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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  August 26, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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through the weekend. "the last word" starts right now. from north carolina to new york city are trying to minimize the damages from hurricane irene, and so too are the politicians. >> get the hell off the beach and get out. >> get out of the storms path now. >> 65 million americans could feel the rather of irene. >> do not waste anymore time working on your tan. >> what happens next is up to mother nature. >> this is a very strong and intense storm, and we're fearful that it's going to be a very bad life-threatening day. >> time is running out, but they can still get ready. >> politicians understandably are running for cover as well. >> president obama is cutting his vacation on martha's vineyard short by a day. >> if you are in the projected path of the hurricane you have to take precautions now. >> it's heading basically,
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directly for us. >> need water? comfortable? >> this is real, and headed our way. >> i am satisfied with the level of preparation. >> more than 3.5 million people are involved. >> the most selfish act anybody can take is staying put. >> bring stuff to care for your pets, and bring the kitty litter and the box, and the pooper scooper. >> there is no magic about fema. >> fema is preparing for a federal response. >> it should be like 1900, 1940, 1960. >> those monies will be offset to cost cutting. >> the government is not responsible for your safety. that's why we have the second amendment.
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good evening, from new york, where for the first time in history there is a mandatory evacuation order for a natural disaster. if you are still not convinced that hurricane irene is for real, check out the new satellite image from nasa. this is the western hemisphere, and this is hurricane irene, which looks from that picture like it could swallow the eastern seaboard. it's a big storm. as we told you yesterday, its reach extends 250 miles in every direction. the carolinas are starting to feel the affects of irene, and it's expected to make landfall as a category 2 storm on the outer banks and then move north. along the east coast cities and states are taking precautions and urging people close to the
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water to get out before it's too late. and there is shutdowns of the public transportation systems tomorrow. amtrak will shut down service in the northeast on sunday. more than 5,000 flights have been cancelled so far. sorry vacation nervacationers. president obama sent a message. >> i cannot stress this highly enough. if you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. don't wait. don't delay. we all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. all of us have to take this storm seriously. >> more than 2 million people have been ordered to evacuate including a quarter million in new york city. >> we have never done a mandatory evacuation before, and we wouldn't be doing it now if we did not think the storm had the potential to be very
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serious. do not be fooled by the sun outside. that is the calm before the storm. you cannot wait until winds and rains arrive. it will be too late then. >> and off the topic, there was a serious frown over the mayor there. joining me now is mark potter for nbc. when did the weather start to turn? >> reporter: it started to turn about three hours ago. it was a pretty calm day here, a cloudy day. yesterday, bright and sunny. about three hours ago we started to feel the first rain bans coming in, and we had several of the heavy bans now since then. the winds have been coming up and the winds are kicking up. they are expecting gail force winds tomorrow night, and then hurricane winds tomorrow. the biggest concern is the storm
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surge, the ocean water being pushed ahead of the hurricane. and there is a particular concern that they have that if the eye goes just to the west of where we are now, you could have a double hit here from the surge. the leading winds from the hurricane going counter clockwise pushing from the southeast could be pushing water on to the eastern shoreline here in the outer banks, and then as the hurricane goes to the west and goes away, the last winds, the tailing winds coming from the northwest could push water on to the western shore. so you could have a sandwiching affect where the water is coming together, taking out roads and damaging the pileings below houses and doing substantial damage here. that's why the emergency managers here, chris, have been telling people to please get off the island. they had to get 150,000 tourists off the island near the end of the tourists season, and the business people hated to do that and safety came first so they
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did. they left. now they have been asking the residents to leave and not all of them are going. many did, but some are staying behind. they made the decision they could ride the storm out. they would rather stay in their homes than leave and not be able to come back. emergency managers are not pleased about that but are accepting the fact that's the way it's going to be through this storm. >> mark, thank you so much. appreciate it. let's go to bill karins here at msnbc headquarters. >> a lot has changed in the last 24 hours. the storm is over eastern north carolina. that's where we're seeing the outer bans. we're watching it and tracking it to the north. all of a sudden we're getting the north and northeast turn. that's why the storm is heading
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up to theouter banks. the storm lost punch. you cannot argue that. now we are calling for a category 1. the wind damage will not be as bad as what was predicted as yesterday, and that's the good news. but the storm is so huge it doesn't make a difference because all of the heavy rain will fall no matter what the strength is. and the wind is pushing the water towards the coast, and that's not good. and tropical storm force winds will knock down trees and cause power outages. don't expect to see pictures like katrina, or ike in houston, we will not have a storm like that. the legacy of the storm will be the heavy rain and power outages, and the reason we will have the power outages, is because the area goes for almost 900 miles from east to west and north to south and that has to move all the way up the coast to
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new england and that's enough to knock the power out in many areas. here is the expected path. landfall as we go from the overnight into the early morning on saturday, and then we track the storm from maryland into delaware, as a category 1, and not a 2 anymore. and landfall come early sunday morning in new york city. it will not be a catastrophe like andrew or katrina, and probably a week without power will probably be the legacy. >> thank you so much for laying that out. lester holt is in new york city. >> chris, there are 8 million of us living in new york city and we would like to think we have seen everything, but when the mayor announced mandatory evacuations for part of the city today, it got a lot of folks' attenti attention. come sunday this area might be under water. there's a urgent new reality taking grip here in the big apple. the naked city has never felt so
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exposed. tens of thousands now under orders to get out. >> i feel nervous. i feel like i don't know what is going on. i don't know what is going to happen and that's always a scary feeling. >> the city produced a map with the flood risks in the five boroug boroughs. today's seniors at this brooklyn hospital were among the first to be relocated. >> i cannot stress it enough. please, nature is a force more powerful than any of us, and it really is better to be safe than sorry. >> reporter: this is battery park at the lower tip of manhattan sitting at sea level. it would be the first area to be overwhelmed by a storm surge. experts say the entire area could be buried in water, even flooding the holland tunnel that carries car traffic between lower manhattan and new jersey. >> new york city is the most vulnerable city in the world. if a major hurricane comes to
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new york city, the tunnels are vulnerable. >> reporter: wind is the other big threat, of course. today construction crews are making plans to secure the scores of towering cranes that dot the skyline. here at the world trade center rebuilding sight, there are 11 rigs in use. >> if they are not secured they could collapse in the high winds. they are designed for 100 or 110-mile-per-hour winds. >> reporter: and carrying nearly twice the population of chicago, but the tracks are susceptible to flooding. a tornado related storm did this. irene is expected to drop rain at more than twice the rate. today with train service shutting down soon, those new yorkers not under evacuation orders are gaming out when and if they will get out when the time comes. >> you have to start your preparations to leave right now,
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and keep in mind tomorrow you will not have the advantage of mass transit to help you do that. >> imagine the to do list of being a official in the city of 8 million. the peak of the tourists season sxhr , and i talked to many of them who do not know what they are going to do as the airlines are pairing down flights. >> and joining me a founding parter with the clinton fema director. he went and helped japan create its own version of fema. if you were at the helm of fema, what would be want to be prepared for? >> i think one of the most important things, and your correspondents earlier commented on it, this is not going to be a wind event.
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wind is only one risk of comes with hurricanes. the storm surge is huge and pushing a lot of water. there will be a lot of rain. not just in the coastal communities but the inland communities as well. and you have tornados spawned in hurricanes of this size. if you remember back to 1999, hurricane floyd was similar to this and we still had billions of dollars worth of damage and it was not a major hurricane. >> my understanding is that we're just about high tide right now, and as bill was talking about, it's suggested of a massive storm surge and the wind speed, new york city, what are the possible problems that cascade from a large storm surge in terms of low-lying areas, and the flood walls in new york. what kind of height storm surge do you start to worry about
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serious flooding? >> besides the obvious, loss of life. and we're hoping the people heeded mayor bloomberg's advice. storm surge of four to six feet could have significant impacts on the transportation networks. you talked about the tornado water event that slowed down traffic for a few days, and that was fresh water. you can imagine if those tunnels, the holland and lincoln tunnel were flooded with saltwater, not only would you have a short impact loss of transportation, but you are going to have a long-term lingering impacts to the metal components of the system. >> irene is projected to touch or impact at least seven states. does fema have the capacity to deal with an affected area that is that large? >> i think they do have the capacity, but what is more
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important from the fema standpoint, they are primarily a support agency. all disasters are local. the more prepared local and state's capacity is, the less fema requirement there will be. if the evacuations were heeded and there's less people to deal with along the coast it will be easier for fema. fema has mobilized all the resources from the government, not just fema but homeland security, and everybody you can imagine has been mobilized all the way up from florida to maine. the resources are there and it's difficult to deal with a storm like this that is paralleling the coast because you never know where the true impact is going to be, but i believe they are as ready as they can be. >> thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. coming up, ron paul sees irene coming and reiterates that there's no need in the country for an organization like fema. we will talk about that belief up next. and then as the manhunt for
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gadhafi continues, and there is a different john mccain enclosed door talks with the libyan regime. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪
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coming up, one thing you cannot call presidential candidate is a hypocrite. and then last night we talked about the failed program in florida to make sure welfare recipients are not wasting welfare on drugs. [ male announcer ] get ready for the left lane.
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i want to show you a poster that became a billboard, and viewers from the show should be familiar with. my goal is to cut government in half in 25 years to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub. that picture is new orleans after katrina. government small enough to drown. it articulates the real word consequences of that kind of governance, and there are lots of republicans that say the same thing, of course when it's their own district or state that will drown and then they will run to the federal government for help. thankfully in a sea of hypocrites, there is always the last honest man unafraid to hold to his most extreme views in the
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most extreme circumstances, ron paul. >> fema is only about 30 or 40 years, and i don't know how old. the worst disaster we had was in my district in galveston in 1900. before fema, the people built the city and built a seawall and survived without fema. it should be like 1940 and 1960. people have lack of confidence in how free markets work, and how neighbors should take care of themselves. it should be coordinate voluntarily with the states. >> it's true that fema is relatively new. it was created in 1979 and has a way of consolidated all the things the federal government did for the local agencies. ron paul believes they don't need outside coordinations in times of disaster. they reduced the capacity of local authorities to act, and
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that's the advantage of something like fema. and it's not as if the federal government was not helping before fema existed. for example, if we are talking about hurricanes to hit the new york area, there have not been many, the works progress administration, the wpa was vital during the hurricane that hit long island. >> in three days, the workers have been shifted to storm duty. manpower turning from regular public improvements and services into the breech in time of dire needs. where tracks were mentd to carry trains, and thousands of workers came by rail. in recent times in recent years -- >> i have been working on my news reel voice but cannot do that well. the great tasks of
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reconstruction. at a deeper level, the devastation of disaster one of the foundations of civilization. it just doesn't bind citizens of a state to that state, it binds people in the united states to other people in the united states. and paul's comments are less about the role of government than what each of us owe each other. joining me now is maggi haguerman of politico. this is par for the course for ron paul. when the tape came in, i was glad we had a chance to play it, because what i think you see in the republican field, and tell me if you agree or not, everybody wants to adopt ron paul when it's convenient, and then abandon it when it's not.
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>> yeah, i think as you say, this is ron paul being true to himself. this is absolutely in line with everything that he says, and it's an example of him not giving a single inch towards electability, which is something that his supporters keep saying we should all be paying attention to him, he can win. i would argue this is a tough sell in a general election. >> here is the thing about ron paul. even if he is no closer to electability, he has wrenched, and there's a case to be made that he has exerted a grav tagsal pull so that everybody -- when you saw rick perry talking about ben bernanke printing money, he treated him ugly? >> yeah, indeed. i think that's a valid point. i don't think it's just ron paul, and i think the party was running a certain direction. i think as you say this is not a practical solution.
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i think that when you go back to katrina, as we discussed, you know, as you discussed earlier, people wanted the federal government to come in. people wanted the federal government to come and help. the denouncement of the bush administration was that they did not do enough. this does become when it's convenient. while what he is saying is true in the distilled form, it's not necessarily right. >> speaking of somebody that has to think more about the political consequences, eric cantor, he is now on the kick where they have to offset any of the disaster spending has to be spent in cuts everywhere else, and how does that scaquare this circle? >> how it squares is going to be, i think, with the usual sort of budget magic that we see. i suspect he will be fighting hard to make sure his district is perfectly preserved.
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>> the president coming home from his vacation, and -- >> that was quite interesting. >> why did you think that it was interesting? >> because he generally strayed from doing that kind of thing. this is the first time we have seen him get in there and say this is what i have to come back for. the visual up in martha's vineyard, and that is in the zone -- >> exactly. >> and the repeated looks at what he is doing and the claims he is disconnected with his country, and what is going on is taking affect. >> you mean in the minds of the public or the minds of the people around him? >> i think both. it took affect in the minds of the public a while ago looking at his poll numbers and what they indicate, and his folks are starting to see that and respond. >> thank you so much. stay dry this weekend. >> i will do my best. coming up, the financial impact of irene.
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some eye popping dollar figures ahead. later, gadhafi's secret fan inside the u.s. government. new information leaks that senator john mccain wanted to make him an even stronger dictator. living with the pain of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis... could mean living with joint damage.
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last night we told you about protesters hoping to stop the pipeline that would carry oil
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from canada to the gulf of mexico to be refined. today the state department released the assessment which removes a major barrier to the project. the report says the pipeline would have, quote, no significant impact, and suggested the pipeline move forward for consideration. environmentalist point out the process of extracting the oil from the sands is intensive, and it runs the risk of leaks. they point out the state department review does not take into account the climate affect of the massive store of carbon should they be tapped. a state department spokesperson said whether the pipeline is built or not, quote, the oil sands is going to be developed. clinton says the final decision
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will be made this month, and the ultimate decision lies with the president. coming up, rick scott embarrassed himself to try and prove welfare recipients waste money on drugs. and then why a direct on new york city is one of the perfect storms for financial disaster for this country. finally, there's a choice for my patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or afib, that's not caused by a heart valve problem. today we have pradaxa to reduce the risk of a stroke caused by a clot. in a clinical trial, pradaxa 150 mg reduced stroke risk 35% more than warfarin.
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and with pradaxa, there's no need for those regular blood tests. pradaxa is progress. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding, and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have kidney problems or a bleeding condition, like stomach ulcers. or if you take aspirin products, nsaids, or blood thinners. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if pradaxa can reduce your risk of a stroke. morning starts with arthritis pain... that's two pills before the first bell.
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and give out polar bear hugs. technology. [ male announcer ] new bengay cold therapy. the same technology used by physical therapists. go to for a 5-dollar coupon. the spotlight tonight, kicking the unemployed when they are down. in ohio, a republican state senator is introducing a bill that would require people seeking unemployment benefits and welfare to first take a drug test, and, of course, also pay for the test. legislation is being driven by the unkillable prejudice that the poor are shiftless drug lay abouts scheming to get their hands on your precious and gooy
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tax dollars. >> how would we as taxpayers know this is not the boogie man out there, but an idea and it's a problem but we don't have any concrete data to tell us? >> we will have data once we implement the system, and once we implement the testing. you know, if 100% of the people who apply for public assistance come clean, come out clean, and don't have any drugs in the system, then fine, great. but my suspicion is we will find some. >> yeah, that's my suspicion, too, if you drug tested the state senators of the state of ohio. if this sounds familiar, it should, because just last night we looked at the case of a florida governor, rick scott, who pushed through a similar policy that required drug tests for welfare applicants. and the results? >> so was the rate of floridians applying for welfare at the national level of 8.7%?
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no. was it 8%? 6.5%? 5 5.5%, or 5%, like you might be thinking. the rate of floridians applying for welfare who tested positive for drug use is just -- drum roll, 2%. a full 6.7% lower than the government figure for the national average. the florida and ohio drug testing laws come at a time when republicans are launching a new attack on the working poor. texas governor rick perry expressed outrage at 46.4% of households paid no federal income tax in 2011. >> we're dismayed at the injustice that almost half of all americans don't pay any
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income tax. >> he is not out raged at the injustice that half work and take so little that their take home pay barely covers necessities, but he is outraged that they don't pay taxes. what we are seeing is that the category of welfare queen has simply expanded to now include the working poor, and those unlucky enough to lose their jobs during the great recession. joining me now is author delaney, a reporter for "the huffington post." how are you? >> good, thank you. >> and i wanted to see if you thought this new proposal in ohio is part of a larger trend. >> i would say it definitely is part of a larger trend. there have been proposals to drug test the jobless kicking
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around the states for a couple years, and at the federal level, senator orrin hatch from utah also proposed drug testing to the unemployed. it was not something taken very seriously, and as you said, there's not really any data to suggest as the lawmakers in ohio are saying that our taxpayer dollars are supporting the drug habits of drug addicts. >> and one thing is the massive number of the long-term unemployed, and this is something you have written about quite a bit at the "huffington post," and what are the obstacles those folks are facing as they try to get back in the labor force? >> a new phenomenon that popped up in the last year is companies actually discriminating against people because they don't have jobs, and saying in job ads if you are unemployed you won't be considered or must be currently
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employed. but this could backfire. this might not be a smart strategy on the part of political strategists, beating up on the unemployed like this, because it's not the same as welfare recipients. the unemployed are not the same as poor people. to qualify for welfare you have to be poor, you have to have income below a certain threshold. we know that 70% of all the money that the government spends goes to families that make more than two times of the poverty threshold, and these are the people who vote, which is another key thing among poor folks. >> isn't the problem, rather than having a situation which the unemployed represent a lot of people who are cycling through unemployment at any given moment, and it's a class of people that have been sort of expelled from the labor market and cannot get back in so they have this short of -- their
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affect on politics is a minority affect? >> yeah, i agree. it's as if it's an intractable problem. there's nothing out there that people think is supposed to address this. the white house is reportedly trying to cook up something that could help the long-term unemployment, but nobody knows how serious it is or whether it would work. we could be basically pushing out a couple million people permanently from the workforce. >> author dulaney writes for "the huffington post." you have a book coming out about the unemployment. what is it called? >> it will be called "the people's history of the great recession." >> look for it where e books are sold. why does a intelligence cable say that mccain promised to help the libyan dictator acquire military assistance? that's next. good job, man. nice!
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a statement last week, mccain said the fall of gadhafi took so long because of the failure of the united states to ememploy the full weight of the air power. and mccain tried to help the gadhafi regime with their air power. that's next. later, the hurricane history. how much damage should we expect in the big apple coming up.
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i know you are a strong supporter of the action by nato. why libya? why are we helping them? >> i think we are helping -- i know we are helping them because gadhafi is a person who is capable of carrying out acts of terror. he has the blood of americans on his hands as a result of pan am 103. he is a person who over time would -- if he were able to succeed would clearly train terrorists and export terrorism. >> my friends, that was republican senator, john mccain, on monday night. not the first time he said gadhafi has the blood of americans on his hands. in fact he said it on every major network. he said it the night before on cbs, and abc in june, and he said it to nbc's matt lauer back in march. >> the blood of americans are on
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gadhafi's hands because we know he was responsible for pan am 103. he should be removed from power. >> the bombing of flight 103 took place in december of 1988 of the 259 people onboard who died, most were american citizens. the now ex-leader of libya was allegedly the mastermind of that attack. so mccain is not wrong about the immorability of his regime. mccain was not just going after gadhafi, but he wanted to attack obama for the military action. one of the most passive aggressive documents i have seen, and it reads in part, we regret the success was so long in coming due to the failure of the united states to ememploy the full weight of our air power. here is mccain back in march
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criticizing the president after he authorized the no fly zone. >> obviously, if we had taken this step a couple weeks ago, a no fly zone would probably have been enough. now a no fly zone is not enough. there needs to be other efforts made. he waited too long. there's no doubt in my mind about it. >> this is a bit of a theme with john mccain. if you had to bet, what is john mccain's position on foreign policy a, your strongest bet would be stronger military action and stick it out and send more troops, which makes you think mccain's world view is black of white, one of heroes and villains. 21 years after the pan am bombing that gadhafi was responsible for, senator graham and collins bet with gadhafi and his son and national security adviser under a tent in tripoli.
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according to a u.s. diplomatic cable the first part of the meeting was just with gadhafi's son. gadhafi's son complained the u.s. had not adequately rewarded libya for dropping it's dmw program in 1993. he wanted help obtaining lethal military supplies. according to the cable he requested assistance including helicopters. we can get equipment from russia or china but we want to get it from you as a symbol of faith from the united states. the equipment requested included hercules military aircraft. in 1972, the united states sold some to libya, and a ban on arms sales prevented the u.s. from delivering the warplanes, because relations had improved by that meeting, senator mccain
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assured that the united states wanted to provide libya with the equipment it needs for its security. he pledged to see what he could do to keep things going forward in congress. soon, colonel gadhafi joined the meeting. the cable says gadhafi was notably silent on the subject of obtaining equipment, and two of the u.s. senators were not. mccain and graham conveyed the u.s. interest of continuing the progress of the bilateral relationship, and today politico obtained a response from the communications director, and read in part at no point did senator mccain ever promise to help the gadhafi
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>> all right. so what does this mean about the john mccain foreign policy world view? at some level, okay, granted, yes, he just told gadhafi what gadhafi wanted to hear. that said, what the cable reveals is that john mccain jz that the universe of foreign policy isn't the cartoonish vision of bombs and war that he is constantly using as a political bludgeon against his political opponents. sometimes diplomacy is ness in certain instances. in fact, he knows it because he was there as an instrument of that diploma as where i. but this blood-thirsty monster that he now touts the expull shon. john mccain understands in his private contact that the cartoonish everyist heroes and villains clashing and the picture of foreign policy that is all about the moral blackmail of your opponents is false. shaking hands with saddam
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hussein, here mccain is across the table politely listening to the pleas for more money and military supplies from the same regime that he is calling blood thirsty. but it's politically expedient for john mccain to pretend he doesn't know that. john mccain is a bully against anyone who refuses to buy into his cartoonish moral crusading. lo and behold, behind closed doors, is he operating like everybody else. >> let's go, kids! my name is robin. and i was a pack-a-day smoker for 25 years. i do remember sitting down with my boys, and i'm like, "oh, promise mommy
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the impact of hurricane irene no matter where it makes land along the eastern seaboard could be costly, but if it comes anywhere near new york, as it's expected to, it could create a whole new level of economic destruction. new york want only has the
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largest population of any city in the country, well over 8 million. its total real estate is valued at around $800 billion. of course, it remains, for better and so often for ill, the financial capital of the world. the "new york times" 538 block krumplged the numbers, and based on past hurricanes came up with some rather ominous conclusions. in a worst case scenario, if a weak category two storm passes directly over manhattan, it could cause $35 billion in damage in the northeast. most of it in new york itself with flooding in several parts of the city and the subway system likely. that number, $35 billion, is half of new york city's annual budget. 1% of the nation's quarterly gdp. a far more likely scenario is we're getting in data in right now, one in which a weak category two with its eye passing over central long island, some 50 miles away from new york city, could result in $10 billion damage to new york and the region.
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joining me now is the author of that report, nate silver of "new york times" 538 block. nate, how are you doing? >> hi, chris. >> let's narrow it down. how did you build this model? >> there aren't that many storms that have come through the northeast and new york in the past. there are about 20 that actually struck long island or massachusetts as a tropical storm or worse, and they had widely varying amounts of economic damage from almost $50 billion in today's dollars from 1938's storm to, u know, just a trivial effect that they kind of go out to sea and hit nantucket. so we're saying which factors determine what is going cause the damage, and the two major things are how close the storm hits to new york city, and how powerful the winds are, and it has an exponential effect. a large tropical storm is worse than a -- a category one will cause three times more damage than a tropical storm and so forth, so you really see the effect zooming up with every case in wind speed and every distance that comes closer to kind of manhattan, central park profer. >> i have been obsessively on,
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like, hurricane tracker sites today. you have been working on stuff about prediction generally. why is it so hard to narrow the band of prediction for the path of a hurricane? >> the miles are actually getting a lot better. used to be they would kind of totally guess and have no idea at all, and this storm has stuck pretty close to its projected track so far, but, you know, it is literally a chaotic system. chaos theory comes from a guy who is trying to study weather and realized how difficult it was for one little thing changes and, you know, your entire forecast has to be rewritten. in this case irene has gone and checked the traffic it's supposed to. it's been a little bit slower than expected, which is good news. people thought it could strengthen over the carolinas and it hasn't, so it will probably make landfall as a weak category one tropical storm in long island and not on that one-two boundary which would be quite a bit more dangerous. >> what's the biggest source of expense if the storm comes
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smashing into new york? >> so we talked about the two big things, which is where it hits and how fast the wind speeds are, but there are other factors that are also important. for example, how big the storm is. you have the eye of the storm, which is fairly small, but, you know, all the way across the storm is as big as the state of tennessee, right? you might not have a direct hit on manhattan, but you would still have quite a few issues potentially, and also how fast it's moving. a slower storm is actually worse. it means that it lingers for a longer time, and you get more storm surge. you get more rainfall. both the storm surge and the rain, and that could potentially still flood new york subways as maybe one of the plausible not likely but plausible very bad scenarios. a lot of real estate. >> wind will not be catastrophic, but you probably won't see window panes shattering in midtown manhattan and so forth, but the storm surge could still be a category two equivalent storm surge, fine
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the storm is weaker, because it's so big and slow and has so much water it's kind of pushing from elsewhere on the eastern seaboard. >> finally, what was the most disruptive storm in the area? you compared about 19 of them. what was the worst? >> what's it, the 38 hurricane, that caused about $45 billion. there's also a storm called agnus, which directly hit manhattan and almost rite ride at the hudson valley, and that cost $25 billion in damage, because the location was so perfect. they are the least prepared for a hurricane. >> nate silver is the project of 538 blog, which you can find on the "new york times". thanks so much. stay dry this weekend. >> thank you, chris. you can have the last word. the last, our blog. you can follow my tweets, and my new show debuts this fall on weekend mornings on msnbc. the rachel maddow show is up next. good evening. >> good evening, chris. you going ride out the storm in new


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