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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Democrats and GOP Still at Odds Over Health Care Plan; Tea Party Express Demonstrating in Washington; One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Ike; Possible Divorce Ban in California
Aired September 12, 2009 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning and hello, everybody. From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is September 12th. I'm Betty Nguyen.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And hello there, I'm T.J. Holmes. It's 8:00 a.m. here in Atlanta, 7:00 a.m. in Austin -- why would they put Austin?
NGUYEN: Because my beloved Longhorns.
HOLMES: Oh my goodness. It's 7 o'clock in Fayetteville, Arkansas, how about that?
NGUYEN: That's good.
HOLMES: Thanks for starting your day here with us.
We're going to start, though, in D.C. where tea, anyone? You won't see a lot of tea there, but these folks are tired of being taxed, they're tired of big government, and they're not too happy about some of the big health care reform plans out there. And they're letting their voices be heard: the Tea Party Express ends the day with a march on Washington. We'll take you there live.
NGUYEN: And I'm going to take you to Galveston because it's been about a year since Hurricane Ike just roared through and devastated that city. How far has it come since then? I'm going to show you.
HOLMES: And are you in a marriage that you just want to get out of? Don't move to California because they are thinking about...
NGUYEN: They haven't passed it yet.
HOLMES: Not yet. Sorry, I got a little excited.
NGUYEN: That's OK.
HOLMES: Divorce. Someone is actually trying to ban it. A guy is trying to put this grassroots campaign together. He's a guy that's been known for ...
NGUYEN: Some pranks.
HOLMES: Pranks in the past. He said he's serious.
NGUYEN: This is the real deal.
HOLMES: Real deal. He's going to collect the signatures. He's going through the process to get a ballot initiative to let the people vote and decide that divorce should be banned.
NGUYEN: So once you get married that's it, done deal.
HOLMES: Like you say at the altar, till death do us part.
NGUYEN: Literally. Hopefully that won't be the case should that pass. We want to hear from you today and we've already gotten a lot of responses. They're quite entertaining shall I say, but let us know what you think. Should divorce be banned? Go to our Facebook, our Twitter pages, also to our CNN blog.
OK. So President Obama trying to build on the momentum after his address this week. And a little bit later today he's holding a rally on health insurance in Minneapolis. And in his weekly address, he shows concern over a new report on insurance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can expect that about half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next 10 years. If you're under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you'll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: All right. So meanwhile the Republicans are accusing the president of paying quote lip service to bipartisanship in the health care battle. And in the weekly GOP address, Texas Senator John Cornyn explains why his party was so unimpressed by the president's words on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R) TEXAS: So the president gave another big speech this week to try to turn his numbers around. But instead of talking, the president and congressional Democrats should spend a little more time listening. At town halls and public events across the nation, the American people are asking the right questions about health care reform.
They are asking how can Washington lower health care cost by spending trillions of dollars more over the next 10 years? How could Washington cut $500 billion from Medicare without reducing benefits for seniors? And how could a new government plan keep insurers honest when our existing entitlement programs are riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Well, as Senator Cornyn said, people are expressing their concern at public events all across the nation. Today as we've been talking about, the tea party express marches on to Washington with a rally this afternoon 1:30 Eastern.
HOLMES: But they are already starting to gather -- you can tell from the picture. Let's go ahead and put it up. Our Paul Steinhauser, our deputy political director, they are already rallying. And Paul, we know the title is tea party express tour, but not exactly expecting to see much tea around there today, are you?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: We're going to see some of that, T.J.. What a difference an hour makes. Remember last hour when I was talking to you guys. There was a couple hundred people here. It is really, really -- they are starting to gather so many more people as you can see behind me.
We're at Freedom Plaza just a few blocks from the White House. This is where they are going to gather and later this morning, they're going to leave from here and march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. capitol. You can see the big dome behind me and that's where later today, this afternoon they're going to have that rally on the west side of the capitol.
This is being organized by a group called Freedom Works. They're a conservative advocacy group, but a lot of people here are just coming on their own. Why are these people here? A lot of these activists tell us they are very upset, obviously too much taxes, too many Federal taxes. They say the government is spending way too much money. The Federal deficit is getting way out of control.
They've also got concerns about the Federal government just getting into people's lives like it's never done before and they take issue, of course as well, with some of the reforms that the Democrats and President Obama are proposing on health care. Take a listen. We spoke to some people. Here is what they had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ART GERUNDA, TEA PARTY PARTICIPANT: This the first time I've ever done anything like this. I grew up the last three decades of watching people picket and demonstrate and want this and want that. This the first time I've gotten up and said, it's time to do something about this and so to me it's a critical point.
AL GERHART, TEA PARTY PARTICIPANT: We're excited about this. You've got thousands of people coming to Washington, DC. We're standing up and asking the government to quit spending our grandkids' money. It's not about anti-Obama. It's about you're breaking us. You're breaking us in the future and we're concerned for the country. Some people talk about us like we're trying to set the country back; we're not. We're trying to get it back to its roots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: This is actually the third day in a row they have been here. They have had workshops the last couple days learning how to organize, lobby their members of Congress, stuff like that T.J., Betty.
HOLMES: One quick thing here, Paul, I know they are trying to get people's attention. They're trying to get their message out. Is there any indication that members of Congress are actually listening and paying attention to what is happening outside?
STEINHAUSER: You know, a lot of Republican members of Congress have brought up the tea party caravan and these activists as well. There will be some Republican members of Congress, some of the more conservative members speaking here today at this plaza and then later at the west front of the capitol.
And also, Freedom Works is the overall organization here, but there are a lot of others including the tea party patriots. We know that caravan, it started out in Sacramento two weeks ago and it ends right here today. I see a lot of tea party patriots here among the crowd. Betty, T.J.
HOLMES: All right, Paul Steinhauser, our deputy political director and friend of our show here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Paul, we appreciate you. We'll be checking in with you again. Thanks so much.
We'll also be checking in with CNN's Jim Spellman. He's out there on the mall in Washington. He's coming up in about 20 minutes from now. I'm going to take you there, taking a closer look at the tea party participants and the possibility that we could see some counter demonstrations going on out there as well.
NGUYEN: I do want to get you more on the possible addition of some 3,000 troops to Afghanistan. These are additional troops. The defense secretary says he wants the troops deployed just as soon as possible. And since 2007 the number of roadside bombs in Afghanistan, that has jumped 350 percent. Thirty two Americans were killed by IEDs just last month and one military source tells CNN that the Taliban is getting better at making roadside bombs.
I want you to listen to this though, the number of U.S. fatalities has sharply risen over the last two years. But sending in more troops to deal with roadside bombs, that could be a problem. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she doesn't think there's a great deal of support for adding more troops. And then there's the question about the effectiveness when dealing with those IEDs or improvised explosive devices.
CNN's Michael Ware has covered the war in Iraq and he's now in Afghanistan. He says the lessons learned in Iraq can be used in Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. military is considering an option. The Afghan government has already picked it up and has a program under way. It draws on the lessons from Iraq. The American troops on the ground are not going to get the tribes.
What's going to get the tribes is a bigger political solution with the Afghan government. So now what we're seeing is the beginning of a program to recruit tribal militias that will fight the Taliban. U.S.-backed militias of the kind that we saw defeat al Qaeda in Iraq.
Once America took the insurgents, put 103,000 of them on the U.S. government payroll, the war stopped almost overnight. These men knew where al Qaeda slept and just walked in and whacked them. That's what they are now looking into here. It's tribal forces.
If the warlords, the militias say no Taliban in my area, there will be no Taliban in that area. And that's what America is now considering to fill this enormous vacuum, this enormous gap between what's needed and what America has here in country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Well, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin says that he wants more Afghan forces trained instead of adding more U.S. troops at this time.
And tonight on CNN, an "AC 360" special report, Afghanistan elections, the Taliban insurgents and mounting American casualties. It is a critical moment for the region and Anderson Cooper takes you inside Afghanistan's battle zone. Tonight and tomorrow night 10:00 Eastern only on CNN.
HOLMES: And the possibility of direct talks with North Korea. A major new step is being put out there by the Obama administration. That doesn't mean President Obama you're going to see him in a photo- op with Kim Jong-Il any time soon, so slow down. What it does mean is that U.S. representatives are ready to engage North Korea directly in an effort to get them back to the six-party nuclear talks. North Korea has walked away from those six-party talks in protest over UN sanctions.
NGUYEN: Well, the space shuttle "Discovery" with a perfect landing out west. It landed at Edwards Air Force base in California. Look at it, always a beautiful sight. Seven astronauts wrapping up a successful 13-day re-supply mission to the international space station. It also installed -- we've been talking about this for a while that Colbert treadmill which was named after the Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert. He won an online contest.
Actually, he was supposed to get something a little bit better than that, a whole wing, a room on the international space station. Instead they got a treadmill. Hey, get what you can. But because it landed in California, "Discovery" has to fly piggy back on a special 747 back to Florida and that's going to be a costly ride, over a million bucks to fly across the country.
HOLMES: As you said, a perfect landing, perfect except for where it landed. They don't like to have to land out there because of that. It takes a good week to get the shuttle back. They have data, things they want to go through and that just delays it all plus that price tag.
NGUYEN: Over $1. 5 million. HOLMES: A little over $1.5 million to have to put that thing on the back of another jet and take it across the country. They are back home. They made it and that's the good thing but got a little more work to do.
NGUYEN: Just want to let you know, "Atlantis" is the next shuttle scheduled to launch, won't (ph) take place until December 4th. When it does, you'll see it right here on CNN.
HOLMES: We have been getting a whole lot of feedback this morning on a story we're talking about.
NGUYEN: Good stuff.
HOLMES: Very good stuff about banning divorce. You get married, that's it. You're done and nothing you can do about it.
NGUYEN: Some people will say when you get married that is the oath that you take, until death do us part.
HOLMES: Divorce rates.
NGUYEN: That's a whole other issue.
HOLMES: But there is a campaign under way in California, grassroots to possibly ban it. We'll be looking into whether or not this is the real deal coming up.
NGUYEN: And later it's been about a year since Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast, causing so much devastation. Have things improved? Will Galveston rebuild? I went back to find out.
HOLMES: And of course as always, please send us your feed back on Facebook, Twitter, also our blog cnn.com/newsroom. You know how to get a hold of us on the banning divorce story or anything else you want to chime in on.
NGUYEN: All right. Like the song says, if your marriage is headed to heartbreak hotel, should divorce be off the table, not an option? Should it be banned?
HOLMES: One man wants Californians to decide whether or not -- there he is. He wants the voters to decide whether or not to ban divorce. This is what he's doing. He's calling for a statewide vote, so he's going through this initiative, ballot initiative process. Of course, he's drawing a lot of attention to this. He has he a website that actually crashed because so many people went to it for details, but there he is. He's -- sounds like it's the real deal.
NGUYEN: Some are questioning. He's done some pranks in the past. What's not clear is whether this idea is serious or not, although he says he is and the man that we've been talking about that you see in that picture -- the man behind those fingers John Marcod (ph) has pulled off some social pranks before as I mentioned. This time he says he's not saying if it's real or not, but what he does say is quote that the marriage protection act is a logical extension of last year's prop 8 which banned gay marriages in the state.
That leads to our question today, what do you think about it? We want to hear from you. Should divorce be banned? Go to our Facebook, Twitter pages, also our blog. And we are going to be reading some of your responses. We've gotten a whole lot. People are on fire about this topic today.
HOLMES: As well they should be. It's curious. And I went and read on the website, the language of it. It doesn't have any provisions in there. People in an abusive relationship, certain things happen, adultery even. Do you want to stay -- should you be forced to stay in that kind of relationship?
NGUYEN: Are there certain clauses that will allow you out of that if it indeed -- I mean, look, this hasn't even gotten to voters.
HOLMES: It hasn't.
NGUYEN: It's an idea on the table but definitely has a lot of people talking this morning. We want to hear from you as well.
HOLMES: And I know Reynolds loves when we segue into him with a story like this.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Such happy things.
NGUYEN: We're not going to ask you to weigh in though.
WOLF: Another big thing to share with you, this weekend you might like a little bit of an escape. If you happen to go just to the west of Seattle, you're going to find Bainbridge Island. That is the site for this weekend's getaway.
WOLF: Just a quick ferry ride from Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Washington has a small town feel.
STIRLING KELSO, TRAVEL + LEISURE: When you get off the ferry, the streets that are closest to the (INAUDIBLE) harbor dock are lined with great stores, cafes, bistros and shops to stop in.
WOLF: In addition to shopping and dining, Bainbridge Island offers outdoor fun. On the north side of the island is the Bloedel Reserve, 150 acres of developed landscape and natural woods.
KELSO: Bloedel Reserve is an estate that used to be owned by a lumber baron who turned into a passionate horticulturist.
KATE GORMLEY, BLOEDEL RESERVE: When people walk through the gardens, they have a magical experience moving from a deep forest and suddenly coming upon a beautiful landscaped area like our Japanese garden.
WOLF: The island also offers beaches for picnics and playing and outfitters offer kayak and canoe rentals to head out on the harbor.
HOLMES: All right. Reynolds, we appreciate that. Coming up, we've been talking, the U.S. Open is wrapping up this weekend. They have it at Arthur Ashe stadium.
NGUYEN: We hoped it does with all the rain they've had.
HOLMES: They had to push it back a little bit, but still, always U.S. Open time is about Arthur Ashe and that woman right there, Jeanne (INAUDIBLE) Ashe. That is his widow who continues his work to this day. Talked to her about her thoughts on the diversity of the sport and also what more successful athletes should be doing these days to follow her husband's example of service.
NGUYEN: What she says is very interesting on that subject.
And then want to show you something that you don't get to see every day. Check that out, cows at a convenience store. Why? Well, you'll have to stay tuned for that.
HOLMES: An important story here to tell you about. You may not know the name, but he played a key part in the Cuban revolution.
NGUYEN: A Cuban media report says Juan Almeda Bosque died yesterday of a heart attack. He was one of only three surviving Cuban rebel leaders with the honorary title commander of the revolution. Almeda often could be seen standing by Fidel Castro during public events until Castro fell ill in 2006. Almeda was 82 years old.
HOLMES: I want to get some of our other top stories now, about 3,000 more U.S. service members could be headed to Afghanistan, could be headed over there soon. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants more troops there who are trained in dealing with roadside bombs.
That's because the number of roadside bomb attacks has spiked, according to the Defense Department. They say it's jumped some 350 percent in the past two years. Thirty seven U.S. service members have been killed in IED attacks this August and September alone.
Also the space shuttle "Discovery" is home, kind of, sort of. The first part of the trip happened last night, landed at Edwards Air Force base in California. Just because it's back on earth doesn't mean it's home just yet.
The mission ended, it was a 13-day mission, but now NASA has to get the shuttle back to its home in Florida and that's going to cost some money. Because of the weather they couldn't land in Florida like they wanted to, had to divert to the other back-up site which was in California. So it's going to cost now about $1.5 million to get it back over to Florida.
Finally here, swine flu, all 50 states have now been hit by the H1N1 virus. Health officials say the most widespread flu activity is being seen in the southeast right now. This the start now of the traditional or seasonal flu season. The CDC says the H1N1 flu virus or swine flu hasn't gone away since it first surfaced in April. The regular flu shots are available right now. However, the H1N1 or swine flu vaccine, isn't expected until mid October.
NGUYEN: What do you do? Do you get both of them? Do you get your regular flu shot and then get the swine flu shot?
HOLMES: They say you should get whatever, the one that's available, the regular seasonal flu, you should just always get that.
NGUYEN: I never get it. Do you get it?
HOLMES: Never get it.
NGUYEN: I'm afraid it's going to make me sick. They give you a little dose of it.
HOLMES: I just don't really get it.
NGUYEN: I just don't like shots. But you should do it, don't follow our lead because apparently you should be getting those shots. I feel a little ill myself right now, because I didn't get the shot.
When it comes to your bottom line, listen to this, what's better than free? I don't think there's anything better than free. CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis gives us a preview of the money saving tips that she'll have for us this morning.
GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: That's right, Betty. We all love bargains and there's no better bargain than getting something for free.
First off we all know about restaurants who allow kids to eat free, but do you know how to find out which restaurants offer these deals and when? Well, check out kidsmealdeals.com to get a list of deals and restrictions. Now among the options, Denny's Road House Grill, Golden Corral and Lone Star Steakhouse.
Also, if you're dying for a vacation but you can't afford a hotel, consider swapping digs with another consumer. I've done this myself and it's a great option for travelers on a budget. Check out hospitality exchange websites like catchsurfing.com and homeexchange.com. And don't forget to ask about pet allergies if you have allergies.
And if you're looking for free TVs and music, you'll find hundreds of TV shows online at legit websites like hulu.com and fan cast.com, find a complete list of websites at ovguide.com. Network websites like abc.com and cbs.com are also great places to go. Slacker.com and pandora.com have great free music. Check those out.
And I'll have more on free stuff plus a guide to health care reform and home security at 9:30 a.m. on "YOUR BOTTOM LINE." Back to you, Betty.
NGUYEN: Lots of freebies out there and you can watch her for free. Not really. If you've got cable you're paying for it in some way, some form or fashion. Not everything is free.
HOLMES: All right. Let's take a long shot here. We're going to take you out to DC. This is happening live. We've kind of been amazed here. We've been watching this picture for the past hour or two. People are gathering for this protest and they have gone up in numbers quickly. This is, the people out here opposing big government, opposing some of the health care reforms and they are marching on Washington right now.
NGUYEN: Yes, they are. When we started our show about what two and a half hours ago, you already saw people lining up and now the crowds are really building and the concerns include health care overhaul and higher taxes as well as bailouts. We're going to get the latest on this right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: Well, they've got a little Tea Party going on today in Washington. Tens of thousands expected to march against the government's spending and health care reform in Washington today.
Our Jim Spellman, he is there for us today. He has actually been -- I guess -- can we call it embedded with the Tea Party Express for the past two weeks. It's been a long trip for you guys, and there you are. What's -- what are we going to see in the next couple of hours?
JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, T.J., all the way from Sacramento, California to here, they have been having rallies in towns all across America, trying to drum up support leading up to this event here at the capital, a rally later today, and even beyond that. What they did was they -- they routed their trip through what they considered to be vulnerable congressional districts, trying to lay the groundwork to really turn all this Tea Party energy into some type of bigger political action.
So this is really just one of those steps along the way to trying to -- in 2010, they hope to win back the House and the Senate. You know, they know it's not going to be easy, but that's really the point beyond what they are going to do today, where they are going to rally, have speeches and kind of get everybody together. That's where they hope to take it next -- T.J.
HOLMES: Yes. And you talked about the -- I guess necessarily the mission. All of them (ph), I know they're trying to drum up some attention and maybe get the attention of some of the members of Congress. Does it appear that they have been successful in that regard?
SPELLMAN: Well, certainly these -- these rallies across the country grew steadily until it was -- pretty much all of them had several thousand people, and they are going to come back and backtrack to where they got a lot of response, start doing TV ads against the incumbents and trying to lay a groundwork for challengers to come -- you know, mostly Republican challengers -- to challenge these people.
So they feel like it's a big success. They weren't sure what kind of crowds they were going to get, and a lot of the crowds overwhelmed the capacity of the venues they involved (ph). So it feel like they have a lot of energy. Here in Washington of course they'll be joining lots of other groups and they hope that all of this together will -- will really, you know, have an impact -- T.J.
HOLMES: OK. And last thing here, they are called the Tea Party Express. We saw earlier in the year when they were -- I guess they had a lot of big packages, stimulus package and things going through. They were -- they were opposed to being taxed down the road.
But this has become something else. It's not just about big government and big spending anymore. It's also about health care reform. So are those still too -- the big things that they are -- they -- I guess they have taken up as their causes or are there a few other things they are throwing in there as well?
SPELLMAN: Well, they all -- what they have in common -- what everybody pretty much has in common at these events is they want lower taxes and smaller government, and it's expressing itself through different sort of issues de jour. So right now health care is -- is what's hot, so they are against that, you know? And they feel like if they can get -- be part of -- be part of defeating the president's health care reforms, that will a, you know, a first victory moving again towards 2010.
The people and the Tea Party Express organizers really are focused on 2010. The rallies and everything are great and it's a way of building for that, but that is -- their real mission is 2010. So, yes, they are -- they are unified by these common themes, but they're really going after issue by issue as they pop up -- T.J.
HOLMES: All right, Jim Spellman, there at the capital for us this morning where tens of thousands will be heading towards you here in just a matter of hours. Jim, we'll check in with you again. Thanks so much.
NGUYEN: One year ago the Gulf Coast was bracing for what actually turned out to be the third most destructive hurricane in US history. I was actually in Texas when Ike hit and it left 75 percent of Galveston under seven feet of water. Just imagine that. But the Island City -- no stranger to direct hits from hurricanes. There has been Alicia, Carla, and then of course the deadly hurricane of 1900, which killed some 8,000 people. But every time, Galveston has rebuilt.
So, the question is, what about this time? Well, I went back to find out.
NGUYEN (voice-over): At 2:10 in the morning on September 13th, 2008, hurricane Ike roared into Galveston, leaving the island under water and in splinters.
We're taking a look at the debris because the sun is starting to come up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The waterline was up to here.
PETER DAVIS (ph), RESIDENT: Peter Davis.
GEORGE H. W. BUSH SR., FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Peter. How are you?
NGUYEN: Since Ike, Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas has lost residents, funding, and the city's only emergency room, but she has not lost her determination.
So Mayor, it's been a year since Hurricane Ike. What's been the biggest challenge for you?
LYDA ANN THOMAS, MAYOR, GALVESTON, TEXAS: The biggest challenge really has been getting our citizens back on the island and getting our businesses opened. But I'm very proud to say that after a year approximately 65 percent of our businesses are now open, certainly on the seawall where we are. The strand, our downtown historic district, is a little slower coming back. They really (INAUDIBLE) though. The historic buildings...
NGUYEN: Why is that?
THOMAS: Well, first of all the -- all the buildings are historic buildings, and that's -- it's the historic district so they have to be restored according not only to our code but also to the national historic codes. Plus, most of them did not have flood insurance.
NGUYEN: Money, or the lack of it, seems to be what's now standing in the way of Galveston's recovery. Thomas says it will take an estimated $3.2 billion to rebuild the Island City. To date, FEMA has paid $68 million, HUD $269 million, and Thomas is counting on $28.5 million in stimulus dollars. But the island is coming back.
THOMAS: Our trauma center, which was a level one in the -- a level one center, opened about two weeks ago. So we're very happy to have our emergency room back. It's -- it's -- it's important to know that our medical center and the Houston Medical Centers serve an entire region, and also that our medical center here is the largest employer in the county. And when it shut down, they were really in trouble.
NGUYEN: But at some point you were having to send people who needed that emergency help to other hospitals? THOMAS: Absolutely. We sent a lot of them to Houston or somewhere between here and Houston. And there was a layoff of about 2500 people. They are rehiring now. We've got 300 beds open and we're looking forward to opening another 300 beds in the next three years.
NGUYEN: Planning for the future while familiar with the city's past. Thomas is from one of Galveston's oldest families. Her grandfather also served as mayor. Ironic because she's living proof history has a way of repeating itself.
What's your hope for this city?
THOMAS: First of all, that we don't have a storm right now, but we will. I always say it's not if, it's when. My hope is that we continue to grow and recover and that we continue to be not only a destination for our tourists who love our beaches but certainly a destination for our medical complex and our research and the port of Galveston continues to grow. And it is growing and doing well.
NGUYEN: A plan is actually on the table that would create some massive flood gates that will protect the city from oncoming hurricanes, and this thing is going to extend some 50 miles the seawall. Here's a shot of an animation...
HOLMES: Fifty miles?
NGUYEN: Fifty mile the seawall. It will be extended. Each retractable gate would be the size of the Eiffel Tower, to give you an idea of how large this is, and in fact it would be the largest movable man-made structure ever built if it is, indeed, signed off on and the money is there for it to be designed. And what it will do, too, is protect the Houston shipping channel, which is home to about 50 percent of the country's petrochemical.
So there's a lot to be protected there. Of course it's going to cost a lot money to make that happen, but this is something that they have been talking about and we'll see if it comes to fruition.
HOLMES: Well, man (ph) and -- and, you know, it's something to think people have lived there -- I mean, people lived in Florida and up and down the coast, you're just waiting -- it can come any -- year after year, it can come and wipe you out. No matter how many times you rebuild, you're -- you're at risk every single. year.
NGUYEN: Well, that's what they say, you know. People live there because they loved where they live. I mean, it's just part of who they are. But yeah, I mean, it's one of the risks that you take. But, you know, anywhere, you've got, you know -- Dallas, Texas, you've got tornadoes that you could be faced with. Out in California, you've got mudslides, earthquakes -- you know? There's something everywhere, so. Make your home wherever you want, because, you know, you just deal with what comes.
HOLMES: We need to find a fool-proof city.
NGUYEN: Biggest storm shelter?
HOLMES: Yes! Maybe that as well.
HOLMES: Well, the video you showed us here just a minute ago, I thought this is -- I would shop in that meat department of that store.
NGUYEN: That is not a meat department. That is a convenience store!
HOLMES: And I saw cattle running around. But we'll explain this video. It's fairly self-explanatory, but we'll have...
NGUYEN: But the question is what are they doing in there? How did they get in there?
HOLMES: (INAUDIBLE) guy soon.
HOLMES: We'll be right back.
NGUYEN: Yes. This, my friends, unpredictable: a real cattle call up in Washington State. You've got to check it out. Cows were actually on their way to the Puyallup Fair. Well, they had a little bit of a detour. They wanted to stop by a convenience store and pick up a few things for the ride, and that's what they did.
Can you imagine working in that store, going, "What the heck is going on here? Wait a second, do you have a MasterCard? You didn't pay for that."
HOLMES: "Oh, we're running through." (INAUDIBLE) But they were on in a parade. I mean, I realize this...
NGUYEN: Oh, my gosh! The horse came in.
HOLMES: OK, now I don't know if this is necessary, but what you saw there, the cowboy -- he had to round them up, and if you're a real cowboy, you ride your horse, and that's how you round them up. You can't just walk in there and expect them to follow your command. But the cowboy -- yes, you like that, don't you? See, that was coming...
NGUYEN: I'm surprised...
WOLF: I'm sure over that over the PA system, someone said, "Hey -- hey, Ed, clean up on aisle four." It's something you won't believe. You have to believe -- to see it -- oh. That's, you know, that's nuts.
NGUYEN: (INAUDIBLE) WOLF: Exactly. Exactly. They ran into...
NGUYEN: They ran into something. I don't know. I'm just surprised that when -- the cowboy went in after them, which just blows my mind here, that more damage wasn't caused because the cows started taking off -- Look. This one's trying to get out of the corner. And there it goes!
WOLF: I can't believe the horse didn't spook at a lot of things, I mean...
NGUYEN: Yes, exactly. A little bit.
WOLF: ... you know, with all the, you know, the -- the hot dog display and the, you know, the -- the big ICEE machines and stuff. Yes, there's a lot there to be kind of spooky. But these -- I'm not really sure what these guys are doing. It's look like we go past the wine display, so that certainly isn't something they're after, though I'm sure that once the -- once the animals were out I'm sure that's exactly where the proprietor went, right? To your line (ph). Let's go!
NGUYEN: He's had a hard day, apparently.
NGUYEN: Well, hey, folks across the nation, are they going to have a hard day when it comes to the weather?
WOLF: You know, that's -- that's a great thing. They -- they will be in some parts, other places not so much. Those cows were headed -- as you mentioned, Betty -- to the Puyallup State Fair -- Puyallup Fair in Washington State. That's -- they attract over a million people every year.
Today in Seattle it's going to be picture perfect here, 84 degrees in Texas, though. A few issues, temperatures in places like Dallas, 74 degrees, 83 in Houston -- you think -- I mean, I know we're getting closer to fall, but that seems pretty cool for Texas.
Well, there's a reason why. The reason why it's going to be relatively cool in there is because the cloud cover and scattered showers and storms, which is good in terms of the rain and they are desperate for it in Texas and in parts of Oklahoma. They have been in a huge drought this year.
The problem is too much of anything is seldom good, and that is going to be the situation for places like Austin, for San Antonio, for Waco, for Dallas, Fort Worth, heavy rainfall, anywhere from two to four inches of rainfall into the very quick rate. It could cause some flooding in some poor drainage area, low-lying areas. So that's certainly something to watch out for, not just for today but at least through Monday or Tuesday.
Meanwhile, at the Atlantic, we still have things active out there. This thing you see here -- it's not just a thing. It's tropical storm Fred, with winds sustained at 45 miles an hour, gusting to 60. Good news about this storm, not expected to restrengthen to a hurricane. In fact, it should weaken over the next 12 to 24 to 36 hours, becoming a tropical depression and no threat to land. It's the kind of storm you like -- no question. Certainly better than a bull in a china shop or a 7-eleven, whatever flavor you choose.
Let's send it back to you guys.
NGUYEN: All right. Thank you, Reynolds.
So, the U.S. Open underway this week. In fact I'm hoping that it would wrap up this weekend, but it doesn't look like it might be the case because of the weather.
HOLMES: Not going to be on schedule. But it's pushed back at least a day because of the rain. The matches got rained out yesterday. It looked like they might have some more rain up there.
NGUYEN: We got to catch a match -- actually, a couple of them.
HOLMES: Yes. The American sensation, our neighbor here, Oudin...
NGUYEN: Oudin. Yes.
HOLMES: We got to see her play the other night. Unfortunately, she couldn't pull it out, but she's been a darling...
NGUYEN: No. She was a crowd favorite, though. Everyone was pulling for her.
HOLMES: Everybody's pulling for here. But the tournament will go on. Also, what's going on is the legacy of Arthur Ashe, and it's not just the stadium there on the grounds where they play. That woman there -- that's his widow. That's Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. She is continuing the legacy her husband started some 40 years ago.
I sat down with her. She had interesting comments about diversity in tennis, about tennis helping young people in their life endeavors, and also about pro athletes these days who are not necessarily following the example that her husband set.
NGUYEN: And remember the South African runner who really caused a lot of questions? I mean, really -- a lightning bolt on the track, winning all kinds of races, but came into question. Well, is she fully female? I tell you, tests have been done. We're going to show you what they -- what the results prove after this break.
HOLMES: Forty years ago tennis great Arthur Ashe started something called the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network, and 40 years, now, it is still up and running. It's to bring tennis to inner cities, to kids who might not usually have access to tennis, and help them through the game, get an education, go to college, and then continue on with their careers, not necessarily a career in tennis. Well, his legacy lives on with that program to this day through his wife -- his widow now, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. I got to catch up with her in New York while the US Open is going on. She had a lot to say about a lot of things, including the diversity of tennis and how far we still need to go.
HOLMES: Why haven't we -- since your husband -- seen another black man win Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open? Why not?
JEANNE MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE, WIDOW OF ARTHUR ASHE: Well, you know, I think that it's going to happen. I don't know when. I think that, you know, maybe because we are such a 'me' oriented society today, that it's always all about yourself or you, that you have less deep down inside purpose to be able to accomplish these gigantic goals.
But I still think it's coming. It's coming. I mean, Arthur used to say that, "It's coming." He says they are not going to look like me, they're not going to walk like me, and they're not going to talk like me, but it's coming. And he was right.
HOLMES: When people think that tennis isn't diverse, it's because the only two black players they can name are Venus and Serena, but behind the scenes, there's a lot more going on.
MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: There's a lot more going on, and I thank you for saying that and for doing this piece, because that's what NJTL was about. It's more about focusing on the game of tennis and the skills that you learn in playing the game. It's really important that kids understand from a grassroots level that they are not going to be in the top -- not all of them are going to be in the top 10.
Getting in the top 10, you know, that's pretty significant. But what they must understand is that playing a game, having that commitment, learning the lessons, let it be a hook to changing your approach to how you conduct yourself in the public, how well you perform in school, how you treat your siblings, your friends and your parents. These are all things that you learn in the program.
HOLMES: There's a culture now in professional sports, oftentimes with these guys, that we know of -- it's not all of them, but still, it's all about me, self, selfish, narcissistic, egomaniacal, whatever you want to call it. Does it drive you nuts giving what we saw with your husband and giving what you know and still to this day his legacy of giving back, still exist. Does it drive you crazy to see some of these young knuckleheads just squander wonderful opportunities?
MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: Well, I -- you know, I can't say it that strongly, but what I can -- but what I can say is that we have a void. And not having Arthur's voice is a tremendous void, not just in sports but just as a, you know, a hero to kids.
HOLMES: There has been for years, really, a lot of controversy surrounding Tiger Woods, and there was another major athlete that just came up not too long ago and actually said, yes, Tiger Woods has a foundation that gives a lot of money. So that's not enough. Should Tiger, given where he is -- and I know -- I mean, you don't know him personally and the situation, but being in the position -- unique position that he is in, would you like to see him take more of a -- I guess more of a lead in some of these social issues?
MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE: Well, I don't think he's just playing golf and making money and minding his business. I think that Tiger has a conscience. I think that he has a little ways to go with his experiences in life to make a decision -- a mature decision to really step out and take a stand on issues. And I know athletes don't like to hear that. People don't like to have to have to play the role as -- the role of a role model. But, you know, it comes with the territory.
He means so much to so many, and when he begins to really realize how that has an impact -- I have faith, and I say this to Tiger and I say this to other athletes, that it's not what you're doing now, it's how people are going to remember you.
HOLMES: We turn from the sport of tennis now to other sports, namely the NFL, the regular season now under way. But more fans than ever run the risk of not seeing their hometown favorite team on TV. Also who will be rooting -- or who will you be rooting for now that the US Open has said good-bye to the underdog, Melanie -- come from Georgia. Melanie Oudin.
Well, for the answers to some of these questions and more, we turn to Rick Horrow, our CNN Sports Business Analyst and visiting expert on Sports Law at Harvard Law School. Rick and Harvard Law -- that just gets me every time.
Rick, good morning to you there. Since the tennis ball is bigger than the football, we'll start with tennis here. Good morning to you, sir.
RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Good morning -- wearing a new suit for you. We'll start with this ball first, OK?
HOLMES: We'll start with tennis. What do we do now that the darling of the tournament is gone?
HORROW: Well, here is what you do: you get excited about her run. You realize that the USTA has generated over $250 million or so in revenue in the middle of a recession to get into the training and development of more Melanie Oudins, and you're excited about the fact that the USTA has generated this revenue and this excitement in the middle of recession. That's what you do.
HOLMES: Now, how much of that excitement would have been there had she not had the run? I mean, how much of this does, really, the USTA need to credit this one 17-year-old girl?
HORROW: Let me tell you about her. She signed a deal with BackOffice Associates 20 minutes before a match last Wednesday. It was the most watched cable deal ever. She's getting a new hotel deal because her reservation expired at the end of the first week, remember? And we're not supposed to talk about this, but she's on "The Tonight Show" Monday. It's a competing network, I know, but she's on "The Tonight Show" Monday.
HOLMES: All you had to do was say she's going to be on "The Tonight Show". You didn't have to go through all the secretive stuff. It would have been fine (ph).
HORROW: Oh, you -- you teach me. You teach me.
HOLMES: All right. Let's turn now to the NFL. This is something -- I mean, I never quite understood it, and fans don't like it. We get the reason, but blackouts. You can't see your favorite team, local folks can't even watch their team on TV if it's not a sellout. Can we get that changed?
HORROW: Well, let's put it in perspective. It's been there for about 90 years. In the '80s, there were 90 games a year that were blacked out, up to four years ago, maybe about 30, last year about nine, Jacksonville, San Diego, other places -- clearly there is a crisis, some would say. You've got to get the people in the seats.
The NFL is making a concession. They're streaming the video at midnight on nfl.com. Some say it's not enough. But the real key is to have entertainment in the building, because you can't always win but you can get people entertained.
HOLMES: OK, but it's a tough time out there right now. Not everybody can go -- you know, that's the one thing they look forward to on a Sunday, watching their team. We can't -- the NFL's not going to give any on this one?
HORROW: Well, they gave some, and it's a $7 billion a year business. The bedrock of it is to make sure people stay in seats. So there are things that can be done and they are working on it.
HOLMES: Streaming at midnight? That's the compromise?
HORROW: No. The compromise is to put on more entertaining products so people can actually go to the games.
HOLMES: Yes, yes, yes. All right. Rick...
HORROW: Well, you may be -- I may see you Sunday at the game, OK?
HOLMES: Yes, sir. Falcons playing tomorrow? Falcons...
HORROW: Falcons and Dolphins.
HOLMES: All right.
HORROW: I've got to be neutral -- go Dolphins.
HOLMES: Oh, right. Rick Horrow, always good to see you. We look forward to seeing you here in town tomorrow.
HORROW: All right, man. Bye.
HOLMES: All right. Oh, Rick!
NGUYEN: Rick! Harvard, right?
HOLMES: Harvard Law.
HOLMES: How did he get out of there? How did he get in there?
NGUYEN: That too!
HOLMES: All right. Well, we're going to turn back to D.C. We've been watching this (INAUDIBLE) for a little while.
NGUYEN: Yes. This Tea Party Express. The march is on, and they've been lined up for hours today. We're going to take you live from Freedom Plaza, coming right up.
NGUYEN: Hello, everybody. From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING, September 12th. Good morning to you. I'm Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: And hello to you all, I'm T.J. Holmes. Glad you could be here.
We will show you this live picture and then we'll have a report from there in just a second. But people are gathering for a tea party. There will not be any Earl Gray out there. Actually, tea stands for taxed enough already. They're also fed up with high taxes and fed up with big government spending and health care reforms. We'll get a live report on exactly what they are doing here, in just a minute.
NGUYEN: Yes, that crowd is growing by the minute, in fact, getting very vocal, too. In this half hour we're going to focus on health care as we do every Saturday morning at 9:00. But first though, we want to give you a quick look of a few stories that we've been watching overnight.
HOLMES: Of course, defense secretary Roberts Gates wants to add 3,000 more U.S. service members to Afghanistan as soon as possible.
NGUYEN: Yes, Gates said the additional troops are needed to deal with a rising number of road side bombs. Also this, the Obama administration now says they are open to direct talks with North Korea over their nuclear ambitions. That is a major policy shift there because before the U.S would only talk with North Korea as part of the six-party talks. Now, North Korea injected those talks and protests over United Nations sanctions. HOLMES: And the space shuttle "Discovery" is back on earth but it' still not home. Bad weather diverted the landing to California. It needs to be in Florida. It's going to cost over $1.5 million now, according to NASA, to transport the shuttle back to Florida. It rides piggy on the back of a jet to get home. The "Discovery" crew just completed ad 13-day resupply mission to the International Space Station.
NGUYEN: Boy, that's an expensive piggy back ride.
Well, President Obama trying to build on the momentum after his address on health care reform this week. And a little bit later today he is holding a rally on health insurance in Minneapolis. And in his weekly address he shows concern over a new report on insurance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We can expect that about half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next 10 years. If you're under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you'll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Meanwhile, the Republicans are accusing the president of paying, "lip service" to bipartisanship in the health care battle. And in the weekly GOP address, Texas Senator Jon Cornyn explains why his party was so unimpressed by the president's words on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORNYN: So the president gave another big speech this week to try to turn his numbers around. But instead of talking, the president and congressional Democrats should spend a little more time listening. At town halls and public events across the nation, the American people are asking the right questions about health care reform.
They are asking how can Washington lower health care cost by spending trillions of dollars more over the next 10 years. How can Washington cut $500 billion from Medicare without reducing benefits for seniors. And how could a new government plan keep insurers honest when our existing entitlement programs are riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, some of those same questions that you just heard Senator Cornyn asked, well, some folks in D.C. are asking those same questions right now. Tea party march and rally happening in Washington. Our Paul Steinhauser is there with what appears to be a whole lot of friends gathering around you now, Paul. That crowd is getting big. Tell us what is happening? STEINHAUSER: I tell you, about two hours ago there was almost nobody here. We were it. But T.J. this crowd has really grown in size. And it's about another two hours until they march from here. And here right now is Freedom Plaza, we're about a couple of blocks away from the White House.
In about two hours from now, they're going to march right behind us, down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. capital and that's where they'll gather in front of the west front of the capitol. We'll pick them up on that end with Kate Bolduan. This whole march, taxpayer's march down Washington is organized overall by a group called Freedom Works. They're a conservative advocacy group.
But a lot of these people are just here on their own. Also, a lot of people across the country, a lot of people finding out about this on-line or hearing about it through the media and a lot of people here T.J., just a feel like there's too much government spending, taxes are too high.
They feel this government is spending too much money. They are worried about the government taking over too much of our lives. And they also have concerns about what the president and the Democrats in Congress is proposing when it comes to health care. And that's what they say motivates them to come here today.
Take a listen, we spoke to some people here just a few minutes ago. Here is what they have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here to let the government know that we do not want government involvement in our health care nor do we want the higher taxation that comes along with such a proposal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really afraid that our country is taking a socialistic or even a Marxist direction. I don't understand why there isn't an allegiance to the country. They are pushing more allegiance to the president of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government should be doing things that are authorized by the constitution. They should be doing things that the people want, not things that they just decide are nifty. The bottom line, we can't afford these things anymore.
Government should be concentrating on cutting spending in all the programs, not thinking of new wonderful ways to spend even more, exponentially more than the spending now. And that's why I've voted my whole life. This is the first time in my life I've gotten up off the couch and said I'm sick of this. It's only three hours away. I'm going to be there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: That's what I've heard from a lot of people I talked to, T.J.. They said that they have never really taken part before other than the vote but they felt so motivated and so angry that they wanted to come here and take part today. We're going to be here all morning as this crowd gets larger before they march off to the capital, T.J..
HOLMES: And it appears that people are there from all over the place. Do me a favor, Paul. That lady on your left side, immediately to your left from Arkansas, ask her where she's from in Arkansas?
STEINHAUSER: Our anchor, T.J., wants to know where your from in Arkansas? Because he's a native of Arkansas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. I'm from Mountainview.
STEINHAUSER: Mountainview, Arkansas, T.J.
HOLMES: Mountainview. Well, tell her hello from a West Memphian. But it looks like a lot of people gathered out there. Paul, we appreciate you. We certainly will be checking in with you again soon.
NGUYEN: T.J. making friends with the crowd.
All right. We're going to talk with CNN's Jim Spellman in the nation's capital as well. He is also there. He's on the National Mall, in fact, Jim spent the last couple of weeks with the tea party as it made its way across the country all the way to Washington. OK. As we have seen the crowds where you are, I'm not seeing that many people behind you. Describe the scene. What's going on there?
SPELLMAN: People are starting to gather here. We got a group here Pennsylvania. They've come down here to take part in the tea parties and you know, as we made our way across the country on the bus, we saw all the way from Sacramento, California, all the way across to Pennsylvania, New England, and now here to Washington, D.C. People coming out like Paul had mentioned.
First time people never been activists before, never been involved in politics and people gathering here, is a lot of the same thing, it's people who feel really charged up against what they see as big government spending, big government intrusion into their life. And you know, hey are here to make a noise.
The people on the Tea Party Express that I was riding with, they are really focused on taking that energy, you know, and focusing it on the next step here at the capital, in trying to kind of get new leaders in place and trying to stop some of the Obama administration's initiatives, Betty.
NGUYEN: Yes. We should tell our viewers that the reason why we don't see a whole lot of folks behind you, currently is because they will be making their way from where Paul Steinhauser was to where you are. And that gets underway I think about 11:00 a.m. Eastern when that march takes place. All right. Jim, we do appreciate it.
HOLMES: And we've seen passion on both sides of these issues on health care. We'll continue our special half hour coverage of health care with our Ali Velshi. He's got a look at what happens with the Tea Party Express. He was out there on the road in a bus of his own.
NGUYEN: Kind of his own town hall meeting.
HOLMES: He was. He was having his own gatherings. But we'll tell you what happened before they ever got to D.C. Stay here.
WOLF: Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Got a few things I want you to see. One of our big weather that we're dealing with today takes place right here in part in the central and southern plains. As we zoom in on this key location back here into the lone star state of Texas, you can tell, we got a lot of precipitation that's popping up in a lot of spots.
Then rainfall is really begin to pile up especially on parts of the i-35 corridor from Dallas southward to spots like say Austin, Texas, maybe even San Antonio. And that's where we could have some flash flooding.
In fact, we've already had some there. We got some video from KXAM, one of the affiliates in Austin, Texas, where you can see the rain coming down back in the hill country, two to four inches of rain. More expected today, more tomorrow, and some possibly into Monday. All thanks to an area of low pressure that's drifting right across the lone star state from west to east as it continues to just spin right overhead. We're going to see that rainfall continue to pile up. It could be a big issue.
One of the problems that you have in Texas, parts of central Texas, you see the land change from -- I guess, a very rich soil back into very rocky soil when you get back to the Texas hill country. And it's right along the barrier where this rain is really going to intensify. There's very poor drainage. The ground really isn't able to absorb a lot of this moisture. So you have that runoff. And with that runoff, you're going to have some floodings. That's a big issue.
As you go right back to the weather wall, take a look at what we have. We're going to be seeing is that potential flooding, not just in Texas but as far north as parts of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City. Oklahoma could see some rainfall there, perhaps over into parts of say Arkansas. But even into Louisiana, we're seeing some heavy cells develop right there from Gulf Shores Alabama back into Louisiana right along the i-10 corridor, just due east of Houston.
Now in terms of your temperatures today, what we can expect, we have temperatures actually going to be a bit on the upswing. Triple digits can be expected for parts of the four corners, from Las Vegas, back into Phoenix, when you get in the southeast, still a bit warmer say in spots like say Atlanta, certainly no comparison what you have in the desert southwest with its 100-degree temperatures.
78 degrees in Chicago, Washington D.C. for people out there in the mall, temperatures nearing 70s, maybe a shower or two. Certainly nothing heavy, certainly not as heavy as you have in Texas and splashing showers as possible Miami with a high of 87 degrees. That is the very latest on your forecast. You got a lot more coming up right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. See you in a few.
HOLMES: All right. Live picture of what we're keeping up with. In Washington, D.C., a rally about to get under way. We're told tens of thousands of people, part of the Tea Party Express. Folks have made their way across the country. The bus tour, the Tea Party Express was, the people here are gathering as far away as Arkansas.
We just saw in Washington, a march to the capital. Again, they're protesting big government and some of the health care reforms as well. But a big rally expected within a couple of hours. But people are starting to gather already. They are going to essentially march on the capital today.
NGUYEN: Yes, and that march begins at 11:00 a.m. Of course, we'll continue to follow that. But in the meantime, though, anger spilled over during one stop at the Tea Party Express. And it happened just as the CNN Express was coming to town.
HOLMES: Yes. Our Ali Velshi has been traveling across the country, talking to people about the economic issues. He has more on exactly what happened when the two tours ended up in the same town.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We're here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the capital of Pennsylvania. But we got here form Scranton. Now, as k you know, we talked to you almost daily, we have been traveling our own route across America, the Tea Party Express has its own route, and the first time the two buses came into contact in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where one of these tea party rallies was held.
Now it was one of a smaller rally but according to CNN Jim Spellman, who have been embedded with the Tea Party Express, it was one of the more tense rally. Listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the first three words of the Constitution?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the people!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An every day tea partier is an American citizen that is frustrated with the direction the country is going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, like this last night. That's all he did last night with his speech.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm out here to take our country back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to get back to the basics of the constitution, and live in a nation where the power and the equity is held by individuals rather than by the government and the corporations we bail out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are happy to be making our way to Washington to support you all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm tired of Obama forming his own secret government. And he's surrounding himself with people of his own kind, the communists, the Marxists, the self-proclaimed. They are taking over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We decided the silent majority needs to speak out. We're not quiet anymore and we're not going to be quiet anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: At the end of that you saw a bit of a tussle. There were demonstrators who were pro health care reform. Our friend Jim tells us that was a larger turnout of pro health care reform demonstrators than any of the other rallies. It's also the first shoving match that we saw. That was getting out of hand for a moment. But nothing serious happened. It was all broken up.
There were some very, very angry signs there. There were picketers talking about Obama being a communist, about -- there was a sign there that says "impeach the Muslim Marxist." There were a lot of angry signs but generally a sense of get the government out of the way. Get the government out of our hair. There were flags designed to reflect a second American Revolution.
So all in all, more than fiscal conservatism, more than people just concerned about this government spending. This was an anti- Obama-style rally and anti-democratic administration type of rally.
NGUYEN: We'll continue to follow that.
In the meantime, I want to give you a look of the top stories this morning. About 3,000 more U.S. troops could headed for Afghanistan very soon. Defense Secretary Gates wants more troops who are trained at dealing with roadside bombs. Now the number of roadside bomb attacks there has jumped, get this 350 percent in the past two years. 37 troops have been killed in IED attacks this August and September alone.
All 50 states have now been hit with the H1N1 virus. We're talking swine flu here. Health officials say the most widespread flu activity is seen in the southeast right now. This is the start of the traditional flu season. But the CDC says the H1N1 flu virus hasn't gone away since it first surfaced back in April. The regular flu shots are available now, regular flu shots. The H1N1 vaccine, well that's not expected until mid October.
And check it out. Space shuttle "Discovery" almost home. Beautiful landing though. That first part happened last night with the landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. That ended the 13-day mission for the astronauts. But now it has to get the shuttle back to Florida. That's going to cost over a million bucks. That's a very expensive piggy back ride.
HOLMES: All right. Well, still ahead, we'll continue to cover health care and health care reform and also the possibility of a doctor shortage.
NGUYEN: All right. Live pictures right now. All dressed up. The Tea Party Express has arrived in Washington, D.C., a rally, in fact, a march as well as a rally is going to be taking place at 11:00 Eastern this morning. Of course, they are there well ahead of time. And we will be following this all the way today.
But you know, we want to tell you about this. By the year 2025 the American Association of Medical Colleges estimates that there will be a shortage of 125,000 physicians in the U.S.
HOLMES: Yes. That doesn't sound good. We need doctors and as CNN Ines Ferre tell us, about a third of them are primary care doctors.
INES FERRE, CNN EN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Randy Wexler has been a family physician in the Columbus, Ohio area for the past 19 years. He sees up to 32 patients a day.
DR. RANDY WEXLER, OHIO STATE UNIV. MEDICAL CENTER: Every day I have a patient that is upset on how long it took to get in or I have a message from a patient who can't wait until our next available appointment.
FERRE: Over the years, the wait time for an office visit with him has grown exponentially.
WEXLER: So few physicians because they are so full are taking new patients, that for a patient to see me because I'm taking new patients is anywhere from two to two and a half months.
FERRE: Among factors contributing to the shortage of primary care doctors, population, aging patients, relatively low reimbursements, and more female doctors tend to work fewer hours.
The Association of American Medical Colleges forecast the shortage of 124,000 physicians by the year 2025. 46,000 of them primary care doctors. Currently there's a shortage of 16,000 primary physicians, especially in rural areas. A fifth of the states already have just one primary care physician for 1,300 people.
The average general physician earns $161,000 a year. On average medical students graduate with at least $140,000 in debt. The health care bill in the House includes some provisions to address the shortage. But the doctor's group we spoke with said more needs to be done. DR. RICHARD "BUZ" COOPER, PHYSICIANS FOUNDATION: If there are not enough physicians, health care won't function properly and health care reform won't function properly.
FERRE: Dr. Wexler says primary doctors will help save money through prevention and early treatments.
WEXLER: Making sure patients have their flu shots, the pneumonia shots, their colonoscopy, make sure that their cholesterol is controlled at appropriate levels, that the blood pressure they didn't know they had was treated. And without primary care to coordinate that, to manage that, and to look for that, those things get missed and they go by the wayside.
FERRE: Costing more in the long run. Inez Ferre, CNN, New York.
NGUYEN: Well, coming up at 10:00, we're going to take you to "Fashion Week." It is under way in New York. And the designer that created those lovely outfits, that will be Jason Wu. He also designed a gown for the first lady.
Anna Wintour of "Vogue" there. It gives you an indication of how important this particular show is to "Fashion Week," let's sit down with Jason Wu and talk about what is next, not only for the designer but for people at home, looking to spring and what's that one item they should buy.
HOLMES: And from making fashion statements to simply making a statement. Yes, you know by now what he was yelling in that picture right there. "You lie!" Yelling it to the president while the president is addressing a joint session of Congress. Well Mary Matlin and Paul Begala, they're going to be squaring off over Representative Joe Wilson's shout to the president.
NGUYEN: And we are continuing this half hour with a focus on health care. You're looking at a live picture of the crowds gathering in Washington, D.C. for the Tea Party Express rally which is set to begin at 11:00 a.m.. We have out cameras out there in the crowd.
I tell you, we were watching this crowd for the past couple of hours. It has grown significantly. And the march isn't supposed to take place until about 11:00 Eastern. So they got another hour and a half to go but the crowd is definitely fired up.
They are against big government, have some issues with the health care proposals that are on the table. And this protest, really many of them took this trek across the country to get to Washington, D.C.. So it's all culminating today with that march on Washington which gets under way at 11:00 a.m. but it looks like some of them are already taking off right now.
HOLMES: They are making their way, but tens of thousands are expected at that rally. We will keep an eye on it. Betty and I will be back at the top of the hour with more live with CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Right now, we want to hand it over to "YOUR BOTTOM LINE" with CNN personal finance editor, Gerri Willis. We'll see you shortly.