tv Americas Newsroom FOX News September 2, 2013 6:00am-8:01am PDT
rola with 0 down payment. >> anna: hope everybody has a great labor day holiday with the family. head out there, grill, eat something good. >> brian: it's going to rain. lots of charcoal, put the match in. back off. bill: good morning, everybody. on this labor day we are awaiting a key meeting with the president and john mccain and lindsey graham. it has been a fascinating 72 hours and the world and this country awaits the next move. i'm bill hemmer, welcome to "america's newsroom." heather: a full-court press is on the way to round up support. john kerry makes strong
statements suggesting a u.s. strike is imminent. billimminent.and the white house releases an intelligence report deserting a syrian chemical weapons unit used nerve gas to sill 1,400. bill: the white house announces the president will speak and just about everybody thinks we are about to hear an order for a go. heather: the day at 1:15 president obama speaks from the rose garden and said he will ask congress. bill: he had a phone call "speaker of the house. bill: and meets with his national security team saturday. heather: saturday morning secretary of state hillary clinton makes the roun
saturday -- -- secretary of state john kerry makes an announcement. >> we want your input and would you want your support. it's better for the u.s. and better for the world. >> i'm sceptical of what the objectives are. the national security goals. what happens the day after. >> i think if this goes unchecked it will invite every thug and despot and terrorist organization in the world to feel they can use poison gas against their own people with no repercussions. >> it's a civil war and religious war. i'm not sure it directly impacts the security of the united states. >> i don't see how anything changes. we can't bomb the store houses
of chemical weapons even if we knew where they were because you disperse them into the general environment. there are a lot of risks here. the down sides are great. >> i would support the very narrowing tailored, narrowly crafted resolution that made it clear u.s. troops would not on the ground. made it clear the purpose of our action is to deter future use of chemical weapons in syria and elsewhere around the world. and i believe the draft resolution supported by the administration does not meet that draft. it's too broadly drafted and too open-ended. bill: if you take most all that reaction. it was republican-democrat and now we go to the battle on the ground. gregg palkot streams live. what are you hearing there
today? >> reporter: we are in beruit, lebanon, 40 miles from syria. there was a lot of reaction to the threats of u.s. military intervention and also the way president obama is handling that runup. we just spoke with a syrian government official. they are chief nieg the use of chemical weapons and they have been branding the white house moves for congressional approval as historic retreat. the syrian army says a green light would not be necessary. one official says he's worried about the fallout from the the attack. one million fleeing syria into this country of 4 million.
>> let's see what obama will do. >> reporter: should the united states act, do you think? >> if they have proof of the use of chemical weapons and civilians yes. >> no need for american military to die in syria. >> obama is the biggest of all countries. if he wants to fight, he wants to fight. >> reporter: a divide opinion here like it is in the states and washington. bill: we are about to get a lot more debate here at home. what is the arab league saying about this now? >> reporter: a lot of attention. the arab league looking at a possible u.s. military intervention. president obama was hoping for a
strong backing for that action. a statement fell short of thalt that, simply calling for the international community to use all necessary measures against syria. the lebanese based iranian backed hezbollah group said if there is a major strike they will retaliate even against israel. if it's a more limited strike, they might hold fire. seemingly a consensus opinion in the region about how president obama has been handling this so far. we talked to one of the top analysts in the region and he said the consensus opinion among leaders is so far the performance from the white house has been in his words feckless and weak. but he says if the strike comes and there is backing and it's strong, that opinion could change. bill: gregg palkot on the ground in lebanon. gregg is reporting from beruit
in the heart of this. this is the u.s. deployment in a military sense in the region as of today. you have got aircraft carriers down in the persian gulf man the red sea. you have heavy destroys, at least six of them in the eastern mediterranean. each said to have a capacity and capability to fire 100 tomahawk missiles each. jennifer griffin from the pentagon reports on the u.s.s. nimitz stationed down here in the red sea and is now being moved possibly into position in the eastern mediterranean later. it has not been tasked. it has not been ordered to move from down here in the red sea. but it's in the region. it's in the area. in case military advisers and planners want to move the nimitz it has that terrier group at its
disposal. we'll watch all these movements and we watch the left hand, we'll watch what the right hand done in watched and follow that. that will be fierce. heather: russia is reportedly moving warships closer to syria. a reconnaissance ship left russia's base in the ukraine reportedly to gather information about the conflict. authorities say information shared with moscow about the attack is quote absolutely unconvincing. the diplomatic minister said it lacked details'. rand paul weighs in and says it may be horde to choose who are the good guys in this conflict. here is senator paul from kentucky. >> i don't see american interests fostled on either side of this syrian war.
i see assad who has protected christians for a number of decade and the islamic rebels who have attacking christians. i see al qaeda on one side, the side we would go into support. i think it would be murky. we'll have an islamic state where christians are percent cute. bill: that's just a flavor of what the country is about to go through in the days and weeks in washington. heather: who is this guy? heat's take a closer look at syrian president what shash -- t bashar al-asaad. he began his career as an ophthalmologist. then he became president after his father died. at first he promised to increase
personal and economic freedom but he never delivered on those promises. bill: the white house will be holding a conference call. there is no word on the specifics for that call. heather: president obama inviting two leading senators on foreign affairs. john mccain and lindsey graham as he tries to rally you 30er9 for a military strike on syria. steve centanni is live for us. what can be accomplished today? >> reporter: the republican senators can argue for a larger mission such as removing assad from power. the president can make this case for punishing syria for using chemical weapons and deter them from doing it again. in any case it's likely to be a
conspiracy ited debate. >> the president said he wanted to talk with me and lindsey graham and other members of congress on this issue. i'm glad to do that. but we have to have a plan, it can't be just pin prick cruise missiles. >> reporter: senator graham says it must shift the focus away from the assad forces. it held a classified meeting for any members of congress who wished to attend and 83 showed up. republicans and democrats alike were mostly sceptical of the president's plan. the other plan was to put secretary of state john kerry on five sunday talk shows to reveal new evidence of chemical weapons use in syria. >> the fact is yesterday we have now learned that hair and blood
samples that have come to us from east damascus from individual engaged as first responders in east damascus, i can report to you today they have tested positive for signatures of sarin. >> reporter: sarin, a deadly nerve gas that has been banned under longstanding global freet treaties. bill: just dweght rolling on this monday morning. it's a busy labor day. many lawmakers saying they have more questions than answers after listening to top administration officials. we'll talk to a congressman in a moment. he was there. he was in the room. wait until you hear his reaction. heather: a car caught in a mudslide. what happened next? even more terrifying. bill: less than a month before a
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heather: slow-moving thunderstorms causing major problems las vegas, causing flash flooding, wash out roads and damaging homes. one man had to rescue his wife after her vab was caught in high water. >> she said the water was thigh high. you have to drive slow through the gravel and mud. you can't take it fast. heather: police say the floodwater left up to 3 feet of
mud and degree in some spots. >> we have made it very clear to the asawf a -- to the assad regd other players on the ground that the red line for us is we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons being moved around or being utilizing. bill: that was august of last year. now secretary of state john kerry saying there is concrete evidence sarin gas was used in that attack that killed more than 1,000 civilians in syria. >> the last 24 hours we have learned by samples provided to the use the from first responders in damascus that hair samples and blood samples have
tested positive for sarin. so this case is building and this case will build. bill: signatures of sarin. secretary kerry is now the point man for the administration in selling this evidence. how will this go? >> it's a good question. i think secretary kerry has done a good job from a rhetorical standpoint of making a strong case for military intervention. his challenges are dealing with deep scepticism about u.s. intelligence and whether we can be successful in the middle east. and how certain interventions have gone, particularly in iraq. but if he's going to make the case and the president will get a vote on his resolution. the administration and secretary kerry will have to convince
democrats, particularly house democrats. you won't seep the votes you need i don't believe at least in the house unless you have a strong majority of house democrats onboard. and so that is i believe the challenge for the administration from my conversations with republicans. bill: the case is building and the case will continue to build. if you convince democrats, is that enough? >> he's dealing with -- and he should know because he was recently a democratic member of congress. democratic members of congress tend to be anti-war and tend to be sceptical after muscular u.s. policy from a military standpoint. now they have the president of their party who is asking them to do something they had a lot of problems with the past few years and that is being active in the middle east. even the war in afghanistan, you saw the president prefer to wind down rather than find a way in
which he could say we won. and that was well received. you also do not have a lot of public pressure voters. you also don't have a lot of republicans and independents saying let's get involved in another venture. bill: we don't know how the vote will turn out. but it will be the most significant foreign policy vote congress has taken since october 2002 when they authorized war against saddam hussein. >> that's correct. i think you will see the debate dominate the public sphere and it will come down to whether the president and secretary kerry, but really the president can make the case in public. if the president can make the case in public i think you will see members of congress respond, however sceptrespond -- howeverl
they might be. but even those inclined to support a u.s. role. they will want to see the president come up with a strategy they think is effective and they will want to see the president's party on board. they are not inclined to bail him out if you don't have a lot of democrats going along. bill: i appreciate your insight. john mccain to the white house today, you know the pitch will be strong and heavy for mccain's support. we'll see whether the president gets it. 21 past. heather: president obama's national security team briefing members of congress on the syria crisis. a congressman who was in that meeting joins us live. why he says he left with more questions than answers. bill: the blaze in the west set a new record and we'll tell what you that record is. this thing is just not going
national park. the 2-week-old rim fire scorching 348 square miles. janice dean is live for us in the weather center. >> reporter: we could get some thunderstorms in the area but because it's so dry it could spark the spreading of wildfires because of the wind. a chance of thunderstorms in the forecast buff it's so dry a lot of it could be dry lightning. if the might evaporates before it hits the ground you are left with lightning. 225,000 acres have been burnt and we are only at 45% containment. hoping a little bit of the moisture will work its way in here. for the southwest, things are improving. they have gotten moisture for the northwest and parts of
california still dealing with dozens of wildfires. we have some moisture make its way into the southwest. but not where we night, where we are seeing those wildfires. we had that earlier video where they saw close to two or three inches of rain. the moisture has nowhere to go. it can't bein the ground. the moisture acts as runoff and the flooding potential will exist not only today as we see more moisture working its way into parts of nevada up toward the northern rockies. it is the holiday weekend and we'll seat potential for showers and thunderstorms across the southwest and the northeast. we have flood warnings for parts of new england. flood watches and warnings where we could see some heavy downpours for those picnics. make sure you have a plan to go inside. here is a quick look at your labor day forecast. the potential for showers across the southwest as well.
central u.s. looks beautiful. so they will have nice labor day weather. >> i like that flag up there. thank you, janet. bill: a bummer after summer here anyway. heather: i don't think it's been excruciatingly hot. i'll take that. bill: a new battle for the white house. and this is about to get super hot. planning a meeting with two republican lawmakers today at the white house, john mccain and lindsey graham, their support is critical. how is the administration handling it so far. a good fair and balanced debate coming up. heather: talk about this road hazard. a warm of earth comes tumbling down. [ male announcer ] running out of steam?
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let's talk about this white house strategy. leaders of the senate and the house say they plan to vote on the measure the week of september 9. technically both bodies have to vote yes in order for the measure to pass and move forward. the president, the vice president, the chief of staff, all calling everyone right now. the administration is calling it the flood the zone strategy. will it work? >> they also have to pass the same exact bill in both houses which is why the meeting with senators mccain and graham is indicative of what the white house faces. they want far more comprehensive thanks taken in syria. this is the problem. you heard it from democrats that basically the president is going to have to win this with
republican votes. democrats are lining up against it. almost half of the house democrats will vote against it. will republicans give him a lifeline when he shut them out in the 11th, and now says he wants congressional authorization. >> i'm not sure how he shut them out. he did decide to get congressional approval for something typically republicans don't think the president needs approval for. now they say he need congressional approval. so i think that he has a heavy lift in congress for sure because there is a lot of scepticism. there are conflicting reports about the chemical weapons. there are questions about what this is going to accomplish. is this going to make things worse? and so i think there are a lot of serious questions that
congress seems to be taking seriously and it's hard to say what they are going to do. heather: lawmakers, republicans criticizing the president saying he's abdicating his responsibility. saying he doesn't need 335 members of congress to even joars his own red line. is he abdicate his responsibility here and why is he seeking congressional approval this time around? he didn't back in 2011 with libya? >> if the president wants to involve congress it would have been helpful to do so months ago. when george bush got the authorization to go into iraq he got it before he openly used it based on contingencies and scenarios he believed could happen. this president indicated all along up until friday when secretary of state john kerry
made essentially a declaration of war that syria couldn't use chemical weapons, it violates norms in the international community since 1935, all good points, by the way. and after kerry made the clear reason why unilateral action was necessary in syria, now the president says it's not immediate. we don't need to do it soon. we can wait until september 9 when conscious comes back. it shows to me a real ambivalence give the president over his own policies. this is a tinder box that's affects the arab world and our relationship with iran. if we are going to play in syria that is directly taking on tehran. the way we are playing it is incoherent and in conflict with the rest of our policy.
heather: you have the asawfd regime questioning the steadfastness of the united states saying we last our never. how do we as the united states present a united front to the world? what if congress votes no? >> it's been an incredibly flawed policy from the get-go. i think obama was trying to stay out of syria, understanding how complicated the situation is there, understanding there are -- it's hard to find anybody there to pick side with. there are al qaeda people among the rebels. he was staying out of it. he then came out and did this impromptu red line. now i guess he's asking congress to fall in line to vote to give him authority to enforce something that as we understand he sort of made up on the fly and probably should have never done. it's hard to -- i don't agree with everything tony is saying
necessarily except for the part i think it's an incoherent strategy and it does definitely make us look weak. what the asawfd regime is saying is exactly what we should have expected. heather: not a consistent message coming out of this administration. heather: u.s. navy divers are recoughing some of the bombs accidentally dropped near the great barrier reef. they were dumb muched during u.s. harrier jets when some civilians strayed into the intended drop zone. officials say the was not a danger to the reef and the reef goes on. a beautiful part of the world. heather: the key unarmed bombs
which is a good thing. lawmakers on capitol hill briefed by intelligence officials say they were left with more questions than answers. a lawmaker inside that meeting tells us why. bill: a near miss you will have to see to believe. this is one you will be happy you did not take part in. fabulous. i have twelve of them. twelve? shhhh, i'm worth it& what i'm trying to say is, it's so hard to pick just one of you, so i'm choosing all of you with hotels.com. a loyalty program that requires no loyalty. plus members can win a free night every day only at hotels.com nascar is about excitement. but tracking all the action and hearing everything from our marketing partners, the media and millions of fans on social media can be a challenge.
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i knew that i could smoke for the first 7 days. i knew that i wasn't putting nicotine back into my body to try to quit. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these, sp chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. if i could describe being a nonsmoker, i would say "awesome." [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. ♪ i wonder if i gave an oreo to ♪ ♪ all the people at the high school i go to ♪ ♪ if i gave 'em to my friend in the hallway ♪ ♪ would he keep an optimistic outlook all day? ♪
♪ and if i gave 'em to the lady on the p.a. ♪ ♪ would she take my favorite record and put it on replay? ♪ [♪] heather: dramatic video of a car hit by a landslide almost crushed by a boulder. the mountainside decides to give way and pushes the car. it may have saved their lives because a giant boulder rolls to a stop a few feet away. the massive mudslide triggered by days of rain. bill: the white house trying to build support for a strike on
damascus. holding a classified meeting for lawmakers to present some of the evidence on syria. ohio congressman bill johnson back nome his home state, columbus, ohio, good morning to you. i read a statement you gave out yesterday, quote i left this briefing with more questions and concerns i than i had when i arrived. >> considering the importance the president placed on consultings with congress i was disappointed neither the montanar president nor the vice president nor any cabinet level official showed up at the briefing. this is a critical decision the president has to make. the use of military force in a situation where americans are not directly threatened. that's a big decision and it's a heavy decision on the part of the president to convince the people of its merits.
i left yesterday with more questions than answers. we don't see a coherent strategy in the middle east. this is what happens when you lead from behind. the situation in syria has gotten way out of control. here we are in a situation where our allies in the region don't trust us and our adversaries don't respect us. bill: if the president or vice president had been there, would you feel differently today? >> i think you might see a different attitude on the part of the members, and some of the questions that were asked to the ones that were there may have been answered more directly. because we have still yet to hear directly from the president what his overall middle east strategy is and how he intend to deal with nations like iran and its influence in what's happening in syria. how he plans to deal with the russians who sit on the almost on the front lines in support of
the assad regime. there are lots of questions the group that was there yesterday simply could not answer because as you have seen before. the president comes out and makes public statements and then leaves it to the staff to fill in the blanks. we need the president to come to congress and tell us what he plans to do. bill: did you ask these questions specifically sunday? >> there were a number of questions asked about the overall policy and the objectives. when we put military into play, we have got to insure that we know that there is a national security risk or an american national interest at stake. we have got to know how we are going to get in, what we are going to accomplish wail we are there, and more importantly is what are the conditions for us to get out and how are we going to leave the place and finally do we have the support of the
american people? those are important questions and i did not hear answers to those. bill: this was a classified briefing so you can only characterize it and not go into specifics. the evidence, how strong? >> i don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind. there is compelling evidence that the syrians -- someone has used chemical weapons against their own people. whether this was assad or whether it was the opposition, i think that question is still out there. but -- bill: that's a significant statement. i apologize stopping you on that. you are not convinced assad carried out this attack? >> again, i'm saying there are questions to some. i cannot go into the details of the evidence of course, and what was presented. there is no question in my mind
that assad needs to go. he has been a state sponsor of terrorism for a long time. he has committed atrocities on his own people. and there is no question that he need to go. so i'm -- by no means am i suggesting that assad is innocent in this. >> is your vote today a yes or no? >> i have still got more work to do. we have not seen the final resolution the president plans to place before congress. as you mentioned earlier in your show he will be meeting with members of the senate today. there will be great debate and probably some amendments that come up. but right now, the president's got an uphill climb to convince me that military force is the right thing to do. bill: did you feel that way before the statement saturday afternoon or just after the briefing sunday?
>> bill, i spent 26 1/2 years in the air force and i have been a commander. i know what it means and i know the burden that it places on an authority to put our troops in harm's way. so i go into this very, very cautiously because our young people are a vital resource and they are too valuable to throw out there over some arbitrary red line statement. bill: based on what you know today, if you are given more direct evidence that assad used chemical weapons, would the president get your support then? >> unfortunately it goes back to those three questions. what is america's national security interests and what are the risks to america at play. bill: fun it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt that assad gassed his own people?
>> we have had chemical weapons attacks in the past. it happened during the iraq-iran war in the 80s and there have been suspicions all along that assad has been using chemical weapons in his own country. so the question is what makes this latest incident different than those. i'm appalled any time innocent people are killed by bad leaders. about it's happening all over the world. do we insert american forces each and every time? that would be a heavy lift. bill: i appreciate your type. bill johnson representative from ohio on his briefing that was classified from yesterday. the e-mail is email@example.com. also on twitter @billhemmer. heather: the white house launching a full court press.
bill: with our forces fighting in afghanistan, the taliban claiming responsibility for an attack on a u.s. base. insurgents shutting down a key highway for nato supply trucks. after dan and you have s. forces exchanging gunfire with insurgents. nato helicopters joining in the fight. at least 3 taliban fighters are dead. there are no american cass use th --there are no american casus
there. heather: the rollout of the new healthcare law less than 30 days away. there are concerns about the costs tied to all the benefits and giveaways. >> the new healthcare law promises all sort of free benefits and analysts say nothing is ultimately free. >> if you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free. >> once you add on the extras insurers must provide be you have to pay for that. >> taxes on insurance, taxes on drugs, taxes on medical device. all of that is getting passed through to the price people have to pay for direct services or their insurance premiums. >> reporter: the administration points to those services as one of the benefits of the new law. >> people have preventative
services as part of their health plan without copays and coinsurance, everything from cancer screenings to children's immunizations have to be covered. >> children up to 26 can stay on their parents' plans at no cost. delta airlines says that will cost them $26 million and they are not alone. >> one employer gained 8,000 people. even if they are not the most expensive 8,000 people, that's a lot of people. >> reporter: nothing in healthcare is really free. someone somewhere has to paper. doctors note many programs pay too little for preventative care. >> the reimbursement to the doctor is less than the cost of providing the service. >> reporter: he compares it to a restaurants being told they can only charge a set price for a burger.
>> in the costs rise and they are losing money on serving the burger they stop serving the burger. >> reporter: some research shows while preventative care is a good thing. offering it for free could swamp the medical system. >> if we sail had the free tests we are showed to have, it would take 7.5 hours of every working doctor's time every single day. >> some parts of the healthcare law are set to be implemented. >> the president looking for support on a military strike on syria. bill: what will be a critical meeting:'. heather: road rage off the racetrack. while the girlfriend after race car driver got into a smackdown with another driver after the race.
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bill: here we go. new hour fox news alert. good mornings, everybody, on this labor day. the white house launching an all out blitz on a military strike on damascus. president obama ready to meet with see key leaders from committees to make his case. i'm bill hemter. welcome back. heather. heather: i'm heather childers in for martha maccallum on this busy labor day. the president is ready to meet with the lawmakers that should happen tomorrow to brief them on evidence that syrian president bashar al-assad has used chemical weapons against his own people. top aides joining the fight making numerous calls to house lawmakers. they attend ad classified meeting on information, that was on sunday, bill. bill: we talked with an ohio
lawmaker who was part of that meeting and is skeptical. ed henry on the north lawn of the white house. what is the president'sgy to tell this. >> reporter: raise his game and personally get into the fight to lobby members one-on-one himself. vice president and as you mentioned top aides as well. positive spin for the white house, they're calling this the flood the zone strategy. they're leaving no stone unturned. the negative strategy where has the president been until now. there is big turn around over the weekend. for days and days and weeks they have been considering military options in syria and the president had not been lobbying congress too hard. he is in a position where he has john mccain and lindsey graham many could together white house, republican critics of his foreign policy, he is having a defensive crouch of trying to get republicans on board. he has republican mike rogers in fact on board with this mission, it appears.
democrats like chris murphy say they're unconvinced. take a listen. >> i think at the end of the day congress will rise to the occasion. this is a national security issue. this isn't about barack obama versus the congress. the question really is, not is this unacceptable, but can we make the situation better. and ultimately my worry is, and what will be my guiding principle over the next week as i enter into these deliberations, will a u.s. attack make the situation better for the syrian people or worse? >> reporter: now you mentioned that tuesday meeting. that is critical as well here. the president we're told will behind closed doors with the top democrats and republicans on the house and senate armed services committees and tell against committees, all key players. why is tuesday significant? president tuesday night takes air force one on to sweden and russia. he has to change minds in the next 24 to 36 hours he will be out of the country next few days and it will be hard to lobby. bill: he was one of 81 lawmakers
taking part in the classified briefing and it was clear from my interview with him he is not convinced. here's a small sample of his reaction to that. >> well, i've still got more work to do. we have not seen the final resolution that the president plans to place before congress. as you mentioned earlier in your show he will be meeting with members of the senate today. there will be great debate and probably some amendments that come up, but, right now, the president's got an uphill, an uphill climb to convince me that military force is the right thing to do here. bill: that is a man who served 37 years in the us air force. his primary concern is putting u.s. forces into harm's way or into another war. the repeatedly there are no boots on the ground and having said that i pushed him in a classified briefing how would he characterize the strength of the evidence about sarin gas or other chemical weapons used and he was not
convinces. now what comes next in this? do they wait for more information from the united nations or how will this now work? >> reporter: it's got to be the president himself making the case, not just directly to lawmakers but to the american people. it is interesting you point out a pro-military republican who would probably normally be in favor of military action in a situation like this but very skeptical. why? think about the situation with wmd with iraq a decade ago. republicans and democrats now very skeptical. look how it played out over the weekend, president saying for days his aides he would not go to congress but cult them and not seek a vote. president had the walk with chief of staff friday night. extraordinary meeting in the two hours in the oval office, president and top aides and basically flipped flopped on it. there was deep division in the
oval office because some aides said we may not win the vote. secretary of state john kerry was not in the meeting around he said in the long run this is a good move. >> we do not lose anything. we actually gain and what we feign is the legitimacy of the full-throated response of the congress of the united states and the president acting together after our democratic process has worked properly. >> reporter: that's a strength in hand if they win. if they loose you have a commander-in-chief who will look very weak and if he wins by a close margin, he will burn a lost political capital that he needed on other issues like immigration rerecall to, bill. bill: the door was left open ever so slightly to even take military action even if he loses the vote. we'll see if the president is ready to do that. ed henry, great reporting from the north lawn of the white house. heather with more in new york. heather: as mentioned, president obama is reaching out to his former rival, arizona senator john mccain.
mccain has been a staunch supporter of military action in syria even traveling to the region to meet with opposition forces. that was earlier this summer. but yesterday he expressed some concerns about the president's military strategy and his abrupt decision to seek congressional approval. listen. >> the consequences of the congress of the united states overriding a decision of the president of the united states of this magnitude are really very, very, serious. and already we're sending a bad signal to iran, to north korea, to bashar al-assad. but if we overrode the president's decision and did nothing, then, you know -- >> sound like you're a conditional yes? >> no. i want to see the plan and a strategy that this will achieve some goals that we need to achieve. heather: coming up, retired army general jack keane weighs in on the strategy that he thinks the president should take and
whether politics may be playing a part. meantime the syrian regime pleading with the united nations to prevent, quote, any aggression against them and suggesting that a political solution is still possible in this crisis. conor powell live for us from our jerusalem bureau with more on that. conor? >> reporter: heather, it is unlikely the statement by the assad regime is actually support for some type of peace negotiations to be used and done through the u.n. for the past 2 1/2 years president assad and his russian backers really used the u.n. to stifle any type of peace negotiations or peace settlement. the assad and his government are likely playing for time, trying to prevent any type of an american-backed international coalition from really forming. now today nato secretary-general rasmussen said a firm response was needed to the august 21st chemical weapons attack while the arab league issued a statement urging international action against syria. heather, important to note that the arab league stopped short of
endorsing any type of u.s. military strike in syria. heather: so, conor, is the ongoing debit a u.s. strike impacting fighting in syria? >> reporter: it is important to remember, heather, day in, day out, syrians are fighting and dieing even well after this august 201st chemical weapons attack. the war is literally raging there. the u.n. saying more than 100,000 people have been killed in fighting there. 6.2 million syrians have been displaced by the war, increasingly opposition in syria is fractured and foreign fighters often linked to al qaeda are beginning to swell the ranks of the rebels. this is the main reason why the u.s. and other countries are so reluctant to battle the rebels on the battlefield. president obama says the chemical weapons attack changes the dynamic a bit and president assad needs to be punished for that. heather? heather: conor powell, live in the middle east bureau thank you.
bill: how did we get here. two relatives of about the bashar al-assad, in washington's first response to a crackdown on antigovernment protests inspired by, the arab spring. heather: in july of 2012, syria says it could use chemical weapons in response to any external aggression but they will not be used on opposition forces. one month later president obama warns assad the use of chemical weapons would be a red line for the united states. bill: then move to march of 2013, syria's government and rebels accuse one another of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern town of aleppo. august 21 of this year, syria's opposition accusing government forces of gassing hundreds in a neighborhood of damascus killing men and women and children as they slept. heather: and then on saturday, president obama says that he has authorized the use of military force to punish syria, but, will seek congressional approval first.
bill: so there is a lot to cover on this. be patient with us as we move throughout the morning and also throughout the afternoon. senator mccain's going to be at the white house today and that's going to be a big, big deal. heather: and lindsey graham. bill: we'll follow that. busy day here in "america's newsroom." evidence shows that syria broke international law, said to be piling up. some lawmakers not convinced of that the however the secretary of state's call for a strike may be falling on deaf ears. why secretary kerry says he does not feel undermined about the president's decision to reverse course in syria as we away a key meeting at the hill between the president and law make years that is a lot. but there is more. we are a month from the critical deadline for the president's health care plan. we look at what you can expect to see after years of debates and delays. bill: and this was, i guess could be the slap heard around the world, huh? heather: at least around the racetrack. >> i would like to see that again. he stood there and took it.
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♪ [ male announcer ] ultra rugged phones from sprint. buy one, get four free, and $150 credit when you swih your business line to sprint. the pioneers in push-to-talk. trouble hearing on the phone? visit sprintcaptel.com bill: some news from south africa today. nelson mandela returning home after a serious health scare. that is live look at his home. he spent nearly three months in the hospital for a lung infection. the whole country is holding its breath for this 95-year-old leader. he will continue to receive the same level of treatment from the same doctors at his home and we wish him the best. heather: yes. back to our top story, secretary of state john kerry insisting that he does not feel undermined by the president's decision to reverse course on syria. just hours after he made an impassioned plea for military action on friday friday.
mr. kerry said the president met with his top advisors that night and decided his case will be stronger if he can get congressional backing first. here he is on nbc's "meet the press." >> do you feel undermined? do you think united states has undermined its leverage in the world, its credibility, having, ramped up the spector of military action as being imminent and then say saying, no, we're going to congress first. >> david, i completely disagree with the fundamental premise that you set out. no, i did not oppose going, nor did anybody else i know of originally. the issue originally was, should the president of the united states take action in order to enforce the credibility and the interests of our country and to deter assaud from using these weapons and degrade his capacity to do so. that was the issue and that was the issue we debated. >> byron york is a chief
political correspondent for the washington cam examiner. he joins us now, to give us his take on this which has really been all over the place within the last 72 hours. byron, i should tell you, we're just now hearing that we were told is going to happen today between senators mccain and graham and president obama, that now scheduled for 2:00 p.m. so where does this leave us and what happened, in your opinion, between friday and saturday? >> well, you know, senator kerry may not feel undermined but he was undermined. it is a factor of the presidency. the president is in a room with a dozen of his advisors and the vote is 112-1, if the president is that one he wins. what really took place on friday, the president's national security team was not united on what specifically they would do in syria, what specific path they would take in syria but they were united on the idea they would not seek the authorization of congress.
that was not even on the table. and so in the early evening all of sudden the president just turns around and decides that he will seek the authorization of congress. heather: yeah. >> i think what happened was, it was his last resort. the president -- heather: byron, we're told, there was like this 45 minute walk across the south lawn with the chief of staff and then, you know the president decided on his own to make this reversal but, you're saying really it is because it was last resort? >> he really had run out of options. would the president have sought the authorization of congress if he had gotten the approval of the united nations to do this? i think that's highly unlikely. would he have sought approval of congress if he had gotten support from great britain? he was very disappointed with the vote in parliament there. it was unlikely he would have done that he may not even sought congressional authorization if he got open support from the arab league but he got support from none of those places. he was out there completely by
himself. as his fourth choice he decided to seek authorization of congress. heather: looks like that will be a tough road as well. we're hearing from some of the legislators who were in the first briefing that happened yesterday. congressman bill johnson on our air earlier today he said amongst other things while he is convinced chemical weapons were used he is not convinced by whom. that is still unknown. amongst a lot of other things he says he has more questions than answers. now we're hearing about this meeting between mccain and graham and president obama. what do you expect will be the outcome there? >> well we know that mccain and graham favor intervention in syria and they want the president to intervene in a more robust way than the president is probably inclined to do. we know where they are on that. we know a lost republicans, especially in the house, are very skeptical about this. there are couple issues, congressman johnson raised questions about the chemical weapons. but there will be a lot of congressman say i'm convinced
assad used chemical weapons in syria but i still don't think it is the united states place to intervene in this. there will be a lot of reasons for republicans to oppose this. you should keep in mind the possibility that the president sent over a draft resolution t can be changed t can be amended. congress make it more to its likely of the we may end up with something that the congress can agree on. heather: a lot of questions about policy objectives and conditions to get out, should we actually perform this military strike. thank you so much. byron york. >> thank you, heather. bill: remind the viewers much more on the developments on the hill daily on syria. political newsletter can be yours every morning. go to "fox news poll" ticks.com. enter your email address and you get the top political headlines in your in-box. sign up check it out. president obama's stunning reversal on syria has critics questioning his military strategy. retired general jack keane on
what he thinks the president and the united states needs to do right now. heather: plus stunning video. people hurling fireballs at each other. why? bill: oh. ♪ too big. too small. too soft. too tasty. [ both laugh ] [ male announcer ] introducing progresso's new creamy alfredo soup. inspired by perfection.
heather: baseball fans listen up. two baseball fans now facing some trespassing charges accused trying to make off with some of that signature ivy at wrigley field. police say that security guards spotted the suspects though, walking through the 97-year-old ballpark early this morning. officers allegedly catching the men red-handed.
a chicago cubs spokesperson says nothing was stolen or damaged during the incident. bill: trying to get ivy were they? heather: yeah. bill: can you replant that stuff though? heather: maybe green handed, not red-handed. bill: that was good. well-done. we are less than one month away from the potentially historic day for health care in the united states as the new insurance markets plates set up under obamacare will officially open their doors officially on october. while officials say the october start date is not a make-or-break moment it will mark the first look to the american public and world will get a look at at plan for years. ed butowsky is ceo of chatwood investments. he is in dallas, texas, working on this labor day. good morning to you. we've got 30 days to go, where are we? where do we stand in this? >> we're far from it. bill i like to use analogy on obamacare similar to starting a new sport. we have a new game. we don't know if anybody wants
to play the game. we don't believe the field is red different they haven't sodded the grass and put down sod at this point. we don't knee the rules of the game. the umpires, meaning irs don't know the rules of game. and we don't have the funding to play the game. everyone said it would be a train wreck. we have 21 days before game time, i don't think we're ready. bill: what is the expectation then? if that is the reality, what is your expectation? >> i tell you i think there will be a lost changes as we get closer and a lot of blame being pushed around but there's just no way in the world this thing is ready. furthermore is not only game not ready to be played, meaning obamacare but try to convince people going out and getting president clinton to make a push. they're going out and after to make this successful they need to get young people who are looking for health care. so they're finding people in hollywood to go out and promote this. that's the big push that is about to start. they're trying to get those people into it. bill: they have to sign up so they can get their money.
look at following items that have been delayed so far, ed, in this law before it even goes into place. medicare cuts delayed. employer mandate delayed. out-of-pocket caps delayed. a waiver for more than 2,000 businesses and unions and waiver for congress. actually it is a subsidy for members of congress and their aides. >> yeah. bill: you have to still answer a fundamental question in all this, will these exchanges even work? what do we know about that? >> we still don't know but the way it is starting to come together now the answer is a resounding absolutely no because if they don't have the game set, don't have the players there, it's not going to work. there are too many variables that all have to come together at one time and nobody even wants them to come together. look at surveys. there are 44% of the people out there still don't even know or at this point know if obamacare is still even on the books. they're targeting people who really don't watch the news that much, who really aren't that interested in this and don't really know what obamacare is
all birks you're right about that. kaiser family foundation poll, 44% of those surveyed didn't know whether the affordable care act is even law or not. they're about to find out. bill clinton is out this week, and hearing from katy perry and magic johnson. we're about to see 28 days from now how it works. thank you, ed butowsky in dallas, texas. thank you, sir. >> thank you. bill: heather? heather: secretary of state john kerry facing some fierce criticism for what some say a lack of fire power while defending president obama's to delay action on syria. listen. >> you know, as staff been advised? people can weigh in but everybody knows that ultimately no decision is made until the president makes it. the president made this decision. i believe it is the right decision. i think we're stronger. heather: we will take a look at his five sunday show appearances and compare that them with that commanding performance when he urged action less than 48 hours
earlier. bill: the supreme court set to hear the case challenging a pledge of allegiance in schools. why one couple says students should not be required to recite that in a moment. on their 401(k) to hidden fees. is that what you're looking for, like a hidden fee in your giant mom bag? maybe i have them... oh that's right i don't because i rolled my account over to e-trade where... woah. okay... they don't have hidden fees... hey fern. the junkrawer? why would they... is that my gerbil? you said he moved to a tiny farm. that's it, i'm running away. no, no you can't come! [ male announcer ] e-trade. less for us. more for you.
congress's role in the u.s. military force has too often been abdicated to presidential authority. so i look forward to a vigorous debate on this important authorizations. yesterday's briefing on capitol hill, lawmakers from both parties still had some major concerns about a military strike. take a listen. >> i think the biggest question that heard was that the president's request is open-ended and, that would allow him almost any, anything he wanted to do militarily. whereas on the other side of this, most of the briefing indicated how select this was and how limited it was and how strategic it was and that it was not meant to tip the scales either way in this conflict. so, that has to be rectified. >> the conference call to republican senators had with the administration right after his comments was, are you sure you want to wait until september the 9th for us to deal with
this? they repeated, they consistently say, as i heard secretary kerry say on news programs this morning, that a delay is not a concern for them. it is a concern for me. >> i think the big question is, does this require the united states to two to war against syria? i think most of us want to hold assad accountable. there ought to be a consequence for using chemical weapons. what, what are those consequences? how do we hold him accountable? is this the only way to hold him accountable by going to war and i have gave concerns about this. >> i myself have questions about any use of force of authorization for the use of force that goes beyond the discrete task of sending a strong message that the use of chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction, is not only against international law but against all moral authority on this planet. bill: bill: now you see how this debate is starting to take shape
because those lawmakers are republican and democrat that chad pergram, our capitol hill producer talked to on sunday afternoon. earlier secretary of state john kerry coming under fire for what some are saying a lack of fire power while defending president obama's decision to delay action on syria. mr. kerry appeared on owl five sunday talk shows where critics say he lacked enthusiasm and often averted his gaze from the camera. a performance that stands in stark contrast to commanding speech he delivered friday afternoon only 48 hours earlier where he urged action in syria. here is with chris wallace on sunday. >> it will happen with the consent of the congress of the united states and be much more powerful and i believe allow us to even do more coordinating with our friends and allies, do more planning and frankly be far more effective. >> sir? >> i think this is a smart decision bit president. i think it is a courageous decision. bill: that was from yesterday.
kt mcfarland, our fox news national security analyst with me now. good morning to you. >> good morning. bill: you saw secretary kerry on numerous shows, what do you think. >> i think his heart is isn't in it. why? because i knows it is not true. he couldn't look at chris wallace in the eye when the president made a courageous decision and it could be better. by tossing this to capitol hill he is knows it is very unlikely the president will get the vote he needs to have military action against syria and, kerry really believes in military action against syria. he thought he had the president convinced. he went out there, and when he gave his very impassioned statement as you just showed it sounded like we're scrambling the jets and we're loading the missiles. 24 hours later, president obama says, no, we'll toss it to congress. kerry knows that he's the one that has to try to convince congress, he will be the point man. if it fails, frankly i think he gets the blame. bill: he was strong on friday
afternoon. i mean. >> yeah. bill: one of the strongest statements i think anyone has made to date regarding syria at all. what is your sense about the support for, from president obama's supporters? where are they right now? are they 50/50, 60/40. where are they. >> even his supporters say it is only 50/50. timing will be everything in politics. let me put the timeline out for you. tomorrow night the president's leaving to go to russia. he will go to the g 20 summit. there will be all sorts of news stories about obama, putin. putin is going to come out and say there is no proof that syria did this. the president has to come back, congress will come into session on monday. that is two days before september 11th. the whole national attention will be focused on anniversary of september 11th. maybe more information about benghazi comes out. maybe there will be demonstrations at american embassies worldwide. maybe god forbid there is even
violence. you get into mid september. what comes next? we'll have the big debate about obamacare. it will be implemented. it will not be implemented. it is going to work. is it going to work? finally when we get back to syria and chemical weapons and we'll be well into october and national attention span will be moved off. i think the odds it used to be 50/50 are much worse. bill: we've been asking viewers about this bya. rick in alabama wrote this has anyone in the administration made the statement that we have conclusive proof that assad ordered use of chemical weapons? all actions are made toward him, right? secretary kerry made that case, right, kt? >> secretary kerry came out and forcefully made the case with this eloquent, impassioned statement. president kerry almost went to the point that assad was the new hitler and thug, dictator, murderous. he quickly clade the claim at assad's feet. president putin of russia said
the opposite. we don't have any proof it was assad. it was syrian government or might have been the rebels. the u.n. report which will probably come later this week will say definitely chemical weapons is used but the u.n. will not lay blame. the u.n. say they were used this is the kind of weapons were used and this is how many people died. if somebody wants to wiggle out -- out. bill: what do you need as evidence to prove it? do you need a shell casing? do you need some sort of wire intercept or telephone conversation? i mean what would it be? >> well, somebody convinced secretary kerry there is definitive evidence assad made the order. that this is an assad decision. not some rogue general, not some rebel conspiracy to make it look like assad did it to rally world opinion against assad. i suspect they have intercepts, phone calls or communications between assad and his generals.
we have not been privy to that. until you have the smoking gun you show american people and members of congress there is enough ambiguity, if somebody is hesitant about using force in syria, somebody wants them out, they are looking for an excuse this may be their excuse. bill: kt mcfarland, we'll lean on you a lot as we work through this. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. bill: follow me on twitter @billhemmer. lines are open. if you have a question, bya, because you asked. 21 minutes before the hour. heather: switching gears for a moment, nascar driver max pappis considering pressing charges against a woman who slapped him in the face after yesterday's race. take a look, this woman taking her rage out on pappis after a confrontation with her boyfriend, fellow driver, mike skeen. papis and skeen battled it out in a truck series race. the confrontation yelling a at the rookie driver, skeen's
girlfriend, she was having none of that. unleashing a vicious, vicious, against papis. he said it dislocated his jaw. do you think that dislocated his jaw. hook. smart man to walk away. we're waiting for a key meeting on the hill. we'll watch this between senator obama and senators mccain and graham. it is critical because the president needs these two men on the side. what is the strategy though? retired arm general jack keane on what the president needs to do. plus there is this. roll it. [cheering] >> there it is, down the left field line. bill: that there's a major milestone for baseball's todd helton. first baseman, colorado rockies, slapping a double down the line to left for his 2500th career hit. rockies beat the reds, what?
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heather: back now to our top story. as the u.s. stands on the brink of a potential military strike in syria the president has called on congress to approve any kind of plan before it is put into action. while some lawmakers have been calling for a strike for months if not longer. at least one of them agrees we need to have a specific strategy before we can actually do anything. here is what senator john mccain said on cbs's "face the nation." >> we need to have a strategy and a plan and that plan, in our view, the best way to eliminate the threat of bashar al-assad's continued use of chemical weapons, and by the way we know he used them a number of times before, would be the threat of his removal from power and that i believe, has to be part of the what we tell the american people. heather: jack keane is a retired
four-star general, former army vice chief of staff and a fox news military analyst and we always enjoy it when he is here with us. thank you for joining us. >> glad to be with you, heather. heather: talk about the plan. you heard john mccain speaking there. he went on to say it needs to be more than just launch cruise missiles and be done with it. where do we stand and have we ruined any chance to make any real progress in syria given the delay that has gone on? >> first of all i largely agree with senator mccain what we're about to do should be tied to some strategic objective, not just some punitive strike. by that i mean we always have a stated goal for us to remove assad from power and we should use this intervention to move that along, to change the momentum from the regime which it currently has over the rebels to the rebels and we can do that with a rather significant strike against his military capabilities and take some of that away from him and also
provide arms to the moderate rob bells who are spearheading the opposition forces against the regime. those two things would truly make eight difference. the second part of your question, i mean i don't appreciate the fact that we've given the psychological momentum to assad after his devastating attack on his own people by this recent equivocation by the president. all that said we do have the military capability to deliver a significant strike but he is also going to take, you know, the three to four weeks to make those targets as protected as possible. his mobile sites certainly will be tucked in among the civilian population. the buildings he has significant functions in, he will pull out of those. heather: you have the syrian rebels themselves reportedly already setting up in some of those areas in order to take advantage of any military strike
from the u.s. they would be sitting ducks, possibly, human targets themselves. but i want to go back to the rebels that you mentioned. you talked about recall aing them with small arms, assisting them, giving them the power. we're not just talking about one group of rebels. there is a lot of different groups, some of which are backed by hamas, hezbollah, al qaeda. how do we know that we don't put the chemical weapons into their hands? >> that's a great question. there's a lot of misunderstanding about that issue. the largest group of opposition forces are in fact the moderate rib bells, the so-called free syrian army. they have been receiving arms through jordan from saudi arabia for six to eight months. none of those weapons have left their hands into the hands of the jihaddists. the jihaddists are geographically separated from the moderate rebels. they have, they have, they have become territorial in the north where they're more involved in governance rye ron i cannily
than they are involved in fighting. so this problem of risk of weapons falling into jihaddist hand is significantly overstated and in my view and just not proven out by the facts on the ground. heather: all right. can the president guaranty no boots on the ground like what he has been saying? >> i think that is the case. there will not be a any boots on the ground. this is limited military intervention in terms of scale and also in terms of duration and like other presidents before him half a dozen times they did not seek congressional approval to do something like this. the waiting this period of time i think it moves as i said the advantage to our opponents. eventually we will get around to delivering a blow. i'm hoping with this amount of time we'll move more resources into the region and deliver actually a more significant blow than what we would have done if we had execute ad couple of weeks ago. heather: yeah. all right. general jack keane, yes,
quickly? one more thing you wanted to say? >> no, no, i'm fine. heather: we're out of time. thank you so much though. we appreciate it. >> okay. heather, always good talking to you. bill: he is a terrific guest and so full of insight. we'll lean on him as we move in the coming days and weeks ahead. meantime a staple of american culture could be stripped from the classroom in one state. the growing fight over the phrase, undergod. what is that all about? heather: why are these people throwing balls of fire at each other? we'll tell you about it. ♪
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some 300 years. the festival has been describe ad metaphor for volcano that destroyed a village there a century ago. others say it is a reenactment of a battle between a beloved patron saint, bill, and the devil himself. bill: oh my. a court will hear a case challenging the pledge of allegiance in the schools of massachusetts. an atheist couple lodging their objection to the phrase, "under god." who wins this? michael graham, talk show host for "boston herald" radio. richard fowler, a radio talk show host. gentlemen, good morning to both of you. michael, this is your home state, the commonwealth. what is going to happen here? do you have an issue with this. >> i talked to my 8th grade son, you guys say pledge before you go to school every day. he goes to school tomorrow. he said yes. is it ever an issue? no. the pledge as it exists reflects values of the community. community school. they pay for the school.
they want the pledge? what's the problem? bill: richard, do you have one? >> i think there is a clear separation between church and state. if any family wants their child not to participate in the pledge they have that right. under god, taking under god out of the pledge i think it's a little too far. bill: michael, based on what this court rules, could this like ripple out across the country? do you see it going that way? >> absolutely could. we're talking about the massachusetts state supreme court which, on a ruling between karl marx and lenin would find them both too conservative. this court can do anything. the standards, they're not fighting a religious fight anymore. the supreme court already ruled on the religious aspect. there is no religion here. this is equal treatment. this the is same loophole which they used to invent right to get married which doesn't exist in the -- bill: do you think the court will do this? what would they do? give suit option to pass or -- quiet or -- >> that is exactly what needs to
happen, bill. you can have the right to pass on the pledge. for us to compare it to equal protection allows for gay and lesbian families to get married that is far stretch. >> that is what the case being made. that is what the plaintiffs are arguing. it is already voluntary. in massachusetts nobody is required in public schools to say the pledge. bill: why is this thing in court then? >> because you have to endure the pledge. that is what these two whiney losers who have lawyers are saying. my son or daughter, we don't know, sits in the classroom, other people say the pledge. it makes them feel icky. bill: already law, why do you have to pursue this. >> i mean i don't understand why they're pursuing it there is we all understand there is clear separation between church and state, if you don't want your child to say, under god, he has a right to sit or stand for the pledge. that is where the case is open or shut case. bill: what happens, michael, do you think in the end? what does the court do. >> i think they have gone too far. i think this case the supreme court will let the law stand but
it is a close call. i have no doubt that at some point in the future the ability of a public school to say we want the u.s. pledge to be part of our daily activity, even voluntarily will be too much. bill: got it. michael, when will we get a ruling? are we talking days or weeks or months? >> no, no. unless they do something legal that i understand, my understanding it will take a process of months. bill: got it. thank you, michael graham, richard fowler. wil done. >> thanks, bill. bill: heather with break news. heather: key meeting between president and senators mccain and graham. and graham. the headlines as they come in.s. when managing your weight, bigger is always better. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant
in 1963. bill: pretty good markup. have a terrific labor day if you're with family and friends. hope it is not raining wherever you are. heather: see you five a.m. tomorrow for "fox & friends." bill: good to be with you. "happening now" starts right now. >> right now, brand new stories and breaking news. >> the president today meeting with leading republican senators at the white house. trying to win their support for military action in syria. the saws nimitz and its care year group moves in. who has to use caution out on the roads. a lawsuit against the pledge of allegiance in schools, now heading to one state's highest court. what the plaintiffs want and why it is not sitting well with a