By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 5/12/2005 10:58:29 AM ET 2005-05-12T14:58:29

5 p.m. ET
Since 9/11 I have been here in the newsroom for three other evacuations at the Capitol.  Twice for "anthrax" scares, and once in June during President Reagan's funeral.

Today felt different.  I watched the shot of the Capitol and it actually crossed my mind that this time it might not be a test.  When the "all clear" signaled I was extremely relieved.

I think that the false alarms and constant discussion of homeland security have desensitized us a bit to the reality that the threat is still out there and will always be out there.  In a way, this afternoon presented a much needed wake up call, at least for me.  We'll discuss this today on the show.

We'll also take a look at companies cutting pension programs and reducing benefits for retired employees.  It's happening all over the place for various economic reasons.  This week, it is the United Airlines announced a restructuring of their pension plan that has flight attendants and pilots in a tailspin.  If you work for years with the understanding that you will receive a pension, how can a company just take that carrot away?  The answer is because they can.

And of course I'll bring you some great stuff from the blogosphere.  Michael Jackson, runaway brides, and King Tut.  Call it news of the weird.

Send me your e-mails.

12 p.m. ET
Over the past few years there has been a 25% rise in illegal immigration.  That's hard to explain considering in those same years we experienced 9/11,we formed a Homeland Security Department, and we spent billions on technology to keep our borders safe.

However it happened, these men and women are here.  Most of them actually work hard and contribute to society.  But considering they are not paying taxes, just how many benefits should they be eligible for and who should foot the bill?

No one should be denied healthcare in this country, and for the most part when illegals show up ill at a hospital emergency room, they are treated and discharged.  It is then the state's burden to pay for the care.  Obviously some states like California and Florida have a larger share of illegals, and they are getting the largest part of that cost.  Should Congress have to pay for the healthcare of illegal immigrants?  It seems unfair for state's to pay when border security is really up to Washington.  We'll discuss this today.

And we'll take a look at the filibuster feud that is now heating up to a boil. 

Send us your e-mails.

Send us your e-mails and favorite blog suggestions to Maciulis@MSNBC.com and Connected@MSNBC.com!

And watch us tackle these stories of the day at 12 noon, and 5 p.m. ET.

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,