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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  February 3, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EST

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threats. cia director leon panetta laid out the threat that al qaeda poses to the united states. >> i would share with you my greatest concern and what keeps me awake at night is that al qaeda and its terrorist allies and affiliates could very well attack the united states. and our homeland. >> and then there was this. the chairman of the senate intelligence committee, dianne feinstein, heard a unanimous opinion about how urgent this threat is. >> the question is, what is the likelihood of another terrorist attempted attack on the u.s. homeland in the next three to six months? high or low? director blair? >> an attempted attack, the priority is certain, i would say. >> mr. panetta? >> i would agree with that. >> mr. mueller? >> agree.
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>> general burjer? >> yes, ma'am, agree. >> mr. dinger? >> yes. >> all right. nbc's pete williams will have much more on this coming up, chuck. >> hey, savannah, the word "attempted" there is the key word. in fact, pete williams and i were talking before the show, and he made this comment. you know, ever since 9/11, there's probably never been a six-month window where al qaeda or some sort of ally of al qaeda has not been attempting to have a terrorist attack on some sort of u.s. asset. >> and in no way does it behoove them to diminish that threat. so a leading question from the senator, but scary, nonetheless. >> absolutely. moving on. the results are in for primary races in illinois. for senate, congressman mark kirk won the republican primary easily and alexi giannoulias won his matchup. but the nail biters are in those races for governor. in the democratic primary, sitting governor pat quinn has declared victory, but
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comptroller dan hynes isn't ready to concede. just a few thousand votes separate them. and there are still votes to be counted. the republican primary is even closer. bill brady leads by -- ready for this -- 503 votes over kirk dillard. and in the key house races we told you about yet. in the tenth, democrat dan seals will face robert dold for that seat being vacated by mark kirk. randy hultgren knocked off dennis hastert's son in the 14th district. he'll face bill foster in the fall. in the eighth district, joe walsh, not the former eagle, beat five opponents in that republican primary and he'll face battle-tested incumbent democrat melissa bean in that swing district. finally, republican adam kinzinger cruised in that 11th district republican primary. grabbed 64% of the vote. he'll face freshman democratic
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congresswoman, debora haliverson. and we've got mark murray here to break down what we learned from illinois. quickly, walk us through, how many votes are left to be counted and the recount procedures in illinois? >> possibly another recount with it being so close on the governor's side. it will take at least two weeks to recount all the ballots and also see those late-arriving absentee ballots. then the state declares a winner. and once a winner is declared, the challenger could request for a recount, would have to pay for that recount. right now on the democratic side, 7,000 votes for the incumbent, pat quinn, on the republican side, we'll probably definitely get a recount there, but the whole process could take months. just kind of like what we saw in minnesota last year, a very, very long process. some other quick takeaways, overall, just looking at the races, it wasn't a bad thing to be an establishment candidate looking at those state-wide contests, particularly in the senate side. turnout was very low on the statewide contests, the conservative tea party
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candidates didn't have that great of a night. finally, it's not always the best thing if you're a former member of congress's son, as we saw with ethan hastert's loss. >> mark murray, thanks very much. the president went back on the road to reinforce his state of the union yesterday. vice president biden brought that message to msnbc. andrea mitchell, host of msnbc's "andrea mitchell reports," had the exclusive with vice president biden. she joins us now. andrea, i know one of the things you talked to him about, among others, was this threat from yemen. he was quite candid about it. >> he was very candid. we were asking about the whole question of giving the miranda rights to the christmas day attempted bomber. and he said, look, that was a mistake, but we have dealt with other threats. and i said, are there other threats out there now? and he said, yes, there are. there are other threats to the u.s., domestic threats, and here's what he had to say. >> we've isolated al qaeda out of afghanistan and pakistan. it is on the run. we've knocked off most of
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their -- >> but yemen -- >> yemen's a growing problem. and yemen and the whole african c continent, and east africa is a problem as well. this is something you've got to stay on top of, totally. this is something that's not going to away overnight. >> that was a pretty candid admission. this was just before that hearing got underway. as you've been pointing out and as chuck pointed out, there are always threat against the u.s., but my information is they learned a lot of things from the attempted bomber, the detroit bomber, and that one of the things that they learned is that yemen has launched others and these the these clean, less suspicious first-timers that has a lot of people really concerned within the intelligence community. savannah? >> andrea, i want to clarify something. did you say that the vice president thought it was a mistake to read abdulmutallab's his miranda rights. did he say that? >> i was asking him about the miranda rights, and let me make
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that very clear. he said that mistakes were made, lack of communication among the agencies, and that they have acknowledged those mistakes. he's not going beyond what the president had originally said about the mistakes in the aftermath of that incident. >> all right. andrea mitchell with the fascinating interview with vice president joe biden. don't want to miss "andrea mitchell reports" today, another great show. an interview with republican senator susan collins, who's really hit the administration hard on all this terror stuff. also, republican senator orrin hatch. andrea, we'll be watching at 1:00. all right. savannah, now to haiti and the ten americans held on trafficking charges. a judge met with half of the missionaries yesterday, but did not lallow their lawyer to be present during the interview. haiti says the church group knew what they were doing was wrong, but no charges have been filed. michelle kosinski is in port-au-prince this morning. will the missionaries see the judge today and will any of them be released today? >> reporter: hi, chuck. those are two big questions.
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we expect the remainder of them, the five men, to see a judge today, just as the five women did yesterday. but it remains to be seen whether any of them will be released. that's, of course, what they're hoping for. you know, the hatian constitution says that police can hold somebody for 48 hours before they see a judge. well, here it's been four days and four nights for these americans in jail. and it was only yesterday that some of them got their time before a judge. their lawyer was not allowed in. we're being told that there may be a hatian lawyer here that's representing them now. and there's still no decision on whether they will be charged with attempted human trafficking. that is the accusation against them right now. but whether this case moves forward or not is one of the questions here. another big question is, what were their intentions anded did they, as the government say, know what they were doing was wrong. to try to transport these kids from haiti to the dominican republic without proper official documentation. they say that they were doing the right thing, that they had
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permission, even from the children's parents, because some of these kids were not orphans. and they didn't have any intention to adopt out the kids with parents, but there are these misunderstandings. and it depends on which parents you talk to as to what expectations they actually had as it regards these americans, chuck. >> all right. >> all right, nbc's michelle kosinski for us in port-au-prince this morning. thank you so much. coming up on "the daily rundown," the accused christmas day bomb plotter is talking with investigators. the story behind why he opened up. nbc's pete williams joins us next. plus -- >> liz, health care reform. to be honest, at this point, i could go either way on that. if you want it, pass it, whatever, i'll sign it. it's your call. i really don't care anymore. >> yeah, well, a moment of accidental correctness there, potentially. the fight for health care reform. it's been the butt of jokes on late-night, but have democrats
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the alleged christmas day bomber is talking to government agents again, this after fbi agents flew to nigeria on new year's day to plead for his family's help in getting him to talk. and chuck, apparently, it worked. >> that's right. what's more, abdulmutallab is now giving up valuable intelligence, particularly when
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it comes to operations in yemen, having to do with al qaeda. it's a boost for the administration politically, as they've been sharply criticized for its decision to let the fbi interrogate the 23-year-old and not the military or the cia or other intelligence. so nbc's justice correspondent, pete williams, who obviously has been following this very closely. and i want to get into the politics of it quickly here. listen to what susan collins said over the weekend. it's very important to the time line of this story. take a listen. >> the obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the war on terrorism. there's no other way to explain the irresponsible, indeed, dangerous decision on abdulmutallab's interrogation. there's no other way to explain the inconceivable treatment of him, as if he were a common criminal. >> she -- this aired saturday. >> this radio address. >> radio address on saturday. what was happening on saturday
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with the interrogation of abdulmutallab? >> well, i guess you have to say, in fairness, she didn't know this. that's our belief, anyway. a couple of days before that, thursday before the saturday, he had begun to open up to the fbi. we were told in a very comfortable way that he's freely talking to the fbi now, and they believe that this is a total vindication of how the obama administration and the justice department and fbi decided to treat him. they say that the fact that his family cooperated is a reflection of the fact that he was not in military custody and the fact that he's opening up so much is a reflection of the fact that these are civilians who are questioning him, not people wearing military uniforms. this idea that the administration bungled the questioning because they put him as a common criminal and treated him with a miranda warning is widely felt. you know, just yesterday, it was brought up several times during the gates hearing, the dod hearing, during a news conference with lindsey graham about the whole question whether
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any funds should be available to move the 9/11 defendants to the u.s. for trial. so i guess you would have to say, in defense of the republicans, most of them didn't know this information. now everybody knows it. >> and pete, let me ask you what you know about the ticktock here, not of the interrogation that's happening right now, but the interrogation that happened initially. tell us what you know about what he initially said and when he was given his miranda rights, when he clammed up. i think there's a lot of confusion, and frankly, we just are getting the briefing now from the administration about how all this went down in the hours after his capture. >> there is confusion about this. partly because every time the administration explains it, they explain it in a different way. but our understanding is this -- he was arrested on the plane, he was brought to a hospital, because he had burns on his legs because the explosive material didn't explode, it caught fire. so he was taken for surgery to a hospital. in the 50 or so minutes before his operation, he talked fairly freely, we're told, to the fb. told them that he had been trained for this in yemen, where
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he got the materials, all of that. then they took him into the hospital -- or into the surgery room, did the surgery. when he came out, the fbi tried to renew the questioning, and he decided then he wouldn't talk. we're told now that after he made a commitment that he wouldn't talk anymore, that's when they gave him the miranda warning. and a technical matter here, how were they able to question him before they gave him the miranda warning? the answer is, the courts have said that when you are in an emergency situation where you need information to possibly avoid injury to others, you can ask questions before someone is given the miranda warning. >> pete, one of the criticisms is that, oh, look he gets a lawyer. now, clarify this. he would get a lawyer if he were an enemy combatant or if he were in the justice system, correct? >> well, you get a lawyer -- yes. i think the simple answer is yes. unquestionably, though, you get a lawyer more quickly if you're in the critical justice system. you have the right to ask far lawyer immediately. in the military justice system, you're probably entitled to a lawyer to file what's known as a
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habeas corpus petition to say, basically, you've got the wrong guy. i guess the question for people who say he should be in the military justice system is would you get a lawyer more quickly as a criminal defendant. >> pete williams, thanks so much. always on top of this. thanks so much. there are more huge bonuses going into aig employee bank accounts this morning. the company's financial products division, the same one that created the need for aig massive bailout, will receive $100 million in bonus money today. cnbc's steve liesman joins us this morning. there may be some outrage here, but i guess put it in perspective. $100 million compared to i don't know, the bonuses going on at goldman, for example, it seems like a paltry sum. is the outrage justified? >> you know, it's a good question, savannah. i think this is an absolute mess. it's a political mess, it's a financial mess. here you have retention bonuses, and in one way, it underscores
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the kind of bad pay culture that existed on wall street. here's a company that's lost billions upon billions of dollars, and yet they had built in these retention bonuses in which the obama administration and the pay czar, mr. feinberg, says the government has to pay. the news is that they've agreed to take less, some of the employees have agreed to take less, the ones that are still at the company. those who have left the company, and are due these retention bonuses, if that sounds weird to you, it's true, they've left the company are still going to get these retention bonuses. they're not going to take less, so there might be lawsuits coming from this. it's a mess on a lot of levels. and the republicans are criticizing the obama administration for being, quote, out-maneuvered. he calls it outrageous but legal, savannah. >> new catch phrase, steve liesman,en cnbc, thanks so much. coming up next, michael jackson's doctor gets ready to surrender to police if necessary in connection with the singer's death. plus, deepening trouble for
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toyota. should the automaker face financial penalty in the wake of the company's biggest ever safety recall? but first -- >> the hig is operational and has been deployed, correct? >> yes. >> ah, the hig. today's washington speak. it stands for high-value detainee interrogation group. it was created by the obama administration last summer. mueller told the senate panel yesterday that the hig has been conducting investigations since last fall. chuck, but was the hig involved in abdulmutallab's questioning? and there's still some question of how operational the hig is. they're still trying to get it to work. that was part of that briefing last night, savannah. >> but now everybody knows the grass glossary. call 1-800-2-refill for your free home delivery.
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in the west. nbc news has confirmed three american soldiers killed today in northwest pakistan were special operations forces. two other soldiers were also wounded. the unit's convoy was hit by a roadside bomb while traveling to the opening of a girl's school there. the taliban is claiming responsibility. 71,000 oklahoma residents are still dealing with massive power outages stemming from a recent winter storm there. work crews believe they will have the problems fixed, though, by friday. conrad murray is ready to surrender to los angeles police if and when charges are announced. l.a. prosecutors expected to charge michael jackson's doctor with manslaughter. and injuries at the super bowl before the game even starts. a stage collapsed yesterday at the stadium, sent four workers to the hospital. two of them had to be airlifted from the scene with nonlife-threatening injuries. that's a quick look at the news at 9:25. now to check and the 2010 in washington. >> okay. thanks, savannah. fresh off of getting their
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candidate of choice to win a primary in illinois, republicans believe they have another victory of sorts to tout this morning. with just 16 days before the filing deadline, republicans convinced former indiana senator dan coates, who evan bayh replaced in the senate, to challenge bayh in november. coats held that seat for ten years. he replaced dan quayle when quayle became vice president. he retired in '98, in part, to avoid facing the very popular governor bayh. coats formally announces today. republican control just 41 senate seats with the two expects voting with the democrats. that means the gop needs ten seats to win control of the senate. it's a very uphill battle, but each week, it seems the gop puts another democratic seat in play. let's look at the map. they believe that they now have put at least seven democratic seats in play. north dakota, delaware, nevada, colorado, illinois, pennsylvania, and of course, now, indiana.
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now, to make it even a remote case for winning control of the senate in 2010, they need candidates in three of these long shot states to become more serious challengers. california, connecticut, new york, and up in the upper northwest, washington and oregon. i can can tell you this, wisconsin and washington, they're very active in candidate recruiting there. california, a very expensive state. we shall see. of course, the republicans have their own share of senate seats that they still have to defend. nearly a half dozen. for us political junkies, though, there's going to be maybe 20 to 24 competitive senate races come november. unbelievable. moving on. can a democrat from miami tap into nascar nation, i say, tongue and cheek. well, on february 13th, the top democrat in the florida senate rate, kendrick meek, will be the lead sponsor for mike wallace's number one car at the nascar nationwide series. that's kind of the minor league of nascar races. it's in daytona beach. said meek, i'm running for the senate to get florida's economy working again.
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for the nascar nation, and for all families throughout this state. look, the trip to the speedway is a familiar stop for republican candidates, but democrats, particularly ones running in red or purple states, have been trying to reach out to nascar fans for year. the model is mark warner, who was one of the first politicians we've ever seen of any party to sponsor a nascar driver way back in his 2001 race for governor. savannah, i don't know how much nascar fans want politics mixed in with their racing, but it's become sort of a fascinating little gimmick of sorts, particularly from democrats from more urban cities like miami or in the case of mike warner, he was a connecticut carpet backer in north virginia. who knows, sometimes it will work. >> chuck, thanks for that. coming up, staggering statistics on the state of home ownership in america. why some think walking away from a mortgage may be the best bet. and first lady michelle obama talks about the future of health care reform as democrats try to hammer out a way to put
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the legislation on a forward path. but first today's trivia question from the "the almanac american politics", which states have two-year gubernatorial terms. we'll give you the answer next on "the daily rundown" on msnbc. high quality ingredients like wild alaskan salmon in a delicate broth, without by-products or fillers. fancy feast appetizers. celebrate the moment. not that long ago, many families were priced out of an overheated housing market. but the times have changed. get the facts at today, the dream of owning a home seems more attainable than ever. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit today.
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well, time to reset with a look at the top stories driving the day. savannah? >> the nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a u.s. airliner on christmas day once again cooperating with interrogators. officials say umar farouk an dual mutallab's family members convinced him to start talking and he is providing valuable intelligence. moments ago, susan collins issued a new statement on the interrogation of abdulmutallab.
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collins says, quote, i remain concerned there was no consultation with intelligence officials before the department of justice unilaterally decided to treat abdulmutallab as if he was as an ordinary criminal. the inexplicable choice to use a law enforcement choice were dangerous decisions, continuing her criticism this morning. okay, and it's going to be question time, take two. in half an hour, the president will meet with senate democrats. the president will take questions from the audience, which should be friendlier than the crowd of republicans he met with last week, but maybe not, we'll see. of course, the one issue we're all curious about this week is going to be health care. there's a difference of opinion, savannah, on capitol hill, about how to proceed with health care reform. speaker pelosi and senate majority leader harry reid are now at odds over the next step. it's almost like a game of chicken. kelly o'donnell covers capitol hill for us. so who's going to blink here? harry reid, up for re-election in 2010, which always matters in these decisions, or nancy
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pelosi? >> reporte >> reporter: well, if we were to just take one snapshot, it's this right now. pointing at each other, who must go first. and house speaker nancy pelosi told bloggers that she believes the senate has to act first to make changes on its version of health care, because she believes her house democrats simply will not go for it. senator harry reid came out and said that he didn't think that was procedurally possible. and what's interesting about harry re harry reid is while he gets a lot of grief for his public statements and leadership behind the cameras, he gets lots of high marks for his understanding of the legislative rules and how to get things done. how to count votes and how ho work procedure. that's interesting he doesn't think there's an easy way to do that. both sides think they have to put the pressure on the other. now, the house is going to take some smaller action. they plan to carve out a piece of their health care bill and try to put it through next week, again, on the house side, which would take away the exemption
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that the health insurance companies have the antitrust exemption, which gives them some competitive advantages, as compared to other kinds of companies. but we don't expect that would work in the senate, because we already know that they didn't go for that. so there's a lot of strategy here. it's like they've got all the staff looking in the rule books, trying to find the best way to go forward. >> speaking of trust, you actually said anti-trust, but i was desperate for a segue, kelly, isn't this all reflective of the lack of trust between the house and senate, with both leaders pointing of others and saying, you go first. it seems like the house is saying, we won't be fooled again. we're not going to pass a tough bill only to have the senate not able to deliver. >> reporter: well, every member of the house is on the ballot in november, so all of them feel that pressure. and there was so much political fallout after the senate acted with that christmas eve vote and all the hullabaloo that both changes were able to get a vote through, then the fallout, which things that have been very critically reviewed as the cornhusker deal, you remember
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the medicare package for nebraska is just one example. house members say they really have to suffer with that back home among voters because that was not perceived well politically. so real different agendas here and certainly there are the rules they have to work within. both sides saying it will get done, but now we're reading the tea leaves to see how well that actually happens. maybe when the president takes questions this morning, we'll get a little more insight. looking forward to that. >> very interesting, kelly o'donnell on capitol hill, never a slow day there. that's for sure. >> reporter: love it. >> savannah, i was told by a white house official yesterday that the latest do-or-die moment in health care might be friday. and if we don't see a way forward by then, maybe a way forward is going to be hard to find for quite some time. but, you know, what -- >> we've heard that before. >> i was just going to say, we won't be fooled again, as they say. moving on. topping the morning mash, today's math lauer sat down for an exclusive interview with the first lady, one year after her husband was elected president. with the future of health care hanging in the balance, mrs.
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obama says she hopes a reform bill gets passed. >> the country needs it. this is the right thing for the country. it's hard, it's scary, it's confusing, but i hope for our country's sake that we can do this now and not wait until things get worse pip mean, i agree with the president when he said that we don't have the option to do nothing. >> probably not surprising that she agrees with the president there. the first lady also says the president is still an optimistic person at heart. >> i'm sure this health care debate is testing that to the little. earlier on "morning joe," i tried to ask michigan senator debbie stabenow as what she sees as the path forward to get a health care bill passed and here was her response. >> in my book, i'm hopeful the house will pass the senate bill, along with changes that were already being agreed to by the house and senate and white house. a second bill that would narrowly focus on changes that i think need to be made.
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and then hopefully, we can get this done. >> senator stabenow defended the slow pace of progress on health care, saying even though the democrats have a 59-seat majority now, there's too much focus on capitol hill on the games of who's winning and who's losing. but you would never do that, chuck, right? >> never at all. that's not what we do in the media, right, savannah. it's election day every day, that's what i'm told. moving on, mexican president felipe calderon yesterday continued his attacks on the united states, blaming this country for selling the drugs and demanding the narcotics that are fueling the drug war that's crippling his country. a staggering 17,000 people -- think about that, 17,000 people -- have died in mexico since 2006. >> but, chuck, violence linked to mexican cartels is also being reported deep insided the u.s., in places like phoenix, birmingham, and atlanta. carlos is a correspondent with our spanish language partner, telemundo. carlos, thank you for being with us. i want to start with something that's really frightening, reading it from a u.s. joint forces command study, says, "in
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terms of worst-case sfcenarios for the joint force, and indeed, the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse -- pakistan and mexico." a lot of us would know to put pakistan on the list, but mexico? >> i know. good morning. that sounds alarming. i think the headline is how the brutal violence associated with the mexican drug cartels have crossed the border, have spilled over into the united states. there have been, as you said, kidnappings, cases of extortion, even murder in places like san diego. you mentioned the states of alabama and georgia. right now it's been reported that the mexican drug cartels are in control of the trafficking in over 230 u.s. cities. even as far north as anchorage, alaska. >> carlos, that was what was stunning to me. you guys have been doing incredible reporting.
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i know you had a special report on this on telemundo. but when i heard anchorage, and did i hear sioux falls, south dakota, and sioux city, iowa, as well? >> that's right. that's right. >> this is unbelievable. so what -- look, i grew up in south florida, when i grew up, it was central and south america that was in control. but then they seemed to stop that. is what happened, did the drug cartels essentially move from south america to mexico? >> that's right. you're probably referring to the cocaine wars there in south florida in the late '70s. and at that time, the flow of the cocaine was through the bahamas and through the sea. and then after the united states put all the reinforcements there, then it was diverted to mexico. and then it created the problem at the border. >> all right. carlos botifoll, thank you for
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bringing our attention to such an eye-opening problem. on to our trivia question, which states have two-year gubernatorial terms? it's vermont and new hampshire. every day could be election day if -- i kid, i kid. new england, they love their politics up there. >> they do, indeed. coming up, we'll go in the room with white house domestic policy adviser, melody barnes on what's next for health care, selling the budget plan, and working with republicans. and later, "american idol" super bowl-style. sure, these guys have the right moves on the field. we'll check into that. but first, chuck, get ready, the white house with soup of the day, wonton. insert clever chuck joke here. >> i got nothing other than, this is one of my favorite soups. >> it is delicious. >> i'm fired up.
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how do we get our hands on this one? >> we are not permitted in the white house mess, and that is a travesty. there ought to be a law. bl a >> well, look, the economy is bad, and we could spend more money and prop up the government by buying their soup. >> you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. it was a horrible feeling, like i couldn't catch my breath. i couldn't believe i was actually having a heart attack. i remember being at the hospital, thinking about my wife. i should have done more to take care of myself.
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the daily flashback. 1913, the 16th amendment to the constitution was ratified, bringing us the federal income tax. >> and savannah, bringing us a divide between the two parties ever since. >> you got that right. well, the president's prickly encounter, speaking of, with house republicans got a lot of play on friday, but the more critical meeting may be today when he holds a q&a with senate democrats. >> and this afternoon, in another attempt to reach out, the president is sitting down with governors, mostly democrats, but there's a few republicans there, to discuss energy mostly and the economy. melody barnes is the president's
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domestic policy adviser. she's also on's list of top 100 history makers in the making. that's a pretty big billing you'll have to live up to in this interview in five minutes. >> my mother's pretty happy with it. >> there you go. i hear that. i want to start with the budget. we know that the president announced a nonsecurity spending freeze on some discretionary spending. well, that hits a lot of domestic programs. th you're the domestic policy adviser. this had to make you sort of grit your teeth. there are going to be some programs that you want to do that we can't afford to do as a country. what are some of those that you wish you could be doing in the budget that you're probably going to have to put off now? >> well, the president talked about this as well. and i think the foundation for us is the fact that we know we can't mortgage away our children's future. at the same time, we have to make smart investments to make sure that our children are
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competitive. and we have to also look at the short-term. what's necessary right now? so the president has talked about the fact that there are some programs that have been near and dear to him, to all of us sitting around the table making these decisions, but we know that we have to make some cuts. and we have to cut back. at the same time, we're looking for places where we can create more efficiency. for example, in the education budget, we are cutting, we're eliminating six programs. we've taken 38 programs and we've consolidated them down to 11. but let's look at the big picture right now. what we're doing, also in education, is we're making an investment so our children can be more competitive to make sure that our teachers have the support that they need and that they're retained, that they are paid appropriately, that we're turning around our lowest-performing schools, so we've made an investment in education in the right places to drive those kinds of reforms forward. >> hey, melody, still on the subject of the budget, you guys don't miss an opportunity to
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rail against the 2001/2003 bush tax cuts and the fact that they were not paid for and added mightily to our deficit. you're going to let them expire for the wealthiest americans, but you will keep them in place next year for the rest of us. and the question is, why not have the courage of your convictions and keep that principle equal and apply it equally to the wealthy and to the middle class if you really are serious about it? >> well, savannah, what we know is that the middle class is hurting right now. the president talked about that during the state of the union. we have talked about that and recognized that during the course of the year, as we have been slowing down the hemorrhaging on job losses, but also recognizing that we've got to start turning things around with job increases and wage increases. so we want to make sure that the middle class is properly supported, that they have the money that they need to go out and to save, as well as to invest and to turn this economy around. and i think that this is consistent with what the president said on the campaign trail. he said that he was not going to
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raise taxes on those making below $250,000. he's been consistent with what he said over the course of the last couple of years. >> melody, one of the talking points of the campaign had to do on education and no child left behind. you'd hear a lot of criticism from democrats saying the concept was good, but it wasn't implemented very well. we know that you guys are talking about trying to re-do something more when it comes to no child left behind. explain that a little bit. when you guys say you're going to change no child left behind, what does that mean? >> sure. well, what we all believe is that the theory, the principle of high standards and a standards-based education system is an important one. but at the same time, we have to use the right kinds of tools to evaluate our children and our teachers, to make sure that our lowest performing schools are turning around, that we are giving parents, as well, the ability to assess how their kids are doing in education. so our major focus has been
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around reform and we started that this year with the race to the top principal, which we believe has gotten off to a wonderful start and we'll start making investments there in the spring. and we're going to build on that and spread that out over the 50 states and work with congress to try to do that as we reassessed the child left behind. investment, reform, competition, they are under girding what we want to do and will work on a bipartisan basis with congress to do. >> we have to ask you about your placement on thegrio's top 100 makers in history. you were described by that website as a progressive who is not afraid to speak her mind. so now that you're a role model during your reign on this list, what message would you want to send particular ly to young folks? >> sure. i think the most important thing is when you set out to figure out what you want to do in life, the first thing you have to know is what matters to you. who are you? to be authentic to that purpose
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and why you're here to do the good work that you're supposed to do. and from there you can go about finding the right career. for me it was in public service. i've loved working on capitol hill and working in this white house and trying to have an impact, trying to transform the country for the better, to make it a more secure, more prosperous country for everyone. >> and, melody, very quickly, being that it's black history month, as an african-american, you know, how does that change the way you view black history month as an afterry cap american? that's something that a lot of us don't understand not being african-american? >> well, i've always seen this month as one special month out of 12 as an opportunity to view the achievements of after african-americans in this country but i want to do it the other 11 months of the year and also think about the ways we've come together as a nation, and i think the election of this
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president, the work we're doing in the white house, is representative of that, of the achievements we've made over the last several hundred years but also the way that we've come together as a nation. >> all right, melody barnes, top domestic policy adviser to president obama and also on thegrio's list. thanks for being with us. >> thanks so much. >> you can learn about melody barnes and about the other 99 history makers in the making, chuck. coming up, a red-faced banker gets caught red-handed on live television and you're not going to believe what he was doing. plus, panda-monium. this is "the daily rundown." today, we're giving my living room a much-needed makeover. i thought we couldn't afford it, but then i went to walmart and i found the new home trends collection. i started off with rugs and pillows... and i got those for a steal. [ son ] mooom. steal as in a good price, honey. and then, it was on to my bare walls... i even got all the little extras, guilt free.
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before we go, panda edition.
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a language tutor for u.s.-born panda. no history of infectious disease. she is arriving in china on friday via fedex. >> there you go. >> yeah, okay. it'll get there on time. okay, and not a work appropriate activity, chuck. an australian banker is caught on camera not working while his colleague is doing a television interview. watch what's going on behind the guy talking to the camera. >> don't watch what's behind. >> it appears he's looking at the wrong kind of assets while at work. the camera guy clear ly could se what was going on in the background. okay, and then mr. banker realizes he's in big trouble. oops. the spokesperson said the matter is being dealt with internally. i don't know. >> super bowl media way, players and coaches met with reporters. it's the most ridiculous day in football, frankly.
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but that was not the fun stuff. the fun stuff is when you give 30 300-pound linemen the chance to kashg yolky and these guys were singing beyonce, "american idol." we're not going to play it for you now. trust us, we're doing you a favor. you don't want to hear it. the bigger news today in the sports world it's signing day, the biggest day in college football, go canes. get those guys signing. >> bigger than super bowl idol. okay. that's it for "the daily rund n rundown." [ sneezin]
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heading to the newseum here in washington. the lectern is already set up, the senators are there. this is a meeting they have. the president will take questions and we'll bring it to you live. top intelligence officials say it is a certainty that al qaeda will try to attack the united states sometime in the next six months. is the united states prepared? like father like son. congressman ron paul's son is running for the senate seat in kentucky. we will talk with dr. paul in just a few minutes. and we're keeping our eyes on a few developing stories this morning. michael jackson's daughter is about to face manslaughter charges and the doctor for the king of pop is preparing to surrender to authorities. an arrest in the baby gabriel ca case. we'll tell you who and why. plus the story that's just too incredible for words. a man is accused of arranging his ex-girlfriend's rape and using craigslist to do it. shocking details ahead.