tv NBC Nightly News NBC March 1, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> reporter: good evening, brian. so at midnight tonight, about $85 billion of budget cuts across the board, defense spending and domestic spending, they kick in. in other words, one last meeting this morning between the president and bipartisan group of congressional leaders. but it was really done for show. because make no mistake, there was no serious attempt all week long to actually put a stop to this so-called sequester budget cut. after a week of relentless and dire warnings by his administration -- >> look, i don't think we can maintain the same level of security. >> and the american people are going to be less safe. >> reporter: the president substantially changed the administration's tune. >> this is not going to be a apocalypse, as some people have said. it's just dumb. and it's going to hurt. >> reporter: and his new secretary of defense avoided alarmist language today. >> and we will do what we need to do to assure the capabilities of our forces. >> reporter: still, the president didn't exactly rise above the political rhetoric. >> beginning this week, many
middle class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways. >> reporter: meanwhile, away from the noise of political washington, sequester fears are real. from military bases in maryland. >> i try not to curse, but i've been cursing under my breath, trying to figure out how i'm going to get through this. >> reporter: to federally funded shelters in ohio. >> it is of great concern. the emergency shelter is funded with federal dollars. >> reporter: the white house acknowledges homeland security has released hundreds of undocumented immigrants as a result of the budget cut. and the air force is grounding the world-famous thunderbirds. but the broad impact won't be felt for a while, if ever. one immediate effect, advertising gimmicks at d.c. burger joints. >> only in washington could you have a burger joint do a deal around automatic federal spending cuts. >> reporter: parks, museums, airports and buildings, hummed along, even as both sides maintained the blame game. >> it's happening because a choice that republicans in congress have made. they have allowed these cuts to
happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole. >> this discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. it's about taking on the spending problem here in washington. >> reporter: the president made it clear, he believes the public is on his side. >> we just need republicans in congress to catch up with their own party, and their country on this. >> reporter: one thing the white house made clear, though, they don't want to get dragged into ongoing budget fights for months like what happened in the summer of 2011. instead, the next week the president plans to push forward on guns, immigration, other parts of his agenda, let the budget sort of be a side business. >> chuck todd starting us off from the white house lawn tonight. chuck, thanks. let's go to moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. let's speak plain english here. this is what americans hate about washington. i heard today there are only no saints, only sinners. you heard exclusively from "meet
the press." what did he have to say. >> nobody was around. they had all left town, and both sides hate this thing. yet they didn't stop it, and they left town. it's quite a spectacle. and there's all this business of who is to blame for really being the author of sequester. we know the president wanted it. as to force a different outcome that he was able to get and republicans supported it as well. the big issue, is there any plan to replace it. that's where boehner in this meeting today in the white house said he was critical of the president. that led to this exchange between the two of us in our interview. >> they made it very clear as the president just did, that he has a plan that he's put forward. that involves entitlement cuts, that involves spending cuts, that you've made a choice, as have republicans, to leave tax loopholes in place, and you would rather have those and live with all these arbitrary cuts. >> that's just nonsense. if he had a plan, why wouldn't senate democrats go ahead and
pass it? the house has acted twice over the last ten months to replace the sequester. if we're going to -- the president got his tax hikes on january the 1st. if we're going to get rid of loopholes, let's lower rates and make the tax code fair for all americans. >> here's the bottom line, brian. they're not going to give on revenues, not now. this process is totally stalled out. the speaker said, responded to the idea of the president warning of consequences that nobody knows what the impact will be on the economy. but this is significant. he says he's committed to keeping the government open, no shutdown, over these budget fights, brian. >> david gregory, thanks. we'll look for you and the exclusive interview sunday morning on "meet the press." now to the town of seffner, florida, near tampa, where last night the earth opened up, as it does increasingly and thousands of times every year in this country. this time it swallowed a 37-year-old man as he slept in his home. our report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez.
>> reporter: in his bed one minute, gone the next. >> all i saw was the top of his bed. >> reporter: jeremy bush says he heard a loud crash, then his brother jeffrey screaming late last night at their home near tampa. he jumped into the massive hole in a desperate attempt to rescue his brother. >> and i couldn't get him. all i could hear -- i thought i could hear him screaming for me and hollering for me to help him. and i couldn't do anything. >> reporter: remarkably, outside, the house looks like nothing happened. but inside -- >> the open hole is about 30 feet in diameter. and it's about 20 feet deep. >> reporter: while sinkholes, like these in ohio, minnesota, utah and this one in guatemala often grab headlines, they're most often reported in these seven states. texas, alabama, missouri, kentucky, tennessee, pennsylvania and they're especially common in florida, where more than 15,000 sinkholes have been recorded. last may, this huge hole swallowed an entire backyard near orlando. last june, another destroyed an entire home. while experts say many things
can cause them, in florida, it's a domino effect. the state's sandy soil, on top of clay, supported on a deep layer of limestone, can suddenly collapse, due to a dramatic shift in florida's unique underground rivers. >> florida essentially sits on a system of caverns that are filled with water to some degree. and as that water moves up and down, it erodes those caverns and from time to time they collapse. >> reporter: back near tampa, engineers are trying to explain what happened here, trapping a man in his own home without warning. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, seffner, florida. there's a sad update out of detroit tonight. michigan's governor said today, unless the city makes a sudden financial turn-around, he'll appoint an emergency manager to take control. detroit would then become the largest city in the u.s. to have its finances under state control. the mayor has ten days to appeal the decision. this is also controversial
because if it happens, it will mean almost half of the african-american population in michigan will then live under places where local funding is controlled by the state government. tonight, we get to hear for the first time the justices of the supreme court, and exactly what they said in court recorded on tape during the arguments earlier this week over whether to uphold or strike down the voting rights act of 1965. it's the most important civil rights law of the modern era, which is why the words you're about to hear may live on forever. our report from our justice correspondent, pete williams. >> reporter: just look, the court's liberal member said, at where most voter discrimination lawsuits come from, areas in 16 states covered by the law. >> you can say maybe this district shouldn't be covered, maybe this one should be covered. the formula seems to be working pretty well in terms of going
after the actual violations on the ground and who is committing them. >> and why would we vote in favor of a county whose record is the epitome of what caused the passage of this law to start with. >> reporter: but the court's conservatives told solicitor general don verrilli that congress didn't look at the most up to date evidence when it last renewed the law in 2006. >> do you know which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to african-american voter turnout? >> i do not. >> massachusetts. >> do you know what has the best, where african-american turnout actually exceeds white turnout. mississippi. is it the government's submission that the citizens in the south are more racist than citizens in the north? >> it is not. >> the formula was rational and effective in 1965. the court upheld it then. it upheld it three more times after that. >> well, the marshall plan was
very good, too. the morrill act, the northwest ordinance, but times change. >> reporter: and justice scalia wondered why the law has had growing political support in congress. >> i think it was attributed, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon called perpetuation of racial entitlement. it's been written about whenever a society adopts a racial entitlements. it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes. >> reporter: that comment provoked an immediate response. congressman john lewis of georgia called it an affront to the civil rights movement. the court will decide the future of the voting rights act by late june. pete williams, nbc news, at the supreme court. now overseas to the vatican after that dramatic final departure day for the now former pope, complete with helicopter. the focus now turns to choosing a new pope. and there is word tonight about what happens next. nbc's anne thompson has a quick update for us from the vatican
tonight. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. benedict, pope emeritus, spent his first day in retirement celebrating mass and reading messages. and as promised, we didn't see him. but what we did see is what happened here last night at the vatican when the clock struck 8:00. cardinal bertone and his aides sealed the papal apartment, locking the front door and putting a red ribbon through the door handle, securing it with a glue gun. the cardinals who will elect the next pope will spend this weekend getting to know each other. their formal meetings will begin monday morning. and one of the first things on the agenda is to pick a start date for the conclave. though campaigning is frowned upon, today posters urging for the conclave to vote for ghana's peter turkson. they're the work of street artists. turkson, we're told, had nothing to do with them. brian. >> anne thompson, thanks. still ahead for us on a friday night, what is a prominent member of the kennedy family doing in a tv ad praising hugo chavez of venezuela? he says he's indeed doing it for a very good cause.
sharp-eyed television viewers, especially those here in the east, may have seen the tv commercial and wondered what was up. in it, we see a kennedy, joe kennedy, son of bobby and a former congressman himself, saying nice things about hugo chavez of venezuela. he says he's happy to do it. at the heart of it is kennedy's years of work to deliver heating oil to folks in new england who can't afford it. and there is more to this story as nbc's ron mott reports from boston. >> reporter: if it's cold where you live, chances are you have seen this ad. >> the bills keep piling up. and the heating bill gets pushed off. >> reporter: featuring former congressman joseph kennedy and his nonprofit, citizens energy. >> when we ask the biggest oil companies to help families in
need, only citgo, the people of venezuela and president hugo chavez responded. >> reporter: it's a positive plug some say hugo chavez doesn't deserve. >> he's using citizens' energy in order to give his own government a face-lift or do a public service campaign. >> reporter: chavez's anti-american rhetoric over the years, he once referred to former president george w. bush as the devil at a u.n. speech, and alleged human rights abuses have led to frosty relations between the two countries. >> why is the only company, the only organization that i can get help from, the venezuelans? and shouldn't -- if he gives us a half billion dollars worth of help, don't you think maybe we should say thanks? >> reporter: the former head of shell is one of the oil executives who said no thanks to kennedy's pitch. >> for chavez to grant joe kennedy discounted oil, while not worrying about the price of oil to all american consumers, i think that's the height of
hypocrisy. >> reporter: kennedy's joe for oil program is pumping in 16 states and the nation's capital, giving 100 gallons of heating oil to eligible households. as cold and harsh a season as it's been in neighborhoods like this one around the country, the help is invaluable for many struggling families. >> here's your oil delivery. >> reporter: 88-year-old great grandmother helen says it matters little to her who is paying the tab to keep her warm. >> it's a big help to me, because i can buy some food. if i don't do that, then i pay the oil bill, then i can't afford to buy food. >> reporter: americans facing daunting choices. joe kennedy, happy to take the heat from big oil and elsewhere to help. >> it's all happy horse manure. that's what they sell. and i don't like it. i don't buy it. and i'll fight them every time. >> reporter: ron mott, nbc news, boston. we're back in a moment with the loss of a beloved television mom.
♪ one day at a time she was one of a kind, and ahead of her time. and those of us of a certain age remember bonnie franklin from "one day at a time," which managed to pull off the impossible. it married feminism with situation comedy, featuring an unmarried, single mother named ann romano, fending off advances by a skeevy building superintendent, and having it all while not having a ring on her finger, or notably for the time, a bra under her blouse. she was a 5'3" powerhouse, a talented singer and dancer and stage actress, as well. her show's creator, norman leer, remembered her fondly today. bonnie franklin, dead of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69. millions of self-proclaimed nerds had a field day at something the president said today. here it is. >> most people agree, i'm presenting a fair deal. the fact that they don't take it means that i should somehow, you know, do a jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right. >> here's the problem.
what we have here is a mix sci-fi metaphor, a mixing of jedi mind tricks from "star wars" and the old vulcan mind meld. from "star trek." it is more involved than that, but that's what the hubbub was basically all about. and then there's "the worm," serving as basketball ambassador without portfolio, leaving north korea today. dennis rodman said he loves kim jong-un, his countrymen love him, and he adds, he's an awesome guy. all of which is precisely why the state department wanted no part of this trip surrounding the taping of a tv show. if you're a golfer, then you can sympathize with rory mcilroy, ranked number one in the world, who after hitting his second shot into the water today put down his club, walked off the course, got in his car and left, withdrawing from this weekend's honda classic. he said he was not in a good space mentally and is in pain
from a wisdom tooth. and talk about a walk-off home run. rose gilbert, a teacher with the los angeles unified school district retired today at the age of 94. for 63 years on the job, she was called "mama g," and she called her students bubalas. a former student said today her colleagues are bereft of losing a gifted educator. if you know of an active teacher more senior than rose, please let us know. a public burial ceremony with full military honors in bakersfield, california today for roosevelt clark. he joined the army at 18. he was killed in the korean war, and his remains were unaccounted for for 62 years. he was listed officially as missing all that time, until his remains were found recently along with several others. up next for us tonight, record sales in the business of record sales, as in a new generation going old-school.
it's a retro success story. it's back to the futur and nbc's kate snow has our report. ♪ >> reporter: on a tuesday morning, upstairs at united records in nashville, we found willie mason recording a record. that's right. a record. as in a vinyl disk with grooves on it. >> it's like a sculpture, you know. it's like the music is actually carved physically into a surface. and there's nothing else like that. >> reporter: your fans want your music on vinyl now? >> a lot of them do, yeah. >> reporter: downstairs at united, the largest vinyl factory in the country, they're running 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. how many records can you press in a day? >> typically, we average about 40,000 records a day. >> reporter: for the fifth straight year, vinyl sales were up worldwide. they still represent less than 2% of all music sales, so they'll never compete with digital. but united jay millar says both
have their place. >> when you want to run, you want to do the dishes, you want to do things where you just kind of want music in the background, that's digital. when you want music in the foreground and you want to really experience the music, that's vinyl. >> reporter: grimy's record store in nashville is in the process of expanding. >> vinyl may not save the music industry, but it's definitely saving a lot of stores and bringing a lot of stores back. >> reporter: and its younger listeners driving the trend. >> it's a warmer sound. and it's a more active listening experience. >> reporter: major artists from lady gaga. to taylor swift. and adele. are making sure their music is available online and old-school, for fans who want both. >> in our generation, where you can buy single songs, for you to sit down and listen to an album all the way through takes a little bit of effort, i think. but i think it's well worth it. >> reporter: for these fans, every detail is something to cherish.
♪ >> reporter: kate snow, nbc news, nashville. >> there you go. that's our broadcast on a friday night, and for this week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we're back on the air later tonight for an all-new "rock center." 10:00, 9:00 central. then, of course, we'll good friday evening, everyone. i'm janelle wang in for raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. so many mourners they had to move for those santa cruz officers brutally shot and killed tuesday has been moved. hp pavilion in san jose will host the service next thursday on march 7th. the details of the service is
still pending, but the investigation is moving forward with police now looking for this woman, it teresa johnson. they say the 28-year-old suspected prostitute isn't involved in the murders in any way but they do want to talk to her to get information on the deceased suspect jeremy goulet. investigators say johnson may have been acquainted with him. now we turn to marianne favro who joins us live in santa cruz where police are still working this investigation, marianne. >> reporter: jessica, during the past two hours we have seen a steady stream of police officers and sheriff's deputies coming here to this community memorial to pay their respects and we have seen a lot of hugs exchanged. some of the officers came here after completing their first patrol shift since their fellow officers were killed. for the first time since two of their if fellow officers, sergeant butch baker and detective elizabeth butler were killed in the line of duty, santa cruz police went back to their own duties protecting the community. as they left the department, a dramatic show of support from
sheriff's deputies stepped in the last two days. >> i do feel a little bit better to know they're back on patrol. i also feel that it was nice for them to have some time to grieve and it's scary and we need our police. >> i'm glad to have the two days off, taking it pretty hard. i think we should have some time off. >> reporter: some officers placed flowers here where the two investigators were gunned down by 35-year-old jeremy goulet, a man they came to question about accusations of sexual assault. the district attorney bob ley says the two officers were exceptional investigators who had had helped his office prosecute hundreds of cases. together the officers were involved in at least 14 pending cases involving crimes including murder, rape, and child molestation. >> because they were such good officers, yes, we have a variety of cases that they worked on including, i believe, three homicides. we have pulled those