tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC October 3, 2009 8:00am-9:00am EDT
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right now on "msnbc saturday," a tale of two cities tears in chicago, tell bration celebration in rio. and under arrest. the man who took secret naked videos of this woman. and on the job, what the latest unemployment numbers tell us about the economy. is the recovery in reverse? plus, it's not even hall wee halloween. the toy wars are ramping up. welcome to "msnbc saturday," i'm alex witt. all that and the story of a stolen baby. first, president obama is offering congratulations to rio de janeiro for winning the bid to host the 2016 olympic games. speaking to reporters at the white house after returning to the white house, the president was disappointed chicago didn't get the games but happy for the
u.s. effort. >> one of the things that is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win. and so although i wish that we had come back with better news from copenhagen, i could not be prouder of my hometown of chicago. >> live from copenhagen, denmark, olympic columnist for university sports dotcom. good morning to you, i guess good afternoon your time. how are you? >> reporter: i'm great. hi. >> want to get to rio de janeiro in a moment. let's start with chicago. i want to play a clip of what you said yesterday before the vote. >> reporter: asked me in june, rio. three weeks ago, probably told you rio. asked me today, i think probably chicago by a nose. >> i was feeling for you. you were real all the way,
which, of course, in the end was correct. but what happened that made you think chicago had it going? >> reporter: well, in politics, the buzz and in the ioc, a very political organization, there was buzz, buzz, buzz, and the buzz at the marriott hotel here in copenhagen was that chicago was really building momentum. it had the best foot put forward by the united states. solved all the problems of previous american bids. the first lady working the room and then the president coming in and ready to close the deal. lots of people were buzzing about chicago. that's why, i made that prediction. which serves to remind you once again, as soon as i bet it into the crystal ball business, i'm going to get out of journalism and start buying lottery tickets. >> well put. we love where you are. stay put. chicago eliminated in the first round, the first of the final four cities to go out, what do you make of that? was it attributable to politicking? back-door strategy involved?
even suggestion about vote collusion. what do you think? >> reporter: i don't think there was such a thing as voe collusion. sounds worse than is. it's politics. you vote for me this round, i'll vote for you next round. it's notoriously uncontradictable. part of what got chicago included in the first half. the second thing, many members in the international olympic committee who are just fed up with the united states' olympic committee, a long list of grievances, and those grievances played themselves out in yesterday's voting. >> okay. you called the bid, the best ever by american entry. the president, his wife lobbying in person. the first time a president went there. oprah winfrey in the mix. did the president's outreach, did that fall on deaf ears? not reach the people the way he'd hoped? >> reporter: i think it's fair to say that the real message carried the day.
when you look at it, there were three bids saying, how? how are we going to put on a great games? that's what chicago said, what tokyo said what madrid said. rio said, why? why? because the games had never been in south america. if you look at the map, you look at all of it, put pin on the map, represent all the games, 30 in europe. talks in north america, so many in asia and australia. none in south america. wasn't it time to rectify what to them seemed like an obvious injustice and the members of the ioc were like, okay. i think that's it. >> what's the biggest challenge for rio to face as they prepare for these games? >> reporter: i think two things. one is overcoming -- they have a lot of work to do in the logistics of getting ready. one, i mean, they have to build roads, they have to put serious time in and address. but the other thing is rio's going to put on the 2016 olympics -- excuse me -- just two short years after the
nation's brazil had the soccer world cup. a lot going on in a short time, a lot of resource and dedication, a lot of effort and they've got to start like -- today. no kidding. today. >> okay. alan abramson, let's though they hear you. thanks for joining us. >> reporter: thanks, alex. cbs news producer robert joe halderman is facing up to 15 years in prison for allegedly trying to blackmail david letterman. he's free today after posting $200,000 bail. he's charged with trying to extort $2 million from letterman. that plot forced the "late night" comedian to having sex with women who worked for him. halderman, a 51 producer at the newsmagazine "48 hours" is on suspension from cbs. his lawyer says his client is innocent. >> this story is far more complicated than what you heard this afternoon. this story is far more complicated than the statement by the assistant district attorney. again, it's not time to discuss it. there is another side to the
story. i'm not telling it today. there is another side to the story. it's not the open and shut case you just heard about. >> a spokesman for letterman's production company worldwide pants says all his relationships took place before his marriage last ma. developing now, an arrest in the case involving reporter erin anderson, secret photos. released a statement through other attorney, i hope that today's action will help the countless others whose have been similarly victimized. for my part i'm make every effort to strengthen the laws on a state and federal level to protect victims of criminal stalking, and joining me, former fbi profiler. >> good morning, alex. >> let's go back to the beginning, how this all started.
authorities say the videos of andrews were taken through a peephole in a nashville, tennessee, hotel in september 200. more than a year later the fbi arrested the suspect. how did they catch the guy? >> it was a complicated process, alex, really. it was tracing back his e-mails, looking at his e-mail addresses. realizing that he took these videos with a cell phone camera, transferred it to his computer at home, and then went online add tried to sell it to tmz and then wound up posting these, each of these leaves a signature. an electronic footprint. it took the fbi a while to follow all the footprints, to follow the dots. one more time it looks like they got their man. >> the sauce spect michael barrett faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted. what kind of person does something like this? >> two type of people, alex. the celebrity stalkers that look at the madonnas, look at the alexs, look at the lester holts, whoever it's going to be and
say, boy, i really want to be up close and personal with that person. they want to develop a fantasized relationship and, number two, sometimes they simply want to gather enough information to make money off of you, and in this case, it may have been both. this guy was trying to sell these grainy, terrible, crude nude pictures he took, and number two, he may have been trying to develop a relationship, but realized, alex, there were yet other unnamed women he photographed in the same way. >> how prevalent is this kind of crime? you know, secretly recording people in places, or taking e-mails and that sort of thing and holding them to threaten people? i mean, all of these kinds of things that are private conversations, private in a hotel room? >> yeah, and you think you are, too, but there are video sites, where people use cameras to take pictures of you in dressing rooms and things like that. sometimes they just post it, because they're just immature individuals who do that. sometimes they're trying to look to get the evidence. you know, it's just like when we
see police use excessive force. that's a good thing to be taped, to use for prosecuting purposes, other times you find creeps like this who allegedly did this who is just taking advantage of a woman doing nothing but trying to make a living. >> all right. we'll talk more about this. thank you. >> okay. a newborn baby boy snatched from this tennessee home by someone posing as an immigration agent has been found alive in alabama. the woman suspected of taking the baby is now in custody and is being questioned by police. authorities say the video from a walmart parking lot helped track her down. the baby's mother says the suspect echbtderred her home tuesday posing as an agent, then stab her with a kitchen knife before taking the baby. the mother is recovering from that attack. a live report from nbc's ron mott in the next hour. and unemployment rising to
9.8%. most economists say the recession is probably over, of course, that's cold comfort to all of those out of work. this morning president obama says he has the answer to the jobs problem and it is health reform. good saturday morning, mike. >> hearty good morning to you, alex. >> let's go through the president's arguments here. take us through it. >> the president says simply this, health care costs are getting so high, such a burden on businesses especially small businesses, they're killing the auentrepreneurial spirit and vitality of the economy. you want to change jobs, start your own business, but can't go out there in the world, because you can't take your health insurance with, because it is an employer-based plan. also a lot of large businesses have this drag, because they are paying ever expanding costs to provide their employees with health care, and that is why he says, we need to have health care reform. this morning in his weekly internet address here's what he had to say. >> this is something i hear about from entrepreneurs i meet.
peep who have a good idea and expertise and determination to build it into a thriving business but many can't take that leap because they can't afford to lose the health insurance they have at their current job. >> reporter: the president pivoting, trying to sell his plan all along the administration saying they expect the unemployment rate to continue to rise even as the recession is, we are coming out of the recession. they call it a lagging indicator, common economic theory. then they're embracing here at the white house and republicans are attacking the president today saying 7 7 billion dollar stimulus package has not work, not resulted in job growth, and they turn and point to the energy legislation the president is pushing as a job killer. >> how much do you find him having to defend the economic stimulus package now? is that on their plate? >> reporter: absolutely. and every time these unemployment figures come out on a month-to-month basis as they continually get worse and
unexpectedly so, the administration is finding itself having to defend the stimulus package and ironically, answering questions about whether a second stimulus package is needed. meanwhile, republicans pointing out at the fact that a seventh of the $780 billion, only 1/7 has been deployed, obviously not having the affect. even if more were deployed, it wouldn't help either. >> see you next hour. new this morning, three villages wiped out in indonesia by landslides following a massive earthquake. hundreds of now buried. rescuers there still searching for survivors and nbc's ian williams has more from the pa dafr area in pang pang indonesia. what can you tell us, this is heart wrenching a landslide burying people alive? >> reporter: that's right, alex. these reports are still sketchy. we have known there's been a lot of damage, a lot of buildings
came down outside here, where the rescue efforts have been concentrated so far. the reports from outlying areas have been sketchy, but on the visit we made yesterday, it's clear that there has been a lot of damage, and what we're hearing is several villages simply wiped out by landslides. this may suggest that there are a lot more, a lot more casualty, a lot more damage that we still don't know about, and the indonesian government's prediction of as many as 3,000 buried under the rubble of this quake may, indeed, turn out to be a conservative estimate. behind me here, rescue efforts of still under way to find people alive in the wreckage of a hotel. the rescue workers simply have heard signs of life in there and are trying to find a way of tunnelling in to where the sounds are coming from. remarkably, there was also an s.o.s. message sent from a mobile phone from underneath the wreckage pleading for help and asking rescue workers to be careful with their heavy
equipment. now, the rescue workers have been greatly encouraged by yesterday's rescue of two young women from the wreckage of a school near here. that has given them fresh hope, as has the arrival here of teams from 14 different countries. international rescue experts with dogs, with sophisticated equipment, generator, all descending on buildings which collapsed. but the news from outside here, clearly worrying, because we now know this is only one part of the vachty, and far more is yet to be discovered in the outlying areas, alex. >> extraordinary stories there. thanks for bringing them to us. ian williams. still ahead, could your lifestyle come under fire in the new health insurance bill? what it all means for you coming up. and the holiday toy war kicking off already. the early favorites. also the costumes that could make hollywood a little creepier than usual this year. weeg explain all that on "msnbc saturday."
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xwooshgs the week on wall street ending on disappointment news on jobs. the 26-year high on unemployment. numbers ignited the troubles labor department, resolution may be a long way off. and shut by regulators bringing this year totals to 98. consumers expected pullback on halloween spending this year. the national retail foundation expects people will spend about $10 less this year. as far as costumes go, celebrities are most popular. you see them there, michael jackson, farrah fawcett, ed mcmahon and infomercial pitch man billy mays.
okay. ti tizz t tis the season for christmas shopping. rolling out battle plan, this week walmart and kmart unveiled aggressive campaigns to tart budget-conscience shoppers. joining me live now, retail reporter for the "washington post." good morning to you. >> good morning to you. >> it just turned october this week. why are we getting into the hom d holiday season so early? >> i think everyone is looking at ways to make sure they get as many sales as possible this holiday season, and the way the toy retailers are doing it this year, throwing open the doors early. we've seen this week walmart announcing it is expanding its very popular $10 toy program. they are putting about 100 toys on sale for $10. even toys that normally run for $15 or $16. at the same time we've seen kmart make an announcement for
the first time ever they're coming out with a list of hot toys, what they're calling the fab 15, and these are toys they'll be heavily promoting this year, along with their layaway program. that's one reason why kmart started so early. they said, we want to give families time to look at the toy, understand what's going to be top popular this year and put it on layaway to afford it for the kids this year. >> what about toys "r" us? opening 80 stores across the country? what's that about? >> so funny. right now in this economy, we hear about the trickle down stores. the idea of toys "r" us opening 80 stores across the country is big news pap sign they are going after customers even more aggressively than before and really making sure that they are competing with walmart, competing with kmart, and saying, you know, you guys have a big area in the suburbs, we're going to take them all. >> of you the three different proposals what toys "r" us are doing, kmart with the fab 15, walmart with the toys priced $10
and below, which will be the most successful i guess, approach? >> uh-huh. they did so very different. you know, with toys "r" us, they're saying that kb toys, one of their competitors for many, many years, recently filed for bankruptcy, and so they are taking over those locations, and saying you know, there's not really a place for parents to go buy toys if they're shopping in a mall. we'll try capture that foot traffic. meanwhile, walmart is competing on price what it does best and is known for. we will offer the lowest prices. not in the locations tas toys "r" us are, but we'll make sure with the price. different approaches, and kmart with layaways. the consumers who are cutting back in every way. >> do you think consumers are really thinking about their holiday budgets at this point? >> we've heard about 70% of
parents actually start at least looking for holiday toys in october. they start looking at it before halloween because they know if there's one thing they'll make sure people will spend money on, it's their kids. they want to make sure, they at least browse in october, even though many of the sales won't come until after thanksgiving. >> okay. thank you very much. >> thank you. still ahead, new detailing emerging in the blackmail of david letterman. the latest coming up on "msnbc saturday."ad ow. it runs in families - my mother has it, and now i have it. so even though i tried to keep my bones strong, it wasn't enough. now, once-monthly boniva is helping me do more. it didn't just stop my bone loss. boniva worked with my body to stop and reverse my bone loss. and studies show, after one year on boniva, nine out of ten women stopped and reversed theirs, too.
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for more on how this amendment chances is of becoming law and what this would mean for you, joined from washington by the congressional reporter for politico. good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> the nuts and bolts of this amendment. who's deciding how much we pay based on what exactly? >> what you've got here in this amendment is actually changing an existing law. you've already gotten an advantage built in for people deemed by employers to lead healthy lifestyles and right now that can vary a premium by about 20%. this amendment would kick it up to 30%, perhaps as much as 50%. it's really, technically, an incentive for a healthy lifestyle but a lot of people will look at it as maybe a heavy levy. >> yeah. i want to see how this will be -- practically speaking. what? employers will have to weigh employees? what about checking to see if someone's a smoker or not? how would this work out? >> i don't think we're going to have weigh-ins like the "biggest loser" exactly. look, employers are already
offer all sorts of services and have all kinds of health fairs and determining what their employees are doing as far as health goes, smoking cessation classes, things like that, offered through employer. so the enforceability is certainly not perfect but something that may be able to be done, at least at the margins. >> okay. potential pitfalls here. accusations of discrimination. i've got to say now, on my twitter page and this man who writes a lot. wow. this would be totally discrimination. you have people suing over this if it were to be implemented. >> you're likely to see lawsuits of, with anything like this, with anything at all you're likely to see lawsuits in this society, but in particular, there is a real question about whether you're getting into pre-existing conditions with certain health issues and also possibly genetic markers for, you know, we don't know what causes obesity, we obviously
have some ideas, certainly diet is helpful but it could turn out oh businessty as related to genetics as any other characteristics. could be issues down the road. >> good to see you. thanks so much. >> always my pleasure. still a sigh of relief for the mother of a kidnapped baby boy. a live report coming up here on "msnbc saturday." announcer: right now,
a lot of fortune 500 companies use him. but-i'm your only employee. we're going to start using fedex to ship globally- that means billions of potential customers. we're gonna be huge. good morning! you know business is a lot like football. i just don't understand... i'm sorry dick butkus (announcer) we understand. your business could use a pep talk. visit fedex.com/peptalk new details this morning about the man accused of trying to extort $2 million from david letterman. cbs news producer robert joe halderman pleaded not guilty and friday and is now out on bail. peter alexander is here with the latest. they're calling his desperate, capable of doing anything. >> they say they believe he was in serious debt which may play into why this all came to happen, they suspect. good morning. new information we should help you und, may help explain the
alleged ex-tors plot against david letterman by this cbs news producer. the "new york times" reports an executive from letterman's production company told them that stephanie burkett, one of letterman's assistants a woman who at one time lived with the suspect, did have a past sexual relationship with david letterman. >> reporter: this morning 51-year-old robert joe halderman is free on bail, but today new details are emerging about the bizarre tale of sex, crime and money. this first unfolded when letterman stunned his "late night" audience with a confession thursday. >> that i have had sex with women who work for me on this show. >> reporter: letterman told viewers he found a package and letter latched on to the back seat of his car. >> it says that, i know that you do some terrible, terrible things. >> reporter: prosecutors say in that letter halderman asked for
a large chunk of money. plus his secrets. >> new york will not tolerate coercion or extortion of anyone being the victim, rich or poor, famous or anonymous. >> reporter: last month prosecutors say letterman's lawyer met appreciately with halderman at this man manhattan hotel twice wearing a wire to secretly record their conversation before finally giving halderman a fake $2 million check, that the suspect tried to deposit thursday. his lawyer says his client is innocent. >> there is another side to this story. it's not the open and shut case that you just heard about. >> reporter: connecticut voter registration records from 2008 show him living with stephanie burkett, one of letterman's longtime assistants. letterman did not name any co-workers when he addressed his relationships thursday. >> would it be embarrassing if it were made public? perhaps it would. perhaps it would. it's especially for the women.
>> reporter: and while the audience laughed uncomfortably, some may not consider it to be a laughing matter. so were these newly revealed relationships appropriate? letterman's production company, worldwide pants, issued a statement friday saying dave is not in violation of our policy and no one has ever raised a complaint against him. letterman told his audience he wouldn't say much more about the topic and friday night's show was pre-taped, but for now, the extortion case and the comedian's sex scandal have quieted the laughter. now that executive at worldwide pants, again, letterman's company, emphasized his relationship with stephanie burkett ended before letterman married last march. we were discussing his present wife was formerly someone who worked with him as well as his longtime girlfriend before that. >> the workplace for him, a place to meet people. of course, a lot of subtleties that have to play themselves out. >> opens up liability to
worldwide pants, situations like this, a big moneymaker and the boss ever this company. not just a colleague, the boss. always a potential for problems. >> peter alexander, thanks so much. new dames this morning about the financial settlement reached years ago between roman polanski and his sexual assault victim. newly released documents revealed 15 years ago the director agreed to pay samantha $500,000 in a civil suit. the deal was confidential but wound up being addition closed because of a two-year struggle to get polanski to pay. court records indicate he never paid. pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse to samantha who was 13 at tile. he fled and is being held in switzerland after an arrest on a fugitive warrant. it going to be like carnival for a long time. how one 22-year-old brazilian put it after learning rio de janeiro was selected to host the 2016 olympic games. an stipulated 55,000 people
gathered op the beach to celebrate the announcement and the party went into the wee hours of the night. i wonder if it's still going? joining me live on the phone from rio, nbc's miguel almaguer. has the party settled down at all? >> reporter: you could say it slowly is dying down. when i went to bed local rio, the party still in full swing, continued at local restaurants and bars and people were certainly celebrating, out in full force last night. a very big naert rio. they do it big here in rio. a big celebration is nothing new for them. >> miguel, party, notwithstanding in the celebrations mood what is the biggest challenge that rio has facing them? is it clean up? or to deal with prior to 2016? >> reporter: there's several different problems that rio faces. one one, there will be roughly
$14 billion just to get their infrastructure up to par. hosted the pan america games in 2007. they have some olympic venues in place but still need to build several other new venues. a big price tag on the bottom of it and additional concerns raised are, the crime in rio, which is notorious for this area and the slums that sort of line the streets and even in some of the nicer neighborhoods, can you have a front window view of some of the poverty that's out here. so rio says these are some of the issues they need to address before the world comes to rio, before it has center stage, but these are all issues that the president say are not a problem. rio is working on directing security issues and some transportation issues that they say they can get complete in the next seven years. >> miguel, thank you very much. a live call from rio. the latest numbers for the centers for disease control show the swine flu is spreading rapidly across this country. with the first doses of vaccine set to arrive in most areas next week, we want to clear up the
confusion surrounding the virus and the vaccine. with me to do that, the chairman of the department of medicine at a medical center. good morning, doctor. >> good morning. >> we'll do this first one, fact to fiction. swine flu vaccine, 100% safe. >> it is 100% safe. only thing you get, soreness at the ip jekz site and maybe muscle aches but it is safe. >> enough research was done and we can be totally sure of this? >> lots of research done. you can be absolutely sure of this. >> unequivocally? >> nobody gets it's flu from the vaccine. >> fact or fiction. swine flu is much worse than seasonal flu? >> it is. with the patients i've spoken to, those who get it, really, really are miserable. the influenza a, which i hope most of our viewers are getting vaccinated against as we speak, is not as severe with regard to the symptoms of the swine flu. >> fact or fiction, young, healthy people shouldn't have to worry? >> young, healthy people have to
worry. if you've over 60 years of age, one-third of resistant to the flu, but young people in the prime of their life have an immune system not exposed to that much flu. >> those over 60, exposesed to that flu is how they built up the antibody? >> should still get immunized but we're not as worried about them as young people. >> pregnant women must get this swine flu vaccine? >> absolutely. at the very top of the list, because during pregnancy the immune system does interesting things and they're very susceptible and so is there baby. >> go back to work as soon as you feel better? >> probably, yes. we prefer that you go back a day after your fever has stopped. that doesn't apply to health care workers, who we're keeping out of work for about seven days after their fever has broken, because we don't want them giving flu to anybody else. >> how long is somebody infected with h1n1 contagious?
>> they're contagious during the period of the fever and shedding virus. haven't ill elucidated how long that is. a day or two or the feev fever has broken, you can go back to work. >> the flu mist is the same at the shot? >> it's not. it's the live vaccine. that is not the same but it is protective, and when it has to be given it is as protective as the injection. >> fact or fiction, anyone in close contact with someone who has swine flu must get tamiflu? >> that's not very, very -- we have to define what's close contact. if you're in a classroom with somebody who develops the flu, no, you don't need to get the tamiflu. getting the tamiflu and relenza, the other drug, can make it resistant. we're worried about that. if you're in extremely close contact with somebody who's got the flu, sleeping with them, eating with them, being sneezed upon or puffed upon by them,
yes, get tamiflu. if you haven't had, already, the injection. >> okay. it's important people note there are two separate flu injections that are required here. one does not help the other. >> that's correct. the influenza a vaccine which is the regular seasonal flu vaccine, is available now, and everybody should get it. it's being offered for free in some centers, to firemen, police, emts, et set virginia. the swine flu is separate, available in a couple of weeks and everyone, everyone should get that. children below the age of 2 get two shots instead of one. those above 10 it get one shot like everyone else. >> thank you so much for clearing those things up. >> thank you. still ahead, the final push in two key races for governor. how much will the president's pop lafrty play out in these races? coming up in our next hour here on msnbc, the place for politics. we can't live in a bubble.
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developing now, police say a baby kidnapped found safe in alabama. taken from his home tuesday, just four days after he was born. the woman suspected of abducting him is behind bars this morning. let's get to nbc's ron mott live in atlanta. ron, good morning to you. how did police track this suspect down? >> reporter: well, good morning, alex. an extraordinary conclusion to this case. police were able to track this person down in alabama because of a rental car. officials in tennessee last night were essentially scratching their heads, trying to figure out what would drive somebody to attack a mother like this and steal her newborn? nevertheless, they are relieved that this baby now eight days old was found alive in alabama just across the tennessee state line, about 80 miles away from nashville. yesterday police released a composite sketch of the woman they were looking for. turns out they detained 30-year-old tammy, in custody, charges pending.
police believe she rented a car early tuesday morning. that car captured on surveillance tape in a walmart parking lot where the mother had gone shopping, that morning where the son was abducted hours later. she pretended to be an immigration worker. assaulted her, stabbed her at least eight times then took the baby. the mother ran to a neighbor's house asking for help, bleeding profusely and the neighbors went to help and saw this person driving out of the neighborhood at a very high rate of speed, and police were able to catch up with this individual apparently last night about 10:00. >> a great ending to the story, but what a horrific tale. ron mott, thank you very much for that. >> okay. and the man charged with getting money back from madoff victims is suing the family for $200 million, saying his son and niece used money bike a piggy bank to finance their lavish
lifestyle. they didn't do their job. if they did, the ponzi scheme would not have continued for so long. let's go now to the economy this week. we learned the unemployment rate reach add new level. 9.8%, the jobless rate has not been this high in 26 years. today, fresh concerns the latest rise is another sign the u.s. recovery is in for a slow recovery. joining me live is msnbc financial analyst vera gibbons. good morning. >> good morning. >> the dow down 22 points. >> yeah. >> how much does this coincide with the jobs department? >> a lot of it. responsible for the droppings on the dow. also initial jobless claim, worse than expected. manufactures a dip there as well. in most, the large part, it was because of the poor jobs numbers. it raises concerns about the stimulus stock market of the past six months. whether or not that is a stainable going forward. >> how much is this impact over the world rate of recovery for the economy? >> a good question. it really questions the pace of
the rvry, what it's going to look like given the rise in unemployment. we're not at the end of that. still expected to go into double digits. the total unemployed, 15 million people -- i should say, one-third of those unemployed six months or longer. it's really rough out there. another 9 million who are working involuntarily in a part-time basis. want to be full-time. want to do freelance. factor those in, the unemployment rate is actually 17%. so this latest jobs underscor underscoresiunderscore underscoresing biggest threat to consumers. they're not spending. >> and the whole retail sector, the push right now, very early in october, for the holiday sales. toys and the like? >> retailers, alex, just rolled out big hol kay campaigns trying to get consumers interestsed early on. it's not even halloween yet. you have kmart pushing their layaway program. coming out with hot toys, must-have toys.
sears entering the toy market again. they've bouchb the loop a long time. walmart coming out with 100 toys for $10 or less. last year offered ten toys for $10 or less. everyone's upping the ante. walmart is the leader, but toys "r" us making a big push, neck and neck with target. toys "r" us opening pop-up stores in malls around the country. >> 80 of them. >> trying to capture the number two spot and take it away from tart. >> we'll follow this with you. >> thank you. still ahead, the secret videotaping of a nude sports reporter just minding her own business in her hotel room. who's been nabbed, all coming up at the top of the hour. on the inside. my inner-workings a work of art. a digestive tract that should be bronzed. and an immune system so stunning... [ low growl ] my vet thinks i'm the eighth wonder of the world. [ female announcer ] introducing iams with prebiotics. prebiotics work inside,
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quit his job in alaska's north slope oil field. his resignation as a production operator from bp oil comes about two months after his wife stepped down at alaska's governor. that book deal is reportedly worth millions. president obama says passage of his health care proposals creates new jobs making small business start-ups more affordable. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says it will cut benefits for seniors and raise taxes on individuals and businesses. in the midst of all this debate, have you noticed all of those nicely dressed people running up behind the senators whispering in their rear ear. what's that all about? what are they saying? here to share the whispering, this is going to be good, good morning to you. >> good morning to you, alex. >> well, you tackle the whispering in your latest article calling these people the whisper brigade. who are they and what are they
whispering about to the senators? >> well, now, this town runs on secrets, alex. are you really going to drag it out of me? >> go, go! talk. >> look, staffers are there for one reason and one reason only. don't make the senator look dumb. the senators like to look smart. i like to look smart. you like to look smart, but senators really, really like to look smart, and the staffers are doing their homework and then it's -- i have a secret to tell you. >> you say there's a trick and balance, though, for the whisper brigade. keep the boss up to date but you've got to be discreet. >> yes. that's the balance that has to be struck by these staffers. remember, some of these people have big resume, gone to big schools and have big futures ahead of them, but they have to watch out that not too much attention is drawn to them. that's kind of hard especially with these hearings being
televised. this is super bowl week for the united states senate. the last two weeks have just been huge. everybody's watching. >> right. >> these people cannot stay out of view. so it's a tough thing to do. best thing, not to draw attention to yourself. >> you like, interrupting the senator is generally a no, no. are there moments it can't be avoided? do they see a senator going down the wrong track and, wait, we need to pull back here. >> that's another tough one, alex. a very tough one. it's not as bad as interrupting the cable news anchor, though. that would really be bad. >> oh, come on. >> i they would be very problematic. yeah. every once in a while, a moment happens, and it's when the senator is making a mistake. it happened last week. senator rockefeller, a very well-prepared senator, appeared to be veering down the wrong track and his aide jumped up and tapped him on the shoulder, and
got him on to a different rail, and everything seemed to be good. we'll never know exactly what was said. >> right. >> but you get an idea that that aide might have come to his rescue. >> yeah. you say these are all well-educated folks and there's a litany from which they might come, the schools, but how do they get the jobs? >> oh. there's a long line of people who want to work for the top tiered senators, and one of the reasons is that it is an avenue to future power and riches in washington, d.c. it's one of the reasons why if you walk into a capitol hill home, a well-acquainted capitol hill home of a successful washingtonian, it's a nice thing to have up on your wall, that picture of you whispering in a senator's ear. it gives you a kind of currency, a kind of status in this town. >> yeah. okay. well, i'm going to have to give kood dkudos to nick, constantly
whispering in my ear. mostly yelling. thank you very much. you never get to see nick. we'll have to put our camera on the control room and nick can get a wave. anyway, great article. interesting and fun. thank you. >> great to see you, as always, alex. >> appreciate that. still ahead, the fallout from chicago's failed pitch for the olympics. did the president take a political hit? and did his cronies from the windy city let him down? this is "msnbc saturday," we'll be right back. living with copd... but i try not to let it slow me down. i go down to the pool for a swim... get out and dance... even play a little hide-n-seek. i'm breathing better... with spiriva. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatmen for both forms of pd, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. i take it every day. it keeps my airways open.. to help me breathe better all day long. and it's not a steroid. announcer: spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor
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