tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN May 16, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
your sneakers, it's going to take more than kim kardashian to top what we can agree is the most talked about ad. ladies and gentlemen, the shake weight. >> this is not a workout, this is a revolution. this is shake weight for men, and it's going to kick your butt. >> the shake weight. as for skechers shape-up, the federal trade commission has spoken and we heard them loud and clear on the ridiculist. that's it for us. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, a bold threat by speaker boehner, but it doesn't add up. a sudden and unexpected death in the kennedy family late today. and imagine quitting your job and disappearing into isolation on a private island. i'm sure we've had this conversation with coe workers, opening a bike stand on tahiti. before one man goes off the grid he comes "outfront."
"outfront" tonight. give me a break. the senate today voted 99-0 to shut down a budget bill. it was not an honest effort. both sides pointing fingers about what was really in the budget. so they wasted time writing something and then voting on something that absolutely nobody ever wanted. so what are we the people supposed to say? hey, at least they agree on something like not having a functioning government? no, no. this was a fail. and it fails like this that sends the american lemmings hurtling closer to the cliff of fiscal fisc fiscal extinction. but at our core, we believe they can get it together and not die like the overfed lemmings. so we cling to hope about a special lunch that happened today. have something may have gotten
done to avoid the lemming cliff, except, well, we'll see. the president bought hoagies for himself and the other man needed to get the deal done, speaker boehner. it was a takeout lunch. i guess they cut it in half. they went and brought it back to the white house and the two met in private to talk debt. the debt crisis is worse every single day in this country. and the battle over raising the debt ceiling is in full swing. it's going to happen again this year. remember the last time we lost our credit rating. frankly an obsession on this show. the first shot was fired by house speaker boehner to me yesterday when he said he would insist that every single dollar of a debt ceiling increase be matched by a dollar in quote/unquote cuts or reforms. now, see, in that word reforms, i hear something that could be the mantra of this show. bill? >> because these numbers don't add up. >> maybe bill clinton watches "outfront." but to me, the speaker's words
don't add up. listen for yourself. when you said reforms or cuts, i get what cuts are. we can debate -- we know what the word means. >> budget reforms is what i was talking about. but reforms to all kinds of different programs. >> so it could be medicare, it could be social security or theoretically closing loopholes so that some people in this country end up paying more in taxes than they're paying. i just want to make it clear when people talk about the whole tax increase, you may not like the word but in your world some people will pay more in taxes post your reform than before it? >> well, but the idea is we'll bring the rates down for all americans. clean out the loopholes where some get off scot-free. >> right. that math is where -- you can pay more. >> every american's rates will come down. >> there's the political point. i get it. >> no, no. that's the policy point. >> but i can pay more. >> right.
we'll bring everybody's rates down. when you bring everybody's rates down, then you clean out the underbrush. yeah, some americans pay more, some may pay less. >> some may pay more. he did get there. now, john boehner has spent 22 years in congress. and some of you out there watching may loathe the man. some of you may love the man. but this is the truth. he wants to have a big legacy of making a difference. but to do it, to be the man who delivers a grand bargain that goes down one as delivered by the american speaker, he has to get the tea party in line. that's why he talks about reforms and lowering tax rates as a biblical statement when he really is going to end up with some paying more. that means mike lee, republican tea party senator needs to be on board. we appreciate you taking the time. you heard the speaker there. let's talk about the word, cuts and i a and reforms.
i'm sure it depends on what cuts, but in terms of reforms, are you also open to a system where by eliminating loopholes which i know in your own budget you say you're for. some people in this country would end up paying more in taxes after the reform than they do before. >> yes. and what we need is a flatter, simpler, fairer tax system. one that the american people can adopt. one that the american people can look forward to and plan ahead. that's exactly why in my budget and the american dream budget i moved toward exactly that kind of system, to replace our 70,000 page monstrosity with a tax system that every american can follow. >> why do you think there's still a disconnect between the speaker and some republican members of the tea party who don't seem open right now to some people paying more taxes? is that battle won right now, the republican party would vote for some people to pay more in taxes? >> well, look, i make it a point never to speak for my colleagues
or my counterparts in the house, but i'm not aware of anyone who would say that if one american might end up paying a little bit more that would necessarily count them out. we have to understand that our tax system, regardless of where you put the top marginal rate and how many rates you have, is capable of yielding only about 18.5% of gdp each year. the trick is to get to a point to produce a more steady, stable revenue stream that can fund the revenue that we need. our current income tax system can't adequately fund what we need year after year. >> so where is the -- i have to say that i think that not just rhetorically, but we have come a far along a -- a long way in this conversation, senator. it used to be that absolutely no increases in tax, even closing loopholes, that was the grover norquist point of view. now there's room to compromise. what's holding it back? what's holding it back if you're willing to let some people pay more in taxes and the democrats are willing to make cuts to thing, like medicare, why don't we have a deal? >> well, one of the reasons we
don't have a deal is that while we have had four budgets that were voted on in the senate today, presented by republicans, all of which received votes, we have yet to have a single budget proposed in this senate by any democrat that has received even one vote. the only budget that we have gotten from any democrat is from the president. that got zero votes last year in the senate. zero votes this year in the senate. zero votes last year in the house and this year in the house. so the republicans are the only ones this putting something forward. we need a budget from the democrats to figure out where we can find common ground. >> the budget -- the budget today, voted on today, 99-0. this is a republican version of what they say the president's budget is and democrats say it's not really his and republicans don't like it so nobody votes for it. what i see is, i mean, i understand that meatloaf and sausage is made in washington and no one likes to watch, but
this is a pretty ugly waste of time. >> well, it's not a waste of time. this is absolutely imperative. the status quo is unsustainable. it's threatening and impairing our ability to pay for defense and entitlements. >> we agree that a budget is essential to the process, but putting something out that no one is going to vote for it's a wraes of the staffer's time and the americans want a vote, not that i put one out and they didn't pass it. >> i couldn't disagree with you more. in order to get to the point of compromise, we need participation by both sides. >> well, a republican budget that they say is the president's budget, the democrats say isn't the president's budget so no one votes for it, a real budget? >> well, that's a question for a different day, but what i'm saying is not one democratic senator has put forward a budget. we need them to do so. >> but that was voted on today. >> yes. it was. the budget that was presented by the president was voted on
today. >> well, no, it wasn't the president's budget though really. it was what republicans said his budget, but it wasn't really his budget. >> fine then. if i stipulate for purposes of this conversation that that wasn't the president's budget, the fact still remains we still have yet to receive a single budget proposed by any democrat that has received a single vote, this year and last year. we need in order to get the compromise some offering, some proposal somewhere from a democrat. we don't have that. >> well, you have a budget. and you have put it out, and you have all the bullet points here. like i said it includes getting rid of loopholes. reducing spending to 17.8% of gdp by 2022. there's a lot of things in here. have you sat down with democrats across the aisle to talk about it? we had senator coburn and warner on last night. did you have democrats that you talked to heart to heart about your budget? >> i talk to democrats every
single day and i'm confident at some point we'll get there. the question is how long it takes us. if we do it now, we can get the balance. in a number of years it can be reckoned in the single digit. my budget balances within five years but we need democrats to come to the table. that's what we're pushing forward. because that's what the american people deserve and that's what they're demanding. >> so when you sit down with them and you put this budget out, what do they say in here is a nonstarter or makes them the most angry? the democrats, i'm holding up your budget summary right now. what do they say? >> so far what they're saying is they're not going to support any budget. i'm not sure why. but that has been the strategy that they have taken. >> i find that hard to believe. i mean, i think everybody both sides want a budget. i mean, i think that's fair to say. it's a matter of what's in it. >> in this congress, we have yet to have a single democrat who is either offered a budget or expressed any willingness to vote for any budget proposed by anyone else. >> all right. >> so i'm open to and i'm welcome to, i'm inviting democratic cosponsors or
democrats to come to the table and find a compromise. but i have yet to find that. if you're aware of anyone, let me know who they are. >> well, i will. you know what, i hope you'll come on with them. will you do that? we'll put you on side by side? >> i'll do it. >> thank you very much. senator lee has a planned budget and you can check it out and see what you think about it. and vice president biden goes on the attack to draw a clear difference between obama and romney and it was bain capital. and john edwards, the most insane testimony we have heard ever heard. and late today, a really terrible story. a surprising death in the kennedy family. we'll tell you exactly what happened.
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our second story outfront, the vice president goes on the attack in the battleground state of ohio calling mitt romney out of touch with the middle class. >> i resent when they talk about families like mine and what i grew up in. i resent the fact that they think we're talking about we're envy. it's job envy, it's wealth envy. that we don't dream. my mother believed and my father believed that if i wanted to be president of the united states, i could be. i could be vice president. my mother and father believed
that if my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire, they could be a millionaire. my mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams. >> john avlon is here and so is reihan salam who as of tonight is a cnn contributor and we love it. >> thank you very much. >> the light's bright. he's blinking. thank you very much, erin. i've never seen you so reserved. >> well, i'm very grateful to you guys and i love being on the show and i look forward to jousting with you and my colleagues, you know, for many days to come. days and months to come. >> we love having you. michael waldman is here too. former speechwriter. michael, i have to just ask you because you know joe biden and have worked obviously with many democrats here. he is a man of passion. but that was true passion. >> that was true passion. i think he really feels it. i think he really is offended in a way by the vision of how the economy works. that governor romney has put out
both with his record but also with his economic plan. and when you see that kind of passion, it's a political question of does it come off as very hot. but i think he really meant it and i think you'll hear the democrats pound this theme, pound it, pound it over and over and over again. two different visions of how the economy should work. >> i'm sure mitt romney would say i think everybody in this country has the right to wake up and dream about being a millionaire so what's the difference. but will this stick? >> you know, i think this certainly is a very effective line of attack. the problem is the president is very vulnerable with noncollege educated working class white men and that's why his big attacks on bain capital have really focused on white men. the ads are full of these working class, tough guy, white guys. and he knows that's a big vulnerability for him, particularly in a state like ohio, which is absolutely must win. it's essential in a state like pennsylvania where the president looks more vulnerable than he might have expected to be. so i think that's what this is really about.
it's certainly -- here's the problem. president obama has a lot of bundlers, a lot of support coming from that same private equity world. everyone knows it. so that's a real irony and a real tension here, including joe biden. joe biden's son works in this industry, as does his brother. so the idea that he comes from this entirely different universe and really connects with these guys and their struggles while mitt romney does not is i think a little problematic and we'll see if it sticks. >> john avlon, you know this youngstown area very well where biden was today. >> my mother was from there, my grandmother still lives there. bringing biden there, in that northeastern corner of ohio, it's real weakness. it's a swing part of the state in a swingingest of the swing state. biden has got that credibility to really speak to blue collar workers saying i understand, with the america we grew up in, i understand your vision of the american dream. it was the vision of the american dream i grew up in. but this is where the battleground is. this is where this fight is going to be fought. it's smart to offer that contrasting image of an american
economy rooted in manufacturing, a vision for the rust belt that looks forward as well as back. >> we're really in uncharted territory here. it's not just that romney is one of the wealthiest people, depending on how you measure it, who's ever potentially been president but we never had somebody who made their wealth in finance in a long time. the last time was 1940 that somebody who was principally a business executive was a major party nominee for president. we've never seen it in the modern political era. >> quickly before we go, chris christie and cory booker, two different parties, but this is fun. watch it. >> absolutely. >> governor, stand back! i got this, i got this. >> booker! >> governor romney, governor romney, yes, yes, that was me running into the fire. yes. i do shovel snow as well. yes, you're very persuasive. but i'm not a number two guy. i'm not a background singer.
mitt, sir, with all due respect, i know you need a big -- >> excuse me, mayor. >> i got this. >> christie! >> that was so -- it's not a real video. legislative correspondents dinner. that's bipartisanship, i love it. those guys like each other. y they're opposite sides of the aisle in same state new jersey, potential future rivals, but they have been able to work together and as you saw laugh together across the aisle. that's one of the reasons why they're two of the rising stars in their respective parties. >> i love it. way to go, new jersey. thanks to all of you. ahead, the john edwards defense team rested and the jury is about to get the case. it could send edwards to prison for 30 years. this was a bizarre trial and we've strung it all together for you. and he's giving up his job, moving to an island and cutting himself off from the world for the rest of the year. we can all only dream. get rid of those blackberries and carpal tunnel. but before it happens, he comes outfront.
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rielle hunter, or his daughter, cate, who has been there supporting her father through the trial. edwards is accused of using almost a million dollars of campaign contributions to hide his affair with rielle hunter and her pregnancy when he ran for president in 2008. the defense says he used the money to support her and it was okay because it was considered a gift, not political donations. if it's political donations and not gifts, that could mean 30 years in jail. closing arguments begin tomorrow and he could go to jail. paul callan is a criminal defense attorney and is outfront tonight. paul, we've put together some of the highlights -- i'm going to call them the lowlights of this trial. the state put up 24 witnesses, defense put out seven. andrew young, the friend of john edwards, campaign adviser who helped move the money, cover for his boss, said this at the trial when he confronted john edwards about whether rielle hunter was pregnant and this is what john edwards said to him. quote, he said she was a crazy
slut and there was a one in three chance it was his child. >> this is classic for the way this trial has been. this has been one of the craziest trials with some of the most bizarre testimony you can possibly imagine. all aimed at john edwards' character to show this jury he's an utterly reprehensible human being. >> and when andrew young said rielle called john edwards to tell him she was pregnant and this is how andrew young said the conversation went. john edwards answered the phone saying it's so important, somebody has either got to be pregnant or dead. and she said nobody is dead. okay. but this is embarrassing and humiliating but that's not what's at stake here. right? what's at stake is he used political donations as opposed to gift money. >> exactly. and this -- most lawyers who have looked at these laws and are experts in this field say that this is an unprecedented prosecution because normally if somebody gives you campaign funds with the intent that you use them for
personal purposes, it's not considered a violation of law. but this case is considered to be the classic case of where prosecution has to be brought. >> 30 years in jail or no? >> no. he'll never do 30 years in jail and it's a really tough case for the prosecution to win. >> we'll see. closing statements tomorrow. in our second half, the greek economy heading down the toilet and it could bring the u.s. down with it. this is an important story and you may want to save greece. we've got a way for you to do it. plus a death in the kennedy family late today. that's next.
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welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start the second half with stories we care about where we focus on our own reporting from the front lines. and tonight, another day closer to the fiscal cliff. today the senate rejected a series of budget proposals. republican senator mike lee came outfront and told us he'd be okay with closing tax loopholes even if it means people would have to pay more. >> i'm not aware of anyone who would say that if one american might end up paying a little bit more that would necessarily count them out. >> an important step there and of course senator lee is a major tea party player. well, iran is continuing to
ship arms in direct violation of u.n. security council rules. reuters setting a confidential draft report by a u.n. panel of experts reports that syria is the top destination of iranian arms shipments. according to the report, there were three seizures of large shipments of iranian weapons in the past year. the report also noted iran's attempts to circumvent sanctions on its nuclear program but that those particular sanctions seem to be working. reuters is also reporting tonight that senate leader harry reid will propose tomorrow new sanctions targeting iran's oil and economy. skechers is paying $40 million to settle charges that it deceived consumers. the ftc says the company made unfounded claims that its shape-up shoes would help people lose weight, strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles. under the settlement they can't use any ads that make these claims until it's backed up by scientific evidence. according to the ftc, toning shoes have become a big business. you can't open up a magazine without seeing it. i have to say, i'll eat my words if scientific
studies show it, but that always seemed like a hoax. earlier today president obama awarded the medal of honor to army specialist leslie sabo jr. specialist sabo was killed in cambodia during the vietnam war. after throwing a grenade into an enemy bunker, saving several soldiers' lives. his widow accepted the honor. it's an amazing tale. they had only been married a month when he was shipped out. this medal was actually almost never even awarded. a veteran doing research at the national archives back in 1999 found the original medal of honor paperwork and set the wheels in motion for this day. it has been 286 days since the united states lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? well, unfortunately the fed released the minutes of its last meeting and one of the big concerns they discussed was the fiscal cliff that hits at the end of the year. they say it's a risk to the economic outlook. our fourth story outfront, the estranged wife of robert f. kennedy jr. was found dead this afternoon in her suburban new york home.
police in bedford say mary richardson kennedy was found in an outbuilding on the family's property. they're not commenting on the cause of death, but they do say that she was alone. she was 52 years old. the couple separated two years ago and have four children. lawrence leimer is a kennedy biographer. his book focused in on rfk, jr.'s generation. he joins us from palm beach, florida, tonight. thank you very much, sir, for taking the time to be with us. it was certainly a surprise when we saw that headline late today. there's been speculation about the cause of death. obviously she had been previously taken in for a dui. what can you tell us that you think might have happened? >> i don't know, but i've spent 15 years of my life writing a trilogy on the kennedys. when the phone rings, i still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, could it be some more bad news. there's been so much of it.
and we don't know specifically what it is, but we know from a history of this family that it's very hard being a kennedy. either being a blood kennedy or being married to one. the overwhelming celebrity, the attention, the obligations, the expectations that you're supposed to do something with your life. it's very, very hard. >> and i know that she had had two -- i mentioned a dui arrest. two dui arrests in 2010 right after her husband had filed for divorce. one for alcohol, one for prescription drugs. do you know if she was struggling for addiction? and i suppose it does seem and maybe just because it's so public, but i think to the american public it just seems that this family has been so plagued with these tragedies of addiction. >> well, her husband or soon-to-be ex-husband was a heroin addict. he came out of that and became one of america's great
environmental leaders. >> yes. >> but i remember kathleen kennedy townsend saying to me that she enjoys going to hyannis port for thanksgiving now. it used to be a bunch of drunks and now it's an aa meeting. i believe the family recognizes that is a real problem in the family, it really is. i remember bobby kennedy jr. telling me that he thinks it's in the genes. it's something that you just kind of have. again, she's not a blood kennedy, but almost by osmosis, you're around and it's just there. >> and what can you tell us about her? we were looking and the last thing we could find, this obviously happened late today, this is the last we could find. the "new yorker" had quoted mary kennedy talking about family dinner being sacrosanct in the family and all the kids would gather together when she was obviously still with robert kennedy jr. they would play games, name the categories, name ten presidents. that sounds like a very kennedy thing to do. but is there anything that you can tell us about her, about them together? >> well, they reinvented the
kennedys in a way, that feeling of hyannisport in the summer which is the time the family spent together. this wondrous time of all the people being together. the game, the sports. in their family for their children, they tried to do the same thing. increasingly rare in american families, but they tried to do it. >> her family put out a statement. i just wanted to quote from it. i believe her sister said we deeply regret the death of our beloved sister, mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. our heart goes out to her children, whom she loved without reservation. obviously she was married to rfk jr. for 16 years. do you have any sense of -- they were estranged but not fully divorced at this time. what their relationship was like now post -- i mean they're not divorced yet, but in this moment? >> well, when you have four kids, you have to have some kind of relationship, and they wanted
to -- you know, they both cared profoundly about their children. you know? and that's why this makes it an even deeper tragedy because she really tried to be a good mother. >> and has there been a change, lawrence, from when you spent so much time covering this family, but has this curse of addiction been broken or is this something that is continuing you think now even into the younger generations? >> well, it's like going to an aa meeting. it's one day at a time. if you have this past, you know that you have this problem, you have to constantly be aware. >> lawrence leamer, thank you very much. we appreciate you taking the time tonight. now the great depression in greece. today there was a bank rush. i'm using that word on purpose. it wasn't quite a run. greeks lined up to withdraw euros, afraid that their country will soon lose that currency and there's no government either. today a caretaker prime minister took over. new elections are scheduled for june 17th. and then there was this. a report that a dutch man who had retired to greece was beaten by two young greek men.
how bad will it get? richard quest is outfront tonight. >> reporter: the situation is serious, but what is more worrying is it could get a great deal worse because a crisis that has seen high debts, insolvency, bankruptcies, cut backs, austerity, is now threatening to become a run on banks and a panic in the banking system. as you know only too well, the moment confidence is lost in the banking system, you really are on a very fast downward spiral. we're not there yet. let's make that clear. but certainly that's the way everybody in europe is looking at it next. >> certainly frightening when you think about some of those images even before world war ii when there were runs on banks then. some have made that connection and it may not be fair in this case. but richard, are there people in greece that can pay for some of this? i'm reminded of that story that
"the new york times" did saying greeks don't pay taxes and they had to pay a tax on swimming pools and nobody said they had a pool and they looked in the neighborhood and 96% of the houses had pools or something. >> reporter: and the doctors who declared they earned two euros a month having got paid in cash or the pharmacists that never declared any income and the dentists that only had two patients. i mean the tax evasion is legendary. of and that's the problem. what i hear, and i'll come to your question in a second. what i hear is that those who have gone into greece to try to monitor the economy are quite astounded and literally having to almost rebuild the economy from the ground up. now to your point, are there people who could help? of course there are. by they're not the billionaires or the shipping magnates. they're not the bankers or those who have made fortunes in insurance, although they could probably pay more taxes, it is the vast number of ordinary
people who need to pay ordinary taxes. and it is if you increase the tax base, that is where you get real money. you know as well as i do you do not make serious money on taxes by taxing the rich. you make it by taxing the middle classes. >> richard quest, thank you very much. all of us remember we should be rooting for greece, everybody, because as greece goes, could go everyone. thanks, richard. >> reporter: that, that is the point. because anybody sitting comfortably in the u.s. and thinks that this is a long, long, long way away ought to bear in mind that the atlantic ocean is really no wider than a bathtub. >> thanks, richard. okay. so the world can help greece prevent a bailout or help them get out of this by, say, going on vacation to the parthenon or santa rini. look at that. wouldn't you want to go on vacation there? trish is.
the top listed hotel on that island is offering its suite with a plunge pool along with a 50-minute massage, breakfast and a bottle of wine for 50% off. when i went to travel and leisure first hotel and i went and clicked on it. big thing all over the screen. 50% off. or you can buy greek olive oil. i do that. i buy by helping out countries and look at this. two kinds of greek olive oil available right now. by the way, they're not cheap. you can buy a lot in greece. still outfront, victims of a man accused of genocide and crimes against humanity faced the court today. and to hell with it. let's go off the grid, move to a deserted island for an entire year. i mean let's really go, outfront. a party?
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it's the easiest tractor to use yet. what will you create? discover the 1 series at johndeere.com/1series. great financing available so we all know smartphone use is on the rise, but we have now crossed a threshold. or a tipping point. mr. gladwell would say that. half of all americans with a mobile phone now have a smartphone. last year it was only 38%. according to neilson, users have an average 41 apps on their device. are you kidding me? 41 apps? i think i have two apps but i'm
not really sure what an app is. i'm just kidding. most users spend more times on the apps than they do using the web on their phone. this being said, even though people have more apps, they're not spending more time on their apps. it's the same as last year which means a.d.d. continues to surge in america. there's another unfortunate thing. blackberry, maker of this, the beloved, is not even included in the report. there's a good reason why. the number of android users has more than doubled over the past year which brings me to our number tonight. 84 million. that's how many iphone and android users there are in the united states. in 2011 that number was only 38 million. wow. now to tonight's outer circle. we reach out to our sources around to the world and we begin in the netherlands where the war crimes trial started today in the hague. the former bosnian serb commander is facing 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his actions during yugoslavia's civil war. nic robertson was there and i
asked him what it was like in the courtroom where he was facing some of his victims. >> reporter: erin, there were moments of pure theater where he came into the courtroom. he smiled at some of his victims. one of those men told me afterwards that he thought mladic had mistaken him for somebody else. he said he even gave him the thumbs up. there were moments of high drama as well where mladic drew his finger across his throat staring intently at some of those victims, some of the women from srebrenica, where he is alleged to have massacred 7,000 men and boys. it was clearly a gesture intended to intimidate the women. there was anger there, there was frustration. he was told by the judge not to do it again, but it may not be the last time, erin. now to beijing. chen guangcheng the chinese humans rights activist who escaped house arrest last month applied for passports for his family today bringing him a step closer to leaving china and coming to the u.s.
as we waits for his travel documents, he says his relatives are being punished for his escape. stan grant has been covering the store fearlessly from the beginning and i asked him about the pressure chen says authorities are using on his family. >> reporter: erin, days turning into weeks now. chen guangcheng is still here. at this hospital behind tight security. now he says his family is being victimized. he says extended family members have been beaten and brutalized by security. he says his nephew is now on an attempted murder charge after he tried to defend himself. cnn has been in contact with chen's brother and he also confirms that story. now, in the meantime, chen is still waiting for his chinese passport to be processed. he says he wants to leave this country. he fears for his life if he stays here. as far as the u.s. is concerned, the state department says all of their procedures have been completed. they are ready to move whenever chen is ready to move. that still depends on china. erin. >> stan grant, thank you.
now imagine cutting yourself off from the rest of the world. no television, no neighbors, no civilization that's what 40-year-old chuck baird plans to go. go completely off the grid for a full year. he quit his job as an oil worker in anchorage, alaska, by this week, and at the end of the month he'll start a new life on the island which is basically uninhabited year round. tonight, he's talking about embarking on the adventure he has been dreaming about for 20 years. so many are looking at you, sir, liviing vicariously and saying t takes so much courage. island, alaska, everyone has got it. but you're actually doing it. so just tell me now, you're packing. what are you taking? >> yeah, i'm basically bringing base basic supplies. i'll build a small cabin when i get there. i'm bringing a dog and a small goat as well.
along with some basic foods. grains and rice, that sort of thing. enough to get by in the hard times. but mostly we'll be relying on trapping, fishing and hunting. so it will be a very busy week, a busy few months getting ready for the wintertime. >> and so what made you decide to do this? i mean, it's one thing to think about it, it's a completely different thing to do it. what got you over that hump? >> yeah. i have always been intrigued by the explorers and the pioneers in the old days. so i put together the alaskan pioneer show, basically. to kind of re-enact some of that. i put together a production company two years ago for my movie "cold wood." we finished that and said we might as well film this project. it's a little unusual. it's not a contrived situation. it's not game show. it's real. i'm going to be dropped off an
an island and you know, live. very similar to the way they did many years ago. some of the differences are obviously i'll have a satellite uplink where i will be able to broadcast to my facebook fan page at alaska pioneer, but i won't be able to receive any information. i will be cut off completely. i won't know if people are, you know, are born or die. i won't know who the president is until i return. >> you can only put things on to facebook. you can't see what other people post to you, right? >> that's correct. yeah. i'll be completely cut off otherwise. >> all right. so have you ever done anything like this before? do you have any conception of potentially how lonely you might be? i mean, who are you leaving behind? >> yeah. i'm not married and i don't have kids, so that simplifies a lot of things. i have been through some training. i went through basic survival school at the air force academy. i have done a lot of camping, i have done a few civilian survival schools as well.
i have consulted with psychologists at harvard university and just talking about that, as you said. the isolation is going to be the toughest thing. i have done survival, i have built cabins. that's not terribly complicated. you do it by day by day. but the isolation will be the biggest challenge. i think it will be some interesting viewing. it will be something a little different from what you normally see. >> i can't wait to follow your facebook. what did they tell you is the thing to be most worried about? worried you can become crazy, suicidal, what? >> no. well, they talk about cabin fever which we kind of joke about. but it can become serious up here. the darkness can affect your thinking. i haven't had real problems with the darkness. more the opposite, the light in the summertime keeps me awake all the time and i'm kind of hyper and working all the time. i think when you're alone that much you can get off track in your thinking and planning. so you know, if i have any big
decisions i'll take it slow and think things through carefully and stick to the plan and not do anything too out of the normal. >> all right. >> but, you know, people have done this for centuries. so i'm going to give it my shot and share it with you. >> all right. i look forward to that and i can't wait to hear more from chuck baird. well, it is hump day. you know what that means on some wednesdays. camels and wine are next. ♪ ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today
so it wouldn't be hump day without the camel report. when we were in israel a couple of weeks ago, we stopped at the carmel winery, just one letter shy of a lovely name. in the shop i noticed that many in the bottles had animal logos. there were owls, deer, ostriches and then i saw it, ah, yes, there is a camel wine. camels, wine, i was intrigued. i mean, well, i decided to meet with the winery's director to find out why a camel. i heard a rumor that in some of your vineyards you have a bit of a camel problem. >> yes.
the big pests are camels. >> pests? >> well, they come and eat the vines, eat it like a salad right down to the roots. so that's the problem that you get with a winery in the desert. >> oh, i have to admit i love camels, but that does sound pretty bad. >> we have one on one of our labels so we're not so anti-camel as you think. >> how do you get rid of them when they're pests? >> basically, the camels come in herds and you have to rely on the bedouins to herd them and not enter the vineyards too often. >> so you don't kill them? >> no, no way. of course not. how many quality wine regions have camels walking through the vineyards? >> i think one. i think one. all right, let's taste the camel. >> this is the appalachian merlot. cheers. >> you see gamel in hebrew? >> gamel.