tv The Situation Room CNN October 21, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PDT
"gravity" has been number one for three weeks in a row. "12 years a slave" had a strong showing in limited release, earning nearly $1 million after opening on 19 screens nationwide. that's it for "the lead." i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." wolf? happening now, horror and chaos in a nevada middle school. a teacher and student, they are dead. two more students hurt after a shooting. we'll have the very latest. the president vows to fix the technical fiasco that clogged up the government's obama care website. >> there's no sugar coating it. the website has been too slow. people have been getting stuck during the application process. and i think it's fair to say that nobody's more frustrated by that than i am. >> obama care has its roots in romney care. i will ask the former head of that successful massachusetts health exchange if washington got it wrong. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
all that coming up but let's begin with new video. 911 calls and details all just coming in to "the situation room" right now after another school shooting. this one at a middle school in sparks, nevada. one staff member is dead, two students have been injured after a student allegedly opened fire. the suspect also died but authorities say it's too soon to know if that is from a self-inflicted wound or from a law enforcement shot. we have team coverage of this developing story. our crime and justice correspondent joe johns is getting new information from law enforcement. let's begin with brian todd. he's here in "the situation room." what's the latest? >> we are getting new information on this shooting seemingly by the minute now. a top police official in reno says the best description is chaos. two people dead as wolf mentioned. the staff member at sparks middle school outside reno and the suspect who is described as a student there. two students were wounded, one shot in the shoulder, who the police say is in stable
condition, and one shot in the stomach, who has just undergone surgery and who police say is in critical condition. we just received the 911 recordings of this incident. take a listen. >> active shooter, sparks middle school, 2275 18th street. they have at least two down, one in the drop box area for the buses. suspect is described as wearing khaki pants. >> two down in the playground. they have one victim in the cafeteria, one in the hall. >> police are now investigating this shooting, interviewing several students who were witnesses. the indications we're getting now are that the staffer who was killed tried somehow to stop the shooter and may have played a role in others not being hit. but again, interviews going on right now with witnesses. here's a description of the shooting from one of the student witnesses. >> the kid started getting mad and he pulled out a gun and
shoots my friend, one of my friends at least. he got shot in the shoulder. he's fine right now. and then he walked up to a teacher and says back up. the teacher started backing up, he pulled the trigger -- trigger. once that happened, he ran towards the eighth grade side, started firing there. then he jumped the fence and he was gone. >> police are still investigating a possible motive. now, according to a report from cnn's local affiliate kolo, some witnesses say they thought they heard someone talking about possible bullying just before the shots were fired, but we have to stress, those are initial reports from witnesses, not from the police. >> what do we know about the school? >> the school we know has about 630 students. that was the enrollment in the last school year, 2012-2013. sparks, nevada has a population of 92,183. that middle school, sparks middle school, is made up of seventh and eighth graders, so
put that age probably between 11 and 13 years old. that's a young suspect, obviously, if that is indeed who the shooter was. >> lot of this information very preliminary. we will check it out. thanks very much. let's bring in our crime and justice correspondent, joe johns. you're in philadelphia, where police from across the country are discussing how to deal with situations similar to these. what are the sources you're talking to saying? >> reporter: well, wolf, federal officials are monitoring the situation in nevada as they always do, the fbi is on the scene. some indication the shooter may have gotten that gun from a family member. federal officials i talked to here at the international association of chiefs of police convention in philadelphia said it was both grisly and timely that the attorney general would be in this city talking about active shooter situations at a time when one was actually occurring in nevada. now, the attorney general did tell the police chiefs here in this city that as far as he's concerned, the country has to
have a better response at the local level because these kinds of incidents are increasing in both severity and number. he says police officers at the local level need to have more equipment and certainly more training to try to deal with shooters right as the incident happens, and not necessarily wait for s.w.a.t. teams to show up. >> joe, stand by. we've got the mayor of sparks, nevada on the phone right now. mayor geno martini is joining us. mayor, what can you tell us? what happened? >> everything you have been talking about is pretty much what happened, from what i understand. the young man came to school with a gun, shot a couple ever students and also shot a teacher and the teacher has since been -- passed away. it's a very, very sad day for us. it's not something that you wake up thinking is going to happen in your city, especially with a small community city we are of families, so on and so forth. it's very, very devastating to everybody involved. >> does it look as if the
shooter was deliberately targeting the teacher who was shot? >> i don't think so, not from what we understand from the police department. it wasn't a targeting incident. it was an isolated kind of an incident. but we're not sure about that. we're still under investigation. there's a lot of statements and things to be taken yet, and people to talk to. so it's an ongoing investigation as i speak to you. >> and the shooter, was the shooter, this 13 or 14-year-old boy, was he shot by law enforcement or did he kill himself? >> you know, we don't know for sure exactly what happened. as far as i understand, there was no fire. the police department did not expend any rounds or make -- take any shots. it's only speculation about what may have happened with the shooter himself. all we know is that he is dead. >> can you tell us anything else about this teacher? some are describing him as a hero in this incident. i don't know if you knew the teacher in question, the teacher
who was shot and killed, but what can you share with us? >> you know, i didn't know mr. lansbury but from what i understand, he was a very well liked teacher by the students and other teachers in the district. he is a member of the nevada national air guard and served a couple terms in afghanistan, is what i understand. you know, it's very unfortunate that someone like that that protected our country over there and came back alive, his life had to be taken at his work, at his school. it's very devastating. >> it is devastating indeed. what kind of weapon, do you know what kind of weapon was used? >> we just know it was a pistol, as far as we know. other than that, we do not know anything. >> was it a pistol that this 13-year-old boy got from a relative, a family member? >> that has not been determined yet, from what we understand. it may have happened but we have not found that out for sure. >> how is your community doing? >> you know, our community's doing good. we'll mourn, we'll suffer. like i said, it's very hard to understand in a small community like this. you know, you always think this
stuff, this kind of stuff happens other places. now it's happened to us. we'll grieve and mourn and then we'll be fine. >> mayor, thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. >> good luck to everyone in your community. we also have on the phone lieutenant erick thomas with the sparks police department. lieutenant, what else can you share with us about how this went down? >> just that at about 7:16 this morning, before the first bell for school rang, we started receiving calls of -- into our 911 center about a possible shooting and subject armed with a hand gun. when officers arrived there, they found two subjects that were deceased and two injured subjects. those injured subjects were transported to the hospital, and we are currently investigating the incident. >> how did the shooter die? do you know? >> we're not releasing that yet.
we're still investigating. that could be released later on today. >> the teacher who was shot and killed, can you share with us what you've learned how that happened? >> i don't have any information that i can release on that yet. we just know that one of the victims, one of the deceased was a staff member at the school. >> did you know this teacher? >> i did not. >> you did not know him. so the investigation, your investigation is only just beginning but it's over right now, right? the shooting incident is over? there's no other suspects at large or anything like that? >> no, there is no other suspect at large. the shooting is over. it's past tense right now. >> yeah. all right. erick thomas, lieutenant erick thomas of the sparks police department, good luck to you and your entire community. i'm sure it's going to be a painful, already has been a very painful experience. we will stay in close touch with you. thank you very much. >> thank you. we'll move on to other news we're following.
up next, the president says he's upset over the technical failures of the obama care website and is vowing to make things right. >> there's no excuse for the problems. and these problems are getting fixed. another fiasco, after trying to force concessions by shutting down the government, republican lawmakers get a brutal reality check in a brand new poll. farmer: hello, i'm an idaho potato farmer. and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing. so my dog and i we're going to go find it. it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what? just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up.
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endless waits, a log-in log jam and repeated failures. it's been a miserable start for the federal government's obama care website. the president says he's as upset as anyone and is vowing a massive 24/7 effort to turn things around. but he says those who have managed to enroll are quote, thrilled with the result. let's go live to our senior white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's joining us now. how's the white house dealing with this escalating problem? >> reporter: well, wolf, confronting it, however the white house is still loathe to publicly admit the structural problems with this federal website following this event in the rose garden, where the president was in a rather embarrassing situation, having to defend his signature health care reform program and pointing americans to a 1-800 number.
it was a rather tough briefing for white house press secretary jay carney. his go-to answer on the issues with the website were that they were -- the volume has exposed the issues. we heard president obama refer to them as kinks in the system as he tried to assure americans that obama care is much more than this website. >> the problem has been that the website that's supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody. there's no sugar coating it. the website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process, and i think it's fair to say that nobody's more frustrated by that than i am, precisely because the product is good, i want the cash registers to work. i want the checkout lines to be smooth. so i want people to be able to get this great product. and there's no excuse for the problems.
and it's -- these problems are getting fixed. we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website. that's not what this was about. we waged this battle to make sure that millions of americans in the wealthiest nation on earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable quality health care as anybody else. >> reporter: the president described a quote, tech surge where you have government employees as well as private sector employees being brought in, they are currently working on the website trying to get it operational, but we don't know exactly who it is working on it, we don't know how many people there are working on it. we certainly do not know at this point when the website will fixed. or certainly widely operational. a lot of unanswered questions at this point. >> we don't know how much extra it's going to cost to fix the
website. they have already spent hundreds of millions of dollars. i assume it won't be cheap to try to fix it. brianna, is there serious consideration at the white house to doing for individuals what they earlier did for employers? in other words, delaying that individual mandate, the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance or be penalized with a higher tax? >> reporter: i got an interesting answer from jay carney when i asked him about that today in the briefing. he said that for folks who don't have access to affordable care due to a state not expanding medicaid, for example he said, or due to other factors, he said, they will not be penalized. that's part of the existing law. so it really kind of seemed like he was leaving the door open to that. you hear other administration officials talk about this, wolf, and they say they don't think it will be necessary. they look at massachusetts, for instance, that health care program, and they say a lot of times, people weren't signing up for insurance until they got close to the deadline so it doesn't necessarily matter here
in this early part, but if you talk to obama care supporters, they think this is perhaps a real possibility. even though the enrollment process goes through the end of march, that requirement to get insurance is actually mid-february so it's quicker than the end of march. >> yeah. time flies, as they say. brianna, thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper right now. joining us, the democratic strategist, maria cardona, our cnn political commentators, ross douthat and our cnn money tech correspondent, lori siegel. ross, you wrote a fascinating column in yesterday's "new york times" comparing the rollout of obama care to the war in iraq. >> right. obviously the underlying policy issue is totally different, but what you have here is something similar to what you saw with the bush administration and post invasion planning where i think if you look back to 2003, even people who are opposed to the iraq war were surprised by the fact that the bush white house had botched something so basic
as figuring out what we do the day after we take baghdad. this is a similar case, where look, there are all kinds of reasons that conservatives were skeptical about this law but i think almost nobody anticipated that the obama white house, so famous for its tech savvy, its ability to build the best campaign websites in the history of campaign websites, would fail fairly catastrophically in the rollout in ways that are going to take weeks, maybe months to unwind. >> we know there were plenty of warnings in the months leading up to october, inside the obama administration, not ready, we got problems, maybe we should delay it, and they said no, no, no, we're going ahead with it. this must be so, so frustrating to everyone in the white house, from the president on down, but they've got to blame someone for this. who screwed up? >> well, you know, i think they are taking a look at that and the president took full responsibility for this, and i love ross' writing, he's very melodramatic but a big difference between what happened today and the war in iraq is
that there was no banner that said mission accomplished behind the president. >> in the days leading up to it, they said everything is ready to go, we've tested it and we're in good shape. >> but again, this president -- [ speaking simultaneously ] >> 20 million people did try to sign up. that is a huge surge. you're right. they absolutely should have been prepared for this. no question about it. democrats are as frustrated as everybody and the president was the one who said it today. there's nothing more frustrated than him. the fact of the matter is we have to look at the human element here. i don't think they're going to delay it. i don't think they should have delayed it. there are millions of people who are desperate for this kind of health care and who are getting it. then you juxtapose that with republicans who are obsessed with taking something away from 30 million people who need it and i think that's where you have the battered image of the gop. >> 20 million people didn't try to sign up. they tried to sign in. they wanted to see -- a lot of
people with insurance were trying to go there to see if they could get in. >> people are now able to apply. >> but a lot of people are also, especially people on the individual market, having their existing plans canceled right now on the assumption that they will be able to buy insurance on the exchange. so it's not just the -- >> let me bring lori into this. you're talking to your sources. surprisingly, they didn't go to silicon valley to get the best and brightest or whatever you want to call it. they went to canada. not that there's anything wrong with canada but there's pretty good software people in the united states as well. what are they saying in silicon valley, especially now that the administration has this tech surge as they're calling it, they're mriflying in all sorts experts from california to washington to deal with this? >> first of all, the obama administration, people knew the obama administration for being very tech savvy so this is pretty eye-opening. i've got to tell you, i got on the phone with my silicon valley sources and they are shaking their heads and they say when
you have the government, technology and innovation, sometimes that's doomed for failure. i spoke to the sales force ceo and he said you know, they're using a decade old architecture to build this kind of thing out. he did say they should be using the cloud. obviously, there are a lot of issues when it comes to using the cloud and we have to look and it's not just like they can operate like a lean startup. they can't be like facebook and twitter when they were in the beginning days when they were moving fast and breaking things. right now there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen. there are a lot of government regulations. the feds can't even -- they weren't even able to use the cloud and they're able to use it for limited reasons now, as of may, so it's just a bit of an archaic process. a lot of folks in the valley say this is the kind of thing where you need to bring the best and the brightest minds in house, you need to recruit the best engineers to make this work. >> what i don't understand is why they didn't do that in advance, because they have several years, they had two or three years to get all this ready. i read a lot of experts, what
they're saying, some are saying could take a few days. others are saying a few weeks or months. others are saying they've got to start from scratch because the whole system is terrible right now. what are you hearing? >> you know, look, the folks i have spoken to are optimistic that this is going to be fixed. you have to understand that they're three weeks into a six-month enrollment process. but here the stakes are higher because when twitter started out and they were having some issues failing, everyone saw a cute fail well but when people who are trying to sign up for health care, especially something with this much political agenda, when they're not able to do that, the stakes are just higher, especially when there's a deadline. >> there's a serious deadline. what do you think, is this going to be fixed relatively soon? what are you hearing? >> you hear a lot of different things. and a friend of mine who was in the bush white house during katrina, another big disaster, said the thing to keep in mind is while a disaster is ongoing, it often can seem worse than it is.
we heard lots of, as horrible as katrina was, when they're in the bush white house at that moment, they were hearing they're shooting people in the superdome and so on. he says you have to be cautious and not assume that every horror story you hear is actually coming true. this could be fixed in a few weeks. i think the danger here is that the system, the entire architecture of the health care reform, is built around getting a certain number of people, a certain number usually of young, healthy people to sign up in order to make the whole thing a going concern. and that's the anxiety. it's not sort of -- obviously eventually they will fix the website but there's -- there are policy consequences to not getting enough people to sign up. >> if you're trying to get all these young healthy people to sign up, you have to have an excellent website. if you're going to rely on them to call some 800 toll-free number or going to some navigator as they're calling them, in a government office and signing up with paperwork, that's going to take forever. >> i completely agree. i think ross is right. this is going to depend on what
happens in the next couple of months. but given that the stakes are so high like lori said, i guarantee you the administration is doing everything that it can to make sure that this is a success. i think for every failure that ross and the republicans like to point out, there are many, many success stories of people who are getting the kind of coverage that they so desperately needed, and i think frankly, the president is okay with taking a couple of political dates now if he can then point to saying look, we have given 30 million people the kind of coverage they deserve. >> all these people who need health insurance desperately, some of them are getting it finally with pre-existing conditions and they may be frail, they may be old, they may be poor. they are getting it but in order to pay for that, healthy people have to sign up. >> that's right. >> if they don't, the whole system could crash. that's what you were writing about in the "new york times." a lot of people have pointed out. thanks, guys, very, very much. to be continued, as they say. up next, house republicans and the speaker john boehner,
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after trying to force obama care concessions by shutting down the federal government, republican lawmakers get a tough reality check in our brand new poll. the rest of official washington, by the way, didn't fare all that well either. our national correspondent john king is joining us live now with the latest. john, what are we seeing in the new numbers? >> what you see is that the american people are frankly disgusted and have very bleak view of all of their leaders in washington. let's start with the president. because he was out there at such a high profile role today, trying to promise to fix what he calls glitches with obama care. look at the president's approval rating. pretty much flat line over the last several months. he's at 44% now approval rating, same as he was in september, same pretty much as he was in june. so what's the bottom line there? the president may have had the upper hand politically in the government shutdown but he did not get a bounce when it comes to his job approval. a president under 50%, that's a danger sign for his party as we head into the midterm election year. so the president will be looking to boost that number. the one thing the president has
going for him, though, is the voters think even less of his chief rivals, meaning the house republicans. look at this number when it comes to the house speaker, john boehner. should he be replaced as speaker? more than six in ten americans say yes, they would like a new leader of the house of representatives. the people don't get to pick the speaker, of course, but that's a bad number. this is even worse. is it good for the country or bad for the country that republicans control the house. for the first time since the republicans took charge a few years ago, a majority now says it's bad for the country. again, that's a warning sign for the republicans. the president's numbers bad for him but those numbers, bad for the republicans as we heat up now into the midterm election season. and these next two numbers i want to show you, they are just bad for washington, period. look at this. are you satisfied with the way your nation is being governed. look at that number. 83%, more than 8 in 10 americans, say no. that's democrats and republicans and independents. that's everybody. grumpy about washington. here's one question here that could be part of the obama care debate. what was one of the big driving factors in the republicans
saying obama care is too much government? well, should the government do more to solve the country's problems. 35% of americans say yes. six in ten say no. for all their troubles and all the brand wound, if you will, republicans will look at that last number and still think heading into the election season if they can help repair the brand, that number there, people aren't looking for more government, you would argue should help the republicans. but overall, it is just a very bleak, bleak political environment. >> wonder who those 14% are who say they are satisfied with the way washington is doing business right now. what are you seeing specifically about the impact of the 16-day shutdown? >> there's no question the republican brand suffered damage. look at this first overall number. all americans are mad about the 16 day shutdown. 79%, nearly eight in ten say it was a bad thing. they don't think their government should have been shut down while the politicians fight out things like obama care. who gets the blame? look at this one. a majority of americans blame the republicans in congress, 52% blame the republicans in congress, 34%, president obama.
so again, wolf, the president comes out the quote unquote, winner, if you will, in the blame game about the shutdown. that's the momentum the white house would like to carry forward right now. the question is this. as we shift into the midterm election climate, now a year away, a year and a week or so away, is the shutdown still a flash point in american politics or as the republicans hope, do people's doubts about the president's health care plan, maybe continuing doubts about the economy, tend to rise up in the weeks and months ahead. that will be part of the political sparring going forward. but as you head into the beginning of the midterm election season, safe to say the country is in a very foul mood. >> very foul indeed. john, thank you. up next, obama care has its roots in romney care. i will ask the former head of that successful massachusetts health exchange what washington got wrong. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. with 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day women's 50+.
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sfx: birds chirping the obama website may be a mess but the administration says almost half a million people have managed to start the process and get online. and start the application process. on the other hand, that's just a fraction of the number who must actually enroll to make the program work. a lot of those people will need to be healthy. cnn's tom foreman is taking a closer look at the numbers behind the affordable care act and what needs to be done in order to make it work. >> wolf, president obama says despite all the problems with the website, the underlying design of obama care, he says, is basically fine. this is a tricky statement, because the economic machinery of this legislation only works if you get enough people and the right kind of people, enrolled. let's start with the first part. the administration has said this
will be a success if seven million people sign up by the end of march, the open enrollment deadline. all the calculations going forward are based on that many people who are currently uninsured choosing to pay premiums and get covered rather than be fined, even if the fine is lower than what it's going to cost them for the coverage. second part, this is the more important part, especially according to analysts like the folks at brookings institution, about 40% of these people have to be young and healthy, because they are the cash cows in this system. the savings from all the health services that they won't use will help pay for the older folks and those who are chronically ill. if you end up with a lot of sick people signing up and a lot of healthy people staying away, it doesn't matter what your total will be. that's called adverse selection and that could put the program into deep economic trouble fast. >> you know, even though the administration is releasing very few numbers, if we take a look at what has been released so
far, are we getting any indication that they're moving along on track or we just don't have enough numbers to make that conclusion? >> well, we don't have enough numbers, that's obvious. it's a little hard for them to say the numbers are working if they keep saying we don't have the numbers. how would they know. but let's be generous and say the white house says close to a half million people have filled out applications for obama care in the first 20 days. so if you work that down, you come to about 25,000 people per day in this process. let's say that all of these go forward and all of them complete the sign-up and all of them make the payment and all of them join the program. then if you do the math for the number of days between the end of march, what you come out with is about 161 days, around there, and that means about four million people signing up. that's well south of the seven million they say they need. i will say in massachusetts, when they do their health care program, at the beginning, what you saw was a slow ramp-up. you saw a bug rush at the end. so they could have a big push at
the end but at this moment based on these numbers, that seven million mark seems very far away. >> when they say almost half a million people have signed up, that's just the initial -- they haven't actually bought necessarily policies or anything, but they are online, they are signed up to the obama care website but that doesn't mean that there's half a million people who have already bought health insurance. >> exactly right, wolf. the problem here, the president keeps highlighting these people who have serious medical conditions and how this helps them. it does help them, there's month question. you don't have insurance, it helps you. but the people the system needs is not those people, as much as it may help them. what it needs is those healthy people who will decide it's worth completing the process even though economically, it may not seem that way up front. >> we will continue to follow this story. much more coming up. tom, thanks very much. we've got also some shocking video of an explosion on a city street. we'll stay on top of that story. more after this. waffle bars...
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as you know, so far, the federal government's obama care website is riddled with lots and lots of technical failures. the president says experts have been called in to get it to work properly, but can it really be fixed? joining us now is john kingsdale, founding director of the massachusetts health connector or romney care, as it was called, who pioneered the marketplace idea used in obama care. he now advises a number of states about their health exchanges. john, thanks very much for coming in. so what do you think? can it be fixed? >> well, i'm sure it can be fixed. the question's really about time. and this is a series of, if you think of this as a stream or a process, the problem that i see is not so much just getting the website, which is the store door, if you will, to open, but then downstream, there are all these connections with hundreds
of insurance plan issuers, getting the bills out correctly to millions of people, tying that back to the irs, and you're not really enrolled, frankly, until you get the right bill and you have paid it, and the insurance plan has acknowledged your payment. all that needs to be stress tested under volume as well. that has to happen after the immediate fixes. >> should they have delayed the program because it wasn't ready? >> well, the deadline january 1 is written into the law, and you saw the heat that the administration took just for relieving employers of reporting and penalty requirements in the first year, so i think that going much further than what they did was probably not possible, and you've got a congress that as we all know, can't really act. they -- october 1 is not in the law, and in retrospect, it's clear that they needed to do some kind of a soft launch and take the month of october really to do the testing and the fixing, and in fact, if you look
at subsequent years, they have open enrollment starting a couple weeks after october 1st, and ending in december. so this is a big window and it turns out that they opened it a little bit too soon. >> when you launched romney care as it was called in massachusetts, did you initially have similar problems? >> you know, the problems weren't the same but we did actually have some issues, and we in fact delayed and phased in a couple different programs. and you know, here, everybody but two of -- 200 legislators, including a lot of republicans, voted for it. even scott brown when he was a legislator. so you just don't have the kind of criticism for everything you do here. we didn't have it, that you have in washington. so it makes the decisions a little politically less pressured. >> the president clearly is angry and frustrated about how this has been rolled out. who really would be -- obviously
the president's not going to be directly responsible for making sure the website works, but who should really be responsible? and should take the -- i mean, should accept the blame for this? >> well, from this far away who was responsible. clearly most of this is being administered out of cms. they are handling a huge amount of efforts, this is a very complex and comprehensive set of regulations, and policies, and frankly they've done a terrific job on most of it. unfortunate i will on the website not so terrific. john kingsdale, thanks very much for coming in. >> my pleasure. let's check out news we're following in "the situation room." the wall street giant j.p. morgan chase is expected to pay a record penalty for its role in the financial collapse, but is it true accountability? we'll have a look.
what are you seeing, zain? >> certainly a respected man, but during the credit boom, j.p. morgan along with every other wall street bank sold what's referred for as mortgage-backed securities. the justice department is chaiming that they were backed by very risky mortgages, that set off a wave that contributed to the financial crisis. now they're asking the boss, jamie dimon, to pay up. take a listen. >> reporter: his latest trouble is big. a potential $13 billion fine, the largest on record. the proposed settlement with the justice department is for j.p. morgan's alleged role in selling questionable mortgage securities to investorses between 2005 and 2007. quite a turn for dimon, who's led the investment firm for eight years u he came through the financial crisis looking better than any other ceo out there. >> i think he still has a strong reputation, probably the most
competent and strongest leader of any of the major banks' ceos. >> reporter: respected as a deal maker, fiercely defended by his board and applauded by shareholders, the only bank to escape virtually unscathed, but times have changed. fines and settlements have included $410 million for manipulating electricity markets, and $1 billion for hiding massive trading markets for a scandal known as the london whale. >> the public criticism in the years since the crisis, the fact there's been soening accountability, that has something to do with it. i think that prosecutors have to be feeling the pressure five or six years later. >> from the perspective, it looks like the walls are closing in. >> now dimon faces this possibility $13 billion settlement, a figure that would represent more than half of the bank's profit last year. >> the ultimate rule here in washington today is that there
has to be accountability. someone has to pay. there are trillions of dollars lost, life savings were lost, employment was ended for thousands of americans. they're not if a forgiving mood. >> reporter: mounting legal troubles forced them to report a $380 million loss in the most recent quarter leading to his first loss as chairman and ceo of the bank. dimon's year could get worse. the government can still pursue criminal charges against j.p. morgan. >> there's no question that there have been failures by j.p. morgan. the controls do look very inadequa inadequate. >> $13 billion is certainly a huge amount of money, but here's a couple things you have to remember, firstly j.p. morgan acquired washington mutual's at the height of the urging of regulators at the height of the financial crisis. j.p. morgan says those funds are pretty much responsible for 80% of the mortgage miskicked and now j.p. morgan is having to pay
for their mistakes as well as its own. >> seine asher, thank you very much. coming up at the top of the hear, a near collision between twouppo jets. we'll have details. who is this mystery woman on the government's troubled website? jeanne moos is next. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know the ancient pyramids were actually a mistake?
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sign up at psoriasis.com, and talk to your dermatologist. here we honor the proud thaccomplishmentsss. of our students and alumni. people like, maria salazar, an executive director at american red cross. or garlin smith, video account director at yahoo. and for every garlin, thousands more are hired by hundreds of top companies. each expanding the influence of our proud university of phoenix network. that's right, university of phoenix. enroll now. we've got a frame waiting for you. her face has become synonymous with obama care. now everyone want to know who the woman really is. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: have you seen the mystery girl? she's not missing, but she is almost impossible to miss.
>> the trouble watching the -- >> the roll-out has not only embarrassed the white house. >> >> reporter: she's been floating across our tv screens, smiling out at us from our computers. online at least this isn't the face of obama care. this is. >> critics are having a field day tweeting congrats, rapidly smiling -- stock photo girl, you're now the most despised face on planet earth. how would you like having your face associated with phrases like "problem plague. watch your back, newscasters. she behind you. screen left. >> tax the heat for the glitches. >> screen right. >> the problems -- >> when we asked about her identity, the company responsible for building much of the website didn't call us back. nor did health and human services. >> this is not a licky split process. >> a small company that originally worked on the home
page told us she was part of the mockup from the design folks. we checked stock photo files, but couldn't find her face as even being defaced. does she have obama care, someone tweeted. obama care girl isn't getting the love the original obama girl got back in 2008 ♪ i've got a crush on obama liar comparing her to joey on "friends." >> as of today i'm officially joey tribbiani, actor/model. >> reporter: but the dream job became a nightmare. on a poster warning vd. you never know who might have been it. are obama care girl's friends snickering like joey's? >> you know how laughter can be infectious. >> reporter: while the original obama girl sang of health care reform.
♪ it makes me warm ♪ >> poor obama care girl go ahead the cold shoulder. all she does is smile. jeanne moos, cnn. if this is you, call me. new york. happening now, breaking news. we have disturbing new information about a deadly school shooting in nevada. we now know the name of the teacher who was killed and how the student who shot him got his gun. stand by for all the latest developments. plus this. >> nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed. >> anger and promises from the president. i'll ask a vocal critic if she's rooting for the program to fail. two jumbo jets in flight only 100 feet away from
crashing. we're learning who's to blame for putting hundreds of passengers in danger. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." new information coming in about the victim and the shooter, a student who didn't leave the scene of the shooting alive. brian todd has more. >> the teacher killed in the shooting has been identify as mike landsberry. he's described as a veteran of two tours of the war in afghanistan. the mayor of sparks, nevada, speaking with wolf, described the fallen teacher. >> from what i understand, he was a very well-liked teacher by the students and other teachers in the school district. he's also a member of the nevada
national air guard and served a couple of terms in afc, is what i understand. so, you know, it's very unfortunate that someone like that, that protected our country over there and came back alive, had his live taken at work at a school. it's very devastating. >> we have new information gr justice reporter evan perez about the shooter, a federal law informati informationment -- the shooter then used the handgun to shoot and kill himself, according to our source. mayor martini says he does not believe the shooter came to the school targeting the teacher, but again we're very early in the silt ways police still investigating a possible movive. here is one witness account. all right. we may get that sound in a little bit.
what we can tell you is two people are at the time, the teacher mike landsberry, and a student described as possibly 14, 15 years old. two students were wounded, one shot in the shoulder, who the police now say is in stable condition, and one shot in the stomach, who underwent surgery and who police say is in critical condition. at this hour, witnessing many, many witnesses, many of whom are in middle school. seventh and eighth graders, a lot of them around, giving descriptions, witnesses they're kids frightened out of their minds and now have to come up with a coherein explanation. >> authorities are not giving an explanation why a 13-year-old boy would come to school with a pistol, with a handgun and start using it. >> no description, no accurate really portrayal of a motive now. we did hear from our affiliate kolo in nevada that some witnesses described hearing some talk of possible bullying before
the shots were fired. again these were witness accounts. this does not come from the police, witness accounts, very initial in this investigation. >> all right. if you have more, brian, you'll let us know. >> sure. meanwhile, there's other news we're following, including brand-new revelations about america's surveillance tactics from edward snowden. once again we're hearing about tens of millions of phone calls supposedly being intercepted, this time in france. french officials are fuming. the secretary of state john kerry is in france feeling the heat. our chief national security correspondent jim scuitto has been digging on this story. what's going on? >> the incident is seniors enough that we've learned that president obama made a personal call to the french president how lande, and how the reports were distorted, and the president has made clear -- quote, so we
properly balance the legitimacy concerns with the privacy concerns that all people share. france is a close ally, critical in recent years in dealing with syria, libya and iran, but according to documents revealed by edward snowden in france's lemans newspaper, they were also right in the cross hairs of a massive nsa surveillance. in just 30 days from december 10th, 2012 to january 8th, 2013, the nsa allegedly intercepted over 70 million phone calls in france. an average of nearly 3 million intercepts every day, targeting lemans reports, individuals with suspected links to terrorism and prominent leaders in business and politics. france's outrage was blistering. >> translator: these kind of practices between partners that violate privacy are totally unacceptable. >> reporter: even as secretary of state john kerry arrived in paris on an official visit. >> we in the united states are
currently reviewing the way that we gather intelligence. i think that's appropriate. our goal is always to try to find the right balance between protecting the security and the privacy of our citizen. >> any new balance will have to be struck with a long list of allies now revealed by snowden to have been targets of nsa eavesdropping, including germany, britain, brazil, mexico, and the european union. >> is this truly damaging to the relationship not only with france, but brazil, mexico and other countries who protested? >> potential, yes. you have this political sphere, this public sphere, this aspect of trust, and, you know, there's impact. you know, with all of a sudden you have these things that expos -- >> the french revelation comes a day after the german magazine reported again, based on documents released by edward snowden that the nsa
systematically eaves drove on mexico, including the e-mail account of the former mexican president. the administration has not said, however, the they will rein in the practice, and we spoke to a former analyst who told us in his experience there are no ethics in intel gathering, no allies, just targets. that's the dirty world of intelligence gathering, and really that's been the administration's main talking point here, is that everybody spies on everybody. >> everybody seems to be wondering right now. what else has edward snowden got that if he hasn't released it yet, is about to be released and further embarrassing, at least politically to the united states? i want and with this relationship with wick i leaks, their strategy is to always stretch it out as long as they can i want jim scuitto, thanks very much. still ahead, the president promises to fix the obama care website, do it quickly, but now he may have overloaded the phone enrollment system as well.
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today. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? the president says there's no excuse for the failures with the obama care website, so he has computer experts working 24/7 to try to fix it. the political team is working overtime as well to try to repair the pr damage. he took the lead today, publicly defending the program while acknowledging at least some of its problems. or senior white house correspondent brianna keilar is joining us. how forth coming was the president? >> he called them kinks in the system, referring to the problem with the federal website, so maybe minute nicing the depth, i
guess of some of the structural issues. but he also talked about what he called a tech surge, really mobilizing people in the government in the private sector to fix the problem. the over-arching method was this website is not obama care. an embarrassing moment for president obama, forced to defend his signature health care reform program. >> of course, you probably heard that health care.gov, and browse and buy affordable plans, hasn't worked as smoothly as -- the protect is good. the health insurance that's being provided is good. it's high quality and it's affordable. >> reporter: he instructed americans to call in. >> 1-800-318-2596. bus it's a small process as a cnn producer found out. >> basically today you would
just apply for me, i would way a week or two, and then call you back once i have my eligibility, and then we would go over the plans? >> reporter: not exactly what the president had in mind five days before the website launched. >> same way you shop for a tv on amazon. >> reporter: in states that launched their own web sites, users have had better luck. >> i am not honored to introduce the president of the united states. >> janis baker, the first person to sign up in delaware, was facing the possibility of going without insurance due to relatively minor preexist -- >> osteopo rods, cholesterol, things like that. >> reporter: and how many times were you denied? three. >> reporter: they could fay a penalty if they don't have insurance, unless that deadline is delayed. >> is there -- there's flexibility there in the law if folks -- >> i would simply remember you to hhs for more details, but
they are work iing on aligns the policies. and they'll issue guidance soon. >> so leaving the door open there, wolf. we have gotten word from the republican-led house energy and commerce commit aye that kathleen sebelius is expected to testify before them next week. no doubt she'll face tough questions from those members of congress. >> and some of the contractors as well october 30th. >> reporter: that's right. >> thanks very much, brianna, for that report. we're learning more right now about a terrifyingly close call involving two jumbo jets that were only 1 hundred dollars -- it appeared the pilots failed to follow instructions. chris lawrence has the detail. >> reporter: wolf, that is something that the british investigators still cannot say with any certainty. they know the pilots were at fault here, but still can't understand why they did what
they did. two jumbo jets came close to a catastrophic collision over scotland, with up to 1,000 passengers on board. somehow the pilots got so confused they nearly steered their planes right into each other. >> this is very hard to explain, because it appears that two airplanes with two pilots, everything got it wrong initially. >> reporter: both 747s were about to cross the atlantic, but climbed to a cruising alternate tide, which put them on a path for converge. an air travel controller told the plane on the left to -- the plane on the right to turn right, but the pilots misinterpreted the orders ends and did the opposite. they got within three miles when the emergency order was giving for one to go up, the other down. >> were the pilots told one thing and all four of them heard
the complete opposite. is that possible? >> the conclusion of the investigators was that each pilot did what the other pilot was though they were miles away, at one point one plane was just 100 feet above the other. >> in this airspace they're supposed to be 1,000 feet vertical and five nautical miles, so they were clearly not separated by that much. >> reporter: british investigators found that the instructions the pilots got were simple, clear, that the pilots understood those instructions, and that their call signs were so completely different, it would be hard to mix them up. one thing that american flyers can take comfort in is there's not been a collision of u.s. airlines since 1978. wolf? >> chris lawrence reporting for us. thank you. here's a look at other top stories we're following in "the situation room." the father of a 2-year-old north carolina girl who fatally
shot herself over the weekend has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, as well as possession -- the girl was reportedly playing in her father's living room when she found a lot the pistol that police say was left under the couch. a major right-leaning virginia newspaper, "the richmond times-dispatch" has decided not to endorse a candidate. it's a blow for the republican nominee ken cuccinelli. two other newspapers have endorsed terry mcauliffe. the singer sealo green won't be charged with sexual assault, but the coach will be prosecuted. they say green has entered a not guilty plea and agreed to be booked within 24 hours. he'll return to the same courtroom on november 20th. he's now recognized as the only american winner of the tour
de france. greg lamont is sitting down for his first interexclusive interview with ark to talk about lance armstrong. listen to this. >> what do you think should happen to him now? >> this is not a sporting infraction, this is criminal. >> you think he should go to jail. >> yeah. yeah. this was an organized mafia, and he literally tried to destroy people. >> you can see the entire interview later tonight, 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. just ahead, it look as though marsha blackburn will get a chance to grill the health secretary kathleen sebelius about the obama care website's failures. congress democrat woman blackburn, you see her there. she's standing by live. we'll discuss. no matter how busy your morning you can always do something better for yourself.
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the president acknowledged today that serious problems with obama care have given his critics plenty of ammunition and urged the republicans to help make the website even better. i just want to remind everybody, we did not wage this long and contentious battle just to run a website. in the meantime i've said many times, i am willing to work with anyone on any idea to make
this law perform even better, but it's time for folks to stop rooting for the failure, because hard-working middle class families are rooting for its success. let's discuss with martisha black burse the virus chair of the house committee that will hold hearings later this week. we're just getting word that next week the secretary kathleen sebelius will be appearing before your committee to answer all your questions. i assume you're pleased by that decision? >> we, we certainly would have preferred for her to be there this thursday. we sent the request two weeks ago. she's got time for jon stewart and "the daily show" but she doesn't have time to come to those of us who are tasked with overseeing this, and now finally i think after catching a whole lot of flack from the american people, she's decided next week woog better than this week, and
that way she doesn't have to change her plans. but wolf, what we're trying to do is figure out what went wrong with this contract. you've got some problems, most web developers i have talked to have said you would expect for about a half million dollars to build this type aggregator website and not the exorbitant amount of taxpayer money that went into this. it has been a colossal failure. i've heard various numbers, but you now have confirmed based on the information i have it's drr 500 million? >> right. when you look at the contract that went out on this, and you look at the fact that it went to
a canadian company -- i think you also have to look at the fact that there are coding problems. we want to know how did it get so offtrack? secretary sebelius, why was she not on top of this? you talk about this amount of money, this period of time, it's problematic, what we are going to hear from this week will be some of the contractors who have worked on this. we think we'll have four contractors in front of us, cgi, equifax and -- and a couple order. >> cgi is sort of the affiliate of that canadian company that got the biggest part of this deal. so i'll ask you a question i've asked a lot of people. i don't know if you have the
answer. who screwed up here? >> that is what we're wanting to know. we hope the hearing will help us get to the bottom. was it negligence? did they plan for it to fail? >> i'm sure they didn't plan for it to fail, because they've suffered a great deal. it's embarrassing the way it's been rolled out, the website. >> well, i agree with that, but wolf, why did they not, given the amount of money and time set it up so you could at least query the site and get through the healthcare.gov process. they look at it as big another failure and another broken promise. health insurance costs are escalating, not going down $2500 a family as the president promised. he had promised if you liked what you had, you could keep it. that is not true. we hear from individuals every single day, both here in my district and in tennessee and across the country who are receiving notices that their
plans are no longer going to be offered. but you are pleased that people with preexisting conditions who were never eligible for health insurance are now -- now have eligibility? >> of course. we are pleased that they have access to something we on our side of the aisle would have handled it differently, with some state-based risk pools, so that they had the ability to have access to affordable health insurance. that should be the goal of everyone in this process. how do we make certain that everyone has access. what we see happening now is that people are being priced out, and what started as an $863 billion access to health insurance program has become a $2.6 trillion takeover of the
health care industry, health -- >> martha blackburn, we've got to -- unfortunately we have to leave it there. we'll continue on another day. thanks very much. >> thank you so much, wolf. bye-bye. that's it po me. thanks for watching. "crossfire" starts right now. . tonight the onlie fiascos. >> there's no sugarcoating it. the website has been too slow, people are getting stuck dural 9 application process. nobody is more frustrated than i am. >> who is to blame? and what should be done? on the left stephanie cutter. on the right newt gingrich. in abandi harris, a republican congressman, who is also a doctor, fixing what ails obama care. is it a hopeless case? tonight on "crossfire." welcome to "crossfire."