tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC April 1, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
hilda solis. what about the lagging unemployment in black unemployment? from atlanta, that city's mayor. shutdown showdown. can lawmakers hammer out a deal to keep the lights on? in afghanistan today violence outside a u.n. office. 12 people including eight foreigners are killed when protests against the burning of the koran turn violent. battle front libya. the u.s. ratchets down america's military profile, but will the president order arms to the rebels? we'll cover it all with republican congressman duncan hunter and former cia nnlt ken pollack. nearly 6 million americans tried to pick the final four. only two got it. what's the secret? i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. in march the unemployment rate inched down to 8.8%, a net gain of 216,000 nonfarm jobs. back to february's net gain of
192,000 and employers are hiring at the fastest rate since the recession began but 13.5 million are still unemployed. 921,000 discouraged workers left the workforce last month giving up. bring in labor secretary hilda solis. the good and the bad. the participation rate held at 64.2%. the unemployment numbers overall are obviously good news for the administration and for america. >> yes, andrea. i will tell you that in february and march we had one of our biggest growths there in the private sector. and that was since 2006. so we have made some progress. and overall in the last 13 months we saw 1.8 million private sector jobs added to our economy. but as you say and we know, we still have a long way to go. we still have a lot of people hurting that haven't found employment yet. that's why the president is talking about investments in
renewable energy and energy efficient types of products and technology. >> now, at the same time, we've got this budget battle going up and the negotiations back and forth. public claims, private claims, and public denials. john boehner just now talking about the budget negotiations on capitol hill. >> there is no number. there is no agreement on a number. we're going to fight for the largest spending cuts that we can get. >> with all the uncertainty over whether or not there is even going to be a government shutdown next week, madam secretary, how does that affect small business hiring in particular? >> well, obviously, if we do see a stoppage of the federal workforce, we know that that will impact the economy. we know that there will be a lot of people that will be out of work and that will have a domino effect in our communities around the country. i'm hopeful the leadership in
the white house and senate and congress will be able to sit down at the table just like we do when we decide how to prioritize our budgets and that we really look at carefully where the cuts are going to be made. i know the president doesn't want to see the cutbacks made in areas that are going to stymie or turn us back away from job development. and as you can see, the reports today tell us that we've been making some good investments here. the president made those tax credits and r&d credits available and businesses are starting to pick that up and starting to push out but we still have a ways to go. so we can't afford to cut back on programs people really need. job training is very important. we know there is a great need to have talented people ready to meet those jobs of the future and employers are demanding people to have better educational skills and higher technological skills. so we need to provide and make those investments for all americans and especially people who are out of work. >> now, when you go behind the numbers, we see that government jobs are decreasing while the private sector is increasing.
>> yes. and that has to do with the lack of revenue coming into those states. i know that many people are making some very hard decisions there. i was quite surprised to hear that over 150,000 teachers were let go this last year. what does that do for innovation and technology and competition, that now we're not just competing with ourselves. we're competing with other countries in the world. and teachers provide a great incentive to help keep us competitive. so i hope people make the right decisions when they think about budget and deficit spending and things of that nature. here at the federal government i hope we can reach some good agreements, good negotiation and let those people then compromise and make those decisions that are going to be necessary for us to get back on our feet but primarily not hurt this recovery because we're seeing the job growth happening. 13 months of positive private sector job growth is very good for us. and we know it's slow, andrea, but we still have to make more
progress here. >> labor secretary hilda solis, thank you very much. good to see you, madam secretary. with us now cnbc's erin burnett. looking behind the numbers, the markets reacting. how is wall street looking sat this report? positive, negative, mixed report? >> very positive. just off the high of the session but if you look at the first day of the quarter which is today, april fools' day, 85 points. it's a big jump and all because of what we saw with the jobs numbers. there's no other way to put it. for the market this is a decisive and clear signal that the labor market in this country is recovering. we look at the unemployment rate 8.8%. it's down a full percent just since november. that's a significant improvement. for the market this is something to celebrate even though as you know we have a very long way to go. >> interesting to see despite what happened in japan -- i know it's too late to factor into this quarter. "the wall street journal" had a story today that most american companies really don't look to
japan for their profit margins. the earthquake hasn't been a factor. >> yeah, absolutely. you look at the supply chain. we use semiconductors in everything and 1 in 5 being made in japan. obviously it's important but for a lot of u.s. companies to your point they found other ways to source that. it hasn't been that relevant. today fed president jeff lacker was speaking to steve liesman and says the issue in japan is transitory to the u.s. economic transitory. and he opened the door to interest rates going up this year, the fed exiting all of these special programs it's had to try to make money easy in this country all by the end of the year which really shows that there is a growing group in the fed that thinks this economy is definitely -- book get rid of the training wheels. that's a pretty significant statement. >> that is a significant statement indeed. so as we look forward toward the political season, which will be upon us, even though a slow start on the republican side, as
the unemployment number has inched down to 8.8%, do you see any way that it can -- that the recovery can speed up, employment can increase to the extent by the middle of the election season we'll be down 8% or lower? >> some people are starting to say that could be possible. one thing that's sort of confounded me. you only count in that unemployment rate when you've been looking for a job recently. as the unemployment rate or jobs picture improves you expect millions of americans discouraged to come back into the workforce and start looking for a job. people that gave up and haven't looked for months or a year. that would mean the unemployment rate goes up. as the market gets stronger you think it goes up rather than down which obviously politically is not good for this president. but like i said, we haven't seen it yet. some people are saying we could continue to see it drop. below 8 by the election would surprise pretty much everybody if we could get there. >> thanks so much. erin burnett, a busy day on wall
street, april 1st. >> let's hope it's no joke. and thanks, erin. coming up next california armed services committee member duncan hunter from capitol hill. should libya be nato's problem? plus, the massive effort to finds thousands still missing in japan three weeks after the double disasters. i'm sam chernin, owner of sammy's fish box. i opened the first sammy's back in 1966. my employees are like family, and i want people that work for me
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administration. clearly from the defense secretary yesterday we heard a strong indication from both him and mike mullen that we've gone as far as we want to go in terms of actually being militarily involved. but can we leave it there? >> this is the problem. on the one hand you have an administration that really doesn't want to commit itself to a third war in the mideast but the problem is that the political situation in libya is not tangible. it's not going to be able to hold as it is. it's unstable. so the question is where can we move it to and how do you move it? and if you're not willing to move to arm the rebels to give them the opportunity to depose gadhafi how do you come up with a solution. >> from what you know from moussa koussa and the others who have defected, we know how powerful they were but are they an early indicator that the team around him will fracture and that he can be taken out from inside? >> certainly it raises that
possibility. and certainly there are all kinds of indicators out there that suggest with enough pressure on gadhafi, the regime might splinter. but we always get back to colin powell's famous line that hope is not a strategy. and while we can all hope that the inner circle does splinter, this is the main problem. it may not. this is why it's pressed on arming the rebels because if it doesn't splinter they have to have a plan "b." >> what is the down side of arming the rebels? i think i know the answer but i want to hear from your expertise. >> there are obvious a couple. the first most obvious we don't know who the rebels are. we've had recent experiences in places like afghanistan where we've gone and armed a group of people and turns out that they weren't very good either. they might be in bed with al qaeda. they might be in bed with iran or all kind of other nefarious people. beyond that, though, it also commits the united states further into this conflict. if we're arming the rebels, if we're actively trying to bring
about moammar gadhafi's down fall, it's basically us taking responsibility for overthrowing him and if the rebels don't do it, it becomes a question of what next. and if the rebels do do it, what's our responsibility to rebuild the country as we're seeing in afghanistan as well? and from your experience, when we hear that the president has signed a finding, which he needs to does a matter of law, and we have actual teps, covert teams on the ground what does it mean? >> it means they're trying to figure out what's going on. the president has said i want cia assets in place. i want them to do certain things if i order them to. i need them to help this military effort and also want them in position to gather information. we shouldn't assume, though, it means that the administration has decided we'll make a full bore covert effort to topple gadhafi. i think the administration is still trying to develop the capacity, the option of doing so
but also very clear from when we heard from secretary gates and admiral mullen they have not yet taken that step. >> there was an attack on a u.s. office in afghanistan, speaking of afghanistan, with at least 10 or 12 people dead, including some foreigners. what does this tell us about our as we hear there's quite a debate going on in the administration, the president wanting substantial withdrawals from afghanistan by the july deadline. the military and general petraeus in particular thinking this is not the right time to do anything other than token -- >> this is the key. we have to recognize that we still have two unfinished wars in the middle east now that we've started a third one. we've got instability still in afghanistan with huge question marks as to how much progress the strategy there is actually making. let's also remember that we've got huge unrest and massacres taking place in iraq, which illustrate the fact that iraq is not yet stable and the administration is going to have to think through all three of these in terms of where does it
actually want to commit the bulk of american effort, resources, et cetera, and are they in a position where they can really take on a third major effort. >> what does that attack on the u.n. office tell us about the stability of what we've done so far in afghanistan? >> it certainly suggests afghanistan isn't fixed yet but i think we kind of knew that going in. but it does remind us that where we are in afghanistan is still very much up in the air, very much subject to debate and still real problems. there are problems the administration has to confront over the course of the summer as it decides how much it can extract resources and personnel from afghanistan. it may be very hard to do if there are continuing attacks like this. >> and in yemen today after a day of prayers, we heard more violence there. >> right. massive protests going on inside of yemen with violence accompanying it. another country out there where the jury is still out. there are obviously a lot of people siding with the opposition but never count saleh
out. he has important elements of the military and many opposition figures, the only thing they have in common is they want saleh gone. but they have big differences, some of them heavily in bed with islamists and al qaeda, others more traditional tribal elements and still others that are kind of free-floating actors. also a very uncertain situation. >> similar to the libyan opposition. that is all over the lot united only by dislike or hatred of gadhafi but not behind another principle. >> not at all. >> ken pollack, thank you very much. senator john mccain called america's decision to hand control over to nato and stand down on air strikes there in libya a profound mistake. this at a hearing yesterday. >> your timing is exquisite. at a time when the gadhafi forces have literally tragically routed the anti-gadhafi forces, that's when we announce that the
united states is is abdicating leadership role. >> but others like california republican duncan hunter say that it is about time. congressman hunter, thank you very much. you're a member of the armed services committee on the house side you saw that was a combative hearing where the chairman and joint chiefs was on the spot yesterday. why do you disagree with john mccain on his criticism of the american withdrawal or standdown? >> because i agree with the president so far on what he's done and on his timing, on how he's gone in with a large coalition and basically on what we're doing i think is the right thing to do. we're involved in two wars. you have iraq and afghanistan. this has been a heavy burden for the u.s. military since 2001. it's time to make nato -- even though we have the lion's share of nato -- it's time to make the other countries step up.
it's in their best interest. it's in their part of the world and it's time to have them step up and do their role because they didn't help out a lot in iraq at all and most of them aren't helping out that much in afghanistan. as you know, even though it's a big coalition effort, we are doing the lion's share there. so i think it is time for us to step back a little bit and let nato step up. we've done a whole lot for them but our plate is full. >> so you're saying don't arm the rebels? >> yeah. i don't think we should arm the rebels. we see time and time again we make decisions based on what happens immediately without any foresight. and what happens is the guys who we arm could come back and be the guys shooting at our military at some point in the next decade kind of like what happened in afghanistan. i don't think we should arm the rebels, no. >> do you agree with the nato secretary-general rasmussen who says the u.n. mandate precludes arming the rebels because as you know the administration interprets the u.n. resolution differently to permit it if the president were to decide.
>> and if it saves lives and it prevents a humanitarian disaster. i don't think that the president is on legally stable ground when he says that the unresolution allows us to arm the rebels. i agree with the general, disagree with the president on this. you know, it gets to be a slippery slope. and if you hand it over to the cia as well, you could say that the cia kind of failed us in libya. they were there until about a month ago in tripoli. they didn't see any of this coming. they didn't pick out the bad actors and good actors prior to this. that's why he had to have that special written permission for them now to go see who are the rebels exactly. we should have known that. the cia should have known that and had this laid out and seen this coming. they didn't do that well in egypt either. to hand over to the cia to let them pick and choose who we're going to give weapons to now -- i think we've seen with afghanistan that's not always the right thing to do.
>> congressman duncan hunter. thank you very much. thanks for joining us today. and up next, budget battle. if the government shuts down, who's going to be blamed? politico's roger simon joins us next. ♪ [ male announcer ] the davis twins... ...are alike in nearly every way... ...right down to brushing their teeth. so how did only one get gingivitis? well, one in two people do. so i told karen about new crest pro-health clinical gum protection toothpaste. it helps eliminate plaque at the gumline, helping prevent gingivitis. it's even clinically proven to help reverse it
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political hazards. there will be no surprise we live in a media driven, celebrity driven culture. the last time the government shut down late '95, early '96, it was a battle between bill clinton and bob dole. who is going to win that celebrity fight? bill clinton's celebrity ratings were 48% when the government shut down. they were 52% after it came back. this time it's going to be a fight between barack obama, who has been a national celebrity for several years, even before he was president -- >> even with declining poll numbers? >> even with declining poll numbers. you compare that to the congressional approval rating and he's a superstar. and he's going to be up against john boehner wsh, mitch mcconnell, well known to us, well known to this show, not known to the american public. >> but is there a megaphone for people like michelle bach mann and others in the tea party who are shouting from the rooftops? are they getting so much play
that that can trump what the white house would like to be an agreement? >> i don't think so. she gets a lot of publicity. she has a lot to say. she says it in an interesting way. part of it is a little like gawking at the car wreck for the media but i think the republican elders will convince the tea party people we have two more important fights. one is on the debt limit which is already $14.3 trillion. president obama wants to raise it. two, reforming which is usually a synonym for cutting entitlements medicare, medicaid and social security. why use up our powder now? keep our powder dry for those two much more important fights. >> but doesn't john boehner always want to avoid a debt ceiling crisis, which could be a much larger crisis for
america -- for the economy and stop the recovery? >> he does. but he doesn't want to -- i mean, it's republican dogma that we want a small government, that small government releases the natural initiatives of people. it's hard for a republican to vote for big government measures. >> so you think the debt ceiling actually may be a vote where boehner and the troops line up together? >> yes. and it's a much more important fight for the long term. >> roger simon from politico. thank you very much. great to see you. up next, the state of black america with atlanta's mayor ka seem reed. a bracket busting final four. only two out of nearly 6 million fans got it right. what's the secret? [ female announcer ] little acts like using less material can make a meaningful impact.
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retrieve the bodies of thousands still unaccounted for following last month's tsunami and earthquake. if i have been,000 u.s. and japanese soldiers are taking part in the three-day mission along with navy ships. the focus on coastal waters and shorelines sub mernged by the tsunami. 15,000 are still missing many believed to be swept out to sea. meanwhile, initial tests of groundwater near the plant show contamination at 10,000 times the acceptable amount. but officials are down-playing fears that drinking water is at risk. nuclear officials say those readings seem suspiciously high. they want the tests redone. at the plant itself workers continue to pump water on the reactors to keep them cool. the u.s. is sending two giant concrete sprayers retrofitted to spray water. now to a stronger america. the black agenda. today's jobless report shows a widening division between white
and black unemployment. add to that an achievement gap in education and budget cuts that sometimes hits black communities the hardest. what can be done to bring things into balance? we have the mayor of atlanta and he joins us now. thank you so much for joining us. we talked to the former mayor of new orleans. we're doing well, but from all reports from the urban league and other reports, the state of black america is not doing that well. we had an unemployment number down to 8.8%. what's the number for atlanta? still over 10%? >>over all unemployment is ten points right now. it is. >> what can we do? i know it's all a cycle of education and jobs and housing? where would you start to try to attack the problem? >> i think right now the state of black america is similar to the state of america. we have to focus on job creation. i think infrastructure investment is an appropriate vehicle to use to get out of it.
that's why we're investing $1.5 billion in hartsfield jackson international airport which is literally providing a local payroll of $30 million plus for local women and minority-owned businesses and putting people to work. we also have a major infrastructure bill in the state of georgia that's focused on metropolitan atlanta. we have a referendum in 2012 for a 1% transportation sales tax that will generate thousands of jobs for our region and invest $8 billion in transportation and infrastructure investment. we think that that is the right investment right now and we believe that it will begin to stem the tide of unemployment in the city of atlanta. we're also taking responsibility for ourselves. i partnered with ed baker, who is the publisher of the "atlanta business chronicle" here and we're focusing on our own businesses. we started an initiative called the hire one campaign that's been featured on msnbc. it is working.
today as i sit here, more than 6,000 companies have signed up for the hire one campaign. they have hired 5,000 people who were previously unemployed. so we are focused on lifting up companies that have capital. you and i know that there is a $1 trillion or more in capital that's on the sidelines. and what i'm doing as mayor of this city is encouraging businesses that have resources to start hiring. we're also taking on educational challenges because i agree with you that it is the true way out. so we have two primary things we're focusing on. our thrusts are around infrastructure investment, which we believe is a path toward job creation and of course taking on challenges around education in the city of atlanta. and i've been very involved in that. >> i know you've been involved in that. one of the things you think you need to do or you're considering doing is appointing more school board members. we've had that fight here in
washington. we've seen that dispute in the past in new york city. what would having your control over the school board mean in terms of changing the education outlook for you early in and high school education? >> things are in a situation right now where they cannot be left. right now our school system is on probation. the next step for that is a loss of accreditation. that's after ten years of pretty steady progress. so i am not going to stand on the sidelines and allow our system which is on probation right now to lose its accreditation. the approach that i made was different than other cities have. and i wanted temporary control to stabilize our system here and to make sure that we attract a world class superintendent. there are some constitutional impediments to that but we're working very hard with the legislature to work out a compromise that addresses the
fact that we have not done enough around governance in our city school system and that i'm not going to stand on the sidelines while our children are in schools that aren't meeting their needs. so we're going to take it on. and i think as we have on many issues in atlanta, we're going to meet the challenge. >> mayor reed meeting the challenge in atlanta. thanks so much for joining us and talking about the state of black america and what's happening in atlanta in particular. thanks, mr. mayor. good to see you. >> that he can you for giving me a moment. >> we really appreciate it. an msnbc special series "a stronger america: the black agen agenda" continues next week. there's a fascinating new look at what's going on being called the next america and in many ways it's already here. it is the changing face of the nation and what could be huge implications for the next election. the 2010 census shows the nation's white population dropped more than 5% from 2000.
it's a mirror image for minorities whose population surged over the same time frame. every state in the union grew more diverse including places like arizona and georgia which have long voted republican in presidential races. ron fournier is editor and chief of the national journal and the cover tory is "the next america." thanks so much for helping sort through it. the big political implications here are shifts in voting power as we see minorities rise. >> it's an incredible story that ron brownstein anchored for us. one thing when you dig into the numbers you look at big picture story lines. for example, a state like georgia, arizona, even texas could be in play this year. become barack could go after those states because of this huge growth in nonwhite americans. >> it would certainly be a whole new way of looking at the electoral college if texas were in play for a democratic president. what are we seeing in terms of
hispanic population? 14% of the population. but it only cast 9% of the vote. so just the fact that there are these population shifts don't necessarily mean that either the votes will -- that people will vote. and why should we assume that they would vote for barack obama rather than the republican alternative? >> well, it's very true. barack obama is getting about 60% of the hispanic vote and both the hispanic and asian vote they tend to cast fewer votes by percentage than they are of the population. the african-american vote, on the other hand, punches above its weight. what we find is that the longer these minority voters are assimilated into the country, their voting percentages grow. that pattern has got to be scarier than heck for republicans. we are now, right now, almost half of the under-18 americans in this country are minorities. by 2015, five years earlier than we thought until a couple of weeks ago, in just 2015, morer;-
see someone like marco rubio, as new as he is on the national scene, becoming a possible running noted. >> right. that's a good short-term play. put somebody like marco rubio from a state like florida, which is in play and is growing in minority voters. put him on the ticket. that obviously would be a short-term thing. long-term, you have to do more about this math. first of all, they have to hold or grow to 43% of white voters they have in 2008. it's a very good possibility that percentage will grow given
the problems barack obama has had with most white voters. the problem is even if you assume as ron brownstein did in his piece that that number will increase, that barack obama will get fewer white voters, even when you do that, because of the fast growing minority population and the likely percentages going to the democratic presidential candidate, the republicans are in a world of hurt here and they're going to have to do more than just have a silver bullet, more than just play racial politics. they're going to have to have some policies and candidates that reach out into the minority community and make them less like a white party. >> ron fournier with our first look at the "national journal" the next america. fascinating issue. ron brownstein has done a great job. today marks the first day of autism awareness month to be commemorated tomorrow with the fourth annual u.n.-sanctioned world autism awareness day. wall street marked the occasion as former nbc chairman bob wright and his wife suzanne,
co-founders of autism speaks, rang the opening bell at the nyse. autism speaks is the largest organization dedicated to the disorder, which affects 1 in every 110 american children and a shocking 1 in 70 boys. in honor of the day, landmarks around the world will be lighting up in blue to draw attention to the issue. and many of us are wearing the signature autism speaks puzzle piece pin to help spark growing awareness of autism disorders. you can find more information on autismspeaks.org. please check it out. up next, women judges fighting to save women around the globe. my doctor said most calcium supplements... aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food.
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next on news nation , former d.c. school chancellor michelle reid joins me live to respond to a major investigation of test scores in a district she once led. it reached national recognition but some wonder if the tests were tampered with. a drug company under intense criticism for charging $1500 for a single dose of a pill that prevents women from having preterm births announced it's cutting the cost after national outrage but wait until you hear much of a discount they're talking about. at 2:00 p.m. eastern. and this week more than 50 women judges from around the world are hear in washington at the supreme court, also at the state department part of a state department initiative partnered with "newsweek" and the daily beast, the mission to eradicate violence against women and empower women and girl. in africa increasingly women are
the agents of that change. reforming the judicial system from within. serving on the u.s. court of appeals for the seventh circuit and led judicial training and appellate advocacy issues around the world for judges in kenya and in liberia among other countries. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> why is it so important for american judges to reach out to women judges around the world and advocate for increasing power for women? what goes sort of the multiplier effect of empowering women? >> well, we have learned a lot from our experience on the bench here in america. and we want to share with other nations and other women judges what we've learned. the idea to not reinvent the wheel. many of the challenges they face and obstaes they face is the same challenges we face in america. and we found some solutions and the point is to share them.
it's not just us learning from them. we learn so much from the other judges. and so it's very, very important to do this work. >> wlar some of the solutions is that could be shared with women in kenya and ghana and other societies to try to create more justice for women, the most vulnerable people in societies. >> they are. the first chief justice in new york was judith kay. she started an integrated domestic violence court where women could come to deal with domestic violence, family problems and divorce in criminal matters all in one setting with one judge rather than running around to several courthouses, which takes a lot of time, money and energy and a lot of women were discouraged. chief justice georgina wood from ghana had an opportunity to observe that court in new york. and now she wants to build a family justice center in ghana for the same purpose, what she
calls one-stop shopping for justice for women and girls. that's one example of that kind of sharing. >> what are some of the economic factors that militate against women and girls in many of these societies? >> well, often -- well, women are at the bottom of the totem pole. there's been a lot of discrimination. even though women are 50% of the population, they're not in a position of economic power. they don't have educational opportunities like men do. and the traditions -- the cultural traditions and political traditions in many countries have suppressed women. now more and more women are appointed to the bench. more than 4,000 women have been appointed across the world in more than 102 countries. the numbers are growing. and with that growth, women have more power. and what judges have to do is get beyond deciding the cases to assume leadership roles to make real change in society. and that's what's so important
about us gathering together, sharing ideas, getting tips. the cross fertilization is so important. >> well, it's so important what you're doing. i know we're going to be at the state department later today meeting with some of the judges from around the world. we thank you. >> i thank you. the partnership has been extraordinary that we've had with the avon center for global justice, with the likener center at fordham. lawyers without borders, the international association of women judges. what this is about is forming partnerships so we can help one another and so that judges can have the real impact as leaders in the society in helping women and children. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> look forward to continuing this conversation later. and up next, the next 24 on the road with the final four. find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists. use pre-defined screeners. work smarter. not harder. depend on yourself to take charge of your financial future. e-trade. investing unleashed.
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this weekend in houston. matt howard star forward of the butler bulldogs. having the tough time getting the money together to bring nine siblings to the game until the hometown pitched in donating money along the route and the entire family will be in texas cheering on matt. happy news story. we told you earlier in the week one man happy, picked all of the final four teams in the ncaa bracket correctly. espn.com had 5.9 million entrants and joe perlman is one of two to have an unbusted bracket going into the final weekend. he now stands to win $10,000, if things fall his way. obviously having a lit. video trouble. joe perlman joining us from new jersey on the phone. first of all, how did you figure it all out? >> thank you for having me, andrea. i think i just picked teams that i liked and i took a guess with the bubble bracket. >> but this is clearly not a
science. you were guessing. so what went into your picking, for instance, vcu? whoever would have thought vcu early on would be in the final four? >> you're absolutely right, i didn't know -- i didn't know vcu when the tournament started. i new usc, they were playing them in the game in order to make the 64. and i also liked butler because i had seen them last year, and they're terrific. uconn, being a connecticut, i followed them and they came out strong in the big east to win it. and of course, kentucky, i liked john cal perry because he's been a new jersey guy, coached the nets and he's had quite a lot of success in the tournament as well. well, first of all, i heard that you were talking to your 15-year-old working on his homework, did he help you out with this at all? what role did he play in helping you pick the right four? >> there's been a lot of surprises. one is i surprised him that i
even enters with a bracket. this is the first bracket i've done online. i told him i joined his espn group, which was called we're in it to win it. >> and now, if you get -- if you win this, do you automatically get the $10,000 or does it depend on how well you did going up to the final four? >> this more of a big weekend for the sports teams in the ncaa tournament, but i would stand to win $10,000 if kentucky meets bcu in the final, and bcu, in the bracket, wins the whole thing. >> so you've picked vcu to go all the way? >> yes, i have. >> all right. we'll see whether you win or not. i know there are some people in our control room who are rooting for uconn, they will remain nameless. i have not been in this year since west virginia got out early. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show john line and
twitter@mitchellreports. tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." a big interview, michelle rhee. >> yes, we do. michelle rhee responding to the scandal plaguing the washington, d.c. district. libya, reports that the rebels are willing to agree to a cease-fire, if gadhafi pulls back. a live report from libya. plus, developing news about a drug manufacturer was slammed for the price of a medicine that would help prevent preterm births. the company now has caved, you might say. they've dropped the price. but some say the cost is still outrageous and an insult to women. "news nation" is back in minutes.ernin, o ofammy's fish box. i opened the first sammy's back in 1966. my employees are like family, and i want people that work for me to feel that they're sharing in my success. we purchase as much as we can on the american express open gold card so we can accumulate as many points as possible. i pass on these points to my employees
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