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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  April 29, 2013 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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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 about it more about it right now as "morning joe"
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starts right now. ♪ >> as freakishly powerful october storm will go down as one of the most colossal weather events of its kind. >> the wind has picked up. the rain has picked up. >> definitely to leave town and get out. >> the dunes were breached and now water rushing perpendicular into this community. this sand dune is the only thing between the town and the sea. it's going from bad to worse tonight on the jersey shore. the water is rushing down the street like a river. >> this is the most unbelievable wind that i've seen here in 44 years as a resident. >> six months ago today, sandy hit the shores of the northeast coast, part hurricane, part cold weather system. sandy morphed into a superstorm of epic proportions and it slammed the region with winds of
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115 miles per hour and the storm surge topping 13 feet. the damage was staggering. only katrina would prove a more costly disaster. ousf h were swept from their foundations as the coast of new jersey was literally reshaped overnight. floodwaters poured inland and washing out schools and businesses and entire communities. half of manhattan was left in the dark while staten island struggled to save the stranded in the rock aways a massive fire tore through breezy point and destroying at least 100 homes. and, today, some of the hardest hit areas like the this town look more like a war zone than a beach community. for others recovery is on way but for everyone affected by sandy the last six months have been unlike anything they could have ever imagined. today is monday, april 29th, and we are live in asbury park in a state where the waters have
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receded but much of the destruction remains. joining us on the set is mike barnicle and john meeacham and willie geist. let's begin with willie. he is an hour's drive north of us in billion harbors queen. set the scene for us there, willie. >> i'm on belle harbor queens. the rock away 11-mile peninsula that jets out into the atlantic ocean. people ask how is the rock aways doing six months later? on the beach front this is the way they are doing. a long way to do and they are waiting for help. the federal grants are just now coming through. we will talk to chuck schumer and peter king coming up. a lot of firefighters, a lot of
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cops in this neighborhood. they lost a lot of people on 9/11. that tragedy marked this area for a long time. there was also that plane crash you might remember november 12th, 2001, about two months after 9/11, crashed right here in belle harbor and killed 260 people on the plane and five members of this community on the ground. now six months ago, this. so they are just now getting back on their feet. it's really a process that hasn't even begun. we will talk to some of the rents and ask what they need. a lot of here feel like the politicians have forgotten them. >> we will check in with you throughout the morning, willie. coming up, we will have new jersey governor chris christie joining us live on the set and senator chuck schumer and representative peter king.
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>> the numbers, mika, of what happened with hurricane sandy, just so frightening. the number of people killed, staggering. you look at the amount of property loss, the jobs lost. not only immediately after the storm, but the impact for some time to come and you, once again, see what we saw down in the south during hurricane katrina. just a slow response from the federal government. you look at those shots of willie out there. six months later and i know, mike barnicle, you're shocked by the fact that the government is still just -- i mean, i know the government can only do so much. but with billions of dollars that have been focused on this effort, the recovery is just so damn small and slow. not only there, but here along the jersey coastline. >> it's been six months. you can see the burden of recovery as you drive through asbury park where we are today
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and you can only think of the burden that the people have carried the past six months dealing with insurance companies and not to get too political about it but to think about the billions we pour into afghanistan on a monthly basis but the recovery here is coming along but not as a brisk pace. >> john meacham, a lot of people from my home state we always got support from congressmen and senators and presidents across the country. we always got funding. the funding came slowly here. you look at the fact that there are people that were not only out of a house but out of a house with freezing temperatures at the worst time of a year for this storm to hit and a lot of those wounds remain deep with people like chris christie and
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peter king who we are going to be talking to later. >> well, it's where politicians are ultimately judged. not only in how the emotional immediate on the scene response that we think of now more and more as kind of the giuliani model of leaders who are with people as they undergo this, but then who can deliver and who can take care, you know, of mastering this complicated bureaucracy. >> can i ask you as a presidential historian, i will say there is a big story after these homes are rebuilt, after the businesses are put back together, after a lot of the lives are put back and have some semblance of order around here. politically this came at history shaping time and i can't believe that historians 50 years from now aren't looking at chris christie's warm embrace of barack obama as something that helped the president and something that, i think, it was
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a symbolic moment not just for the people of new jersey who wanted to see politicians come together, but for americans who are so sick and tired of the smallness of american politics. >> it was that. it was a moment where the fact that an election was going on really didn't matter if your house was blown away. >> right. >> the disaster doesn't know an electoral calendar and i think the governor served his people in the way he thought he should. >> willie, you're going to be talking to people who are still dramatically impacted. >> yeah, i am. to the point you're talking about, this storm hit here october 29th of last year. the federal aid package was signed by president obama on january 29th, 50.5 billion. so that is three months it took for that to get through. a lot of that money hasn't been released here so that is why you're hearing chuck schumer and peter king and all of these people so furious and angry
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because these people want to get moving and rebuilding. a lot of the parts of the rock aways are ghost towns because they don't have the resources to come back and build. we will hear from those guys this morning and ask him why it took so long. obviously, there were some political reasons. so there is a lot of politics involved here and it's taking a long time. still six months later and there are ruins all over this beach. >> look at that. >> you go up and down the jersey shore, mike. certainly even here in asbury park, and there's nothing there. you'll see a restaurant here and then vacant lots for four or five, six lots down on beachfront property. this is a city that fought back, rebuilt itself, and really was enjoying a renaissance.
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it got blown away by this storm. here we come, even though it's about 15 degrees, it feels like out here, tourist season is not far yen and a lot of these towns aren't going to be open for business. that's going to really hurt small businesses, family-owned businesses that have been around here for decades. >> you would have to assume that like most beach communities, memorial day is the beginning of their busiest season. they have memorial day to labor day to make 75% of their annual income. >> by the way, the video we are showing, this was not from six months ago. this was from two days ago. >> i know. that is the larger point you raised earlier. the picture we had earlier. >> from two days ago. >> of governor christie and president obama. sandy has no ideology. no ideology in sandy. there's no polarization when sandy hit here. it was a horrific storm that
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destroyed communities up and down the new jersey shore and the rockways and everything else like that. now they have to deal with the bureaucracy involved in american politics. >> i got to say, i don't understand this, jon meacham, being from pensacola, going through probably, six, seven hurricanes and rebuildings, seeing how quickly we responded in the south to these disasters, how quickly leaders in florida, after, of course, hurricane andrew in 1992 which was a disaster but how quickly and florida and alabama and mississippi leaders respond to these storms. i am stunned by how slowly the response has been to sandy and i don't know why it's taking so long. >> the other reason this is so important is, you know, tlas and old joke in journalism that if a weather story happens to you, otherwise, it's not interesting. given what has happened with
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extreme weather, given what has happened along all of the coastlines this is going to happen more and more and more because of the shifts in the climate. anybody who is anywhere near a coast line should be following this story incredibly closely. >> there was an attempt to buy out homeowners to prevent this in the future and a lot of people are holding out and another issue we will talk about. two weeks after the boston marathon bomb, investigators are still working to understand how the tsarnaev brothers were radicalized. over the weekend, we learned russian authorities briefed u.s. officials in the days after the attack about a 2011 conversation between the older suspect tamerlan tsarnaev and his mother where they discussed jihad and a possible trip to palestinian territory but that information that was kaurted throucaptured
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wirepap. the tsarnaev's mother was placed on the cia's counterterrific database in 2011 and the same time her eldest son tamerlan was put on the same list. now officials continue the search for an unspecified number of persons of interest suggesting the boston marathon bombing suspects may not have worked alone. >> the way they handled these devices and the trade craft leads me to believe that there was a trainer and the question is where is that trainer or trainers? are they overseas in the chechen region or in the united states? that is the big question for the fbi. >> we still have persons of interests that we are working to find and identify and have conversations with. >> you're saying ten or fewer? >> i didn't say that. i didn't give a number. i do think there are persons of interests and russia is where i
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think they went yes, i'm ready with jihad and here is how you conduct an act of violence including with training. >> new questions raised whether intelligence agencies should be doing more to watch muslim communities here at home and that debate continued yesterday on "meet the press" between congressman peter ring and keith ellison. >> what the nypd is doing in new york what a thousand police officers focusing on this issue knowing where the threat is coming from. the threat is coming from the muslim community. >> once you say we are going to drag net or survey a community what you do is ignore dangerous threats 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 japanese is a national staying on our country and we are still apologizing for it. >> it appears that she may be more than just a person of
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interest. >> i think she is more than a person of interest. i think it has to do with the fractured family, the foundation of the tsarnaev family. she was the leader of the family. the father left this country. they were divorced. the mother perhaps was important in the self-radicalization of her two sons, specifically the he would oldest. it's located in cambridge, massachusetts, who was instrumental in radicalizing or helping to radicalize the older son, the one is dead and that is why they call it a investigation, as pete williams said. >> now they are actually looking for other people in the boston area? >> i am told and it's been reported as well that of course, the implementation of the bomb, putting together the bombs was
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off the internet or the magazines that they were able to acquire easily and the materials, obviously, able to acquire easily. you could go to a home depot to acquire what they had to build the bomb. the people surrounding the older son -- >> there is a question anybody can go to home depot today and they can get the materials needed to launch a horrific attack like this, a devastating attack, an evil attack. jon meacham, the question here is how do these two young men who grew up a large part of their life in america, the younger one especially seemed popular, how did they become radicalized and who radicalized them and how can we prevent that in the future? >> how much of it was virtual and how much of it was more retail radicalization. i think mike is right, those are
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the questions. and you know, it's one of these things. i have enormous sympathy for the people in power on this because they have to be right all the time. >> yeah. >> you know? these guys only have to get it right once. >> right. >> we will be talking about this coming up. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> hold on, hold on. >> yeah? oh, no. >> what are you all doing here? >> don't answer his questions. >> it's raining. this is like out of a bruce springsteen song. huddled mass on the beach. like it's too cold! all right. thank you for coming. >> look at this! >> look at that, huh? >> thank you for coming. it will warm up. we will get chris christie here. we need to talk to chris about better weather. >> governor chris christie joins us in a few minutes and set to make an announcement about aid
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for victims of the storm. first to willie geist who is standing by in the rock aways. >> one of the most terrible stories in the entire superstorm sandy was down the beach about four miles in breezy point a community of firefighters where they lost 126 homes in a fire. it was a fire that the firefighters who lived there couldn't get to because of the storm surge. they stood and watched as many of their own homes burned. we will revisit that area and talk to some of those guys coming up. also want to go to brian shactman where you are in seaside heights, new jersey. >> looking at the damage behind you, it's pretty unbelievable. here we have the roller coaster behind mean destroyed boardwalk. seaside heights, the city, suffered quite a bit. we are going to ride around town with the long time police chief and get some perspective from him and what he sees each and every day. we will be right back. it's monday.
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live look at belle harbor as we cover the six-month mark from superstorm sandy. let's take a look at the morning papers at 21 past the hour. "the new york times," the cia has covertically delivered tens of millions of dollars in suitcases and backpacks and even plastic shopping bags to the offices of afghan president hamid karzai. >> really some what a great investment we have gotten from him. he is of course, talking about becoming a member of the taliban but go ahead. that investment really worked for musharraf as well. >> i'm glad they are not here. >> can you imagine what we would have to do if we had that $3 billion to spend in american
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instead of funneling it to musharraf over the years? >> after the attack everybody was saying we know we can't buy the war lords but you can't rent them? you can't even rent karzai. he won't stay bout. >> no, he won't. >> lime looik oke one of the l l rascals over here. >> you are the one wearing hockey gloves. you have a day lift pass? >> i only wish. let's go to politicpolitico. we are mike allen with us here with the morning playbook. do we tonight start with house of starts or senator kirsten gillibrand? keeping with the maegeamazing s and focus and stick with senator gillibrand. if senator clinton doesn't run would look at running for
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president. senator gillibrand is across the country, fund-raising for women candidates and she has built a list and long a network that someone who is going into national office would love to have. she has also been very forward on don't ask, don't tell. also building senator among the gay activists. but with senator clinton running, might nobody the right time. >> talk about your cameo. >> congressman, we don't focus on the masses but elite audience and that said we would like kim kardashian at our briefing. >> i want mike allen. >> do as i say and politico gets
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a kardashian. mike, what is your home address? >> why do you ask? >> to send you the tickets, of course. >> send them to the office. >> nobody knows where he lives, congressman. we mail his paychecks to a p.o. box. >> oh, mike, no reason to be nervous. what is your home address? >> that's really good. >> that is great. >> mike! not bad! >> that is my -- >> how was count basie? >> he was funny and was there at the brunch and around all weekend and also at the bloomberg after-party on saturday night and also at the msnbc after-party where louis bergdorf interviewed sharon stone. a keeper moment there. but house of cards people were great, that is my colleague and boss john harris, politico's editor in chief with a little inside joke there about the urban myth that people don't
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know where i live after this aired on the big screen at the white house correspondents dinner, i got a funny e-mail from a neighbor of mine who said, i know where you live! >> nice, nice. thank you so much, mike. that's great clip and hilarious. >> i want to show his interview with sharon stone tomorrow on "morning joe." >> thank you so much, mike. >> he hits on her, of course. >> he hits on sharon stone. >> he's like a -- >> louis hits on everybody he interviews assuring they will -- he actually asked for sharon stone's phone number. tend of the interview. >> i don't know that we want to get into it. >> the tapes were rolling. let's go to a higher level here. willie is standing by in belle harbor, new york. >> this is kevin, retired firefighter and lived in belle harbor for 30 years. i appreciate you waking up early with us.
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tell me first about where you were and what that night of october 29th was like. because you stayed put. >> we stayed. we watched the water come down the street. we had the wall, we had a sand barrier. water came over that like it was nothing and washed it away. started to coming down the block. we had a sea wall that ran along here. as the night went on, sea wall, the water was right over the sea wall. got back there. we were in looking out at the water. once we lost power, we lost lighting. we couldn't see much. all we can hear is the water. went to the front of the house, had a pump working in the garage in case any water came -- water was seeping through but gradual. we were able to pump that out. the water continued to rise and the front of the house, i had three feet of water. during the storm, it raised to five feet of water, running past the hour. concrete broke through the garage door.
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filled the house with water. the basement i had seven feet of water. while we were trying to do something in the garage, we got the -- we got into the top-- the back of the house we felt a breeze coming down, which we went to and we saw that the window was busted. over here, if you can see this roof that is over here, the roof that was there came into my house with the boardwalk underneath it and right here at this house a full deck behind it and that was underneath it. >> the famous boardwalk four blocks down ended up on your porch? >> it could have came further than that but that is the first part of the boardwalk. there was boardwalk scattered all over the beach. >> let me ask you, kevin, what do you need now? it's been six months. it took the aid package three months to get put together in washington. what do people like you, people down this peninsula need from the government right now? >> right now we need all of the
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agencies somehow to get together and one person that turns around and makes a command decision because we asked for just even these fences, the storm fences, we asked for the storm fences to be put put along the entire beach to stop the sand from coming in and some restriction on the environment coming back into the house. they say we can't do it. we don't have a contract for that. we only have a contract to put in front of the street. we're looking for the sea wall. i understand that the army corps of engineers says it has to be done one way. parks department wants it done another way and they can't put their -- see when you got multiple agencies together and not one person making the decision and you need community involvement. they have to ask the community, what is good for you? you get an engineer from the city that comes in and says this is what we are going to do, wait a minute, your first time in the rockaway and how do you know what it's like. talk to the community and find
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out what they need. >> how are the people here doing? >> people are doing great. >> really? >> people are doing good. they are coming back and everybody is helping each other but, you know, i turn around and look at what happened to my house and it's nothing. you look at what is going on just in this neighborhood, where people had passed away during the storm and people didn't make it. they are still out of their house. gentleman across the street from me just moved in after six months. his house is totally redone. he had part of the boardwalk come right into his house. but there's a lot of worse things going on, but it's a great neighborhood, you know? i got an e-mail the other day from the gray beards. gentleman on 136th street, old-timer he needed stuff moved from the second floor out to the garbage. guys just show up. people just show up. >> it's a great neighborhood and you're a good representative of that.
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kevin, thanks so much. good luck. >> okay. >> let's send it over to brian in seaside heights, new jersey. >> tom's family has been the police chief for 29 years and none more difficult than the last year. we will get his perspective on superstorm sandy when "morning joe" continues.
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welcome back to "morning joe." brian shactman here in seaside heights, "nightly news." when hurricane sandy made landfall, no one knew what to expect. it was a category one hurricane like they have seen many of them. but the damage it caused was more than anyone could have imagined. the fact that no one died here in seaside hooieights is perhap miracle or you can maybe thank the firefighters. one of the firefighters gave us a look of the community. >> my family came in. my grandfather came in probably in the late '20s. once you get the sand in your shoes, it's hard to get out. seaside was always a blue collar working town. we live by tourism and die by tourism. like a broadway show you have to put your best foot forward and
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give people an experience when they come to seaside. i have seen a lot of hurricanes and i give the governor credit. told us it was going to be a bad one and i don't people always listen to him. i say take a gallon of water and hit somebody in the back of the head. a lot of water. times that by millions of gallons and you'll see what this does. this is the type of destruction this water can do. this whole area was nothing but sand dunes. this here there is nobody living down here. this has all been devastated and these are house where the water was six, eight feet up in the air. that is the power of the ocean right there. that is the power of water. it stripped the walls. it stripped everything right off the walls. a sad story on this one house on the corner, there was an old veteran, old world war ii vet actually and this was his retirement home. he comes down here and this is what happens to his retirement home and here is the situation where you got people that may never come back to your town.
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we want families coming back and we are rebuilding. this playground is usually full. you got one family there. one family. we are moving forward and we want little kids to come here again. i'll give it my all to do what i can do now to do it forward for my children and everybody else's children. this is a fun place, nothing but happiness and rides and cotton candy and people enjoying themselves. it will be a thriving, beautiful place again. absolutely. absolutely. >> i just want to remind people, those images you see of damaged homes and all of the damage, that was shot in the last week. that is not six-month-old video you're looking at so the damage is pretty eye popping to say the least. memorial day is a crucial time for the businesses here where tourist dollars are absolutely everything and why the state is working around the clock to get the boardwalk back into shape. according to officials, half of it will be ready this week. the other half by memorial day.
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coming up next on "morning joe," we will send it back up to new york where willie geist is live in the rockways where breezy point suffered one two punch of fire and floods. "morning joe" is back moment. i'm tony siragusa and i've been around the toughest guys in football. and now i'm training guys who leak a little to guard their manhood. with man style protection... whoa... of new depend shields and guards. who are you? this is my house. perfect. come with me.
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♪ welcome back to belle harbor, new york, 11-mile stretch of beach here in queens, new york. four miles from where i'm standing is breezy point. it should be a familiar term by now for a lot of people because that is the community that was engulfed by flames after the water came in. they lost about 125 homes. a lot of them belonging to firefighters who had to stand and watch the flames take down their homes because they couldn't reach them themselves.
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♪ ♪ >> there is not a single house here that was unaffected. >> reporter: before water and then fire ripped across breezy point, no one else could. >> everybody looks out for each other. no place i've ever lived has been like this. >> it's the kind of place you go to the beach, you don't bring a bike lock. you just leave your bike there. >> reporter: breezy point queens got it started as a summer retreat for people to escape the sweltering city and tight knit class community founded by police and firemen and known as the irish rivera. marty's parents bought a home here and his family has been here ever since. >> hi, honey. i'm hope. >> reporter: ingram's home was flooded badly by sandy's storm surge but he considers himself one of the lucky ones he would know. marty is the chief of the point
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breeze fire department one of three in breezy point. >> 200 firefighters there trying to contain this massive fire. >> we were very fortunate we didn't lose the entire community that day. >> reporter: october night of impossible challenges when ingram's fire station flooded with more than 40 of the neighborhoods evacuees inside. >> the water by the top of the handle there and impossible to abandon the fire station but had no other choice. >> reporter: the water rose, sandy 70-mile-an-hour winds. firefighters could only watch as their own homes burned to the ground. by the time the fire storm was over, 125 houses had been destroyed. >> the biggest fear was somebody was going to die. and being the decision-maker, i wanted to make sure nobody died because of a bad decision that
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would have come from this firehouse. >> reporter: marty protected his guys and almost miraculously everyone in breezy point survived. >> the house in front of me burnt down and all of my neighborhoods burnt down here and our house wasn't touched. my wife swears when she left, she forget to take her father's ashes. her father is a retired fireman and she will go to the grave believing that and i guess i have to believe it too. >> reporter: six months later, nearly 500 homes have been destroyed or are slated to be demolished, leaving an eerie quiet where a vibrant community stood for generations. >> one of the homes was a friend of mine, who was in the army reserves, just came back from afghanistan and loses his house. >> reporter: their own homes inhabitable and three have slept inside the damaged firehouse the last six months what used to be the chief's office. >> the first floor was all right
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but the side of the basement fell in so everything was destroyed down there and we had to cut off the power to the house and we had to lift the house up and rebuild the basement. >> reporter: chief ingram's truck was destroyed so he's been riding around breezy point on his bicycle until a neighbor saw him and donated this truck. >> once you witness the f irk ry of mother nature, if you hadn't been doing it before, you believe in an al hs mighty. >> reporter: the chief calls it a mirk that everybody in breezy point. joining us now is senator chuck schumer. >> i was raised about a mile away. i'd come out here with my friends when i was a little kid, dated girls here. i loved this beach and the people here love it and that is our strength. this place is all going to come back because once you come here, you love it, you're going to stay here and you're going to
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rebuild. >> emotionally when pull here the last six months, what does it do for you? >> it's horrible. water came from both sides. this is a nowhere owe peninsula. it came in from the bay and came in from the ocean and there wasn't a block that wasn't flooded. these house are a little easier the ones on the beach still need repair. i rode my bicycle here saturday riding up and down the streets to see how it was. most of the people in the rockaways have been able to rebuild because they are two family houses and stronger and built higher up. the breezy hours were designed for bungalows and people loved it so much they started living there year-round, that will take a while. >> we talked to people the last week and there is frustrating and i know you share some of that. >> i sure do. >> for how long it took a bill signed by the president is three months and now three months after that. why for the people here in these homes is it taking so long to get the money? >> first the roller isshenaniga in congress.
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we got $60 billion but the number one thing we got in that bill is flexibility which i'll talk about in a second. the house played a game, took a while longer. then because we crafted a new program called cdbg, these people will tell you fema, small business administration, it's so narrow and so restricted it doesn't help them. these houses it's going to cost a lot more than $31,000 the fema limit to repair. the good news is the city has now -- will get brooapproval th week or next, the state just did for cbgd and it is flexible and allows to build the house three or four feet up. fema had this ridiculous rule you had to build it exactly it was before. god forbid a sandy, the houses are gone again. i am confident knowing the fiber of the people here, their strength, the beauty of this area, a year from now, this will
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all be back. bigger, better than ever. >> let's hope so. joe and mika are in asbury park this morning. they have a question for you. >> hi, joe, hi, mika. >> hi. >> senator schumer, there is frustration. there is, obviously, frustration, the rockaways and frustration along the jersey shore for the reasons willie stated, how long it took for congress to get something done and now three months past the bill even getting passed. what do you tell them as we move towards the spring and the summer and, obviously, family businesses been around for generations that are going to feel the terrible impact of the slow rebuild. what do you tell them about how you help them be made whole? >> here is what i tell them. because this cdbg money is here, go rebuild and keep your receipts and keep your checks and you will be fully reimbursed. instead of a narrow constricted
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program that took four or five years in new orleans, we have crafted a program is flexible and now the money is here. the first 1.7 billion a majority of which should go to housing is coming to new york city. another 1.7 billion for new york state and then money in new jersey. this is what they need. so now they have a green light to begin rebuilding. it took too long, no question about it. i think the next six months will be a whole lot better than the previous six. and that is because we learned from the mistakes of katrina and how to put this thing together. >> mike barnicle? >> senator, through every american enterprise for centuries, from the panama canal, there has always been a point person to take care of things. ken feinberg to distributing money to september 11th and marathon victims, why hasn't been been a single point person
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for disasters like this to take care of private insurance companies dealing with people who lost their homes? just one single person to clear the bureaucracy? >> it's because we have three levels of government. we had private insurance and federal. the person who has been closest to the point person and done a good job at the federal level and worked closely with myself and peter king and others is shandon vaun donovan. now that we have this cdbg he will make sure it gets done. the city didn't want to reimburse people who already laid out money. i saw that and was outraged and we got city and they changed their mind and this money will be used for reimbursement. not you have to use one contractor. there is much more bureaucracy
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than when we built the panama canal and lot more criticisms from everybody, so if you do something wrong, you get hammered and so the bureaucrats are more cautious. i think we can cut through the red tape. i think that -- you know, i love this place. this was my congressional district for a long time before i'm senator representing the whole state. and i think it probably will say six months from now, it was worth waiting because this program is going to be a lot better than the previous one and it won't take five or six years like it did with katrina. >> senator schumer, thanks so much for coming out to the rockaways this morning. we hope you put the pressure on because all the team people are counting on you. >> you bet. thank you, willie. >> governor chris christie will join mika and joe alive. he has new information on funding for that state. keep it here on "morning joe." ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's a pretty morning. a beautiful beach out here and we're recovering here in seaside heights. this is the boardwalk that was destroyed at the height of the storm. when you look at the ocean, the ocean is about 15 feet below me.
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believe it or not one of the highest elevations in seaside height. the waves destroyed it. three-quarters of a mile is their goal to replace the boardwalk by memorial day. a lot of it has been done and the best news back the other way this has all been completed and all finished. they are going to open it up this weekend back here behind me. they are going to put up temporary rails and they want to get the businesses back open and get the revenue to the business owners and the town. what happened with this storm is in the size and scope of the storm is what set the stage. it was only a category one hurricane. usually those do minor damage and nothing like what we saw with the water damage and the wind damage with this storm. the storm itself covered 1.8 million square miles from virginia to eastern canada back to the great lakes. the size of the storm, it was so large, not powerful, not like katrina or andrew but able to push the water toward the coast.
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katrina is a pretty big storm. the red is the powerful winds and yellow is the tropical force winds but the size of sandy was so much bigger. almost twice the size of katrina and why this turned out to be our second most expensive, by the insurance industry estimates, for any hurricane we have ever had in this country. estimated at $75 billion worth of damage. absolutely unbelievable but they are repairing it and get it open hopefully, for this summer. coming up, governor chris christie at the front of the repair of the jersey shore will he sitting down with joe and mika. stay tuned. ♪ from 65. temperatures running high at my high school ♪ [ male announcer ] if your kid can recognize your sneeze from a crowd... [ sneezes ] you're probably muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin®
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♪ come on up for the horizon come on up lay your hands in mine ♪ >> this storm willing down as one of the colossal events of its kind. >> this hybrid monster. >> the wind has picked up. the rain has picked up. >> definitely to leave town and get out. >> the dunes were breached and now water rushing perpendicular into this community. this sand dune is the only thing between the town and the sea. >> it's going from bad to worse tonight on the jersey shore. the water is rushing down the street like a river. >> this is the most unbelievable wind that i've seen here in 44 years as a resident.
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welcome back to "morning joe." 7:00 on the east coast. six months ago today, sandy hit the shores of the northeast coast, part hurricane, part cold weather system. sandy morphed into a superstorm of epic proportions and it slammed the region with winds of 115 miles per hour and the storm surge topping 13 feet. the damage was staggering. only katrina would prove a more costly disaster. thousands of homes were swept from their foundations as huge portions of the coast of new jersey was literally reshaped overnight. floodwaters poured inland and washing out schools and businesses and entire communities. sea bright community was one of the communities hit hardest by sandy. >> i just knew in my heart that this was going to be a bad one. i just knew it and i felt it. >> reporter: while hurricane sandy loomed in the distance, the small town of sea bright, new jersey, hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.
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>> four days before the storm, as soon as the governor declared a state of emergency, i declared a state of emergency and issued the evacuation order. >> you hold out that hope for that one last second before you open the door like maybe my house is the one that didn't get water. then you open it and just -- it was all gone. >> reporter: after being locked out of their homes more than a week residents returned home to found their community devastated by the wrath of sandy. the only thing they had left was each other. >> from the very beginning when i thought that things were going to be very desperate and difficult, i was surprised by the cohesion and the unity among the sea brighters. >> the second the storm hit, we were like this is not going to end up. we are going to come back and be stronger and tougher and we're going to beat it. >> look. everybody was kicked in the
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teeth, right? i think people were, you know, a lot of people were down and out and some people still are. >> reporter: after months of hard work, rebuilding homes and restoring the shore line, just half of sea bright's 1,400 residents are currently back in their homes. >> we had to essentially take care of the residents and first responders and there wasn't a place to get a drink or eat anything for miles and so that is where chris wood came into the picture and he took it on himself to organize a relief effort that has really become a model on how dodd it. >> reporter: with his restaurant off the coast, chris wood took it upon himself to get this fragile community back on its feet. >> my business partner came up with the idea, well, let's start a nonprofit and let's call it -- we pete came with the name sea
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bright rising. today i think we have raised $1.25 million and given awe over 700,000 with assisted 225 families, about 10 or 11 businesses. and we are starting to work on some of the infrastructure in town. >> this is a tight-knit community where people stick together and, frankly, why people choose to live here. >> countless amounts of people are have fond, fond memories of this town and, as a result, people have come to its rescue of sorts. >> it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter if you live in a house with bean bags and microwaves because material things don't matter. it's just the people that matter. >> joining us here here is mike barnicle and jon beach mooech a.
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-- jon meacham. joining us here -- it was building up. i was building to it. >> i don't think he needs a buildup. >> okay. >> i don't think he needs a buildup. >> all right. thank you for chiming in. >> we know who he is. >> thank you for chiming in. joining us now is the governor of new jersey, chris christie. >> good to see you. joe, mika? >> let's start with the headline. the people of in this. just how tough and resilient they have been the past six months. we have been going around talking and just been blown away by their spirit, their toughness. >> i said that right along, right from the beginning. i've lived here all my life and i know the people here. i'm one of them. the fact is i knew that people were down and hurting in the days afterwards but i knew that folks would just pick themselves up and get back to work and that is what people have done. the progress we have made in the last six months has been extraordinary. >> i want to talk -- let's just take this after the storm hit. i was talking to jon meacham
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earlier about the historical impact that you and president obama working together had on the election and it did have an impact. six months later, you are a pariah in your party and many parts. a lot of fund-raisers and big fund-raisers are angry with you and a lot of conservatives say they are done with you, you're finished in national politics because of what you did. six months later, do you have any regrets? >> no. no. >> all right. next question. no, seriously. let's talk about this. this is how screwed up american politics is. that i see it every day, by the way, you got 67% approval rating. every day i see on the twitter feed, i see conservatives hacking you to little bits, calling you a traitor and calling you a benedict arnold, saying you're a rhino and you're finished. yet all of these losers support losing candidates you got 67%
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approval rating. what do you say to your far, far, far, far right wing critics that think it's wrong for you to work with a democrat? >> i say the same thing to all of my critics no matter where they are in the spectrum. that is, i have a job to do. the fact is nothing ever crossed my mind in the days after. you wake up on tuesday, october 30th, 7 million of your 8.8 million citizens out of power and not a school opened and not a water treatment or waste water treatment plant is operational and 51 gas stations in the whole state are open. you're not sitting there worried about presidential politics, joe. >> yeah. >> you've got people suffering and you say i got to do my job. i say the same thing to all of them. put yourself in my shoes and if you're a responsible elected official you would to do nothing different. i supported mitt romney and very vocal about it the fact is presidential politics was not the first thing on my mind that day. it was getting my state recovered and restored. >> let me ask you what we asked chuck schumer.
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six months why is it taking so long? congress three months to pass a bill and do we have the video of -- >> days ago? >> you look at what is going on in the rockaways and what is going on here. it looks like it was a week after. i mean, whether you're in new jersey, this is new jersey. but we have the same clips coming out of the rockaways. it seems like it's taking a while for the federal government and the state and the local to get things moving. >> well, few things. first of all, we have removed now millions and millions of cubic yards of debris. the things you're seeing here are now private homes that the folks who own them have to decide what they want to do with them. and so there's a dichotomy between what is happening in the private and public realm. when i was yelling and screaming about why this bill wasn't passed earlier, joe, this is why. because every day you tack on to the front end is the day you tack on to the back end and so
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literally we still have not seen the aid that we have fought for three months ago. i think we will probably start to see that aid flowing this week. now they passed the bill back in mid january. and so the fact is i knew that back in november or december which is why i was arguing and yelling and in early january get the bill passed because i knew you were talking about billions and dollars and take a while to push the money out. when congress delayed on the front end it caused the back end delays. >> and then it will affect businesses for months and years to come if they can even rebuild. mike? >> it's interesting, the functions of a governor as opposed to national candidates who come out of the senate or the congress. when you're governor six months ago, you indicated you confronted with most of the gas stations had closed and roads under water and people are homeless. fast forward six months to today, what are the biggest priorities in the context of this disaster that you face on a
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daily basis? >> getting people back in their homes. we still have tens of thousands of families that aren't back in their homes. job one is to get the grant program going which allows them to rebuild, elevate their homes. second is for businesses. for the businesses that still haven't reopened to get them business grants that will get them reopened. because all of the other things are back to normal. power is back on and gas stations back open and all but four schools back open from where we were. the things of normalcy is back but the economic engine of housing and business has to get back. >> people who have been out of their homes the past six months, do you have any tracking system? where are they? >> yeah, we do. some of them are staying with friends and relatives and some are staying in apartments and homes we have rented for them. really now i think there is only about 500 or less, 400 or 500 families still in hotels. we had thousands in there the in beginning. i think it's down to 400 and
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that program will end this week. everybody else we have rented them apartments or homes or staying with friends and relatives so no one is staying homeless in the sense they don't have someplace to go every night and have something to eat and stay warm. but they want to get back in their own homes. >> we have meacham here who knows nothing about new jersey and he knows that prnton teincem had a pretty good year last year. >> one of the reasons you came under fire for republicans, very partisan republicans was the buddy embrace with obama in the hour of crisis. how has the president and white house done since then? >> another president has kept every promise that he made. the fact is that is what i was saying at the time.
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i was asked at the time how is the president doing and i said he is doing a good job. he has kept his word. so everybody knows that i have about 95% level of disagreement with barack obama on issues of principle and philosophy, but the fact is we have a job to do and what peep expect from people they elect is to do their job and why they hate washington so much and you know that, john. they hate washington because many don't care about getting the job done. they care about arguing and building right and the president is guilty of that and the congress is guilty of. what we did at the time was we saw suffering together. when you see that you will step up and be responsible or you're not. we stepped up and were responsible together. since that time i have to say everything they promised they would do, they have done and so i don't have any complaints or arguments with them this morning on the issue of sandy relief. >> willie, do you have a question? >> willie, what are you doing out there? you look so lonely! what are you doing out there? >> barnicle abandoned me and
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supposed to be here this morning and he wanted to see governor christie. i don't blame him for that. >> he is like a maytag repair man out there! look at willie geist out there! unbelievable! someone save willie! >> a couple of dogs and a couple of clam boats is about all we got out here this morning. governor, i want to ask you because the story where you are not unlike the story here which is that there are resilient people, of course, but they are hurting. i'm wondering what you say as a governor and a man when you put your arm around somebody whose house is washed away and doesn't know what their life looks like tomorrow or the year after that, what do you say to those people? >> first, you just embrace them and let them know -- i say to people, we will not forget you and that nothing is going to get fixed overnight and people know that. but i tell people we haven't
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forgotten them and the most important thing. i think what most people are scared they will be forgotten. i say -- don't make promises you can't keep. i say we will work hard to get them back in their homes and when we do their lives will get back to a new normal. >> governor chris christie, stay with us, because up next, we are going to meet 10-year-old ginger doherty and her mom gail whose was flooded by sandy. they struck a lasting friendship in the wake of the disaster. also mary pat is going to be here. >> she's here. she is on-site. >> she chairs the hurricane sandy relief fund and joins us here on set and she is also governor chris christie's wife. we will be back in a moment. ♪ crash into a pot of gold the capital one cash rewards card
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a little girl i met in middletown who i've called a couple times since then. i got her cell phone number from her that day and she is 9 and her name is ginger. she was the only child who came up to me during this two weeks who was in tears when she came to see mimi and told me how scared she was and she didn't have a house any more. i will never forget her. >> that was governor chris christie describing one victim of sandy who has found a special place in his heart. she is now 10-year-old ginger doherty and joins us now with her mother gail and also on the set in asbury park the first lady of new jersey and chair of the new jersey relief fund, mary pat christie. so good to have you on the show! >> great to be here. >> great to be here. >> how is the relief fund going? a lot of people still hurting. we look at the shot six months later and, boy, it's still tough.
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>> it's remarkable but we are doing great things. we have been out. we gave to coastal habitat for humanity and gave them 800,000 last week. and we are seeing people get to work, rebuilding. >>. >> how much money has come in so far? >> 34 million in commitments and by wednesday, we will have granted 11 million dollars. >> what are your overall goals? what is your short-term goal and long-term goal with the new jersey relief fund? 34 million pledged so far is amazing. >> long term we will be here until people don't need us any more. i will keep making phone calls and raising money and we are getting ready to launch dine-out day with some corporate sponsors and cocko coca-cola is helping >> what is the most immediate need you're seeing six months later? >> housing. people need help rebuilding and mental health when disaster strike those things need help,
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financial literacy and things like that. >> i want to talk ginger and mom gail. you guys warm enough? thank you for coming owe shn th show. tell me about your meeting the governor the first time and he was deem moved by that. >> i was at the firehouse and i live down the street and my mom wanted to hear what he had to say, so we walked down and then he just walked up and started talking. >> what was that meeting like, governor? >> it was the single most emotional meeting for me in all of the weeks after the storm, because i have a girl, same age as ginger, bridget and they look somewhat loalike. so i saw ginger and i saw my own child. she was so upset and worried like any child that age would be. providing reassurance to adults was easy for me but seeing a child upset was tough.
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>> ginger, you were crying? >> yeah. >> and not just because chris christie was there? >> no. you were crying it other things. can you tell me what it was that you were crying about? >> because my house was really like messed up and stuff from the storm. >> were you with her? >> i was. yeah, we just took a walk down there. the cars were coming and everybody said he was coming and we wanted to hear what the governor had to say. >> you ended up through this relationship writing the time 100 essay on chris christie. you did, ginger. i'm going to read your words. okay? my house was all messed up and people told us we couldn't stay there any more. the governor told me not to worry and he looked very serious and sad and he cried. he called me a few days after the storm and asked if we had found a place to live yet and if we were doing okay. when i went to the statehouse in january to hear his speech, i met two of his kids and i even got to meet the heroes from new jersey who saved people.
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the governor's friends high-fived me and said, nobody makes the governor cry, except ginger! >> i'm going to say, governor, you are a huge bruce springsteen fan but i don't think there is anybody you'd have write a piece in the time 100 about you than ginger. >> it was a complete shock to me. i didn't know ginger was doing it. they relieved the time 100 essays and i saw it was ginger who wrote it and two years ago when i was on the list, mitchell daniels wrote and much have ginger than mitch daniels. she came to symbolize for a lot of people in the state what we really care about the most, which is getting the state restored back so our kids will feel safe and secure and let their future ahead of them and not have to worry about adult problems. we should be fixing these problems. she shouldn't have to worry. >> a snapshot of what a lot of folks with going through, what is your living situation now? is it all fixed and you've moved
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on? turn the page, right? >> no, unfortunately, we are living in a rental temporarily. our house has been lifted and hoping to get permits and rebuilding as soon as possible. >> when do you think you'll be back in a home? >> last time, the contractors something was probably october or november. so it's just to lift the house is a process so it's going to take some time. >> and some patience. >> we are just trying to execute that. >> what do you do, governor? permitting does take a long time. getting the government, federal government come takes a long time. is there anything you can do to keep pushing and fighting to expedite this process? >> you keep talking and when you find the speed bumps in the way you knock them out of the way. my job is find the speed bumps and get them out of the way for
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people and getting communication from folks like gail who are in the community and know what is going on and it's really important. >> your meeting with the housing and urban secretary today later? >> later today the secretary will be here and i'm sure good news for the people looking for more aid to help from the federal government. >> mary pat, in terms of the new jersey relief fund and all of the work i think some of this is happening out of your kitchen is what the governor told me. >> that is how it started with the generator three days after the storm. >> very nice. how can people help? should they go online or call the governor's office? >> no, no. definitely go online to our website which is hurricane sandy and and new website which is >> great. perfect. we have got a full screen up there. >> get it up and a couple of others. we will do that again. governor, any announcement
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today? between you and the secretary? >> we will have some announcements today good news billions of dollars of aid getting ready to come. i think later this week, we will be ready to start rolling out aid to businesses and get homeowners to start to apply for grants to be able to help to rebuild their homes and elevate their homes like gail and ginger and their family are going through. and that will start to be working now. i'm relieved that we are getting to this stage of it but we have a ton more work to do, joe. you've seen as you're traveling around, a lot more work to do to get people in their homes and the most important thing to me now is getting businesses back up and running in this boardwalker in asbury park. memorial day weekend great news almost all of the boardwalks will have people out at the beaches and getting ready to start the summer. >> and the temperature will be above freezing. ginger, congratulations for everything and congratulations on getting out of school on the coldest day in april history.
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>> the essay was wonderful and i think a great thing you did. gail, good luck with your home. >> thank you for having us. >> governor chris christie and mary pat, thank you so much. for more information on the new jersey relief fund, visit you can donate $10 by texting sandy to 20222, 20222. message and data rates may apply but ten bucks so-to-sandy gets there in a matter of second so go for it and do it. june 19th is the national dineout day to benefit the new jersey relief fund. >> we would love to talk about the governor's campaign and today is not the day to talk about that but a lot of questions asked about what that campaign is going to look like. >> come back and see you guys soon. thanks to coming to jersey, guys. >> we love being here and the best part about jersey is the people. >> they are awesome!
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>> hello! wow. >> unbelievable. >> up next, it's often called the forgotten borough. >> someone just booed new jersey. >> don't boo new jersey! >> how staten island is recovering. we will be right back with more "morning joe" in a moment. ♪ [ male announcer ] book ahead and save up to 20 percent at, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything.
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while the work continues here in seaside heights and up and down the jersey shore, we want to talk about our friends in staten island. the people that were hit so hard by that storm surge as we went through that monday night at the peak of the storm. in all, superstorm sandy killed 72 people directly. 23 of those were in staten island alone. amazing fact. it doesn't get enough attention. a lot of people stuck in the flood zone when they were supposed to evacuate but didn't because they had never been threatened before and sitting in a bowl. if you want to put a bowl in your sink and slowly submerge it. the water rushed in there. the most significant damage was in oakland beach. approximately 32 homes that were destroyed by the storm. another 150 had been demolished ever since then. let me show you what choice the
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people have in staten island. the new fema maps have come out and people are either going to take a buyout from the government with 100% of their value of the house before the storm. or they are being told they can stay where they are if they raise their house ten feet. in other words, these property owners are faced a point of leaving where they lived and having to put themselves up ten feet. this survived here on the jersey shore because it was up high enough the bottom floor washed out but it's still standing and survived. maybe it's your home you grew up. you have to decide if you want to continue to live there. estimates of the 50,000 it costs you to raise your home where you can stay where you are or take a government buyout and move somewhere else. tough choice for the people in staten island and many other people up and down the jersey shore and through the greater new york city area. coming up we continue our coverage with chuck todd. stay tuned. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home
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♪ of course, even after i've done all this, some folks still don't think i spend enough time with congress. why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell, somebody asks. really? why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell! >> i know the relationship between the president and the press can seem a bit strange at times. some in this room have even accused the president of being distant and aloof. when i asked the president about it earlier, he said, "oh," and then walked away. >> some scenes from the white house correspondents dinner on saturday night. did you go, barnicle? >> di. >> you did? >> yeah. >> someone else went. joining us now from washington. >> you went? >> no. >> barnicle did.
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>> i was forced to. >> why did you go? >> my wife made me go. >> if ann says you go, you go, right? >> yes, i did. >> did you go? did you really? >> it was fun. >> you guys went? >> we sat and had a good time. >> don't say it's fun. you don't have to lie. >> we had a great time. >> really? >> i don't believe that. >> i don't believe it. >> really? let's bring in chuck todd. >> he is dancing on the table. >> did you go, chuck? >> lamp shade on his head. >> well, yes, i'm a member of the white house correspondents association so i'm obligated to go. >> obligated? that is your story? >> that's great! were you octobbligated to go to parties afterwards? >> some of us had to get up this morning and some of us had plenty of baseball and softball with the kids over the week. so i didn't make a big night of it. others did. good for them.
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>> let's go over the news items that you're going to be talking about today. one of them has to do with the gun control debate. senator manchin is now working behind the scenes. "the new york times" also talking about this, a possible gun vote, another gun vote on background checks. what is the latest? >> well, there is talk of this but there is some other ideas out there that say do you wait until -- and to be totally crash do you wait for deadlines in 2014 to be passed or wait until the spring of 2014 after a bunch of republican senators up in 2014 and republican house people are -- find out that they don't have primary opposition and feel a little more comfortable and frankly incentived to vote on this? are you able to change that
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calculus by finding the right time politically to do this? does now make sense? or does it make more sense to keep the conversation going for another six, eight months and then find that sweet spot after filing deadlines? you know how that works, joe. suddenly, there is liberation going into november of 2014. >> again, you make a great point where if somebody supports a background check bill today, they may draw a primary opponent of the republican side but after that passes if they don't have a primary opponent, 85% approval in your state is good election strategy and you're not up for another six years. >> or another three years if you're talking a house member. >> no doubt about it. >> let's move on to syria where we are getting krefg numbincrear
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of lawmakers are calling for action but what action at least here in terms at home how to handle it? >> i don't know what other folks heard over the weekend. i felt like i heard a collective agreement with the president of tapping the brakes on this. while, yes, a red line you drew publicly and, yes, probably some regret that is out there publicly now, and not everybody seems to agree what should be done, there seems to be agreement that something needs to be done. the fact, though, the president has -- you have congress in a collective mode saying do something but don't do something big or quickly i think gives him the cover. he wanted more time on this. the whole idea saying we need to find the specific evidence and the proof and make sure all of our intelligence is 100% corroborated is as much about trying to buy time and figure out what does the international coalition look like and can we identify people to pep? y
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-- help? you see a lot of ashlrmed rebel has al qaeda ties on this and no great answer on this. there is a hope they can buy time. >> buying time is one thing and, obviously, there is no great answer on this, but can you see a scenario in which we do nothing? >> no. there is no scenario in which we do nothing, but the question is can you get -- remember with libya? you had the arab league. forget the u.n. which gave the yellow light for the international to do something. the arab league is quiet now. can that happen which gives an arab cover to this coalition? assad has powerful allies in the past on the arab side and maybe why they are staying quiet. the russians aren't jumping for us to do something and a few
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days ago the news of the russians would get them backing off assad a little bit. >> how does the president first say assad must go and do nothing significant? and then suggest that assad has crossed a red line with chemical weapons and if he crosses this red line with chemical weapons, then his policy is going to change and then not change his policy? that has implications far beyond the syrian crisis. it makes the president look weak and effectless across the world in future crises. his words mean nothing if he does nothing. >> that is the conundrum he faces obviously. i think that, right now, there are no good options and so, therefore, he's not pursuing any of them until things get clarified. on one level that is a sensible position. on the other, as you say, you can't be total paper tiger on
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these things. what i'm wondering with chuck, we know where mccain and graham are, we know where the republican part of the spectrum here is. what is the hawkish diagram position here? who represents that? >> well, the who? i was surprised for instance on "meet the press" keith ellison, a democratic house member, not somebody you would believe is a hawk, he was talking about the humanitarian crisis that is taking place with the syrian refugees and particularly in turkey and in jordan and that something needs to be done just on a pure humanitarian front so that you don't look at this and live with regret ten, 15, 20 years later on that. so that's something that i've noticed here is that, yes, there isn't a rush. i don't think you could get a congressional resolution passed in either the house or the senate, giving the president authority to do anything that beyond what was done in libya,
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for instance. and i doubt -- you know, interesting to see if congress even volunteers to give the president authority or second or whatever, and if, instead, a few of them get cranky about it but the leadership to ask the white house, hey, don't make us vote on this and don't ask us this. you do it within some limited authority, international agreements. don't ask you to sign off on it because we may not be able to have the votes to sign off on it. as much as you said mccain and graham we know where they stand, i disagree. mccain didn't sound like the super hawk he normally does yesterday. graham did, but even mccain seems to say i'm not talking about u.s. boots on the ground. so i think there is a lot of caution out there. >> chuck, we're just recently out of iraq, which is not holding together all that well without us being on the ground. we have thousands of troops in afghanistan. you used the phrase several times to describe the politics
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of syria with regard to washington. international coalition. we saw in afghanistan and in iraq that international coalition means like the quarter master corps from denmark joins us. what does international coalition mean with any potential involvement in syria? >> here it's a little more real and i think it begins and ends with turkey and then you have the gulf states. they provided more than just verbal cover to the western coalition in libya. they were important in uae and that. it does mean turkey. it means britain and france who seem ready to do this. i think it is more real but, at the end of the day, it begins and ends with turkey. >> chuck todd, thank you. >> thank you. >> we will see you soon. let's send it to willie geist in the rockaways. what do you have there?
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>> i'm in belle harbor and have the gray beards themselves. steve, guy and kevin who live and breathe and keep this community alive and vibrant. steve, you've been here born and raised 63 years. >> yep. >> what does it feel like today six months later after sandy? >> it's still heart-wrenching. we have been through another terrible tragedy, you know? i mentioned to you before, people say we are resilient. i say we are tested tough. we have been through this 9/11, flight 587 and now sandy. what we need is what you're doing here today is let people know that we are still in bad shape and not to forget about it. >> guy, the gray beards finded after 9/11 as a charity organization to help people out. it's hard to think of a better group that could cut through bureaucracy. steve was just telling me there is no process. you just knock on door and hand your neighbors checks. >> i mean, there's a process but the process -- >> bureaucracy? >> right, exactly.
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we -- we -- we tend it to have our -- our fingers on our feet and the roots going here. so for us it's easy to tell who needs the money. it's pretty obvious. >> kevin, what is the biggest problem right now? >> i guess the biggest problem is clarity. we are getting mixed messages from government officials. a lot of us have a can do attitude. we to get to fixing our houses and all that and being told conflicting things. from senator schumer on down, we could use clarity how to move forward. we were told to apply for sba loans and then we were told good behavior is being penalized that you shouldn't have done that because it's going to count against possible grant money. so we really want clarity about what to do next because we are willing and able, but we really need some clarity. >> steve, this storm reached these shores on october 29th and it wasn't until three months later on january 29th that the president signed an aid pack that would bring relief to this
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place. as you sat here three months and three months since, what are you thinking and how are you feeling? >> first, i didn't sit here. right after sandy hit, i didn't wait for anybody. you know? i knew that it would be a long time coming for the government shins assistance or any assistance. you pull your your boot straps and get to work and help your neighbors. that is pretty much what we are about and pretty much what this neighborhood is about. as far as the process goes, every time i was told i know two small businesses that are lost here and every time i'm told apply for this grant and that grant. and i've either been rejected or every time i give them information, they will tell me, oh, we need more. you know? give us this documentation. you bring it in and they say now you need this. it just seems ridiculous. >> who are you talking to that is rejecting you? >> when i go for sba loans or if i go for grants, local grants that people say if you have a small business you're entitle to do a 10,000 dollar grant and if
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you have a small business you're entitled to 5,000 and if you're raes dent you should get a good rate on sba and that doesn't happen. it's sad because people are definitely in need. >> guy, what is the message you want to get out? politicians bu people watching about where you are six months later. >> we are still recovering. still -- you still have people that haven't even made it back into their homes. can't go back to their homes, don't have a home. it really is an ongoing process for us here. >> where can people help, steve? is will a website? >> it is gray with an "a." and i will promise to you, the donors, is that if you give us $100, that $100 will get into the hands of a victim, sandy victim. we pay for all the administration i have costs. >> as you show us that shirt, the graveyard basketball league
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starts on thursday. you better get back to practice and get in shape. good to see you all. brian shactman is standing by at seaside heights. he has video that's hard to believe. fill them week, devastation, looks as severe as did it six months ago.
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welcome back to "morning joe." brian shactman. jet star roller coaster that has become an akonic symbol of stormy sandy, wet and windy day. want to give people a perspective what we are looking at. this pier jetted out another 5057 yards where the roller coaster was and it washed aaand drop mood the ocean. for pieces of the ride from this pier ten miles downshore. there is work going on today as they furiously try to restore the boardwalk for memorial day. a lot of work has been done to tear things down that are basically destroyed to clear it out so they can rebuild again. but it is still, obviously, major work in progress.
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and you want images. you have to go to new jersey to get a real sense of the damage. you are taking a look at video here that was shot two days ago. not would days after the storm hit. it is just unbelievable it is still that way. sandy was in october. but residents weren't allowed to return until february. four months later. imagine your home and you couldn't go back to it for four months. every one of the 500 homes were damaged. 60 were swept away. when you are trying to empathize for what goes on here, put yourself in their shoes and in terms of your home and not being able to even go near it or it being completely swept away. now, a lot of businesses here are shut. most of them, they hope will come back. some we are not so sure about. little bit later, we are going to talk to a store owner who has been able to reopen and what they are dealing with in terms of struggling to get business
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and to stay in business, and to move forward and at least until they get to the memorial day holiday when people hopefully will return to this area. a little later on "morning joe." we will be right back. i do a lot of research on angie's list before i do any projects on my own. at angie's list, you'll find reviews written by people just like you. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. but i see a world bursting with opportunity,ople nervous. with ideas, with ambition.
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it is the top of the hour. welcome back to "morning joe."
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six months ago today, sandy hit the shores of the northeast coast. it slammed the region, winds of 115 miles per hour. and a storm surge topping 13 feet. damage was staggering. thousands of homes were swept from their foundation as huge portions of the coast were literally reshaped overnight. floodwaters poured inrapped washing out zools aschool and e businesses. mike barnicle is joining us. and jon meacham. we will be going to bell harbor, new york, rockaways in a moment to willie geist who is standing by. but first, mike barnicle, you are looking at a special edition. >> they have a reader poll they have taken. interesting poll data here. how would you rate the job your town did in cleaning up the damage? for the most part excellent to
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good. how would you rate the insurance companies did? 56% rated poor for the insurance companies. how would you rate the job fema did in providing temporary housing for people? excellent to good. pretty well. good 23%. fair, 37%. it is -- it is an ongoing disaster. i'm glad we are here today and i'm sure the people who live here each and every daycarey the burdens and put it upon them them six months ago to this day. >> entire shoreline reshaped as businesses try to figure out how to rebuild and homeowners trying to figure out what to do with what is left of their homes and there is great coverage in the asbury park press about whether or not some should and how they should rebuild so it doesn't happen again. and if that's possible, will rebuild the way they were. now let's go to willie geist. willie standing by in the ro rockaways. bell harbor.
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>> for people that don't know this area, this is a peninsula, 11 miles. it is queens, new york. just south of jfk international airport. i'm at bell harbor. four miles to the west of me is breezy point. a place that became famous for the fire that swept through there and destroyed about 126 homes. many of them belong to firefighters who because of the storm surge couldn't get there to fight the fire. and had to watch their own homes burn. there were a lot of images that came out afterwards including one that appeared on the front page of 40 newspapers. here are a few of those. >> breezy point, they thought water would be the biggest problem. not fire. >> what was left there today looked like the after-effects from a battle in a war zone. >> when the raging waters receded and the merciless flames finally died out, pictures came in to focus. and an entire neighborhood vani
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vanished. a statue of the virgin mary spared. a lone surviving tree. and the photo that appeared on the front page of 40 newspapers around the world. a couple looking out over a scene that looks more like the rapture than the rockaways. >> there were a few people that told me they didn't recognize the back of my head in the photo. i don't know how they did that. they joked they got my best side. >> robert and laura standing on the chart line where her family home stood for more than 40 years. the connellies let us join them the first time they returned to breezy point since the days after the storm. >> we met friends and one of them said to us, you know, where are you going? we said, we are going down to the house. he said, there is month house. it is all gone. but you really can't -- you really can't imagine that until you see it. >> i said to rob, we should see the house by now. two older boy has run ahead. i saw them with their hands on their heads and they kind of
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came running back. >> laura was just looking to see is there anything left. is there anything left? but it was just -- everything was collapsed. >> reporter: a lifetime spent here. photos, memories, reduced to ash. >> hard to explain the memories that we had down here. it doesn't feel like it is ever going to be the same. that's kind of hard to accept. >> we should point out breezy point wasn't the only place that was destroyed by fire. in part a fire here at bell harbor that destroyed 12 homes as well. joining us now here in bell harbor, republican congressman peter king of new york. also with us, democratic congressman gregory, his district here. thank you. richard reid. i will start with you, congressman, since this is your district. this is a very resilient group of people. but they also are a little bit frustrated. it has been six months new. they don't quite know where they stand in terms of getting relief financially. what can you say to them this
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morning? >> well, it is still there. that's why we led you here. people still need help. and -- we still have not -- you know, received the money from the federal government that we fought so hard on the house floor finally the state's money had been approved. expect the city's money to come shortly. then my job and -- will be beginning again because now we have to make sure that the process is in place and that the money can get into the hands of the individuals who desperately immediate it. it has been a while. and we are frustrated but we are resilient and will hang in there and when my job is to make sure now that my folks, these folks, get the money they need and be reimbursed. and help as they have to raise their homes, et cetera. and rebuild. >> congressman, we want to look forward to it. i want to talk about what happened in the past. you were -- banging your fists for months and it took three months for the president to sign a bill. now it is three months after that. as you went through that three-month process october 29,
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january 29, what was the resistance? what were you hearing? why weren't people signing on to it? >> it wasn't the president's fault it took three months. people in my party and in the house money should be held back. they weren't sure how it would be spent. applying standards that never applied to any other disaster. i can only say it was regional bias. for katrina we passed all the money, $65 billion in ten days. here it was 90 days. a lot of it -- i can't explain it. one of those frustrating moments of my life and career. we fought hard on the house floor with no -- no democratic/republican split. there was, unfortunately in the house overall. for me i spent so many summers here as a kid. these are good people. they don't complain. they say there are other people that have it worse than they do. >> i was here 20 blocks down.
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mcnul mcnulty's bar. >> we have mike barnicle standing by. >> we understand. asbury park. he has a question for you. mike. >> congressman, both members, i would like to ask, there seems to be a recurring theme both here and asbury park, new jersey. i'm sure where you are right now, breezeyi point, those places. what can the government do if anything to prevent a recurrence of a horrific natural tragedy like sandy and in terms of beach erosion and in terms of residential stuff? where will the housing be rebuilt? can the government do anything to help prevent or minimize other natural disaster like this? >> kit. that's why the best part of the -- bill was passed, it is going to provide for litigation money. elevate the homes and have more -- army corps engineer workers. >> that's part of what the bill calls for and money.
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army corps with their study, we know the appropriate place to put jetties or sea walls, whatever is necessary, to protect the homes coming in. what we are doing is talking to people from all over the world and because -- others have suffered from similar kinds of storms and we want to make sure we are doing the best kind of technology to protect the homes for my storm that takes place in the future. >> jon meacham. >> congressman, you all must get briefings from fema and others about how much more common this kind of storm is going to be really for all of the coastlines. of the country. particularly in your area. how worried are you of going forward that this is just because of the larger forces, this is one of what -- may be a series of things in the copping decades we have to deal with? >> we have to be worried about it is why it is for to have proper mitigation put in place. do what we can to prevent
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another type of disaster. don't rebuild the way we built before. whatever has to be done to the shore front and whatever -- greg was saying, the jetties, sea walls, elevating the homes, all of that has to be done. and my district is about ten miles east of here. same type of did he have staegs as before. as you see here in the rockaways. whole south shore of long island got decimated. >> that's why we are waiting to finish the flood maps. people are weight so they know how high they have to raise their homes. the bill that passed here, people don't know what to do, what level to raise their homes and waiting for those map to be finalized and see if they are affordable and make sure some of these -- some of the dollars that we have been able total indicate will be used to help them lift those homes so when -- if the water is coming in again it won't create the same kind of damage to these homes. >> how little thought there is even to not returning to this place. you may think after the trail of
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incidents and tragedies that have struck this place, they are right back and all going to be back. there was a plan that governor cuomo proposed. we will buy back the land from you. no. i'm coming home. i want to stay here. >> people live here and love it. some of area were bungalows but loved it so much and decided to build and it make sure we are here, families generations now have been here. they are look poured to it. it is a beautiful place. they do not want to leave. they are not going to be taken by the government's buyout program. >> these are tough people. 9/11 the dominican jet crash here. these guys don't want to leave. they will stay. they are tough people and don't complain. >> it is. it is a great place. we appreciate you keeping the pressure on. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. congressman peter king, thank you, guys. still ahead on "morning joe," we will talk to two young men that
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ricksed their own lives. still got the left hook. to rescue others from the storm. a look at that and the other top stories when we come back. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ it's not rocket science.
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15 past the hour. quick look at the news now. would weeks after the boston
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marathon bombing, investigators are still working to understand how the tsarnaev brothers were radicalized. the russian authorities briefed the u.s. authorities days after the attack over a conversation the older suspect, tamerlan tsarnaev, and his mother in which they discussed jihad and a trip to palestinian territory. however, that information was which was captured through a wiretap was apparently not shared with u.s. intelligence until after the april 15 bombings. the officials have confirmed the tsarnaevs' mother was placed on the cia's counterterrorism database in the fall of 2011. the same time her eldest son tamerlan was put on the list. now officials continue the search for an unspecified number of persons of interest. suggesting that the boston marathon bombings suspect mace have not worked alone. >> the way they handle these
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devices leads me to believe that there was a trainer and the question is where are -- where is that rayner or trainers? are they overseas in the chechen region? are they in the united states? in my conversation was the fbi that's the big question. >> we still have persons of interest we are working to find and identify and have conversations with. i think -- >> you say ten or fewer? >> i didn't say that. i didn't give a number. i think there are persons much interest. in russia is where think they went from yes, i'm ready for jihad, here is how you conduct an act of violence. >> the threat of put attacks is 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 on the "meet the press." >> a how police officers focusing on this issue, knowing where the threat is coming from.
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most muslims are outstanding people. threat is coming in the muslim community. >> once you start saying we are going to dragnet and cover a community, you -- go after people who don't have anything on do with it. remember, we went after a community in world war ii. japanese internment is a national stain on our country and we are still apologizing for it. >> this morning, there are new reports of corruption coming out of afghanistan. according to the new york time, the cia has covertly delivered tens of millions of dollars in suitcases, backpacks, and even plastic shopping bags to the officers of afghan president karzai for more than a decade. former chief of staff calls it ghost money. say it came and left in secret. it is for to note the report states will is month evidence karzai has personally taken any of the money. the questions persist if the
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money bought the influence for cia hope for whether it was just fueling for option and empowering warlords. president karzai also emergencied recently iran regularly gave money to a top staffer. federal authorities believe that they have correctly identified the man suspected of sending letters containing the poison ricin to the president as well as a u.s. senator and a mississippi judge. james everett expected to appear in court later today charged with possessing and attempting to use ricin as a biological weapon. according to fbi officials, the arrest took place at everett's home without incident. officials initially arrested his online nemesis paul kevin cur s curtis, an elvis impersonator. the charges against curtis were dropped -- stop. if found guilty he faces life in prison, $250,000 fine for that.
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we can put that story to rest. you just stop. >> can we? >> yes, we can. >> "the law & order" episode. >> a story of survival. two young men that sprang into action to help save their neighbors from superstorm sandy. let's send it to bill karins in seaside heights. bill. >> not just building it here, they are trying to build it smarter and only have four weeks left to get this mile-long boardwalk done to hammer the mails and getting ready for the crews to come back in. let me show you how some of the construction is going over here. they have done over half of it. they will open up the southern end of the boardwalk this upcoming weekend. you can see where they stopped the work here. i mentioned they are trying to do it smarter, too. they are actual lynn stead of just using all nails, this time they are actually bolteding all the boards to the pilings and instead of only going down about 10, 12 feet. they nailed the pilings down about 30 feet. 20 feet, too.
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that helps. let me show you some before and after pictures here of the seaside heights area. iconic roll herb coaster and ocean is one of the pictures everyone has been looking at. you can see the after picture there on the left of the -- before picture on the right. end of the pier. also a funhouse that fell down into the ocean, too. they still remain, hoping to get that out in two weeks. it will be safe for people to swim out in the beaches once they open up. you can also see the debris pile. this is what's impressive. northern end of seaside heights was the hardest hit. before picture, you can see it there on the left. after picture on the right. two of the standing buildings so you can compare. literally looks like you are playing monopoly and hit the board by mistake and houses just got moved. some floated down the street. some were completely destroyed. you see the surf shop. what willie has been talking about, the breezy point area. this is before and after. looks like a wildfire went through. you can see it for eight, mine blocks wiped off the map. the recovery is slow. but it continues.
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and then if anything else what we learned from all the powerful storms from katrina to irene to the latest with sandy, we are trying to build it smarter. these board walks are something that can survive the next big storm. stay tuned. more on the recovery of the jersey shore and all from superstorm sandy on "morning joe" coming up. at a dry cleaner, we replaced people with a machine. what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank.
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welcome back. it is 25 past the hour. residents from point pleasant, new jersey. ryan doyle and mike after superstorm sandy hit, ryan and mike got into a kayak and found one in the middle of a flooded street and sort of -- started rescuing people stranded in their homes and i just discovered that they are my daughter's age. 17 years old. one of you turned 17 this wednesday. happy birthday. right before mine. all right. just bring us back to that day. as alex was pointing out, most people run away when disaster strikes. what did you do and why? >> being young, weigh came out. we had a kayak. >> much younger than you. >> for pointing that out.
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>> older people were inside. >> so -- we decided we needed to step up. we weren't expectping it would be as bad as it was. we saw trees down through people's houses. we went up to see peach. we went towards the beach and in the kayak. kind of like -- helped so many people that couldn't get to their homes. come from their homes. couple of people like this elderly lady stayed in her house. it was totally trashed by the storm did he pre. >> helped her get out of her house so she could move her car and move debris. >> drifts everywhere. a lot of homeowners were there. a house that caught on fire, their doors breck open and put couches behind them to keep them shut. personal belongings everywhere. >> going house to house. >> yes. pretty much. >> going through there. >> for how long a period of time did you do this? >> we had off school for two
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weeks. good opportunity to -- >> did you it for two weeks? >> service. lot of different stuff. >> did you -- >> being young and all, i guess. yeah. >> much younger than most of the people. >> yeah. >> was there any like red cross background? >> not really. there was. like fema was there. they are like helping other people. national guard came. not of national guard. >> i think -- what they are saying is they were working on instinct. and not working with any organization. >> i need you to translate that. >> my god, it is an incredible story. >> what did you do more often than anything else? was it removing people from their homes or helping people dashboard up. boarded up part. definitely. we did it -- a lot of work. people's -- like houses got sanded. shoveled the sand out. jobs we were capable of doing. my grandfather's house. it split in half. bulkhead broke, foundation washed out. that was a bad scene.
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so -- we helped get the personal belongings out and save. anything above water and anything that wasn't get out as soon as possible. saltwater eat away at it. >> you knew that. >> get people's personal belongings that lasted through the storm they could use in the future. such as clothes in closets and other things like that. >> high school juniors or seniors. >> junior. >> junior. >> did you ever find out whose kayak it was? >> no, there was no serial number or anything. >> middle of the road. >> that was about it. >> we found two paddles and went from there. >> what is -- and the -- can you believe it has been six month snst. >> can't believe it. >> how has this changed your lives? and -- has it shaped potential future goals for either of you? >> when something bad happens everyone has to come together like that. and -- help everyone out. that's in trouble. >> definitely. i learned to be like have you to be there for each other when times are bad you have to step up and you have to work through things and -- be all right.
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>> that's -- actually -- on that -- off of that answer, did what you did for two-week period of time, did it change anything within you? your definition of yourself, sense of who you thought you were before? >> yeah. find out definitely the way to work hard be there for each other. realize you have to come when times are bad. we had no power. we rescued friends. friends that lived in an apartment up towards the beach. came and stayed with us and different stuff like that. coming together is really -- a big thing we learned. >> they are young, you know. >> very young. >> i suspect there's no college essay topic problem for you. >> come on now. you better be writing about this. >> next year. >> all right. good luck to you both. ryan and mike. thank you. happy birthday. >> thank you. >> may 1. >> yeah. >> congratulations. good boys. willie is with us. live in bell harbor more with more. >> speaking of young. coming up next, back to breezy point. the site of the fire the night of october 29 when sandy made
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landfall. community full of firefighters whose own flames went up in homes. 125 lost. an update from there. see how the progress has been. and ask the police chief there, the fire chief, i should say, to remember the night as it happened. can acne cleansers be tough on breakouts
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is enough to bring a traveler to tears. we're putting the wonder back into air travel, one innovation at a time. the new american is arriving. ♪ welcome back to bell harbor here in the rockaways. one of the areas hit really hardest by superstorm sandy. six months later. some signs of returning to normal but not many. few of them people on the beach, clam boats are back out. closer in to shore because i think some of the clams moved in
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closer afterward. but really when you look at the houses that are on the water, it is hard to call this normal at all. one woman we talked to who lives at the end of the row house says she wakes up every morning and see as war zone and wonders when something is going to be done, when a wall will be built to protect the homes from a future storm. one of the parts hit hardest was the western most point. breezy point, lot of people know that name by now. because of the fire that came through there. community built for fire fighters and built with you fire fighters and lived there for generations and generations. they had to stand by and watch in many cases as their own homes burned. they couldn't get to the flames because of the giant storm surge that came through having to stand and watch. ♪ >> there is not a single house here that was unaffected. >> pack like we are not coming back. >> reporter: before water and then fire ripped apart breezy point, not much else could.
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>> everybody knows each other. everybody looks out for each other. no place i have ever lived that has been like this. >> it is the kind of place where you go to the beach and you don't bring a bike lock. just leave your bike there. >> reporter: breezy point queens got its start as summer retreat for people to escape the sweltering city. a tight knit working class community. beach bungalows founded by police and firemen and known affectionately as the irish riviera. marty ingram's grandparents bought a home in breezy point in the '20s. his family has been here ever since. ingram's home was flooded badly by sandy's storm surge. but he considers himself one of the lucky ones. and he would know. marty is the chief of the volunteer point breeze fire department. one of there in breezy point. massive fire was burning through mostly early morning. 200 firefighters trying to contain this. >> we were very fortunate we didn't lose the entire community that day. >> reporter: in october night of an impossible challenges began
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when ingram's fire station flooded with more than 40 of the neighborhoods evacuees inside. >> water came up about four feet. up to the top of the -- by the handle there. it was difficult to have been in the fire station at the start. but -- we had no other choice. >> reporter: as the waters rose, sandy's 70-mile an hour winds spread fire quickly from home to home. unable to cross 12-foot floodwaters, firefighters could only watch as their own homes burned to the ground. by the time the firestorm was over, one 1 25 houses had been destroyed. >> biggest fear was somebody was going to die. being the -- decision maker, i wanted to make sure that nobody died because of a bad decision that would have come from this firehouse. >> reporter: marty protected his guys and almost miraculously everyone in breezy point survived. >> house right in front of me burnt down. all my neighbors' burnt down here.
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my house was than touched. my wife swears when she evacuated she forgot to take her father's ashes. her father is a retired fireman. she swears that her father's ashes saved the house. go to the grave believing that. i guess i have to believe it, too. >> reporter: six months later nearly 500 homes have been destroyed or are slated to be demolished leaving an eerie quiet for a vibrant community stood for generation. >> one of the homes was a friend of mine just -- army reserves came back from afghanistan. loses his house. >> reporter: their own homes uninhabitable. three of his firefighters slept for the last six months inside of the damaged firehouse. in what used to be the chief's office. >> first floor was all right. the side of the basement fell in so everything was destroyed down there. cut off the power to the house. so we had to lift the house up and rebuild the basement. >> reporter: the chief's truck was destroyed so he had been riding around breezy point on his bicycle.
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until a neighbor saw him and donated this truck. >> once you witness the furry of mother nature, if you hadn't been doing it before you believe in the almighty. >> as you come out live looking at one of the clam boats off the beach this is the atlantic ocean to the south here of belle harbor. chief ingram said the biggest miracle of that day as he repeated in the piece no one died. great loss of property but no loss of life in breezy point. about 2800 homes in breezy point. 2800. 2400 of those not being inhabited right now. let's go over to seaside heights, new jersey. that's where brian shactman is standing by. >> hey, willie. same here. they called it a miracle that no one lost their life in the storm here. i want to bring in one of the businesses here, the owner. beachcomber bar, mike carbone. one of the first businesses to reopen on the boardwalk here. i guess the first question i have is -- how were you able to
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reopen in so many other businesses haven't? >> i think that it is that a lot of businesses, you know, we actually had people stay at our place. my dad stayed and a couple of our workers stayed because they lived by the bay in a danger area. and -- they stayed there and in that first week when no one could get over here, they were just trapped in the building and started cleaning up on their own. i mean, instead of waiting around we just took an initiative. >> how is business going? you were open two months after it happened. you -- obviously months before so many businesses, boardwalk is not even close to being finished yet. has business been off year to year? >> it has been a little difficult at first. things were okay at first because beerp the only place open. so -- everybody who came to town had really one place to go, two, three places. but -- you know, now that the boardwalk has been rebuilt and it is getting warmer out, i think more and more people are starting to show up in town. >> we look at boardwalk here and it is still -- you would say not even half done. right? >> it is about halfway done.
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>> how nervous are you about it getting done and people coming back? >> a little nervous but also very optimistic. you know. i have a lot you know, regular customers. people i have seen for like 10, 15 years. and i have talked to a few of them. they are anxious to come back. there's still a lot of damage in town. people are hopeful that they will be able to be back for this season. >> with so many homes destroyed or damaged, are you concerned the rental population will not be here? is there enough day-to-day business for people nearby? >> it is definitely a concern of mine. but like i said, i am optimistic that people will come maybe, you know, come down from up north or whatever just to check out seaside heights. it has been a popular destination for a long time. >> not to put you on the spot or make you nervous, speak for a whole group, what's the sentiment of your fellow business owners in terms of we talked to the mayor. shock and now everyone is -- see it is reality and getting to the business of recovery. what's the sentiment of the business owners? >> i think most people are
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hopeful. i mean, everybody is kind of optimistic things will be okay, things are going to, you know, work their way out. we -- have built the boardwalk back stronger than it was. so they are hopeful in the case of another storm, like that, god forbid, that we will be able to withstand a little better. >> what goes through your mind when you see that every day and -- you realize what kind of a symbol it has come in terms of somebody worked here as long as you have? >> you know, it is weird to me. the day after the storm like i said, i had my father had stayed here. and he wandered down and he was telling me here about the damage. i didn't really get the -- the scope of it. then -- he texted me a picture of the roller coaster. it is absolutely -- it blew my mind. i never thought i would see something like that. >> mike carbone from the beachcomber bar. we appreciate the time and wish you guys the best of luck. we are going to deal with something a little bit different here the next tie minutes. the science of sandy. we will talk to author john
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♪ with us now the author of "high tide on main street." we have john englander here. before we go to john, mike barnicle, you know, you don't read often but when you do, you find the right page to read. and you have done it yet again. in this book. >> since grammar school. >> read the right page of john's book. this book came out a week before sandy. >> page 121. the rivers around manhattan continue up the hudson valley can under certain conditions act as a funnel and amplifying storm surge effects of manhattan. then john quotes that -- national weather service and army corps of engineer study, hurricane moving to 60 miles per
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hour and making landfall near atlantic city which would drive the storm's most powerful right flank into manhattan and could create a storm surge of 30 feet at the brooklyn battery tunnel, water could rise as rapidly as 17 feet in one hour. >> that's amazing. write this in the fall. a week later, what you predicted happened which leads me to say please, in your next book, do not predict my eminem gruesome death. what did you know? even before sandy hit new york and new jersey. >> the example was to illustrate that our coastal vulnerability catches most people by is your prays because we -- think short term. the shoreline has been relatively permanent for thousands of years because sea level has been relatively permanent for thousands of years. but looking ahead, we have to realize that the vulnerability comes from -- confluence of four factors. that -- sea level slowly rising
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and will continue to do so for decade after decade because of the melting ice -- >> you say no matter what happens regarding greenhouse gases over the coming decades, we are going to see rising sea levels for 400 or so years at least. just because of the long-term friend. >> that's right. extra degree and a half fahrenheit of heat in the ocean that heat is going to translate into the glaciers and ice sheets reducing and this is long-term cycle. it is not going the reverse quickly. getting different weather patterns as the ocean warms and current changes, ocean currents. that -- that all contributes to the fact we are getting storms out of their normal cycle and out of their normal placement. and then the third factor is that when a storm hits, high tide, or an extreme tide, what sandy did, it is another foot on top of that. and then the fourth factor, is that certain places, i described the atlantic city, new york, as one. but providence, rhode island is another. vac men tow is another.
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sacramento is another. am reply pie the effect the water piles up and it funneled in. here it is worse because it is a shallow underwater shelf. with the storm coming from the southeast the water piles up even further. we wouldn't see that normally. >> i'm going to ask you to t same question we asked congressman king and congressman meeks earlier. what can be done in the immediate future to prevent such damage here and to breezy point with regard to beaches and with regard to how homes are built and where homes are built, what can be done right now? >> i heard that question earlier and it is a great question. we need to build higher and realize that whether it is a six-foot storm surge or eventually six feet of sea level is, you know, over the next century, we need to build higher -- it is a different coastline and it will be different for our and grand kids. this is not our grandfather's ocean or beach. it is going to change. we just didn't think it would change because we had a -- an intermission of several hundred years. >> fema is getting grants now for people to put their houses
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up and lot of people up in connecticut are doing that as well as new jersey and new york. >> describe, if you would, give us an imaginative picture going down the eastern sea coast what you think that coast will look like in 25, 30 years. >> in 25, 30 years, less than a foot of sea level rise. the sea level part is not going to be that big in 25, 30 years. in places like florida, eight inches of sea level rise which we will have in 25, 30 years, will do -- major damage to the water table because our fresh water table kept in the poorest limestone. in south florida where i happen to live, in the next 25 to 30 years, we are going to have big problems with fresh water supply and flooding and it happens now a few day as month with extreme high tide and it is going to get more and more frequent. >> the bigger damage will come again in the next century. kids and great grandkids' life times. we need to start thinking ahead. we are planners. the different thing about sea level rise in these greater
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storms is we have decades of warning. we actually can plan for it. most problems we react to like tsunamis and hurricanes and tornadoes. here is one we can see if we were coming. >> when -- the homes get knocked over on the beach, 20 yards from the water, may make sense back it up. and raise it up raise it up and back it up. that's. >> it thank you so much, john. greatly appreciate it. >> you're well. thank you. >> book on tape reader. >> you can check out our website and facebook page for behind-the-scene photos and send us your first hand pictures of the devastation on twitter. using the hash tag mj sandy and let us know what things are looking like in your neighborhood today. coming up next, what, if anything did we learn today.
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it is raining. >> yeah. >> this is like out of a bruce springsteen song. huddled mass on the beach. >> i was raise ad mile away. i come out here with my friends and i was a little kid, dated girls here. i love this beach. >> jefferson people like to point out -- >> he never came to jersey. >> willie, you look so lonely. what are you doing out there? >> couple of dogs and clam boats. >> you were crying? >> yeah. >> not just because chris christie was there. >> no. >> the damage was staggering. thousands of homes were swept from their outer loopdations. >> i want to remind people those images you see of damaged homes, that damage, that was shot in the last week. that's not six-month-old video. >> six months later, there are
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ruins all over this beach. >> i am stunned by how slowly the response has been to sandy. a lot of conservatives say that they are done with you. i look at people and say we are not going to forget you. >> we have been through another terrible tragedy. you know. i mentioned to you before, people say we are resilient. i say we are tested tough. what we need is what you are doing here today is let people know that we are still in bad shape and not to forget about us. >> that's the most for thing that i learned today. we can't forget about so many people still hurting in the tri-state area after sandy. you know what i learned? >> what did you learn? >> i learned some lucky kids got to get out of school and come to the beach side in 25-degree weather. you -- mccarthy.
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hope academy. thank you for coming out. >> say "morning joe" you rock? >> morning joe, you rock. >> can you say morning joe, you talk too much. >> you better get them back to school. you have a lot to learn thank you for coming out. >> tell me what you learn. >> willie, what did you learn today? >> i learned what i think we knew coming in which is what this area and the area where you are still needs help. these people are more resilient than you can ever imagine. they have been threw 9/11, a commercial airliner crash something the middle of their neighborhood and now they have been through superstorm sandy. they will get through this. they are pulling themselves up but need their government to move quicker than it is moving now. hopefully by being here today we can push people along and help help people that really need it. >> exactly.
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i learned that it is going to be an awesome boardwalk when it is done and will be better than i was before. >> if you want to look for something that's devastating, you can find it. if you want to find a positive story and something going in the right direction it is here in seaside heights. >> what have you learned? >> i learned we are now beginning to wrestle with how big a task this will be here and elsewhere. >> i learned that natural disasters are violent events and cities in this country, asbury park, boston, manhattan, nothing stronger than the resilience of the people who live here. >> yes. >> no doubt about it. if it is way too early, it is "morning joe." please remember six months later so many people still suffering after sandy. the rebuilding continues. now stick around because chuck todd and "the daily run-down" next. the syrianit