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tv   Way Too Early  MSNBC  April 29, 2013 2:30am-3:01am PDT

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when superstorm sandy made landfall on october the 29th of last year, it was already one of the largest hurricanes on record in the atlantic. 115 miles per hour in terms of winds and 13-foot storm surges devastated many coastal towns all across the eastern seaboard. for the nearly 3,000 residents here in seaside heights, new jersey, life is just now getting back to normal. good morning, everyone. i'm brian shactman and this is a special edition of "way too early," six months after hurricane sandy. all morning long, we'll be focusing on the storm's victims and what they're doing to bring the shore back to life. some of what was lost will absolutely never be restored. it was the second costliest storm in u.s. history behind only katrina, but the region continues to pick up the pieces and rebuild. and while the government has played a major role in getting these towns back on their feet, it's the people, the neighbors helping neighbors, who have put the area on a path to recovery.
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throughout the morning, we'll be live from some of the hardest-hit locations. joe and mika will be in asbury park, new jersey, where up and down the state, the floodwaters have receded, but much of the destruction remains. and willie joins from bell harbor, new york, in the rockaways, where the coastline barely resembles what it used to be. all morning along, we'll be sitting down with the major players involved in the cleanup, including live interviews with governor chris christie, senator chuck schumer, and congressman peter king. but first, let's get to the news here at 5:30 a.m. on the east coast. we begin with the latest from syria and the growing calls for the united states to intervene in that country's two-year-old civil war. lawmakers from both parties urging the obama administration to take stronger a against the assad regime following last week's findings by the white house that the syrian government has used chemical weapons against the country's rebel fighters. crossing that so-called red line has sparked a debate in
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washington about whether or not it's time for the u.s. military to get involved, including the potential of american troops on the ground. >> i don't think you ever want to say, absolutely not. obviously, we don't want to do that unless it's absolutely necessary. >> i would go even beyond that. i would say, no. we don't need to put boots on the ground. but we need to enable their neighbors, the neighbors of syria, to bring some sort of peaceful resolution to this. >> senator john mccain agreed with senator chambliss, advocating for a no-fly zone over syria, to minimize the government's air power. and mccain also warned about the possible ramifications if the united states remains on the sidelines. >> the syrian people are angry and bitter at the united states. i was in a refugee camp in jordan and there are thousands of people and kids and this woman who's a schoolteacher said, senator mccain, you see these children here? they're going to take revenge on those people who refused to help
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them. now to boston. two weeks after the marathon bombings, investigators are still working to understand how the tsarnaev brothers were radicalized. over the weekend, we learned russian authorities briefed the u.s. officials in the days after the attack about a 2011 conversation between the older suspect, tamerlan tsarnaev, and his brother, in which they discussed jihad and a possible trip to palestinian territory. however, that information, which was captured through a wiretap, was apparently not shared with u.s. intelligence until after the april 15th bombings. counterterrorism officials have also confirmed the tsarnaev's mother was placed on the cia's counterterrorism database in the fall of 2011. that's the same time her eldest son, tamerlan, was put on the same list. now officials have continued their search for an unspecified number of person of interests.
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that suggests the boston marathon bombing suspects may not have worked alone. >> the way they handled these devices and the tradecraft leads me to believe there was a trainer. and the question is where are those trainer or trainers. are they overseas in the chechen region or in the united states? in my conversations with the fbi, that's the big question. >> we still have persons of interest that we're working to identify and have conversations with. >> would you say ten or fewer? >> i didn't say that. i didn't give a number. i do think there are persons of interest and russia is where i think they went from, yes, i'm ready for jihad, here's how you conduct an act of violence, including training. the threat of future attacks raising new questions about whether intelligence agencies should be doing more to watch muslim communities here at home. that debate continued yesterday between congressman peter king and keith ellison on "meet the press". >> what the nypd knew is doing in new york, with a thousand police officers focusing on this
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issue, knowing where the threat is coming from. now, the threat is coming to the muslim community. >> once you start saying, we're going to dragnet or surveil a community, you ignore dangerous threats that are not in that community and you go after people who don't have anything to do with it. remember, we went after a community in world war ii. and the japanese internment is a national stain on our country. and we are still apologizing for it. federal authorities believe they have correctly identified the man suspected of sending letters containing poison ricin tot president, a u.s. senator, and a mississippi judge. james everett dutschke is expected to appear in court later today, charged with possessing and attempting to use ricin as a biological weapon. according to officials, the arrest took place at dutschke's home without incident. they originally arrested dutschke's online nemesis, kevin paul curtis, who's an elvis
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impersonator. the charges against curtis were dropped last tuesday. now, the charges and penalties are huge here. if found guilty, dutschke faces life imprisonment and $250,000 fine. also want to talk about the gun debate. pro-gun control advocates are pushing to take the fight for universal background checks directly to voters. today, a new campaign kicks off in washington state looking to raise millions of dollars to put the issue up for a popular vote. proponents of expanding background checks hope the success of the initiative will encourage ballot measures in other states in the country. meanwhile, on the federal level, it appears the defeat of a similar bill earlier this month didn't discourage its co-author, senator joe manchin, who says he's not willing to give up on the fight. >> i want to make it clear. you are going to bring this bill back to the senate floor and you think it's going to be different? >> i truly believe that if we have time to sell the bill and people will read the bill, and i'm willing to go anywhere in this country, i'm willing to debate anybody on this issue,
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read the bill and you tell me what you don't like. >> however, his partner in that bill, senator pat toomey, was less than enthusiastic about revisiting the bill he co-sponsored with manchin, saying in a conference call, "my own view is very simple. the senate has had its vote, we've seen the outcome of that vote. i am not aware of any reason to believe that if we had the vote again, that we'd have a different outcome,." according to a recent quinnipiac poll, senator toomey's approval rating hit an all-time high in his home state. the poll found 48% approve of his work in congress with more than half of the state's voters thinking more favorably of him because of his work on gun legislation. we go overseas now. rescue workers have stopped searching for survivors at a building collapse in bangladesh that left at least 370 people dead and hundreds more missing. many of those killed were workers at clothing factors in the building. four people were actually pulled alive on sunday, that's a
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hundred hours after the building came down. officials say the structure was illegally built and its owner reportedly tried to flee the country after the disaster. he was arrested in a nearby town, trying to escape to india, prompting cheers from the site of the collapse. and finally, a little bit of lefty here on a monday. the event everyone was talking about over the weekend in washington, d.c., i guess they call it the nerd prom, saturday night's annual white house correspondents' dinner. it gave politicians, the media, and their celebrity guests a little bit of a chance to kick back and laugh at each other's expense. president obama began the evening talking about the massive amounts of spent to unsuccessfully remove him from the white house. >> did you know that sheldon adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads. you've got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. i mean, that's opr money.
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you could buy an island and call it nobama for that kind of money. sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race! i probably wouldn't have taken it, but i would have thought about it. michelle would have taken it. you think i'm joking. >> president obama and this area's host conan o'brien also had a little bit of fun with the president's relationship towards members of congress and the media. >> of course, even after i've done all of this, some folks still don't think i spend enough time with congress. why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell, they ask. really? why don't you get a drink with
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mitch mcconnell?! >> i know the relationship between the president and the press can seem a bit strained at times. some in this room have even accused the president of being distant aloof. when i asked the president about it early, he said, oh? and then walked away. >> and o'brien was able to work in a few jokes at the expense of mitt romney and the nra's wayne lapierre. >> if in 1995 you told me in 2013 we'd have an african-american president with a middle name hussein who was just re-elected to a second term in a sluggish economy, i would have said, oh, he must have run against mitt romney. by the way, no offense, mr. president. i do congratulate you on your victory, but as a late-night comedian, i was kind of pulling for the rich guy whose horse danced in the olympics.
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here's a fun fact about tonight's food. everything you ate this evening was personally shot by wayne lapierre. don't worry, it was during a home invasion, though. the fish came in through the window. that wasn't peppercorn, that was buckshot, ladies and gentlemen. incidentally, you may not know this, but wayne lapierre is merely the executive vice president of the nra, which begs the question, how freaking crazy do you have to be to be the actual president of the nra? all right, still ahead on "way too early," much more, of course, of our coverage of after sandy, restoring the coast. bill karins joins with a look behind the science. and later, the lakers try to avoid being swept by spurs, but a pair of technical fouls by dwight howard not doing a lot to help out. we'll have highlights next when
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♪ or just go to e-trade and save it. boom. ♪ welcome back to "way too early," live from seaside heights, new jersey, as we mark six months since superstorm sandy made landfall. right behind me is that now-iconic roller coaster that was taken out by the storm. i want to go over to nbc meteorologist, bill karins. bill, in terms of -- from a meteorological standpoint, you know, at what point did you know that this storm was going to be as big as it was? >> most likely, i think it was atlantic city. it was that monday morning high tide, was probably the worst of it. what you're looking at here, the boardwalk area, the worst of
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this, though, was that evening high tide cycle, as we went throughout that monday night. and to put it all back together, this is literally where they stopped working yesterday, and they'll just continue. three quarters of a mile is how much of the boardwalk they'll have replaced by memorial day weekend. they're actually hoping up to open up the southern portion of this by the end of this week. that'll be great. maybe they can start opening up a few businesses here and then the big rush for the summer. let me take you through six months ago, what happened with this storm, and trying to explain why a category 1 hurricane did so much damage. this storm was off the outer banks. this is where a lot of hurricanes travel, probably one or two every year. normally, it's not an issue. this one did something that was relatively unheard of it. it made a left turn, went backwards, if you want to call it that, towards the jersey shore. it was at this time, as we went throughout 8:00 a.m., monday morning's high tide, that we saw this damage in atlantic city. this wasn't supposed to be the bad high tide. when we saw this, we knew that we were in trouble, up the shore in jersey, new york city, all the way through the long island,
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staten island, included in all of that, because this was not supposed to be the worst high tide. we were going to add three or four feet on top of this and atlantic city just got nailed. as we went through the day, the water didn't recede. then the next high tide came, two hours after landfall, the winds were still onshore, and that's when all the devastation happened. that's when the billions of dollars worth of damage were done, all over the place. of course, it was all nighttime, so the pictures don't look quite as dramatic, but the damage was enormous from the jersey shore all the way up to new york city because of the storm surge. and it's interesting here, brian, being down here in seaside heights and looking up and seeing all the stuff on the shore, you don't see wind damage. this isn't like the storms you can see with katrina and that's what we saw with any of the bad storms down in the gulf. so, you know, it's a lot of recovery to be done. >> you know, it's interesting, bill, because i was at montauk covering the storm for a few days and there was almost no rain. it was all wind, and all wind damage, on a lot of parts of long island. it's kind of ironic in that
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sense. thanks, bill. now to sports, dwight howard may have played his last game in a lakers uniform. just a brutal performance. last night ejected after getting handed his second technical foul. the lakers were swept by the spurs, 103-82. of course, they didn't have kobe bryant. howard called the season a nightmare he couldn't wake up from is now an unrestricted free agent. my celtics trying to avoid the sweep, pushing the knicks to overtime, and in o.t., jason terry making the clutch three, scoring nine of boston's 13 points in o.t. the celtics hang on, 97-90. they're probably going to lose anyway. lebron and the heat finish their sweep with the milwaukee bucks. they go on to play the winner of the bulls' next series. and arguably the world's greatest basketball player, no longer a free agent. michael jordan tieing the knot over the weekend with 35-year-old girlfriend and former model, yvette prieto in palm beach, florida. there were 300 guests in
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attendance, including tiger woods, patrick ewing, and spike lee. it was a short engagement for the 53-year-old bobcats' owner. he popped the question last september. let's talk a little football too. the new york jets being a little bit coy about the future of mark sanchez and his roll on the roster. as of yet, he hasn't heard about what his role will be. he said, quote, i look at it unday at a time. that doesn't sound very good. this comes after the jets slkted highly touted quarterback gino smith from west virginia in a bit of a steal in the second round of the nfl draft. that brings the total number of quarterbacks on the jets' roster to six. more quarterbacks doesn't equal one gad one, right? that includes tim tebow. sanchez is owed $8.25 million guaranteed, and with the second worst pass rating in the year last year, he's nearly impossible to trade for the jets. we'll see what happens with his future. in terms of the future on msnbc, coming up on "morning
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joe," joe and mika will sit down live with governor chris christie to discuss the latest with the recovery from sandy. and up next, the mayor of seaside heights, william acres joins us live. good morning, mr. mayor. >> nice to see you. vo: from the classic lines to the elegant trim in each and every piece, bold will make your reality a dream. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ]
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welcome back to "way too early," live on the jersey shore. six months after superstorm sandy made landfall, and joining us now, the mayor of seaside heights, mayor acres. thanks for joining us this morning. our national audience wants to know quite a bit about what's going on. give us a sense of what the last six months have been like for you and your constituents. >> it's nice to be past all the initial shock of everything, you know, we're recovering emotionally, with and of course, physically, getting everything back in place. we're on a project that would normally take two years to get done with all the planning and everything that has to go into it. we're trying to get it done in six months. >> you're talking about the boardwalk? >> the boardwalk, while the boardwalk gets all the focus, you're trying to get your whole community back. you don't want to leave anybody behind. the reality is that some people are going to be hurt, you know, really bad from this.
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and maybe not recover as quickly as some of the other people. >> you know, it's incremental in terms of progress. and we're seeing amazing progress with the boardwalk. just talk about the timetable with that. and also, how important it is to have this thing completed by memorial day. >> without a doubt, it's what we need to do. you need to have this in place. just as we rebalance our budget, it's through tourism dollars. 65% of our budget is through tourism dollars, 35% is through property taxes. so we asked people to come down here. you need to provide the amenities that they're used to having over the years, whether it's the boardwalk, the beach, the rides on the boardwalk, and then, of course, having all your stands open. >> you know, it's interesting, that's one of the questions i had for you, mayor acres, how do you know that all of these businesses over here are actually going to come back. are some of them abandoned for good and you have to fill spots? >> i'm not hearing that at this time. but i'm not going to be naive to say that we're going to have 100% recovery up here. i think we're probably going to
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be somewhere about 80, 85%. but the reason that they have to come back, and you look at all these stands that are still in the process of coming back is it's a real simple formula. if uh yo don't open your doors, you don't pay your bills at the end of the month. so there's a big incentive to get those doors opened. >> so this roller coaster back here, it's interesting, you're going to get rid of it, but it's become a bit of a tourist attraction in and of itself. has there been any consideration -- because it's a symbol of the storm now. there's no consideration to keep it in some way? what are you going to do? >> no, first off, it's privately owned, and we know it has to go. it's a still structure in the ocean. it certainly wouldn't hold up, and especially when you get the nor'easters and things rolling through seaside heights that we get every single year, you'll have five or six normal nor'easters along with the more frequent storms that have been coming up now. so what they're waiting for right now, they need four days of calm. the marine waters need to be nice and calm and they're going
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to set up a scaffolding out there, within three to four days, they'll have it all taken out along with all the wet debris. >> in terms of the people you serve and the attitude, the tenor, are they getting aggressive about trying to get things turned around or are they still pretty down about their situation? >> well, you know, again, and it's funny, i was asked this question just yesterday, but if you talk to the business community, i'm not moving fast enough. they want it to be open yesterday. the residents, they're hurting. they're trying to get back on their feet. i think when you're in this process, i don't think that no matter how quickly you come along or how much that you've done, i don't think it's ever enough, because nobody asked for this. i mean, you went to bed one night and you woke up the next day and this is what you were dealt and this is where we are now. so, it's -- and you touched on it area. this has never happened.
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this is our centennial. a hundred years this year. and we're doing the same thing they did back a hundred years ago. we're rebuilding to live here. >> william acres, mayor seaside heights, we appreciate the time. coming up on "morning joe," governor chris christie joins the set in asbury park. we'll get an update on the recovery efforts there and across the state and we'll check out with willie geist live in the rockaways. "way too early" is coming right back. ♪ playtime is so much more with a superhero by your side. because even superheroes need superheroes. that's why purina dog chow is made with high quality ingredients, including 23 vitamins and minerals. to help keep him strong. dog chow strong.
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welcome back to "way too early" here at seaside heights on the jersey shore. you put it all in perspective even with the boston marathon bombings, a tragedy done intentionally and something happens to people, to be down here and see the damage. i covered it to put it all in full circle those it's good to have these programs and remind us what people are going through. we will talk