tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC June 30, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
u.s. troops was contingent upon conditions on the ground. of course, we'll ton watch that, watching for a vote. the other big breaking story that we're following, winds from hurricane alex are whipping at nearly 80 miles per hour. gaining strength as it churns over the gulf of mexico. the storm is expected to make landfall in texas by sunrise tomorrow, and by then it could be a powerful cat 2 storm. people from houston to florida, the panhandle are hunkering down preparing for the very worst on this. the weather channel's stephanie abrams is live in south padre island in texas. stephanie, what's it looking like now? i know you've been out there for hours now. >> reporter: yeah, we have, and basically we're getting squally weather and then it clears up. sometimes the rain is so hard that you can't even see half a mile down the beach. our winds here have gusted as high as 40 to 50 miles an hour, so rain is an issue. we could see five times what we typically see in a month out of this system. and it's also a surge problem that we have here, three to five feet is what we're forecasting.
here's what i want to show you guys and the viewers at home. high tide by the way at 8:44. when we had high tide the water went all the way up here, covering about 90% of the beach right where i'm located here, and can you see all of the seaweed that it left behind once the water receded. now, that is a problem as we head through the day today, because as the storm moves closer, we're going to continue to see that push onshore. a couple of things of note. the causeway is open right now, and that takes you back to the mainland or vice versa. also, a brand new tornado watch has been issued, so it's the rain, the wind, the surge, and also the threat for tornadoes here into southern texas as the storm system continues to head closer. landfall right around the midnight hour so that is going to basically, thomas, stay like this, in and out through the day today. what we have is what we'll continue to get. >> stephanie abrams live in south padre island in texas. thanks. want to check in now with msnbc
meteorologist bill bill karins. when can we expect this to turn to a category 2? >> right before landfall, 11:00 east coasted a have east coasted a advisory. we have to get up to 95 miles per hour to get there, and right now we're still only in the 80s. a tornado watch has been issued for the outer bands that whip through. a tornado warning earlier around south padre island. another band heading up to corpus christi. don't usually have big huge tornadoes out of tropical systems but we get tiny ones that can do damage to a roof or knock down trees. the center of the storm is 180 miles off the coast of brownsville, texas. not tracking that way. it will track more or less due to the west, and it will move down to the south of south padre and brownsville. so our reporters won't be in the eye of the storm. that will be down in mexico and that's where some of the worst
wind damage will be done. at 7:00 p.m., a possibility of category 2. then it moves pretty much west northwest wards inland and weekends overnight into early tomorrow morning. you notice that this is about 50 to 100 miles south of where the border is with texas. that's why the worst of the winds will not occur there. the worst that will happen in texas is the possibility of damaging waves. rainfall could produce a flooding, and there also could be watching the potential of maybe, just maybe, some tornadoes. now the hurricane aircraft, pretty cool graphic. track it live and those are wind reports. just had a wind report of 81. that plane is heading out and if you watch at the very tail end of this, a new aircraft is flying in. so they will be coming in and out of this storm as we go throughout the day today to keep the latest information coming into us here on msnbc. back to you, tom. >> thanks so much. just when you thought things couldn't really get any worse, this hurricane is really slowing down the efforts for the cleanup that's taking place in the gulf. admiral thad allen is right now briefing reporters on the latest. we know that skimmers have gone back and forth.
crews are laying boom today, and some are out there. other crews are not. we'll keep you posted on the very latest to bring you what admiral allen is saying. meantime, gulf fishermen and business owners are truly suffering, losing more and more money every day as the oil keeps spilling. mike frenette owns the red fish lodge in venice, louisiana, and also a charter boat business owner down there. mike, give us the perspective of you as a small business owner, the impact that you're seeing, especially now with the oil disaster, now a hurricane coming. how has this affected you? >> well, obviously, we've been shut down for the last couple of months as a result of the oil spill, and it's definitely impacting my business and every other business, small business owners in this area, especially the charter boat operators and the commercial fishermen and now that we have a hurricane in the gulf we're concerned about the higher waters coming into the estuary. the winds that are pushing not only the oil but the waves towards our coastline, and, unfortunately, i think it's going to bring, you know, some more new oil into this area, and
it's going to cause some more problems to the estuaries obviously. >> i know you suffered and lost everything after hurricane katrina. right now bp is saying that they are cutting checks of $5,000 to boat owners, also hiring people for cleanup. have you applied to get a check from bp for that $5,000? >> yes, i have, which i have already received, and also, you know, individuals from this area that are charter boat operators, guides and commercial fishermen have the opportunity to apply for the vessel of opportunity to try to make some cash flow during this time of need because obviously not only our loblg, but our businesses, all the charter boats and guides in this area. the fishing is shut down so, therefore, nobody is making any money in the business or the way of life that they are used to doing. >> right. i know that new orleans has climbed back to 85% of tourism before hurricane katrina and businesses like yourself, small businesses, you've also climbed back. when you see this hurricane approaching, and we haven't had a hurricane this early in some
15 years barreling down in the gulf, how do you feel you would have been prepared despite the oil disaster? say that was out of the equation. do you feel you'd be prepared for the new hurricane season that's coming so early? >> well, i think people in this area are definitely prepared for hurricanes. we've been through hurricane katrina which devastated this area. the people in this area are very residual. you know, they can bounce back. we have just got to the point last year that we bounced back from hurricane katrina because virtually this area was obliterated. everything was gone. everything that you see inside this marina was gone after hurricane katrina. with hard work, with perseverance and just sweat, people put everything back together, and last year was the turning point. now that we're seeing the oil in the gulf, combined with the hurricane season, you're right. this is very early for a hurricane to be in the gulf of mexico. normally this part of the country we see our hurricanes late august, september, into october, and, unfortunately, sometimes into november. so that's the latter part of the summer that we're mostly concerned about. if we're starting to deal with
the hurricanes this early in the summer, we've got a long summer and a lot of concerns to be concerned about, especially with the oil off the coastline. >> mike frenette, great to talk to you and wish you the very best with this and good luck as you try to get through this hurricane season and everything you're going through with your family. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> a new poll is showing 50% of americans think that president obama is doing a worst job handling the gulf oil disaster than president bush did handling hurricane katrina, even after four gulf visits and a primetime oval office address. this poll shows most people think that the president could be doing better. the poll also showed that half surveyed think the president is falling below their expectations. now we want to take you to the floor right now and see what's taking place with the vote that we had expected at the top of the hour that's going to be on general david petraeus taking over for stanley mcchrystal in the afghanistan war. and we're seeing the voting taking place live, and any
minute we'll continue to follow that. hopefully we'll have a better tally for you. not too much exciting pictures going there on the floor. we'll bring it to you. as we speak, supreme court nominee elena kagan entering her fourth however testimony on capitol hill, and she's likely to be peppered with several more hours of questioning before the senate judiciary committee votes -- goes before this afternoon, and while the hearing has tackled really everything from supreme court precedent to allegations of court legislating from the bench, there have been a few light-hearted moments. if you've been watching, you may have seen this. you'll see next change between senator amy klobachur earlier this morning. >> do you miss the midnight debut of the third "twilight" movie last night. i keep wanting to ask you about the famous case of edward versus jacob or the vampire verus the werewolf >> i wish you wouldn't. >> i know you can't comment on future cases. >> senator klobachur trying to get elena kagan on the record as
to whether she's team jacob or team edward. sir, how do you think she's doing so far, day two? >> i think solicitor general kagan has been very responsive to questions. she has gone beyond what i think many people expected in giving her views on a variety of issues. she obviously cannot comment on cases that could come before the court, but she's been very forthcoming on her views, and i think she's impressing the members of our committee and the american people. >> i know we just showed a light hearted moment, but kagan has come under fire from republicans. jeff sessions is one who said that she went too far by restricting military recruitment as dean of harvard law. they also say she's shown a little too much deference to congress in her interpretation of the commerce clause. what are your feelings on that? >> well, first, in regards to recruitment, the facts speak for themselves. the military always had access to the students at harvard law school. in fact the recruitment in the
year in question was actually higher than the previous year, and she has shown great respect for our men and women who sever our nation and has received great endorsements from a lot of her students that were -- that had military service or who went into the military. as far as giving deference to congress, that's what we want the justices to do. we don't want to see judicial legislating. we want to see the legislative branch of government make our laws, not our courts. so i thought her answers there were particularly strong. >> sir, i want to switch gears and talk to you about david petraeus, the general who will be taking over in afghanistan if he gets the votes. have you voted yet? >> no. i've got a few more minutes, and then i have to head over. general petraeus will be confirmed i expect unanimously by the senate. we have a great deal of confidence in his leadership. >> real quickly, want to take you back now to kagan and ask you what you thought about al franken. did you see he's a really good artist. did you see the doodle that he did? >> i know senator franken has lots of talent, and we particularly appreciate the
manner in which he represents the people of minnesota in the united states senate. >> i'm from maryland so i have to get you on the record about this. the orioles against the a's tonight. >> you know, i'm an oriole fan, but sometimes they really challenge me. it's been a difficult season >> i know. you're a senator. can't you do something about this, can't you help us orioles fans out? >> we're trying. if i could pass a bill here to help, i'd do it. >> senator ben cardin, great to talk to you and we'll let you get off to voting. >> thank you. a shaky start of the day as a strong earthquake rattled southern mexico t.chook buildings as far away as mexico city and sent residents frightened into the streets, many in their pajamas. the 6.2 quake was centered in a sparsely populated area near the southern pacific coast. so far, no reports of damage or injuries. attorney general eric holder is in afghanistan to help top law enforcement officials there crack down on widespread corruption. holder also met with afghan president hamid karzai. efforts to weed out corruption in afghanistan comes at a
critical time for the u.s. military which is about to launch a major offensive against the tunnel. coming up in half an hour, i'm going to get a chance to speak with former state department official matthew ho who resigned in protest over the u.s. war policy in afghanistan. we're going to get him on the record today and see how he feels about what's taking place now. it's just like a james bond movie. complete with the sexy bond girl and all, but did the suspected spies actually get any real inside information? we take a look. >> plus, tweens all over the country lined up overnight to watch the latest "twilight" flick but technical difficulties prevented some from seeing it. a bunch of mad screaming tweens, not a fun picture at all. - ♪ hey, what you doin' today - [ phone rings ] - [ horn honking ] - [ tires squealing ] ♪ i'm ridin' down the highway i'm just rollin' ♪ [ announcer ] without the right auto insurance, a crash might impact more than your car. [ no audible dialogue ] make sure you're properly covered...
washington, d.c. any minute we are expecting the senate to confirm general david petraeus as the top u.s. commander in afghanistan. again, he's going to be taking over from general stanley mcchrystal who resigned after that damaging "rolling stone" article which quoted him and slammed the obama administration. we want to tell you that matthew ho, a name you may remember, he quit his state department position in afghanistan as part of a protest against the strategy of the war. we'll have him coming up in about half an hour from now talking to us about what's taking place, the new strategy that's going to be going into afghanistan under the leadership of general petraeus, and as soon as he's confirm we'll bring that to you live. there's yet another new twist in the case of a missing 7-year-old boy. his name is kyron horman, and he's been nearly four weeks now since he was reported missing, just vanished at his school near portland, oregon. yesterday a judge barred kyron's stepmother terry moulton from having contact with her other children or access to firearms.
this weekend terry's husband took the other kids with him and filed for divorce. she said she last saw the boy walking to her second grade classroom. a texas couple is accused of giving their baby a bong. they are charged with child endangerment and drug possession. julio and brenda were not only smoking in front of their 13-month-old son but also passing the bong along to a little boy. the baby was checked out at a local hospital and sent home with his grandmother. from chicago, a warning for workers at theaters, better check your movie projectors. hundreds of teens turned into an angry mob after technical difficulties forced this theater to cancel a midnight viewing of the film. many of these teens, if you have teens at home know this, they had waited hours, had to get permission to do it. it took them three hours to catch the first show and for a while they just refused to leave
saying fix that projector. eventually everyone got a refund. we are learning that general david petraeus has been officially confirmed to take over, leading what americans are going to be doing as we continue the war in afghanistan. want to go now to jim miklaszewski at the pentagon to give us an explanation. it was widely expected general david petraeus would be confirmed and here we have it now at 12:18 eastern time. >> reporter: after it was clear that president obama had no choice but to essentially fire general stan mcchrystal, you know, the choice of david petraeus was widely hailed across the u.s. government, at white house, here at pentagon and certainly on capitol hill as the perfect choice because not only is david petraeus the architect of the modern counterinsurgency strategy that was somewhat successful in iraq in terms of the surge operation but as head of centcom he was
involved in putting together this current strategy there in afghanistan. there are some questions as to whether that strategy is working, but president obama and secretary of defense gates, and including petraeus himself, made clear, although this is a change of leadership at the top there, commanding general in afghanistan itself, it does not mean a current change in policy, but, you know, david petraeus made clear in his testimony during the confirmation hearings that while they continue to pursue the current policy, there will be tweaks along the way, if necessary, and one of the big questions that still remains, what happens on that july 2011 deadline? and everybody we heard from here at pentagon, including secretary of defense gates and general petraeus and now even president obama, have all made clear that that deadline in july of 2011 is at a time in which they will assess what's going on on the ground, begin a transition of handing over some of the
responsibilities for security to the afghans and begin withdrawal of american forces. thomas? >> jim miklaszewski, thank you, sir. general david petraeus has now been confirmed to take over in afghanistan. want to shift gears and show you something real quickly. look over here. the headlines of newspapers across the country. i'll hold this up for you. they are reporting about the spies who loved us. the red-headed bond girl, especially the "the new york post" loving this story. making for great front headlines here in new york city. 11 of these spies, alleged spies, busted yesterday, but one in particular is getting all the attention. it is anna chapman and her youtube videos. take a look. she's being described as sexy secret agent. her mission was to gather intel, and she apparently just loved being a spy. she spent two years living the high life in manhattan being at all the hot spots, social functions, clubs, charity events while dressing like a supermodel. told by her russian handlers to act naturally, and she certainly
did, in the process becoming an internet sensation with videos like this one on youtube and also obviously a fan of tiaras. former director of russian and eurasian affairs joins us on set. mark, where are you today? you're in chicago today? >> i'm in chicago visiting my in-laws. >> we have to do you proud because your sister mika will be watching and will be mad if we don't have a great interview. >> let's go for it. >> as i show you these pictures, the front of all these papers, having a field day with this. give us an idea of how these individuals are charged and really the consequences that they are facing legally. >> well, they are not charged under espionage laws. they are charged with violating the foreign agents registration act which is a law that was passed in the 1930s to give the government the ability to oversee who is acting and conducting political activities
on behalf of a foreign government. and if you go to the web, you can look under fara office and see the disclosures that many lobbyists and lawyers and others in washington make on behalf of the foreign governments that they represent and that they conduct activities for. the 11 individuals have been charged with violating the foreign agents registration act for not having registered for doing activities for russia in the united states. it gives you a sense of how open our so side is actually. first of all, in terms of the activities they conducted going to communities or community centers or think tanks to get a sense of the texture of the politics and the policy-making of the united states. second, if you see the fara laws enforced, you see how many people are actually conducting these activities, making the proper disclosures in washington and the united states. >> mark, when you read some of this stuff, i mean, it's pretty
interesting but kind of like reading a bad spy novel. a lot of amateurish techniques. when you read this, what did you think? >> well, when i read this i thought several things. first of all, in russia there's two kinds of leaders. there's the president medvedev of russia which really is part of a new generation of russian thinkers who want to see russia internationally integrate. they want to see russia more connected with the west on a people-to-people, government-to-government, business-to-business basis. then you have the prime minister of russia, vladamir putin, himself a colonel in the kgb and once spied on the east germans as a member of the kgb and that segment of the russian leadership does not necessarily want to see a close integration of russia with the west. in certain ways aspires to some kind of reconstruction of what was, so they are a little bit of a throw back to the past. >> right. >> but that's not an unimportant
part of the russian leadership. >> while we talk about the past, what do you think this is going to do to the future of american-russian relations? >> well, it was very interesting, thomas, to see putin's reaction to the arrest when he was meeting with president clinton in moscow, because what he said was why didn't america's political leaders stop these arrests or slow down this criminal process? the fact is in our system there is a heavy separation between who politicians do and policymakers and what law enforcement does, and so to think that our political leaders would have slowed this down is not a proper understanding of the way our federal government works. but i do think that it kind of takes any romance or emotional energy out of the reset. the reset is a good thing for america, to engage russia, but we can't overly romanticize what this is about. we have both shared and differing interests with
russians. >> makes for good headlines here in new york city. great to have you with us. thanks for that. >> thank you, thomas. as we've been telling you this morning admiral thad allen was expected to be talking. he is now at the u.s. coast guard giving an update on the oil disaster in the gulf. >> coastal flooding is expected in some of the coastal areas of louisiana. what is the cleanup plans once the storm subsides? >> we expect if there's a storm surge we could see oil moving further inland or into marshes where we hadn't expected before. we have skimming task forces standing by to deploy as soon as weather abates and we'll be out there hitting it hard. reserve crews are standing by. it's not terribly rough out there. we're talking about two to three-foot storm surge. the places we're really concerned about right now i would say are just to the east of the mississippi river up through breton sound, the chandeleur islands and to the west of the mississippi and the
barataria bay and areas west of the mississippi river. >> what are the plans for cleanup of potential oil that you guys have not had to deal with yet? >> well, i'm not sure we anticipate oil to be in those kinds of locations, but it's a legitimate question for a hurricane, and we have put together a team between fema and the coast guard and the department of highland security to look at the legal implications of the stafford act, how would you pay for a debris cleanup and damage to dwellings and the implications of the liability fund and the bp claims process as to what might be oil-related. we're going to need rules because at some point the two response structures become co-mingled, and there's policy decisions that have to be made about defining what is oil spill-related and what's related to the hurricane damage. i will say this, just in general, if oil from this response or from this spill is
pushed inland, let's say into a house as a result of the hurricane, that still is legitimate damage from the oil spill and is subject to be paid under a claims process, and so the issue will have to be how to disaggregate the damage caused by the hurricane and the implications of the oil spill and these are more like business rules so we can decide how to classify to tell these folks where to go to seek relief. the other issue is there are different provisions under the stafford act for cost share and grant programs and how that is actually paid for the oil spill liability trust fund but we'll look to have the procedures out shortly. they are being discussed right now. >> okay. knowing you're going to be looking at -- >> we're listening to admiral thad allen what's taking place now, the efforts for the oil disaster cleanup in light of what's going on now with hurricane alex and oil skimming on the gulf prohibited by the wet they are time. oil skimming being one of the biggest things in the cleanup right now to keep all that have oil from continuing to enter the shore line there. as we talked about the hampering
efforts taking place to rescue oil-soaked efforts along the coast is also inhibited by this. it's threatening to destroy some of the animal habitats. msnbc science and environmental expert jeff corwin is live from pensacola, florida. jeff, have you seen any signs of oil in the sand where you are today? >> good afternoon, thomas. as can you see, it's a stormy, blustery day here in pensacola beach in florida. this beach should be covered with tourists. instead, it's covered with a cleanup crew and with this. i mean, oil, wherever you look. i don't know, thomas. can you sort of see where i'm standing along this entire line of beach. do you see that sort of lace of brown? >> yes, yeah. >> you see this right here? this is all oil, and it's being washed up with this storm surge, and, unfortunately, the cleanup crews that are here, they are trying to clean up the beach, but with rough water like that, it's hard to get out there and actually deal with the first response of saving habitat and wildlife. >> so is there anything though that this hurricane can actually
do? this is what i'm curious about, in tepg the cleanup, washing the debris away with some of the m sambonis i think they are calling it? >> it does bring oil ashore and gets it out of the marine habitat. just out there there's a six-mile stretch of the crude washing this way, but the problem is a lot of this habitat is incredibly sensitive, so you're just expediting that oil washing into a marsh, for example. the other problem is that as this oil washes ashore, the first responders, the clean-up crews, the wildlife rescuers, they can't do their job because it's just too dangerous out there. >> jeff corwin live for us from pensacola beach, florida. jeff, great to see you. >> thanks, thomas. >> still ahead, elizabeth edwards is talking about her divorce to john edwards in an
exclusive new interview. it's really candid. wait until you hear what she has to say about the other woman, rielle hunter. plus, move over, madonna. you've got some major competition. why nearly everyone is going gaga over laddie gaga. when we built our first hybrid, youtube didn't exist. and facebook was still run out of a dorm room. when we built our first hybrid, more people had landlines than cell phones, and gas was $1.75 a gallon. and now, while other luxury carmakers are building their first hybrids, lexus hybrids have traveled 5.5 billion miles. and that's quite a head start. ♪ don't you wish all investing decisions were this simple? ♪ ♪ ♪
they call it being responsible. when it's an insurance company, they call it liberty mutual. responsibility. what's your policy? liberty mutual. welcome back to msnbc. once again, general david petraeus just being voted by the full confidence of the senate. in a unanimous vote, 99-0 to take over the operations in afghanistan. he will be replacing general mcchrystal. hurricane alex is taking a toll on the cleanup operation in the gulf. right now admiral thad allen is briefing reporters on the spill, talking about how the hurricane is going to be hampering some of those cleanup efforts. one of the biggest things that's going to be hampered by this are the skimming vessels that have to come offer the water right now until the storm will pass by. that allows the oil more time to come into the marshlands and also onshore. the winds, high waves, all of
those things right now are a big concern as the hurricane is category 1. bp says it captured 25,220 barrels of oil on tuesday, but the company won't add a third containment system until after this storm passes so we have to watch and wait on that one. the hurricane could generate waves 15 feet high. waves up to 20 to 30 miles per hour, and at the former deepwater horizon site. this is the first june hurricane in 15 years, and with a very active hurricane season expected, just increases the chance that the gulf could see a direct hit. dr. reese halter is a conservation biologist at cal lutheran university, and he joins us now. sir, they are calling it now an oilicane. what does that mean? >> good afternoon, thomas. basically you're talking about a hurricane that will suck a lot of oil, push a lot of oil, blow a lot of oil everywhere. don't forget, we've got 1.5 million gallons of oil dispersant which is toxic and
spreading the poison even further. >> when you talk about the poison, what could happen to the wildlife if the hurricane hits the gulf? >> well, it's -- it's shocking. basically you'll take a situation and you'll drive it to an 11 out of 10. you're talking about hundreds and hundreds of turtles that have their eggs on beach heads that are in jeopardy. you're talking about all of the beautiful birds and fish. i mean, it's -- it just goes on and on, thomas. there's nothing good that's going to come of this right now. and don't forget. the water temperature is about a degree warmer than it should be, and hurricanes are massive heat pumps that suck all their energy from the water. so this is going to be quite a season. >> so is that the biggest concern right now, the water temperatures, as you watch that and you also have to wait and see if this is upgraded because of the winds of a category 2 storm? >> yeah. that's also a concern. also, there's 31,000 miles of
pipes on bottom of the gulf that are connected to over 3,800 oil and gas platforms, and that's -- they get pushed and they get pulled, and there's little rupturs. you know, little rupturs, they tend to turn a blind eye to which means more contamination potentially to the gulf so all of it is shocking. >> dr. reese halter. thanks so much. good to have you with us today. >> thanks, thomas. >> so in case you missed it, the american teen who tried to become the youngest person to sail around the world is now talking about some of her scariest mom at see. 16-year-old abby sunderland was rescued on june 10th from the indian ocean after drifting for three days. she says a 30-foot wave flipped her boat, snapped her main sail and then knocked her unconscious. >> i just got thrown across the cabin. i didn't hear it coming because the wind was howling pretty loudly, so really all i remember is being thrown across the cabin, and a few seconds later i was on the roof and everything was falling down, you know,
water pouring in everywhere. >> wow. as you can imagine abby says she's very happy to be back home in california with her family. elizabeth edwards is revealing new heartache in an added chapter of her personal memoir out in paperback today to. promote that book she gave an exclusive interview to the "today" show this morning about the end of her 32-year-old marriage to former presidential candidate john edwards. >> i knew i could no longer be john's wife. it was a sad and terrifying decision. i've been trying to reinvent the role of wife for the last two years, trying to find a place where i could be happy and still be john's wife, despite his infidelity. each day it seemed another piece of my history chipped away. there was little comfort or satisfaction. there was no peace. and at the very end of 2009 i finally gave up trying. >> so edwards is still battling cancer. she says she hopes to live long enough to see her youngest children graduate from high school. that's in eight years. after 53 years in the business and over 50,000
interviews, it's time to hang up the primetime suspenders. larry king announced last night that he will be stepping down from his nightly cnn talk show after 25 years. you know, king holds the record for the longest running show on the same network in the same time slot. it is the end of an era. >> i talked to the guys here at cnn, and i told them i would like to end "larry king live," the nightly show that this fall and cnn has graciously accepted to, giving it time for my wife and i to get to my kids' little league games. for now, for here, it's time to hang up the nightly suspenders. >> king will plan on hosting regular specials on the network after he steps down. we wish him well. if you've got one name, oprah check, beyonce, britney, check, check, lady gaga, everyone calls her gaga. the singer never met a costume
she didn't like has catapulted herself on the "forbes" list of the 100 most influential celebrities. here to explain the gaga phenomenon "forbes" staff writer and co-editor of the celebrity 100 power list lacey rose. got to start with gaga. saw her two years ago in los angeles performing for free in a nightclub, and now she's number four on your list. how does this happen? >> a power list that looks at both earnings and fame. she certainly has both. she made $62 million in the last year. >> wow. >> that's touring, that's music and endorsement deals. >> so the equation that you guys have for this, this power, is money, money plus fame? >> it's money plus fame. that's exactly right. we look at both the earnings over a 12-month period as well as publicity someone is getting. that's everything from magazine covers to print and blog and
radio mentions as well as twitter follows. someone like a lady gaga -- >> twitter is very important. >> 12 million people following her. >> oprah winfrey is back on top, queen of all media, right? >> $315 million last year. she is doing it all from radio to television, to film specials. she's really everywhere her fans are. >> and she bumped off angelina? >> who fell all the way down to number 18 with $20 million, so not too bad either. >> so also on the top, and i said this before. you've got to have one name. if you want to make your top five, james cam von in here. >> well, "avatar" is one name so there you go. >> is that also a surprise and tiger woods, he's still in the top five, coming in at number five, especially with the year he's had, so the hits on the website and all that stuff, bad press is part of the equation as well. >> in this case tiger woods still earned $105 million in the last year. that's both on the golf course and off. he still has a slew of endorsement deals, a major one with nike so he's still pulling
in more money than anyone else in sports. he's certainly poised to take a dip next year, but we'll have to wait and see. >> it is the celebrity 100 power list from "forbes." lacey rose, great to have you with us. >> thank you. >> the senate just unanimously confirmed general david petraeus as the top commander in afghanistan. his surge strategy worked in iraq. can it work again? i'll have a chance to talk to matt ho, a former state department official who resigned his post in protest over the war strategy. hear what he has to say, straight ahead. [ male announcer ] at triscuit,
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about the health care bill, former vice presidential candidate sarah palin is giving out a warning. at a fund-raiser she said new rules would limit contributions to flexible spending accounts, and in her words it's the same as a hefty tax hike. americans are fatter than they were last year and the state that's gaining the most, it's mississippi. the statistics were compiled by two advocacy groups. they say the u.s. needs to take really bold steps to address the obesity epidemic. over 25% of adults in 38 states are now considered to be obese. a story that we've been following for you this morning, breaking news out of washington, d.c., is general david petraeus was just confirmed unanimously by the senate. he'll be the new commander of the u.s. and nato forces in afghanistan. now the question is whether he can win the war and how long it will take. currently eric holder, attorney general, he's in afghanistan today. joining us from washington is former marine and foreign service officer matthew ho. he quit his post in afghanistan over the war strategy.
matthew, i want to ask you, what do you think about the strategy taking place today, the changes that will be coming forward in afghanistan? >> all right. thomas, thanks for having me on. you know, i don't think general petraeus has stated explicitly that there will be changes. however, i am hopeful that when he gets over there and his staff gets over there with him, that they take a fresh look at what we're doing and realizing that a lot of our operations right now and our efforts are counterproductive. you know, people compare iraq to afghanistan and that's very difficult to do and very dangerous to do because there are so many differences, but a lot of comparison to what general petraeus did with the surge in iraq will be compared to what he does in afghanistan. the exit troops that were sent to iraq in '06, '07 and '0 will 8, they were important, but there are many other important factors to why we achieved some degree of stability in iraq. chief among those was political outreach as well as in a sense of empowering local leaders, empowering the traditional
tribal leadership, and the other thing question there as well that was important among a couple other important factors was that we split the insurgency. in afghanistan, the taliban is a very broad composition of local groups, and you have to approach it that way. you can't just broad bush the taliban and declare them all terrorists. that's very similar to what we did in iraq in '03, '04, '05 and '06 and it got us nowhere. >> you're a former marine, a war reconstructionist that's become a war protesters, and you're saying our propaganda isn't working with the people of afghanistan? it isn't working with the taliban? >> no. you know, there's many of us who believe, and from my personal experience there, i came to understand this, that support for the taliban, and, again, we use the term taliban that refers to many different groups, with many different grievances and many different objectives and different agendas, but a lot of that support comes from resistance towards foreign occupation and resistance to a
very corrupt and unrepresentative and illegitimate central government. now, unfortunately, our strategy right now, and if we know, that if we understand that that's the cause for the popularity of the taliban, then why is our strategy or why has the strategy become add more foreign troops and extend the reach of a corrupt and unrepresentative government? what we're doing with our strategy is counterproductive and hopefully when general petraeus takes a fresh look at this and understands the causes of the insurgency and seeks to address the causes of the insurgency and bring about a change. >> are you proud to see general petraeus? >> a lot of military guys are scratching their heads. that's not how the military works. guys don't drop down a level, you promote upwards, but with the political nature of this, with the whole flap over general mcchrystal and the "rolling stone" article, i can understand why petraeus was taken. i will say that i was
disappointed in the confirmation hearings how overtly political the confirmation hearings were, particularly comments made by senator mccain. senator mccain said and i verified it by looking up his statement online that marjah was largely clear of taliban. i'm not sure why senator mccain said that. that's untrue. either he's ignorant of the situation in marjah or he's lying, and as the ranking member on the senate armed services committee i'm not sure which does a bigger disservice to our nation or does a greater disservice to those 58 americans that have been killed several this month, several in the marjah area by claiming there's no taliban in marjah, so i was very disappointed by the overtly political nature of those confirmation hearings. >> former marine and foreign service officer matthew hoh. thanks for coming on msnbc today and talking to us. >> thank you, tom. >> as we go to break right now, this is what hurricane alex looks like. take a look at this massive storm. right now it's just a category
one. forecasters think this storm will make landfall late tonight and early tomorrow. people are watching to see if it will turn into a cat 2 storm. hurricane alex, periods of heavy rain and wind. into one of the most expensive schools in the country! [ male announcer ] when stress gives you heartburn with headache... alka-seltzer gives you relief fast. [ low male ] plop, plop. [ high male ] fizz, fizz.
market alert for you. the markets barely up despite new signs of trouble in the housing market. nearly one out of every three homes sold in the first quarter were foreclosure sales. reality track says that a normal market only 1% to 2% of homes are foreclosures. let's go ahead and take a look at numbers from wall street today. stocks are moving slightly higher, single-digit gains despite a gloomy jobs report from payroll giant adp. so the economic eggheads will tell you that our economy is technically in a recovery but a new poll finds most americans don't agree with that assessment. the new pew research center poll says 54% think the economy is still in recession, 41% think we're just starting to come out and just 3% think the recession
is over, 3% say it's over. for a closer look at these numbers we're joined by pew research center editor rich morin. a pretty gloomy report. some of the findings, 55% of working adults have been out of work, had their pay cut, hours reduced or had to settle for part-time work during the recession and when i read this 30 months ago i could have checked off every single box there, so were you surprised by this? >> we were surprised, shocked, but it does ring true because all of us have been hurt by this recession either directly or members of our family. the fact that it surprised us is nearly a third of all adults in the work force had been unemployed in the past 30 months. this is a deep and wide and painful recession. >> at least we can take comfort in knowing that we've all been in this boat together at some point so we can be compassionate and nice to each other. your survey found out that many people are worried about their retirement. when we think about what we're taking, of course, we think about what we're going to have in the bank accounts when we do
retire. what were your findings on this? >> we found that nearly a third of all adults were concerned that they did not have enough money to make it through retirement and the fact that particularly distressed -- particularly distressing is a large majority of adults have already delayed their retirement because of bad economic times. >> 3% think the recession is over. we need to get that number up to 100% and get it back in to recovery move. rich morin, thanks so much from pew research. >> thank you. >> i'm thomas roberts. thanks so much for watching. up next "andrea mitchell reports." senator jack reed weighs in on the war in afghanistan with the new top commander, general david petraeus, just confirmed today, unanimously. catching up over wood-grilled shrimp and chicken. and with lunches starting at just $6.99... it's an hour you wouldn't trade for anything.
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seas are pushing oily waves on to gulf coast beaches. what is bp's response plan now? congressman ed markey today says the company just doesn't have one. >> the gulf of mexico response plan for bp includes walruses which haven't called the region home for 3 million years. yet, if you look for the word hurricane in their response plan, you won't find it in bp's contingency plans. >> now cleanup efforts are brought to a standstill. we'll be live with the weather channel in texas and nbc's mark potter live in pensacola, florida. president obama arrives in wisconsin this hour for a town hall meeting on the economy. anticipating a critical unemployment report this friday, the president will go on the attack against republicans for opposing financial reform. plus, elizabeth edwards speaks exclusively to "today" she's matt lawyer and reads from the new chapter about the br