tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC April 27, 2013 4:00am-5:01am PDT
profit in it, when a political party decides to seek political advantage by trafficking in this stuff, and courting it, and popularizing it, that is a different thing and i am not sure we know how that ends. "weekends with alex witt" starts now. unexpected discovery in a new york city alley. a remnant of the 9/11 attacks, all these years later. why was it found now? face to face for the first time. we're hearing from the man who looked the boston bomber in the eyes, and what he noticed moments before the blast. flooding fears rise. why there's new alarm this morning in the midwest as some rivers head for record highs. another face-lift. the u.s. is being forced to create new $100 bills, again. we'll explain in our big money headlines. good morning, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." let's get to what's happening right now out there. it is a race against time this morning in the upper midwest.
as volunteers try to protect homes and buildings from the rising red river. sandbags are being put in place in neighborhoods in fargo, north dakota. 600 roads and 300 bridges are expected to be flooded. this is after a very wet spring already. heavy rains have brought on flooding on rivers, and illinois, missouri, indiana, and michigan. nbc's kevin tibbles joins us from fargo. he is watching the rivers rise. so kevin, with a good morning to you. how bad could this get? >> well, alex, people here in fargo are used to seeing the red river rise each spring. but with four floods in the last five years, think want to be ready this time. an army of high schoolers builds a sandbag barricade in hopes of holding back the rising red river. >> good to know that we're helping. other people be able to live where they do live. it's a great place. >> i feel good about helping the community out. >> more bags, more bags! >> reporter: for the fourth time in five years this city on the plains braces for record
flooding. in 2009 the water reached nearly 41 feet. swamping hundreds of homes. city manager mike williams helps ensure the sandbag levees are ready. >> we protect it to like i said 42 1/2 feet. this one. this one we've never seen. and hope we never do. >> reporter: it has been a waterlogged week throughout the midwest. in the chicago area, the wettest april on record, caused extensive flooding. in comstock park, michigan, dozens of homes damaged by the record high grand river. so much water in lakeland, indiana, farmers say they may have to delay planting. all this on the heels of last year's extreme drought. near st. louis, water levels were dangerously low on the mississippi. now, it, too, is flooding. behind their fargo home, erin and husband john aren't taking any chances. >> i'm not putting my guard down at all because mother nature knows how to throw a party. >> reporter: they may have had the day off school but these kids are learning about
teamwork. just ask clare. >> everybody helps everybody. the north dakota way. >> reporter: the president has already declared a state of emergency for north dakota, and while people watch this river rise, the estimates for how high it's going to get have actually been lowered, alex, which is good news. but still, as you just heard, people are not taking any chances. >> yet, just quickly, kevin, that bridge behind you when we talked about 300 bridges as being those expected to flood, is that one of them? >> this one here is actually one of the ones that they managed to seem to keep open every year. it's one of the higher ones. the northern pacific bridge. but in the past, and i have been here six or seven times over the years, that remains about the only bridge that links the moorhead side of the river, to the fargo side on the other side of the red here. we were just sort of talking about how in the summer months it's so beautiful, the red is such a benign creek of a river.
but this time, in the spring, it's filled with ice floes, and it is quite a mess. >> yeah, well i'm awfully glad to hear that bridge is not going to flood, because the distance between where the river is now, and getting to the top of that bridge, that would be a heck of a lot of water coming those folks' way. >> it's going to come up about 20 feet in the next few days. >> wow. that's too much. thanks. let's go now to washington, and president obama in his weekly address today talking about those big sequester cuts and how congress quickly moved to bring furloughed air traffic controllers back on the job. the furloughs by the faa had caused airport delays across this country. well, here's the president's take today. >> this week, the sequester hurt travelers who were stuck for hours in airports and on planes and arightly frustrated by it. and maybe because they fly home each weekend the members of congress who insisted on these cuts finally realized that they actually apply to them, too. >> nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is at the white house for us. with a good saturday morning to you, kristen.
i know the white house has been calling this a band-aid since the senate passed it on thursday night. so, will the president sign it once it hits his desk? >> hey, good morning, alex. and welcome to d.c. always great to have you here. you know, despite calling it a band-aid he is expected to sign this legislation in to law. and it stands to wonder how is he going to have leverage to essentially force congress to do anything about the remaining cuts? so basically what this legislation does is it cuts off, ends furloughs for about 1500 air traffic controllers. it doesn't deal with the rest of the cuts. $85 billion in spending cuts that kicked in, really, across the board that have already started to hit other government agencies, as well as programs across the country, including head start, it's estimated as many as 70,000 kids could ultimately be kicked off of head start programs. here's a little bit more of what president obama had to say in his weekly address. >> i hope members of congress will find the same sense of
urgency and bipartisan cooperation to help the families still in the crosshairs of those cuts. members of congress may not feel the pain felt by kids kicked off of head start, or the 750,000 americans projected to lose their jobs because of these cuts, or the long-term unemployed who will be further hurt by them, but that pain is real. >> so, again, alex, the question is, where is the president's leverage? how does he force congress to deal with the remaining cuts when basically he is signing off on this approach? so that remains to be seen, and congress is about to take a one-week recess, so certainly nothing is going to be done in the short-term. we'll have to see what happens when they come back, if they make any attempt to deal with the remaining sequester. >> okay, kristen welker at the white house. we'll see you again. thank you for the welcome. it's good to be here. thanks. here's the question for all of you on twitter, will congress now be forced to stop other sequester cuts? you can all talk to me with my handle @alexwitt. i will be reading some of your
tweets throughout the day here on the show. in new york city, a surprising discovery in an alley of something apparently left from the 9/11 attacks all the way back in 2001. it's part of an airplane landing gear believed to be from one of the airliners that hit the world trade center. here's new york city police commissioner on that discovery. >> medical examiner will do on examination of the area around the part to see if it's toxic in any way. we will also check to see if there's any human remains at the site. >> -- manhattan for us. rehema, this is a big discovery. i mean nearly 12 years this thing escaped notice. how did that happen? >> well, that is part of the mystery here, that they're hoping that they can figure out at some point. i want you to take a look at what this material looks like. as you were pointing out, it appears to be a piece of a landing gear, four feet by five feet, in a narrow alleyway
that's wedged between two buildings. and the word boeing and identification numbers can be seen on it. the police commissioner said, as you said, that they're assuming that it's part of a piece of the plane that crashed into the world trade center. but it comes at an odd time for many that it's being found, because this is right behind a foreclosed islamic cultural center that's been criticized for being way too close to ground zero. you might wonder, how did they find it? where did they find it? it was found earlier this week by some workers who were inspecting the site. now authorities are going to be looking into this to see exactly how it got here. they don't know how it got here. but they're going to try and figure it out. the police commissioner, ray kelly, says it may have even been lowered into this area, because there is a piece of rope that's wrapped around it, alex. >> it is just extraordinary. so, the aerial shot that you're providing us, rehema, this is, you said 18 inches? so this is not a very wide piece of a landing gear, either.
>> no, it isn't. but again it is four feet by five feet. so it's substantial enough. but it is a piece that, again, it's got them quite curious as to what you questioned was, how did it get here? and why is it they're only finding it now, almost 12 years after the attack on the world trade center? >> man, just incredible. okay, rehema ellis. thank you very much for that live report. well, for the first time, the man behind one of the iconic photos to come out of the boston terror attacks is sharing his christian edible story. jeff bowman came face to face with one of the suspects. tamerlan tsarnaev, right before those bombs went off. he lost both legs but he was still able to give authorities a description of the suspicious man. >> i was still conscious when i was being transported from the blast site to the hospital. and the whole time i, when i was
in the hospital, i was giving descriptions of the guy. the first guy, the guy with the hat and the glasses, the aviators and the 5:00 shadow. >> tamerlan. suspect number one, right in >> yeah, suspect number one. i was just real adamant about it. >> just extraordinary. let's go to boston and nbc's michelle franzen, who is standing by for us. michelle, good morning to you. what more is jeff bauman revealing about that day? >> well, we've learned a lot in the last few days about what jeff bauman had told authorities, and how he had seen, on his tv screen in that hospital room, alex, the suspects, once fbi released those photos. and he's mentioning that he -- he really made eye contact with this person. that the suspect number one really stuck out. and he gave a more detailed description in his radio interview. >> well, i was with my girlfriend's roommates, and we were having a great time, you know. we were watching the runners.
everyone was having a great time. and just that one guy, you know, he didn't look like he was having a good time. so, he was right next to me at that point, and he had a bag, and he had glasses, he had like a kind of like a leather like sweatshirt type of deal. >> mm-hmm. >> and you know, it's warm out, he was just an odd guy. it just struck me odd. and that's what i remember of him, and then next thing you know, you hear fireworks and i'm on the ground. >> very riveting details of bauman's account of that day. and if you think about what he had experienced and gone through, and being able to give the fbi the details, and the information they needed that obviously led to that manhunt, alex. later that day. >> it's extraordinary. i'll be very curious to know if he could pinpoint when, obviously, tamerlan left the
scene. because he certainly wasn't there when those explosions went off. but how about the latest developments in the investigation, michelle? what's the latest on that? >> it's a very active investigation, alex. it has been, of course, ever since this occurred. but we're learning in the last 48 hours that nbc news has learned that massachusetts state police has recreated a scene of that shoot-out at night that took place in cambridge that resulted in the fatal shooting of m.i.t. officer sean collier. they used a green honda. a honda they believe that the suspects drove to that scene before they had stolen the mercedes suv. the significance of them recreating this, of course, we won't know until details come out further. but we do know is that there's a possibility that they say that this green honda was also spotted in the watertown location, too. so nbc news has learned that there are several accounts of that, and photographs that also show a green honda in that area. also, we learned, alex, in the last 48 hours, just the details
of the bombs and the devices themselves, and that they did have some sophistication, and knowledge that the suspected bombers. nbc news obtained government analysis that shows that this device was similar to one in "inspire" magazine, that's an al qaeda published magazine. and they say that these devices used similar traits, and signature marks of that, including being packed with shrapnel, and also triggering the device by using toy radio control components. so we're learning about that sophistication, as well. or also we've learned that dzhokhar tsarnaev was moved from beth israel, where he spent a week recovering from his injuries. he was moved to a federal prison, a secure medical facility just outside of boston. alex? >> thank you very much, michelle franzen, for that update.
one congressman with access to sensitive national security information says he expects more arrests in the boston bombing case. but who, and he? that's ahead. your doctor will say get smart about your weight. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
new this morning, president obama responding to congress' quick fix to flight delays that plagued the nation this past week. the house passed legislation friday giving the faa the authority to end the furlough of air traffic controllers by moving funds around. the faa says the furloughs were implemented because of the across-the-board budget cuts we know as the sequester. the president says congress needs to tackle all of the sequester after passing that legislation, congress headed home for a nine-day break. well, joining me now, white house correspondent for the hill amie parnes, and congressional reporter for "the washington post," ed o'keefe. hello, you guys.
so good to have you here. it's awfully fun to be here. >> welcome to town. >> amie, first off, the faa, did they really need to furlough the air traffic controllers, or was that sort of sequester grandstanding? >> well, grandstanding, i don't know. but one thing is for sure, though congress -- members of congress fly home every week, and fly back, and this was something that affected them. >> sure. >> and so, the best thing to move forward on this was to have someone affected by it. and people in congress were. so, the -- so the president wants to -- sorry, i'm hearing myself in my ear. >> i am, too. we are both hearing an echo here. >> but the president and the white house say that this is a band-aid, and they don't want to move forward on a piecemeal approach. >> so i understand that, but -- why was it that congress chose? is it because of amie's suggestion? >> that's part of it. >> but also because of the
vociferous nature of people clamoring. when you hear reports of pilots coming on over the loudspeakers and saying it's because of the sequester, folks, that's bad pr. >> i heard a few lawmakers saying that there were people -- pilots were encouraging passengers to go and sign petitions, you know, to tell them to do this. so you know, certainly part of it is because they're frequent flyers, but they also understood that this was a potentially a security issue and a business issue. >> yeah. >> because certainly if people can't travel for business then it could tie up the economy, as well. >> here's what's interesting. you've got people that are clamoring about this and you have members of congress feeling it, but what is like a 3 or 4-year-old kid's going to be able to say, what about my head start program? >> that's a very interesting one. and if you think about it the school year is almost done. so the ability to sort of take advantage of the poor kid who may or may not be able to go to these classes. and as i understand it most of this isn't going to kick in until the next school year anyway so you wonder how would the white house and democrats sort of rally support or try to make -- >> not really feeling it yet. >> exactly. >> broadly. okay let's move on to syria with
you, amie. it seems there is, i use the word seems, evidence of chemical weapon use there in syria. the president has said, if this proves to be true, this is a game changer. with what kind of options? >> that remains to be seen. all options are on the table. white house press secretary jay carney said that yesterday. and so, i think what we're going to see is the white house wants to move forward on an investigation, he wants -- the president wants to play out, let this all play out, and the u.n. is going to keep doing their investigation, and then they'll go forward. so i think he wants -- he doesn't want another iraq here. he wants to make sure that everything is kosher, so to speak, and then they'll move forward. >> yeah. i want to ask you, also, about an article that i'm looking at written by you, highlighted by me, home grown terrorist attack threats disrupt obama's second term agenda. how so? how is that playing out? >> well, certainly in the last
two weeks, it was. it took him off his game. he had to focus on it. he had to address it every day. but i think he's going to continue to move forward on immigration, and other issues, certainly he'll continue to move forward and hear updates on this investigation, and he'll continue to be briefed by his aides every day. >> but you know what, it seems like in a presidency there's always going to be unexpected things coming on. is there a sense of frustration you sense from the white house? >> i don't know if it's frustration. they're frustrated that they weren't able to get gun control done, for example, that it stalled, and that there's concerns that maybe immigration is going to be slowed up a little by conservatives who aren't as excited or enthusiastic about doing this. look at his thursday. he went from that presidential library dedication with his four predecessors to the event in west texas where they commemorated those that were killed in that big explosion. you know, the guy deals with this stuff all the time. i think at this point five years into it, he certainly has a handle on it. but it's got to be awfully frustrating for folks at the white house who are trying to
get things done. >> and i think with the gun control you can certainly add the word angry. he calls it a shameful day. that was anger right there. all right, i'm so glad to see you both. >> good to see you. >> we'll party together tonight. we'll explain all that later folks. why online shopping, though, could soon cost you more. it is one of our big three money headlines. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
how did i know? well, i didn't really. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor. we discussed all the symptoms... then he gave me some blood tests. showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number -- not just me. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% (testosterone gel). the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy, increases testosterone when used daily. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or signs in a woman, which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding, should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, possible increased risk of prostate cancer,
lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. so...what do men do when a number's too low? turn it up! [ male announcer ] in a clinical study, over 80% of treated men had their t levels restored to normal. talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. androgel 1.62%. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. but i wondered what a customer thought? describe the first time you met. you brought the flex in... as soon as i met fiona and i was describing the problem we were having with our rear brakes, she immediately triaged the situation, knew exactly what was wrong with it, the car was diagnosed properly, it was fixed correctly
i have confidence knowing that if i take to ford it's going to be done correctly with the right parts and the right people. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. did you tell him to say all of that? no, he's right though... now to our three big money headlines. first quarter blues, tax man logs on, all about the benjamins. so joining me to break it all down, consumer expert regina lewis. good to see you in person. >> thank you. >> the gdp estimates for the first quarter of the year, a little bit of a letdown? >> a little bit of a letdown. they were expecting 2.8%. it was 2.5%. two-thirds of gdp is driven by consumer spending, which is actually doing quite well. shocker, considering that paychecks, take-home pay, down as you know since january. so that's good news. what's not such great news is, is it sustainable? when they looked at the spending it looks like people are depleting their savings, and
financing their spending, putting it on credit cards. you can't do that forever. >> very true. what about the senate vote to tax online spending? >> it's called the fair marketplace act. really interesting backstory here. there's a reason amazon is based in washington state. because 2% of the population lives there. so when they started, that meant that nobody had to pay taxes because they didn't have what's called a presence in your geographic area. well, presence has been redefined as distribution centers. you might be a blogger who sells something through amazon, which is a big part of their business. so now, they, it was even called the amazon tax, have switched their stance. there's a certain inevitability to this. this is a good time to binge shop online. pretty soon you're going to be paying taxes on it. it's not a nascent industry anymore. i think in the industry, everybody always knew that. >> yeah. >> that's why you always saw free shipping but you never saw things, didn't want to throw it in congress' face, no tax, tax free. that never happened.
so they were as quiet about it as they could and they got away with it. >> like you're saying it was only a matter of time. >> yeah. >> what about the $100 bill? >> this is really interesting. if you go to newmoney.gov the federal reserve is releasing this new $100 bill. boy is it more sophisticated than i understood. that blue stripe is something called a 3-d security ribbon. it's actually woven in to the dollar bill. it's not even printed. so this is, of course, all about anti-counterfeit. right? so they're trying to make it harder to counterfeit this. in particular, because apparently in north korea they have such a great fake that they even call it the super note because almost nobody can recognize it from the real deal. so now, at the cost of eight cents per $100 the federal reserve is going to print these new ones. they'll go into circulation on october 8th. if you have the old ones they're still good. >> good to know. it's going to be good-looking. >> very sharp. still has benjamin on it. >> that's important, yes. regina lewis, thank you. the speech president clinton
never delivered and why it's relevant today in washington, d.c. we'll hear from the writer behind it. yeah, i'm looking to save, but i'm not sure which policy is right for me. you should try our coverage checker. it helps you see if you have too much coverage or not enough, making it easier to get what you need. [ beeping ] these are great! [ beeping ] how are you, um, how are you doing? i'm going to keep looking over here. probably a good idea. ken: what's a good idea? nothing. with coverage checker, it's easy to find your perfect policy. visit progressive.com today. the act of soaring across an ocean in a three-hundred-ton rocket doesn't raise as much as an eyebrow for these veterans of the sky. however, seeing this little beauty over international waters is enough to bring a traveler to tears. we're putting the wonder back into air travel, one innovation at a time. the new american is arriving.
welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." at the half hour now, new intelligence reports about syria's possible use of chemical weapons. is putting president obama under increasing pressure to take action today. but the president is being careful not to rush to judgment. >> knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used inside of syria, doesn't tell us when they were used, how they were used. >> nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel has been monitoring the situation and he joins me now. awfully good to have you here to talk about this because it's a very, very sensitive issue, as you know. the president said last summer that if the assad regime were to use chemical weapons, that would be crossing a red line of sorts and he avoided using the term friday, calling it instead a game changer. interpret all this for me. >> he's used game changer in the
past and white house officials are still talking about a red line. when you think about chemical weapons use or even nuclear weapon use, you think of a mass attack of what happened when the saddam hussein government punished a city, town in this case, and killed thousands of people. or the chemical gas attacks in world war i where thousands died in clouds of mustard gas. what seems to have happened in syria on perhaps two occasions is there were a small number of casualties, and small amounts of sarin were found. now, i'm not trying to say that that wasn't a bad thing. but it's not what you would expect when you're using a weapon of mass destruction. is that, was it an accident? were they intending to kill more people but the weapons didn't function properly? were they sending a message to the opposition, or to us? it wasn't a mass casualty chemical weapons-style attack.
there's something strange about what happene the intelligence is pretty solid that from tissue and blood samples, blood samples i think they are, the chemical weapon was detected in the victims. >> hmm. >> but, when -- i remember when this attack first happened, this last one and all the allegations were made last month, and i was watching the death toll, and i thought, okay, we've heard chemical weapons are now being used, the death toll is going to go up to hundreds. and then we're going to see a military intervention and this is changed. this is a different war right now. but in the end, it was like 10 or 15 or 20 people who were killed, and that's not a typical sarin gas attack. so there's something that doesn't quite add up. >> but from what you know, would someone try to launch a sarin gas attack on 15 or 20 people? >> you don't do it. it doesn't make a lot of sense. >> so having done this -- >> it's like building a tiny, tiny little nuclear bomb and using it to blow up a house.
you can find the nuclear residue, you can find the radiological material, but why? >> so then with logic, was this a mistake? or was this somehow an ability to just send a message like, we're showing you a little bit of what we have in our arsenal? >> we know he has chemical weapons in his arsenal. that's well documented. and we know roughly how many sites they have. so, you don't need to send that message, everyone knows that. >> how does the president interpret this? i mean what are his options here? >> well, the -- he's talking about sending it to the u.n. for investigation. and that, frankly, is a little weak considering there have been many u.n. investigations in the past, and they haven't gone anywhere. there were u.n. teams on the ground for over a year in syria, they had no cooperation. there's a u.n. investigation ongoing right now, the personnel aren't even being allowed in to syria. so looking, tossing it back in to the u.n.'s corner, hoping
that there's going to be some sort of great internationally recognized, decisive, investigation, is probably not going to happen. i think what they're hoping for is if they can solidify the evidence a little more, they can use it in back channel talks with the russians, and use it to get the russians more on board. >> yeah. >> but from the syrian -- i spent yesterday, i'm here in washington with a lot of syrian activists and people who follow this cause quite closely, i was with them yesterday, and they are incredibly disappointed. they want to see a much stronger position from the obama administration. they say, okay, yes, it wasn't a mass gassing, but why does that have to happen before more -- before more action. before more help? and they're not talking about u.s. marines occupying syria. they're talking about a no-fly zone, or a buffer zone. >> so this is absolutely to be continued. so we'll do so with your help down the road. thank you.
>> thank you. new details this morning about how authorities worked to track down the boston marathon bombing suspects. jeff bauman who was injured in the blast came eye-to-eye with suspect number one, tamerlan tsarnaev moments before the bombs were detonated. he lost both legs gut from his hospital bed he gave the authorities a description of the suspicious man he encountered. >> are fbi agents running in the room and cops and investigators? is that what happened? >> yeah, they were there from the moment i was in -- from the moment i was talking right when i got to the hospital. right when i showed up in the ambulance. >> really? and was sketch artist ever brought in so they actually drew a picture of him or they just took your description, the words of your description? >> yeah, they brought it -- they -- well for the first suspect i think they just took the description. >> mm-hmm. >> but then they were -- then i think they saw the second suspect and on like wednesday they had a sketch artist in. >> and so he drew a picture and
did it look like the guy that we know is suspect number one? >> yeah. yeah, looked just like him. >> you're amazing, jeff. >> well, bauman was at the finish line to cheer on his girlfriend who was running in the marathon. for more on the investigation i'm joined now by christopher dickey paris bureau chief and middle east editor for "newsweek" and the daily beast and author of "securing the city: inside america's best counterterror force the nypd." christopher, as always, a pleasure. long-distance as it is here from paris. listen, it's hard to determine, but can you guess whether this might have been stopped, if it happened in new york city, given all the security cameras and all the other technology in place? >> new york city is always ready for this kind of thing. and from the moment that anybody in new york heard that the bombings had taken place in boston, while a lot of the press reports were saying it wasn't clear what it was, they determined immediately that this was probably a terrorist act, and they heightened the alert all over new york city.
they've got cars ready. almost 100 cars ready at any given moment to deploy to places that they think need extra protection. they did that. they were -- they are always on alert and they went on to super high alert as a result of this. so i think they would have been as well prepared as any city. but to catch one car coming in with some bombs to hit times square, which is what we are now hearing that tsarnaev brothers allegedly planned to do, or do almost spontaneously, that's a hard one to stop. >> so, on the heels of that, can and should other cities try to match new york's capabilities, securitywise? >> you know, it's hard for any other city to match new york's capabilities. new york's police department is enormous. the boston police department is about 2,000 cops, with about 800 civilians. the new york police city police department is 35,000 cops.
there are 1,000 detectives devoted to nothing but intelligence and counterterrorism. now, having said that, it's also true that almost no other city in america and certainly in the world is quite the target that new york city is. because it's a financial center, a media center, you get a big target in new york, and you get global attention instantly. which is one of the reasons that the security alert has been so high for so long in new york city. it's not just to keep a repeat of 9/11 from happening, it's to keep these kinds of bombings from happening. >> so then with regard to boston, and the incident, christopher, is it too soon to tell if there was an intelligence failure here? >> no. i mean, it's been obvious from the beginning there was an intelligence failure. the question is, whose failure, and why, and how did it happen? it's pretty clear that the fbi dropped the ball on the older brother. they have a -- they have a
message coming to them from the security services in russia, saying watch this guy. and they go through the motions. they check their databases, they ask around about him. they finally interview him. at that point they couldn't get anything on him. but what they could have done if they wanted to be more aggressive, and it's the kind of thing they've done in other places, they've done it in cleveland, ohio, they've done it in texas, is they could have tried to run in a confidential informant, or an undercover agent to sort of get close to him and find out more about what he was doing. they didn't do that. that's the kind of thing that the nypd would have done on its own initiative. and that's one of the big differences between what new york can do and almost any other city in the world in the united states. in any other city in the united states essentially has to depend on the fbi to do this kind of work. >> all right. well, christopher dickey, i look forward to speaking with you again. thank you so much. in today's office politics we're talking with our newest
host here on msnbc weekend, steve cray knack ki host of up. he gets us into the challenges of producing and anchoring his two-hour show and compares it with the cycle here on msnbc. first i asked the boston native about his reaction to the terrorist attack at the marathon's finish line. >> it's this kind of feeling, families are up there, friends are still up there when the news broke. my cousin works as a manager at the hotel on boylston street. the bomb was right across the street from there. so that was my first thought, was he there. and he actually he wasn't there when it happened. so that was good. but, and then you know, i have a couple friends who were around watching the mafr than. nobody who was right there at the finish line, so i was just checking in with people. but there was something particular about seeing boston in every shot, every camera shot that i looked at, i recognized every building there. you know. and in the faces you see in those shots i mean i felt like you know these are people i went to school with. these are people i grew up with,
these are my neighbors. i didn't necessarily recognize the faces but i felt like you know, this is my world. this is where i'm from. so there was something i don't know you just sort of feel like extra protective of the city. >> did you ever expect to have your own cable show? >> no. and as you can see i never expected to have my own office, either. there's not much in here. but you know, happy to, you know, give you the grand tour, and you pretty much got it by this point. >> no, it's all good. what is it that got you here? >> boy, that's a good question. you know -- >> don't be modest. >> started in online journalism covering politics in new jersey covered congress for a year down in d.c., wrote for the new york on server, and then salon, and then just sort of, you know, probably seven or eight years after, you know, grad outing college i randomly start add peering as a guest on shows, and then from there, they had the 3:00 show come open so they put us on the cycle and then i think nine months into that, this happened.
so, yeah. >> is your brain just spinning like, wow? >> yeah, it's a little -- you know, it's, it's, i don't have that much time right now to sit back and kind of process it because, aputting this show together we just started it's an intense process. i think it's a much more i rigorous process. it's just the nature of two hours on a weekend versus one hour in the middle of a week day when you're -- >> with four people by the way. >> right. one hour with four people and you're sort of the the, the news events of the day will dictate to a great extent what you're talking about or if you're talking about because you'll have a press conference from obama you'll have a speech or some kind of news story, that could end up taking up most of the show. for two hours on a weekend, i never in my life have appreciated how long two hours can be. >> how would you describe the dynamic on the cycle? >> the best thing about a four-person show is if, if, if a subject is not necessarily my strong suit, if i'm just not, you know, feeling it that day for whatever reason, there's three people there who can, who can pick up the slack.
everybody else here has something else to say. so i was never, you know, awkward silence was never a problem on that show. >> whom did you clash with most often? >> oh everybody. i have a tempestuous -- >> oh, come on. >> no, i threw chairs and i, you know, swore at everybody. >> and look where you are now with your own show. >> yeah, yeah, i blame it on the drinking. i don't know. >> i see the jacket. you may be wearing that on on air at some point. >> what about that is this your dry cleaning? >> they won't let me wear -- i don't think the sweatshirts going to work on the air. >> well, i don't know. >> this is like in theory for on air. >> you haven't seen taken the tags off of this thing yet. >> i bought a shirt. >> a shirt? that's dry clean. >> this doesn't fit if you want it, if you -- >> no, no, that's okay. >> i guess the wrong size. >> anybody? okay. >> and there's some dirty clothes, and, yeah, so that's
my -- that's my -- >> we're going to have to do some decorating. yeah we're going to have to do some decorating there. coming up at noon steve takes on the failure of congress to get anything done on gun control and the change of lifestyle that now comes with his new schedule. did the boston bombers act alone? one congressman says more arrests will be made in minutes we talk to someone who's been investigating the story. ught? describe the first time you met. you brought the flex in... as soon as i met fiona and i was describing the problem we were having with our rear brakes, she immediately triaged the situation, knew exactly what was wrong with it, the car was diagnosed properly, it was fixed correctly i have confidence knowing that if i take to ford it's going to be done correctly with the right parts and the right people. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. did you tell him to say all of that? no, he's right though... for sein a whole new way. for seeing what cash is coming in and going out...
the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ gives you 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone but her... no. no! no. ...likes 50% more cash.
but i don't give up easy... do you want 50% more cash? yes! yes?! ♪ [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on every purchase, plus a 50% annual bonus on the cash you earn. it's the card for people who like more cash. ♪ what's in your wallet? why? and we've hit the why phase... the white house correspondents dinner kicks off about twelve hours or so from now here in washington. when president obama is expected to deliver a speech that includes some humor. but for one former presidential speech writer, the day is remembered for a speech that was never delivered. joining me now is political humorist mark katz who was the in-house comedic speech yeutter for president bill clinton. welcome, mark. i know you've got this new piece in the daily beast about what you call the funniest speech bill clinton never gave. and you write about how the white hou
white house decided against giving your speech in 1995 because it was only ten days after the oklahoma city bombing and they were concerned it was too funny. so could that happen again with the boston bombing? >> i think more accurately it was the best speech he never gave. because for the fact that he never gave it, he gave another speech that really kind of tapped in to his -- his -- an eloquent voice that kind of gave voice to our -- our national resolve to fight terrorism. so this is a, you know, each white house correspondents dinner attempts to be the exact right comic rhetoric to its particular moment in time. and this is a particularly tricky moment in time just like 1995 was. >> yeah. well, but timing wise, because i know the president did give that speech though he did it to a slightly smaller audience. what was the reaction when he did? >> which speech? the speech -- >> the speech that he never gave or the best speech he never gave. >> the president, in an act of kindness, found out that the
speech we'd been working on for the -- for over a week was not going to be delivered, he invited me back in to the oval office, where he delivered the speech to me, for my benefit. >> aw. >> so i so i can say i've been pitied at the highest level. >> listen, we all can't help but remember mayor rudy giuliani. he went on "saturday night live" after 9/11 and told new yorkers it's okay to laugh again. >> the tricky part is finding the right moment. for a president it's even trickier. tonight conan o'brien will be the comedian but there will be only one president in the room. people will be looking to him to find the right note. it's no easy thing. but i'm sure in the white house they've been trying to figure this out all week long and i'm sure they went back and read president clinton's 1995 speech he did deliver and write himself
to the white house correspond's dinner and i encourage people to go and look it up because it's a stirring speech. i'm sure that in the white house they've reread it. experienced those tingles and goose bumps. >> we have 12 hours or so. i'm sure it will be a great speech. mark "cats" grekatz. >> the boston bombing questions still unanswered. that's next. >> in my first term i sang rain. my second term i'm going with young jeezy. michelle said yeah. i sing that to her sometimes.
don't use it. live like they did long ago. or just turn off the lights when you leave a room. you can conserve energy wisely. the more you know. new questions are being raised by the boston bombings from a high level this morning. joining me is greg miller. good morning to you. let's get to the unanswered questions you've been covering this investigation. how does that stand? what are they >> the biggest unanswered question obviously is were others involved? it doesn't look like it. nobody has turned up any evidence of it so far.
but that's the main thing that authorities really want to rule out in this case. >> what about what republican congressman mike rogers who chairs the house committee on against suggesting persons of interest, others that may be involved? >> i think we already are hearing some members of his family may have known more than we discovered so far. i think, you know, in russia we learned that there's sweeps under way they rounded up dozens of people at mosques and other places where the tsarnaev had visited during his seven month trip to that country. it's not just in the united states but in russia as well looking for other persons who were close to this plot to see if they had any involvement. >> does it seem right now we're looking at two guys that went on their own because they were inspired by something that tamerlan may have learned about and discussed in a mosque or more organized group say go do this?
>> it looks like the first thing, the first scenario you just outlined. when you talk to counterterrorism officials in washington that's more scary to them because when there's so little communication or maybe no communication with an outside group it makes it a lot harder for them to spot a plot like this while it's being put together. >> why? because there's no chatter. were there to have been some directive it's more likely would have picked up something. >> if there were emails or phone calls or visits or anything like that, that's behavior that u.s. spy agencies are in position to watch and monitor. >> cia involvement in this case. >> cia involvement was limited. they got a call from the russians. they got a request from them. help us with this guy. the first week after this bombing we had only thought the fbi had been notified. there were more agencies in the u.s. government than we knew that were worried, at least told to worry about this guy. >> good thing it seems there was cooperation between agencies. >> yeah.
a little coops here between the cia and russians which these are two entities that were built to be adversaries. >> good point you make. as always, thanks. join me at noon. more smart political talk with "up with steve kornacki." o pott. it's got what a plant needs like miracle-gro plant food that feeds them for up to six months. you get bigger, healthier plants, guaranteed. who's got two green thumbs thanks to miracle-gro? ah, this gal. boom! with the right soil, everyone grows with miracle-gro. i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin.
[ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer through 6 months. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events, including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders, and allergic reactions have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. you should not start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if you have symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. if you've had enough, ask your dermatologist about enbrel. but i wondered what a customer thought? describe the first time you met. you brought the flex in... as soon as i met fiona and i was describing the problem we were having with our rear brakes, she immediately triaged the situation, knew exactly what was wrong with it, the car was diagnosed properly, it was fixed correctly
i have confidence knowing that if i take to ford it's going to be done correctly with the right parts and the right people. get a free brake inspection and brake pads installed for just 49.95 after rebates when you use the ford service credit card. did you tell him to say all of that? no, he's right though... then you'll love lactose-free lactaid® it's 100% real milk that's easy to digest so you can fully enjoy the dairy you love. lactaid®. for 25 years, easy to digest. easy to love. ♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it.
good morning from new york i'm steve kornacki. a day after congress voted to end furloughs for air traffic controllers that were causing massive flight delays president obama reiterated his calls to replace the automaticed spending cuts with a more balanced reduction plans. syria is calling for action after the obama administration said president assad's regime likely used chemical weapons. right now i