt. i feel like we're being handled as people
avoid another disaster. houston methodist hospital, mr. schwartz, joining us on the phone. what are you seeing so far there? >> so far in the texas medical center hit hardest by tropical storm alice. we're remaining fairly dry with a lot of intermittent rain. our biggest problem is making sure that our work force that lives in the suburbs and some of which were more affected, can get into and out of work. we're still expecting the worst to come, but so far, we feel fairly confident and absolutely sure that we can provide top quality and safety for our patients throughout this disaster. neil: no doubt you do. what's interesting, you mentioned alison in 2001. what struck me remarkable about that one, it wasn't named a hurricane, but a tropical storm. 30 inches over four days,
they're expecting something similar if not more here. how do you prepare for that, let alone going to your people to the facility? >> so, you know, when you look at this event, for houston, it's most likely going to be a heavy water event, same expectation, they've been talking as with alison with lots of street flooding and other kinds of flash floods. for our people, a lot of them are choosing to stay in the facility and we're providing sleeping quarters and a lot of parts of our facility, so if they don't feel comfortable coming and going, they have to place to stay with us. some who live in areas where they feel confident travelling back and forth are going home. we want them to get the best rest so they can provide the best care for the patients. for the facility, we've done a lot of work, all institutions have, since tropical storm alison, moving generators
above the ground. and advanced flood technology so that the institution is protected almost like a moat, so that you ensure that the water doesn't come in, as it did last time, through the basement. with the other thing that we've done, we've watched hourly the bayous, the gullies, all kinds of places and our flood protection goes in at seven feet. in tropical storm alison it went up at about 11 feet. so, a lot of that is going up much earlier to protect the institution. neil: all right, well, be well. certainly be safe. you certainly have a herculean task on your hand. the texans who are stranded, too, some i'm sure need medication or to get help. all right, thank you very very much. and in the meantime, we're covering not only this storm, but political storms next weekend on tax cuts, on presidential appointments, on filling some of these that the president wants filled and dealing with matters just like this.
change the way you wifi. xfinity. the future of awesome. >> all right, you know, there is a political storm brewing over tax cuts. do any of you remember what treasury secretary steve mnuchin said this. >> our job is to pass tax reform by august recess. neil: so, voted and agreed. >> and signed. neil: i caught something from mitch mcconnell saying this past week. >> i think we'll be able to produce a much better tax code that will make a huge difference for our country and it will be done during this congress. neil: during this congress. this congress goes, of course, as you know into next year, which means-- and prompted fears meaning the
tax cuts don't get done until next year, if at all. political cometator, gary, and let me begin with you. if this materializes next year at the earliest, if it does, then what? >> we can't wait until next year, neil. i mean, honestly, this has become a show that no one on the republican side wants to see. we should have gotten it done this month in august. i tell you, i think that there's some motivation on the hill to get this done and i take you back to the words of jfk, every dollar released from taxation created will help for a new job and a new salary. there are republicans that are interested in that. the problem is president trump's targeting of republican members on the hill. there's a lot of folks that are pretty disgusted by some of the things he's said in the attack and people like john mccain and others, and they believe that that may provide some tension in terms of actually getting this
done. i tend to disagree with that. i believe that our leaders in the republican party believe in country over party and they're not going to allow petty disputes to prevent this from getting done and i'm looking for a movement. neil: they're hardly above the fray. i see what you're saying, using an italian term, when the president brought up jeff flake, bob corker-- >> that's a long list. neil: now, other presidents have privately bemoaned getting blocked by their own party and others compare it to a coach berating his team and getting it done. >> that's are not just a team. these are politicians that have been elected and they have big egos and sometimes they need to be massaged. neil: he says they don't deserve to be massaged. >> i just republican leadership as an oxymoron. to me they're not getting
anything done. the worry is simple, we've been sitting here for months, 12 different things out of 12 different mouths on 12 different dates. we're now past august, we're getting into labor day and then we deal with columbus day and christmas and we'll be at groundhog's day and something people haven't brought up, the markets. they're cooperating here. it's easier to get things done when markets are cooperating and wall street is happy. neil: if you have a big selloff, maybe it would get them off their fannies. >> if there's a selloff they'll have to worry more and things don't get done and that's bad yus. neil: wendy, i always wonder, democrats would say let the republican implode and i look at money they're raising and popularity they're enjoying and it isn't much to write home about. it seems that voters seem to be reflecting a pox on both parties for not moving the ball here. what do you think about that? >> i agree with that. neil: really? i literally just made that up. so cool. >> i agree with you, so that's
pretty cool. [laughter] >> i believe that the trump and republicans need a win here, but tax sell will be a tough issue. not that trump salesmanship-- >> that could change this week and taken his charge to missouri and-- >> if it happening this year. only 10% of americans pay 71% in federal taxes. if i were to give trump any advice, i would say to take a page out of jfk's play book and underscore how this will spur economic growth as well as jobs for all, but right now this is the last best chance for the republican party and that trump lacks the leadership to propel it forward. neil: i don't know. everybody acknowledged that they all agree this needs to get done and their political hineys need it done. what's your prediction?
>> my prediction is if we don't get something done, the mid terms look awful. i don't think that the republicans are willing to lose majorities all over simply because there was something within our grasp and we didn't do. it doesn't make sense. i'm thankful to see that president trump has said, look, i'm going to campaign for tax reform and going around the country and that's going to be helpful, create an environment in which we can get something done and accomplished. i think the republicans on hill are very, very motivated to get it done. i disagree with my friend wendy there. >> no. >> i think it's likely to happen, however, neil, i think you rightly pointed out it didn't happen with the health care bill which is a whole lot more complex. tax reform is complex, but things we can do, especially benefitting the middle class, cut the payroll tax and-- >> there is a little more agreement on this issue. gary, help me with the markets. they've held up well, even with growing doubts about how likely we get tax cuts or how soon.
it makes me begin to wonder, is that rally based on tax cuts, or earnings or steady stable growth, and the federal reserve seems to be doing its job. goldilocks economy, what? >> here is the good news, i saw a picture of big three central bankers in jackson hole. they matter the most, keeping rates negative in parts of the globe and that's big stuff i have to tell you longer term, we cannot continue on this trajectory of massively higher debt and deficits. neil: we have for decades. >> something's going to give, it's going to be a bad wall. neil: tell me when that was? >> i wish i knew. they have been able to control interest rates. when debt goes up, interest rates are supposed to go up with it. if they lose control of interest rates with the money printing, katie bar the door onha