tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 6, 2009 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
and you can watch all of that interview on "fareed zakaria gps." "cnn newsroom" continues right now with fredricka whitfield, who's in for kyra phillips. fred? >> thank you, don. we're pushing forward on the senate vote that will keep the rebates flowing until labor day. but what about the mail? the u.s. postal service may lose $7 billion this fiscal year. wait until you hear what you might lose. there's a lot of funny stuff going on. i overlooked a lot of things and, you know, you try and look -- see the best in people, not the worst. >> and a sure sign the honeymoon is over. your wife of six months allegedly takes out a contract on you. the tears may be fake, but the charges are real. hello, everyone, i'm fredricka whitfield, filling in today for kyra phillips, live at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. and you're in the "cnn and you're in the "cnn newsroom."
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com 200 days, 2 key missions. president obama is closing out his second 100 days in office with headway against the recession. headwinds against the campaign to overhaul health care. this hour, we'll look at both, ahead of cnn's prime-time "national report card." let's start, where else? with "ish show number 1." signs of hope are popping up across the economy. the latest just this morning. first-time jobless claims dropped last week more than expected. car sales are in high gear, thanks to cash for clunkers. and the past couple of days notwithstanding, stocks have been on a tear, blue chips had their best july in 20 years. on the downside, july marked the 11th straight month of retail sales declines for most of the biggest chains.
and the postmaster general's delivering bad news to congress. losses in the billions could mean post office closures and no more saturday deliveries. well, across the nation, stimulus dollars are bankrolling highway and bridge projects, but not as fast as some contractors would like. cnn's kate bolduan hit the road on new york's long island. >> reporter: your stimulus dollars at work. filling cracks and replacing concrete slabs on new york's southern state parkway, the first stimulus-funded highway project to break ground on long island. cost? $1.7 million. that should be music to the ears of mark herbst, head of the long island contractors association. so, it may surprise you to hear this. >> here we are in the heart of the construction season and 40% of the workforce here on long island are not working. we haven't seen construction that low in the workforce in
decades. and the stimulus program hasn't put the people back to work at this point. >> reporter: nearly six months after president obama signed the stimulus bill, he complains transportation dollars are only trickling down. generally too much red tape? >> too much red tape. and by the time we go to work and the money flows and gets here, we'll be in the dead of winter. shovel-ready now, we won't be able to put the shovel in the icy ground. >> reporter: he's not alone. sherrie runs a construction company that recently won a stimulus company that won the bid to replace this bridge. >> you have to get permits and environmental clearances, you have to get coordination with the utilities. it still has to go through the agency and get all of their approvals. >> reporter: but, wait. transportation officials insist recovery money is moving faster than ever. in new york, they say, it's already directly created about 900 highway jobs. >> the recovery act funding is going out. the people will see their dollars at work. from my perspective, what will
happen next is the motorists on long island will be complaining about all of the construction. >> reporter: and in washington, the secretary of transportation says the focus is not only on speed. >> we want to get it out quickly, but we want to make sure it's done by the book. no earmarks. no boondoggles, no sweetheart deals. >> reporter: but the question is are all the checks and balances causing a stimulus slowdown? >> so what does all this mean politically for a president with a huge agenda? let's ask cnn's candy crowley in washington. so, candy, the newest cnn poll shows the majority of americans think the president's actions are making the economy better or will help it in the future. some positive signs. >> yeah. yes. and he should put that in the bank. because the fight is very, very tough right now on many, many levels, health care, but also looking at this economy. if president obama's legacy will be anything at this point, it will be a turnaround in the economy, if it happens.
what does he need in order to bring that about? we've just heard a story about complications with the stimulus program. we hear people arguing that, yes, the economy's showing some signs, but, in fact, it had nothing to do with the stimulus money. we've heard people say, yes, the economy's showing some signs, but it may go back down again. what does the president need to weather all of these things? he needs the people behind him. and if you have got more than 50% of people thinking either he has already helped or will soon help the economy, that's money in the bank for a politician. >> and earlier, the president's chief economic adviser talked about how the economy is faring under the stimulus. let's listen to christine roamer's strep-throat analogy. >> supposed that you go to your doctor for a strep throat and he or she prescribes an antibiotic. some time after you get the prescription and maybe even after you've taken the first pill, your fever spikes. do you decide that the medicine was useless? do you conclude that the antibiotic caused your infection to get worse?
surely not. you probably conclude that the illness was more serious than you or your doctor thought and are very glad you saw the doctor and started taking the medicine when you did. well, that was exactly the situation with the economy. >> all right, is it a fair analogy that hits home? >> listen, here's the problem -- if you are a homeowner, who as we reported earlier, may be one of those who will find themselves at the end of this housing downturn owning a home that is worth less than the mortgage you have out on it, and if you are unemployed, it's more than your fever spiking. you are a dying patient at this point, who needs help to find a job and keep their house. so, while it's an interesting way to say you've got to hold on, it is very tough to hold on -- we're closing in on, what, 10% unemployment? that is a huge number. it may be inevitable, as the economy contracts and reconstitutes itself. nonetheless, it is a -- it is a very big number, and it is
little consolation for -- to tell these people you need to hold on, even though that may be what they have to do. and the same goes with homes. as you all know, a home is really where the heart is, and it's where most people's savings account is in that home. to now have those values be so down, these are two huge problems for the president, and they're largely perception problems. there's very little he can do at this point about either of those figures. so, that sort of goes back to where we were before, which is he's got to hold on to the people who still believe he can turn the economy around. and it gets very hard when you're talking about people with homes that are having trouble financially and with no jobs. >> yeah, very scary notion. your biggest asset, if not your only asset, may be underwater. you owe a lot more than it's worth. nobody wants to hear that. all right, candy crowley, thanks so much. appreciate that. >> sure, sure. all right, well, perhaps you have a clunker and you'd like some government cash, it's probably not too late. before the senate goes home for
the day, it is expected to pass another $2 billion for the rebate program that burned through most of its first billion a lot faster than anyone expected. since the house approved the extra cash last week, it will just need a presidential signature, and that shouldn't be a problem. the new money should last until labor day. all right. we want to crunch some numbers now. well, the feds say more than 184,000 cash for clunker transactions are on the books. many more are in the pipeline. michigan leads the nation with rebates so far totaling $44 million. it's followed by california, ohio, texas, and illinois. the u.s. postal service isn't just losing money, it's bleeding a fortune. it reported a $2.4 billion loss between the period between april and june. the postal officials expected to be $7 billion in the hole by the end of the fiscal year, september 30th. so, how did this happen? for one thing, fewer businesses are actually mailing out
advertisements because of the recession. also, more e-mail and e-bills mean fewer people buying stamps. so, today in washington senator john mccain told postmaster general john potter that the service needs to find a way to be relevant in this digital age. >> just as we went from horses and buggies to automobiles, we have gone from hand-delivered mail to the internet and text messaging and e-mails and twitter and all of the other new means of communications. post office has got to adjust to it, or they will go the way of the horse and buggy and the bridles. and so far, we have not seen, either from the administration or from you, mr. potter, who i understand are well compensated for your work, a specific, concrete prop sal to bring this situation under control. >> so, if the money situation is so dire, why is the post office buying houses like this?
one of them was a swanky estate with an indoor pool. cost? more than $1 million. the story from cnn's special investigations unit next hour. and it it's make it or break it month for president obama's proposals for health care reform, and americans appear split over his ideas. our most recent cnn/opinion research show 50% favor the plan, 45% oppose it. it's most popular among young americans, least popular among seniors. only 3 in 10 think it will help their families. 44% kneel they went to benefit, but other families will be helped. 1 in 5 says no one will be helped. all right. and the president was meeting behind closed doors a short time ago at the white house. he and the so-called gang of six senators, three democrats and three republicans, are trying to hammer out a health care solution that both sides can actually live with. the six senators are on the
powerful senate finance committee. health care and the economy are the president's biggest challenges right now. but they're just two of the ten categories that you can grade him on. what do you think about his second 100 days? cast your vote now at reportcard.com, then get the results on cnn's "national report card" special tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern, only on cnn. all right, well, somebody has launched a twitter takedown. all morning folks have been locked out of the site as it battled a mystery hacker! (voice 2) how bad is it? (voice 1) traffic's off the chart... (voice 2) they're pinging more targets... (voice 3) isolate... prevent damage...
the buck stops here, big time, why discount dollar stores are booming in tough financial times and what should be on your shopping list. it's the chevy open house. and now, with the cash for clunkers program, a great deal gets even better. let us recycle your older vehicle and you could qualify for an additional $3500 or $4500 cash back on a new, more fuel-efficient chevy. your chevy dealer has more eligible models to choose from. more than ford, toyota, or honda. now get an '09 cobalt for under fifteen-five after all offers. and get it for even less if you qualify for cash for clunkers program.
go to chevy.com for details. and my dog bai@íy and i love to hang out in the kitchen... so she can watch me cook. you just love the aromas of beef tenderloin... and, ooh, rotisserie chicken. yes, you do. [ barks ] yeah. you're so special, you deserve a very special dog food. [ woman ] introducing chef michael's canine creations. the deliciously different way to serve up your love at mealtime. chef-inspired. dog-desired. chef michael's canine creations. all right. we may be less than two hours away from the moment our grandkids will be reading about. the senate is wrapping up floor debate and preparing for a vote that will give the nation's
highest court its first hispanic justice. sonia sotomayor with unanimous support from democrats and last we heard eight republican votes confirmation is not in doubt at all. still, the nominee's critics are having their say. >> on several issues ranging from judicial temperament to her infamous wise latino speeches, judge sotomayor experienced what we call confirmation conversions on many of her issues, simply walked away from a lot of her past statements and positions. and now seeing her willingness to tell us what we want to hear, neither her testimony or her long record on the judicial bench can give the american people any confidence that she will rule according to the clear language and intent of the constitution. >> all right. again, that vote is expected around 3:00 p.m. eastern, and you'll see it live right here in the "cnn newsroom." all right, twitter had been
hit with a big hack attack. the service first went down about four hours ago. about two hours ago twitter's status blog announced that the site is defending against a denial of service attack. basically someone is overwhelming twitter's service with traffic so nobody else can actually get on on. so facebook users have also had some problems today as well. last hour one of our cnn.com producers talked about the impact of these outages. >> we are so connected now online through twitter, through facebook that when the services go down, people kind of panic. we got a lot of those messages on our tech blog. people saying i don't what to do. when i was writing blog updates earlier this morning i almost went on twitter to repost something about it, oh, i'm writing about that. oh, boy, what are people to do? so, we've been trying to keep everybody updated via the team kyra blog, cnn.com/kyra. and right now your comments are
pretty split. some folks have said, hey, thanks, i was wondering what the problem was. and others saying who cares? thanks for the feedback, and we will keep updating the blog as we get new information, because i know a lot of you who tweet all the time, you are hurting without it. all right. less than 48 hours after putting his exit plan into action, we're getting a better idea of what fueled george sodini's shooting rampage tuesday at a pittsburgh-area fitness club. it comes from the killer himself, in a chilling online blog. cnn's susan candiotti has these disturbing details. >> reporter: george sodini, 48, the guy with the bright smile, had a good job, but couldn't get a girlfriend. it was one of the things that seemed to push him over the edge. >> clearly he was full of blame. he blamed everybody for his problems. >> reporter: in an internet blog that appears to have started last november, sodini rails against his mother, his family and women for making him miserable.
an entry dated last december reads, no girlfriend since 1984. who knows why? i'm not ugly or too weird. sodini was a computer specialist for a pittsburgh law firm. at home, he kept to himself. >> he came, you know, went to work, came back, and hardly ever see him around. very quiet. >> reporter: inside, he appears to be seething. in his blog he singles out a preacher at a church he used to attend. this guy teaches and convinced me you can commit mass murder, then still go to heaven. he joins a gym. ogles the women. >> all these young, beautiful, attractive, healthy, fit women at the health club. and so he specifically chose not just some random spot, to go after the people he blamed. >> reporter: he devises what he calls his exit plan, but backs out last january. i chickened out. i brought the loaded guns, everything, hell.
over the next several months sodini's rants continue about women and the gym. at home, police say he circles the gym's aerobics class on a schedule. >> he just had a lot of hatred in him, and he was hell-bent on committed this act. and there was nobody going to stop him. >> reporter: tuesday he goes to the gym twice. makes a phone call, and returns a final time. >> he's a mad man. >> reporter: 36 rounds. 3 women dead. and a shot to his head. susan candiotti, cnn, collier township, pennsylvania. all right. members of lozetas, they've earned the reputation as the most feared thugs of the mexican drug cartels. we'll show you why the u.s. is offering a $50 million reward for their capture. welcome to the now network. right now
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all right. we hear a lot about escalating violence along the u.s./mexican border, right? nearly all of it drug related. well, much of the carnage blamed on narco gangsters called los zetas. what sprang from a small group of mexican army deserters has blossomed into one of the world's most feared paramilitary organizations. and by u.s. standards, the most
wanted. here now is cnn's michael ware. >> reporter: the dead always tell a story, and here in mexico, that story is the war raging on america's doorstep. being fought for the right to supply america's demand for illegal drugs. a war becoming more violent, more ruthless, mostly because of one group. to even begin to understand that violence, come with me. here in a barrio in the southern mexican city of veracruz. imagine, if you will, a band of special forces, green beret soldiers go rogue and offer their services and their firepower to the drug cartels. well, that's precisely what's happened in mexico. in the 1990s, commandos from the mexican army deserted and set up their own cartel, known as the los zetas. the los zetas, a group that the u.s. government now says is the most technologically advanced,
sophisticated and dangerous cartel, operating in mexico. and this is an example of some of their most recent work. until not so long ago, this was the home to a local police commander. promoted just two months before. and at 5:00 a.m. one morning, two cars pulled up in these streets. eight or nine gunmen got out, armed with assault rifles and 40 millimeter grenade launchers. they blasted their way into this house. and it took them less than five minutes to execute the father, the police commander, his wife, a police woman, and in the blaze that they started, to kill four children. this is the drug war in mexico. this is the war that the los zetas are fighting. and this is the war on america's doorstep that shows no sign of ending. and with their fearsome weaponry
and military expertise, u.s. agencies consider the zetas america's most formidable enemy in the drug war. >> the zetas have obviously assumed the role of being the number one organization responsible for the majority of the homicides, the narcotic homicides, the beheadings, the kidnappings, the extortions that take place in mexico. >> reporter: from this washington, d.c., office, dea's central american chief ralph reyes directs america's fight against the zetas, a fight, he says, that will take years. >> they continue to train new recruits through several campaigns. one of them is a very public and open narco banners that they post around the country of mexico, specifically tailored to the military in that they will offer better pay and benefits if they join the rank of the zetas. >> reporter: with their mastery
of combats, says reyes, the organized crime network is more like a u.s. infantry company patrolling the streets in fallujah, iraq, than they do a street gang, and they're only getting stronger. veracruz is a popular tourist destination, with colorful plazas just like this one. but it's actually a thin veneer for what's really going on underneath. local newspapers almost daily have headlines of the horror, of the bloody violence of the drug cartels. cartels that here in veracruz are more often than not linked to the los zetas. the american drug enforcement agency tells me that while it is originally pace based on military lines, it's being built on a business structure, with quarterly meetings, business ledgers kept, even votes on key assassinations. and now the los zetas are taxing businesses beyond even their
drug reach, from human trafficking across the american border to as one recent scandal shows, they've been imposing a kind of tax on the mexican government itself. the state-run oil company, it's just been revealed, has been bleeding billions through corrupt officials linked to the los zetas. and as the dea agent told me, the american border makes little difference to the los zetas. to them, it doesn't matter whether their violence is being perpetrated on the mexican side of the border or on the american side. on that american side, one of their instruments of assassination was teenager reta. he was just 13 years old when he first killed. "i loved doing it," he says, in this police interrogation. "killing that first person, i loved it. i thought i was superman." but you can be certain there are more like him, and there will be, until america can defeat adversaries like the zetas and
end the drug wars across its border. michael ware, cnn, veracruz, mexico. it's an relatively quiet summer so far, when it comes to hurricanes, but now we're talking august, and the name felicia, get to know her. here's chad myers. >> it's to the "f," because we've had enrique and all the way up to the "f" letter, felicia. we don't have anything in the atlantic. we had something trying to build on tuesday. it looked really good, and all of a sudden it just absolutely fizzled out. hawaii, right there. the hawaiian islands. there's felicia, right there. very large storm. probably category 3, category 4. now, they haven't flown into it to know, but they take these satellite estimates, and they say, okay, if a storm is that big, one that has been that big, this is what we think. and that number that they think right now is about 140 miles per hour. here it goes. it will turn to the left and make a run at hawaii.
but, watch, 4, 3, 2, 1, tropical storm, tropical depression, so it is forecast to get much less, much lower, than that 140. that is a good thing. now, the people of hawaii all remember, if they were born in time, all remember hurricane imiki. it happened quite a while ago. 1995, '92, something like that. that storm did not do this and get up into the cold water up here. iniki stayed to the south in the warm water and away from the trade winds, and it turned, it went right up to kauai, about 145, 150 miles an hour. i was on one of the islands on the south side of the island three or four years later and there was still a lot of damage from that storm. so, kind of let's get back to what we're thinking here about felicia. >> yeah. >> it will turn to the left and really lose intensity. probably down only to a 30-mile-per-hour storm, maybe 50-mile-per-hour. that's just a blow compared to everybody that knows. if you're in the florida keys,
50 miles an hour -- >> 70 or more, right? >> we'll be okay. exactly right. but i think the amount of rainfall that this could bring could be amazing. here's some preps. here's what we call people going out to buy things that they need for the hurricane. and whenever i would go to the hurricanes along the gulf coast, the first thing to sell out, no, not water, beer. >> wood! >> beer. >> beer! >> beer always gone. you can always buy water. i don't know what it is. >> it's part of the survival kit. >> you go to the supermall wart and they are sold out of beer. you don't want to live without that. >> oh! >> the biggest threat, fred, to hawaii might be the winds that could come in to hilo if the storm does go to the south, and that could bring in enough storm surge to flood the area. >> hilo is so used to the water anyway. >> it's so close to the water anyway, it would really take only three or four feet to make this town a mess. >> not to make it all about me, but this means a very dangerous or powerful year for me. felicia, my middle name, and on
♪ love and marriage love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage ♪ here we go, we've all heard of the seven-year itch, but surely this is not what people meant. a florida woman has been charged with trying to off her new husband six months after saying i do. here's more now from katie brace from our affiliate wttv. >> it's 10:50, i should have been dead at, like, 9:00. >> reporter: dead if his wife's alleged plan had worked. she was accused of trying to hire a hit man to take him out. >> just divorce me and take everything. that's the best way, right? so, i don't under.
>> reporter: michael says he's also trying to understand what unfolded at his home. detectives knocked on his door. they told him his wife was trying to kill him and staged a crime scene. his wife sobbed uncontrollably when she arrived. michael confronted her at the police station. he says, there was nothing to say. >> i didn't do anything. and i didn't plot anything. >> reporter: detectives say they received a tip about dahlia's plan. she had been dealing with an undercover police officer posing as a hit man. michael was shown the recording. >> i saw it. i'm okay with it. >> reporter: michael and his wife met less than a year ago. he's now 38. she's 26. they were married six months ago. he says strange things started happening. >> there was a lot of funny stuff going on. i overlooked a lot of things. and, you know, you try and look -- see the best in people, not the worst. >> reporter: money went missing. threatening notes were left on his car. he says now that makes sense. but it's far different than his
wife trying to kill him. >> i feel a little bad, but, i mean, there's no reason she had to do this, you know? she was well off. she could have just left. >> oh, boy. and so this morning, a judge agreed to release dahlia on $25,000 bond. she's now under house arrest at her mother's house. the ex-mistress of former presidential candidate john edwards is apparently testifying before a grand jury. rielle hunter arrived at the federal courthouse in raleigh, north carolina, this morning. grand jury proceedings are secret, so there's no official word on hunter's appearance, but in may, edwards confirmed federal investigators are looking in to his campaign finances from 2006 to 2007, they paid hunter's video production company $114,000. he has denied any wrongdoing. ex-congressman william jefferson could learn today how much money he has to hand over. jurors convicted the former louisiana representative yesterday of bribery,
racketeering and other charges. now, they're considering if he has to forfeit all or part of $450,000 in assets. jefferson served seven terms in congress, but lost his re-election bid last year. he'll be sentenced october 30th and faces up to 20 years in prison. all right. fresh from his mission to north korea to free two journalists, former president bill clinton is back at work in new york. today, he's talking about a major partnership between his foundation and drug manufacturers. he wrapped up his humanitarian trip to free journalists laura ling and euna lee yesterday. the pair were convicted on charges of entering north korea illegally. they were held for five months before their emotional homecoming which you saw unfold on television yesterday. all right. that humanitarian mission to north korea is raising the question -- is the former president overshadowing his wife? secretary of state hillary clinton. cnn's carol costello has more on the continuing clinton saga.
>> reporter: fred, it didn't take long, did it? a story with an incredibly happy ending has in part become another chapter in the continuing clinton soap opera. it was a kodak moment. the best kind. and the man who made it possible -- >> when we walked in through the doors, we saw standing before us president bill clinton. >> reporter: a rescuing angel who sat for the other kodak moment with a man some call the devil and brought two americans home safely. not only that, but some are saying mr. clinton's visit may also pave the way to a nuclear-free north korea. it wasn't long before the hillary question came up. >> now, where is hillary? the real secretary of state is in kenya. why go to kenya? unless you've been ordered there to go over and kiss obama's grandfather's grave. his north korea too important to send the girl?
>> reporter: hillary clinton, america's secretary of state, is in africa on a diplomacy mission, important, yes. but as "the new york times" columnist maureen dodd writes, mr. clinton's mission trumps hers. just as hillary muscled her way back into the spotlight, she was blown off the radar screen again by an even more powerful envoy, the one she lives with. the overshadowing question comes after concerns just last month that president obama was overshadowing secretary clinton, by meeting with world leaders himself, and by sending vice president joe biden to iraq. clinton supporters say that wasn't true. and the latest overshadowing charge isn't either. >> i don't think bill clinton would -- would overshadow secretary clinton. in fact, if that were to be the case, i'm sure he would have not done it. >> reporter: william cohen, president clinton's defense secretary, says mr. clinton not only worked closely with president obama to free the journalists, but he worked with his wife, the secretary of state, too. and, besides, many analysts say
this was the kind of mission more suited to former presidents. >> the north koreans wanted a high-level envoy, and it was clear that it couldn't be somebody currently in government. so, you know, there were only several people imaginable, bill clinton, al gore, bill richardson, and the north koreans got the top banana, which is what they wanted. >> reporter: and it worked. for laura ling and euna lee, that's all that matters. of course, many are wondering if president obama will use president clinton more in this sort of role. larry sabato says, yes, but rarely, because, he says, it degrades the asset. and it also raises questions about who's actually running the state department, something both president obama and secretary of clinton surely want to avoid. fred? >> all right, thanks, carol. all right, so what is the most underutilized resource in keeping kids safe when they're hospitalized? why it's you, the parent. what doctors and nurses want you to tell them.
little too high maintenance? but a new study said you're reacting like most parents, and actually, that's a good thing. senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen, joins us. so, elizabeth, why the compelling need for this kind of vigilance? >> because studies show that 1 out of 15 kids who are in the hospital have a medical error happen to them that harms them. that's 1 out of 15 kids harmed by a medical error in the hospital. that's a pretty high number, so these parents in this study who with vigilant, they were vigilant for a reason. and two-thirds of the people in the study were. this isn't just a matter for children. consider these statistics, every year there are up to 98,000 deaths due to errors that. in hospitals, and 99,000 deaths from infections that people get in the hospital. in other words, they came in without the infection. they got the infection in the hospital, and died. so, some people would say you can't do too much. >> yeah. >> you really need to go the extra mile to make sure you're safe in the hospital. >> so, infections, one. your, empowered patient" column
said there are other errors that nurses revealed to you. like what? >> who is going to know more about what really goes down in a hospital? the nurses. so, we asked a bunch of nurses, what have you seen in the hospital that really makes you nervous? we got quite a few responses. this is susan gonzalez who is nurse here in georgia. she was with her father who was in the hospital. she was visiting him. the nurse came. hung up a bag of medicine. started to attach it to his iv, and she said, excuse me, what are you giving him? and they said an antibiotic. my dad is allergic. that nurse could have killed him. this is one of stories we heard from nurses who really talked about the kinds of thins they've seen in the hospital. >> you've got to be vigilant and know the condition or any kind of allergy, that kind of stuff. but what else do perhaps nurses suggest that do you to avoid these kind of mistakes from happening? >> well wrnk these nurses gave us insider tips, something you need to do when you are in the hospital or a loved one is in
the hospital. take a look at this. ask about every single drug you receive. what is it? is it the right dosage? is it at the right time? also ask doctors and nurses to wash their hands. that sounds silly, but studies show that many of them don't. and don't back down. if you aren't sure about something or something doesn't look right, don't back down. keep asking about it until you get an answer that satisfies you. and you can get more tips at -- on my column which is up right now on cnnhealth.com. >> cool, people can send you questions and you can answer them. >> send me questions at email@example.com. >> appreciate the clarity, then. thank you. all right, discount dollar stores are booming in these financial times. we'll show you what should be on your shopping list to make your green go even further.
who isn't these days with the souring economy? there's one retail store cashing in, it's those discount dollar e cashing in. maggie lake has the back story hyped the bargain. >> reporter: they are searching for bargains at their neighborhood dollar story in new jersey. they say they are con stanltly surprised at how far their dollar goes. >> you get 20 things for $21 instead of going to the other stores and getting two or three things for $20. shoppers across the country are taking notice. in a year of dismal news, dollar stores are thrivingment family dollar reported a 36% jump in quar tert profits. sales at dollar general soared 13%. business is so strong that major dollar retailers plan to open hundreds of new locations this year even as scores of other chains clothes stores. so we are here at a dollar tree
stores, one of the chains benefiting as americans try to stretch those paychecks. we decided to come and see what $20 is going to get us. oh, toothpaste. first things first, the essentials. paper plates. bargain hunting is nothing new for american consumers. these deep discountings are taking it to a whole other level. cleaning products, the same brands that are sold in other stores but only $1 here. other must-haves, aluminum foil, $1, drain cleaner, $1, clean next, $1. organic soup, $1. designer label soups and usb computer labels, $1. some are sold in smaller sizes than you would see in the supermarkets. even so, savings are substantial and $20 really does go a long way. >> bargains on different things you don't have to spend a lot of money for in different places. i always pop here first before going to a regular department
store. >> reporter: retail watchers say it is exactly that kind of behavior that is worrying the competition. >> dollar stores take a bite out of walmart if you are in the communities where they both live together, their entry price point. i go to the dollar store first. and i go to walmart. >> reporter: it is now estimated that nearly half of all u.s. households shop at dollar stores each month, even shoppers who can afford to buy elsewhere and a lot of them are leaving the store satisfied. >> very good. got everything we needed at a great price. >> reporter: maggie lake, cnn, new jersey. >> very encouraging. here is what consumer report says are good-byes and not so good-byes. among the good ones, heavy duty aluminum foil, gift wraps and party supplies and cotton balls. the bad buys, electric, vitamins, supplements and kids
jewelry, budget vitamins could be out of date. electric cords can have fake safety labels 6789. earlier, we told you that the u.s. postal service is really hurting. we are talking are ink. the only tenants a 32-story condominium billing. unique and very different stories. she has been lock away for 34 years. in ten more years, squeaky fromme will leave a texas prison on parole. she was part of charles manson's family but she didn't go to prison for the emfamiliar miss murders. her crime was pointing a gun at
gerald ford in 1965. manson and the other followers who did go to prison for murder may not see the outside world ever again. 40 years after they became synonymous with fear, murder, and helter-skelter, the case still fascinates so many. ted rowlands checks out reports that more victims could be buried in the desert. >> reporter: for decades, speculation has swirled that the nine murdered linked to charles manson and his followers could be just tip of the iceberg, that more victims, possibly runaways or others that came in contact with the manson family may have been murdered. according to prosecutors, manson family members alluded to as many as 35 victims. if there are other victims, the theory is that they could have been buried at one of the manson family hideouts. right now, we are at the spawn ranch, where the manson family
was before the murders. the theory is that just over this ridge, there could be grave sites. >> this is where they lived, right on the riverbed. >> reporter: kitty cox is a caretaker at spawn ranch. do you think there are bodies out here? >> i think there could be. >> reporter: the other place people believe there may be more victims is in death valley, the barker ranch, where manson was eventually arrested. when we traveled there last year, we met emmet, who met manson and some of his followers. he says one story he was told by a manson follower made him believe there are bodies here. >> this one girl didn't get along with manson or ross at all. they took her for a walk and they came back in a short distance and we never saw her again. >> reporter: paul dosty, a former police detective, brought
his cadaver dog to the barker and spawn ranches. he said bus ter located potential grave sites in both places. one person who would know is charles "tex" watson. we wrote to him in prison and received this letter back. it says, in part, i was the first family member to go to the desert after the murders and also the first to leave. i say this only to let you know that no one was killed while i was in the desert but i don't know what took place after i left. over the years, none of the manson family members have ever said anything specific will other victims. they are the only ones that may ever know. i think i'll go with the preferred package.
the u.s. postal service. that future is looking gloomy. the recession means fewer businesses are sending ads through the mail. e-mail means fewer people are buying stamps. you have billions of dollars in losses. the post office looking to bail itself out. there is talk of closing some post offices and cutting delivery from six days to five. today, post master general, john potter, spoke before a senate subcommittee. >> we believe that fundamental restructuring of the legislative framework for postal services is required. at stake is the future of what has been sense this nation's founding, the right of every american to send and receive mail. the postal service exists whose mission is universal service to all. that mission is a direct reflection of the values on which this country was founded. >> closing, reduced hours and
maybe fewer mail days are some of the way that the postal problems could affect you. here is how the red ink is layed out. postal offices reported a $2.4 billion lost between april and june. i told you fewer people are mailing stuff because of e-mail and ebills. the volume of snail mail fell by 20 billion pieces this year and is expected to drop another 10 billion next year. up to 3,200 post offices nationwide could be closed. my next guest testified before a senate committee that in his 31 years with the postal service, he has never seen a crisis like the one it now faces. frederick started out as a letter carrier and now he is president of the union representing 300,000 active and retired letter carriers. he joins me now live from washington. good to see you. >> how are you doing? >> all right. so during your testimony, did
you primarily focus on how people would be hurt by the cuts or did you try to focus, instead, on here are some suggestions on how the postal service could save money? >> a little bit of both. most of the testimony concerned as senator cartter put it, the future retiree health benefit that was created back in 2006. everyone agreed that there is a need to refinance that mortgage. to not only look at some more responsible payments to be paid but to look at the rates at which that money is being paid and also to look at the amount of the downpayment that was used from the civil service retirement fund surplus. congress is going to have to look at all three of those things. that will do a lot for the cash flow for the postal service for years to tom, both in the short term and long term. >> most americans are primarily
concerned about -- what is this going to mean for my delivery? does this mean we will cut back to five days a week or does it mean even less than that? with those kinds of cuts means a number of the postal carrier jobs, the postal service jobs would be in jeopardy. how serious a concern is that for you? >> well, it's a serious concern that it is more than a jab that's in jeopardy. the future of the postal service is in jeopardy if we start dismantling the postal service to deal with a short-term issue by reducing delivery from six, five, four, three days, whatever it is, before we fully research the possible, the potential for revenue by using the network that we have today to generate new forms of revenue. we believe that's the way we need to go before we start considering service. >> this probably didn't just come up overnight. clearly, the union has been talking about this, seeing this day coming for a long time. so knowing that, what sort of proposal did you try to inject into the subcommittee hearing to
allow them to ponder some ideas about how to save money as opposed to cutting jobs or cutting back on retirement benefit plan? >> beyond the legislation that i discussed, we are just looking at using the ensqui that's being put into studies for cutting back service. using that energy to explore additional ways to generate revenue, put together coalitions to use the delivery network where we are six days a week, 145 million homes with the most trusted federal employees are going house to house, how we can use that network in the future. >> thanks so much for your time. appreciate it. back in february, our special investigations unit found out that the postal service was spending millions on a relocation program for its employees. it wasn't cheap either. here is cnn's abbie boudreau. >> reporter: this lakefront mansion in south carolina is one of 14 homes costing more than $1
million, all purchased by the u.s. postal service to move its employees. our investigations into those purchaseses prompt purchases prompted a review by the inspector general office which criticized the postal service on the amount it spends for relocation benefits. they found the postal service spent $73 million last year alone in total relocation benefits to more than 2,000 employees. it concluded that some of the relocations were exorbitant. senator chuck grassley requested the report after we showed him the results from our reaction. >> my reaction is that it is outrageous, particularly if you look at specific instances within that report. >> reporter: the 14 homes purchased by the postal service and later resold date back to 2004 according to records obtained by cnn. here are what some of the
properties look like, these in northern california, these outside of north los angeles and that $1.2 million south carolina mansion, it was owned by a small town post master who applied for a mid-level management in texas so he could live in the same town as his wife. that home is now under contract according to the report. the postal service will take a $250,000 loss on the deal. it also paid the employee more than $16,000 for a house hunting trip. >> he wanted to voluntarily move, nobody was making him move, they bought his house. they lost $250,000 on his mouse. >> reporter: the most wasteful purchase, it was this secluded florida home in indian river shores that cost the postal service $2.8 million. in november, 2007. eight months later, we've learned it was sold for just $1.1 million. a $1.7 million loss.
according to the inspector general's report, the employee who was relocating is a vehicle maintenance program analyst. >> it just doesn't reflect well on the administration of the postal service. >> reporter: in a statement to cnn, the postal service said the number of relocations with high value homes prompted it to re-evaluate and change its policies. just before we aired our story in february about the south carolina mansion, the postal service had no limit on the amount it would pay for an employee's home. they have imposed a $1 million. the days of buying mansions like this one are over. it will pay no more than $800,000 to buy a home. abbie boudreau, cnn, atlanta. >> like abby said, the postal service has changed the relocation policy. is that enough?
we will hear from senator tom carver. how much can one man do in 200 days? not always as much as he would like. we will look back and push forward on president barack obama's ambitious agenda. out of. my doctor said the bayer aspirin saved my life. please talk to your doctor about aspirin and your heart. i'm going to be grandma for a long time. mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help? yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you. you okay? yeah. onstar. standard for one year on 14 chevy models.
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chad myers. we are talking hawaii. watch out? >> watch out for something. right now, it's a category 4 hurricane, a major destructive hurricane. the good news is, it is literally a very long way from land. let's go to storm polls.com and i can zoom out. one thing i can do with this and you can do this at home as well. you can touch the city. i can see honolulu. it is 1,833 miles from honolulu still. we are still talking a very long distance. we are also talking as this goes from a category 4 to a 3 to a 1 to possibly only a tropical storm or depression as it makes landfall. the issue is that -- >> it doesn't want to work today.
>> there we go. >> magic. >> here is the storm right here. a very large eye. a very distance to travel. as it travels, you see these clouds up here. that's all part of the wind pattern that's going to be sheer. this sheer will tear it apart and make this storm a much smaller storm as it heads to hawaii. >> that's good. >> i am still a little bit concerned for some of the harbors, a small boat harbor, smaller than honolulu. >> not so much here but the waves may be very large here. i am a little bit more concerned on any of the east facing beaches. this is a big storm out here making large waves coming in this direction. hilo, could very well, the entire harbor, could be filled up with water as the water blows on it. the road to hana, seeing some
very large waves as well. as you get here, to princeville, those are the areas that could see really large waves. i don't even have an estimate yet. at least 15-footers. that would crash on shore, depends on where the storm is, even if the storm dies. it is making big waves out there right now. >> which means the surfers are very happy, especially on that north shore. dangerous waves but. >> north shore is going to be a tough one because the waves are going to be coming in from the east. that's not a direction that most of the surfers know the way the breaks and curls are going to happen. most storms travel up here and make waves this way. this is making the sets come in from the wrong direction. >> this is just a nuisance for now. >> for now. >> thanks so much, chad. appreciate that. a lifetime appointment now just an hour away. we are pushing forward on a historic moment for sonia sotomayor and the u.s. supreme court.
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in the past 100 days in his new job or 200 days, no one really cares, right? you and i are not the president. president obama is nearing the end of 200 days in office with progress on the economy and an iffy prognosis on health care. dan lothian joins me. how does the president think he is doing? does he notice this 200 days is about to arrive? >> reporter: i don't think he is counting. i remember last week i talked to a senior administration official pointing out that the day was approaching. they were sort of puzzled, didn't realize that the second 100 days was drawing near. but, you know, the president would say that they have made a lot of progress but there is
still a lot of work to be done. one senior administration official put it this way. he said the incline on the treadmill is not as steep but still moving very fast. what we have seen in the last few days and certainly the last few weeks is this administration is focused on health care reform. it is a top priority for this administration. we saw the president meeting with a bipartisan group of senators trying to push this health reform bill. so that really remains the focus. as for how the public has viewed what the president has done over the last 200 days, some interesting things that come out of the recent cnn opinion research polling. in particular, about the issue of whether or not the president is juggling too much. dealing with wars, two wars overseas, health care, education, the stimulus. when americans were asked about this issue, 65% said, yes, he was taking on more issues than he should. that's up ten points from march.
30% said no. the president has responded to this criticism by saying, this is not something that you can pick and choose. all of these situations are critical and they need to be addressed now. one other interesting note from the polling is that americans seem to separate what they think of president obama as doing his job and president obama as a person, his approval rating had slipped his favorability rating remains quite high. not as high as before coming into office. still relatively high. a favorable 64% americans see it. unfavorable, 34%. >> we talk about 200 days. i bet he feels like it is just one long day. surely, he has had no time to sleep. so much on the plate. >> reporter: that's right. it's very difficult to sleep. health care, you have heard the criticism. depending on what happens with health care, it could define this presidency. mr. obama doesn't believe that is the case. this is something that's very
important for this administration as the president has pointed out, it is not about him or his legacy, it is about getting health care for americans. he also believes that if he can get health care for all americans, affordable health care and he can make it deficit neutral, it will also help the economy. >> dan lothian at the white house. thanks so much. what matters is what people think about his policy he is pushing forward. jessica yellin will be checking in from a diner in ohio where they will be grading the president's first 100 days. you can grade him as well. go to cnn.com/report card and watch tonight the national report card, a cnn prime time special. perhaps a feather in the cap for president obama. the u.s. senate is about to pass judge on federal judge and supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor. we expect to see a vote in less than an hour. we don't expect it to be close. cnn's brianna keilar is counting heads. brianna, all the dems are on
board. how many republicans are going to vote for sonia sotomayor? >> reporter: we are expecting nine republicans to vote for sonia sotomayor. 31 lep ca 31 republicans say they are not going to. they have concerns about where she stands on issues like gun rights. they are really concerned about some of the statements she has made off the bench that lead them to believe that some of her personal experiences and opinions are going to cloud the judgment that she makes as a supreme court justice. debate is going on and continuing to go on on the senate floor. take a look at what one of those republicans, senator orn hat take a look at what one of those republicans, senator orn haorrih of utah said. and what patrick lahey said in a bit of a rebuttal. >> i hope that on the supreme court, judge sotomayor will take an objective, modest, and restrained approach to
interpreting and applying written law. i hope that she actively defends her impartiality against subjective influences such as personal sympathies and prejudices. >> she is a judge of unimpeachable character and integrity. these critics have chosen to ignore her extensive record of judicial modesty and restant, a record made over 17 years on the federal bench. instead, they have focused on and mischaracterized a handful of her more than 3,600 cases. >> reporter: all in all, we are expecting at least 67 senators will be voting to confirm sonia sotomayor as the first hispanic supreme court justice. we are expecting this vote to half in the next hour and we are expecting that sotomayor will be squorn in before the end of the weekend, fred.
>> may i shift gears, so to speak? we'll talk about cash for clunkers. the senate is supposed to vote on this $2 billion as an extension of the program. might it really happen today? >> reporter: they have a lot on their plate before they leave for their august recess. we are expecting them to debate this, to debate some proposed changes and to vote on this sometime after the sotomayor vote a few hours afterwards. the senate, fred, has to pass this cash for clunkers bill in the same way that the house did. they have to take this house bill and pass the same thing or else they would have to reconcile the differences with the house bill and it is possible that cash for clunk kers could run out of money before congress is out. republicans are opposed to extra money for cash for clunk kers. they have added amendments that are hard for democrats to vote no. instead of scrapping the cars,
you would donate them for charity or a tax credit for buying a home for first-time home buyers. democrats are going to have to take some pretty tough votes to get this out as is. it is expected to pass, fred. >> all right. interesting stuff. thanks so much, brianna from capitol hill. appreciate that. on our money and main street segment today, saving your home from foreclosure. one new jersey woman literally takes the cake with a new spin on the old adage of an apple a day. here is cnn's allan chernoff. >> actress angela logan has played many roles to earn a living, working as a teacher, model, hairdresser and is studying to become a nurse. when she recently fell into foreclosure, she turned to baking. >> it was a choice of desperation. i thought, wow, we could sell these cakes. they are so good. >> reporter: two years ago, she
hired a contractor to renovate the house. he took her money but doenl a portion of the work. to save her home, she set a goal of selling 100 mortgage apple cakes in ten days at $40 each. she asked everyone she knew to buy a cake. >> the hardest part was to say, can you buy my cake, this is my problem. >> a local hotel offered its kicher so she could bake fast ter. she says she has baked about 200 cakes, double her goal. by qualifying for the federal make-home affordable program, her monthly mortgage is dropping by nearly 20%. other americans in a financial bind can also find creative answers to their cash crunch. >> find your talent. find something that you can do that will help. i can pay expenses. >> reporter: almost any talent can generate extra cash. teaching a skill like playing an instrument.
home repairs for those handy. even dog walking or pet sitting for animal lovers. internet retailer "make me a wish" got a whip of the mortgage apple cake is mass producing it and sharing the proceeds with angela. a whole line of angela logan cakes is planned. this could propel her to a new career as the queen of cakes. back in her kichetchen, she stus nursing, knowing from experience never to depend on just one role. >> that's an inspiring slice of life. as the president marks his second 100 days, we want to know, are he and congress making the great? we'll hear from the heartland. i would say convenience
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for president obama. what does he have to show for it? jessica yellin is in steuben ville, ohio, where people are serving up a lot of opinions. why steubenville? >> reporter: the crowd has come and gone, because they are having their lunch. they had their lunch and are back to work. this is a town that's a microcosm. they went for obama by the slimmest of margins, 76 votes. a higher than national unemployment rate of 13.5% and i am right now within ten miles of three different steel mills which used to be the source of employment for almost everyone in town. they are all, if not closed down, running on the bearest of employment margins. down from 13,000 in one case to a couple hundred employees. this town is transitioning from a manufacturing economy to a new kind of economy where they are trying to build on health care and educational facilities in
the area. they are struggling. we talked to many so of the lunch crowd, fredricka, about both president obama and also congress. i asked them how they think congress is doing, especially on the health care front. the first woman you are going to hear from is a republican. the man you hear from is a democrat. their views of congress. >> i think some of them are sticking up for us. some of them will cave, because i think, i don't know if money is involved. there are ai lot of these congressmen, they are thinking of getting reelected again. i am telling you, they better be afraid, because the people are going to speak. we're not going to take it. >> i would like to see particularly republicans come up with their own plan. right now, people are saying, no, no, no, no, no. all right. you are saying no. what's the alternative? let me hear an alternative. i don't see that much from congress. >> reporter: fredricka, in all cases, the folks here are very impassioned, engaged and aware
of what's going on in washington, following the details of the health care plan largely on the internet. we are going to be here for the day and night asking folks for their grades on a lot of issues. >> thanks so much, jessica yellin in steubenville, ohio. you have an opportunity to grade the president at cnn.com/reportcard. you can watch tonight on the national report card, a cnn's prime time special. so it's up to you to grade the president. how is he doing? how is he doing as it pertains to the economy? our cnnmoney.com writers and editors have their own opinions? pope harlow is there to give us a big breakdown. >> i don't get to be at the touch screen wall. it is a special day grading the president. obama's money move is the name of this special tool only on cnnmoney.com. we are putting it in basketball terminology. president obama likes to shoot
hoops from time to time. there are some slam-dunks and there were few people that thought it was a viable option for gm and chrysler to fall into bankruptcy, restructure and emerge. the president was pushing for this. he was hard on creditors. as a result, we had a very quick turn around and both companies were able to exit bankruptcy in a matter of weeks. here is what our team's thoughts of why this was such a slam-dunk, take a quick look. >> in a way, it was like what nobody predicted. >> there was a lot of doubt that you could have them be in and out of bankruptcy as quick as they were. >> it was unprecedented for a company of that size shall the size of general motors to go through a bankruptcy in what, 40 days. >> obama pushed it through. he really nailed it. >> fred, you can hear, they say he nailed it. a slam-dunk according to our
editorial team on that one. >> cnn's money.com rating that a big success. the administration a few balls. how? why? >> more than a few. for the first 200 days, you have a number of them. health care reform, obviously, a big question right now. let's get to job creation. click on that and we'll see why. the president has said time and time again, my administration will create 3.5 million jobs. in the numbers, we see some jobs saved so far are created. really, this economy that is shed 3.4 million jobs this year alone. we have more than 6.1 people losing their jobs alone. when you look at the aig bonus raids, a lot of talk, not so much action. you look at executive compensation. is that really paying off? rating agency reform. a lot of questions still. i want to read you a quick facebook comment. you should weigh in on this page. here is what brandon wrote in. he said, obama's spending policies are wrong, just like
george bush in many ways. he was right to save gm. i live in the midwest tanned would have been a catastrophe if they went into liquidation. john wrote us and gave the president a c minus. i feel his first 100 were very good. the last 100, i think he overspent. >> go and play around with this tool ahead of tonight's special, grading the president. >> thanks so much, poppy harlow. appreciate that. hard times at the u.s. postal service. the bad economy and the digital age where so much is done over the internet has been a mean one-two punch. thrown the postal service billions of dollars into debt and looking for ways to adapt and survive. closing post offices, reducing hours and cutting back delivery all on the table. senator tom car p senator tom carver of delaware is with me. he cosponsored a bill to reorganize the post office
retiree sign and get it out of the hole. good to see you. >> is your name fredricka? >> yes. >> we have a town in delaware named after you just south of dover. >> thanks so much, senator. let's talk about this pitch to reorganize the postal service. what's your best case scenario? how do you do that? >> to follow up on what you said at beginning, we have a perfect storm here. part of it is the electronic diversion of the mail. we pay our bills electronically in a lot of cases. we send christmas cards and do all kinds of things by electronic payment. in addition, we are in the worst recession since the great depression. you put those two things together and add one more ingredient. the bush administration and the president signed the bill for the postal service and the congress had to agree to an incredibly aggressive, conservative prefunding of health care costs for retirees for the post office. more conservative than any state or local government than i am
aware of. >> are you proposing a change on that? >> what we're saying, i use the example of a couple buying a home. they are buying a home. they are young, have no kids, both working. they go to buy a home and they get a ten-year mortgage, very aggressive. they find out later on somebody loses their job, they start having kids and they go back to the bank and say, we would like to renegotiate the mortgage and get a 20-year mortgage. that's what we are doing here. we are not talking about extending these obligations forever but something more realistic than this analogy. >> in that reorganization, i as a consumer, does that mean that i'm going to feel it or see a difference when i go to the post office or my delivery at home even change as a result of what you are proposing? >> there are a number of ways to fix this problem. one, for the near term, what we want to do is talk to the postal service over the next couple of years to buy a little bit of time, allow the labor contract negotiations to go forth next year and the year after that.
they have thousands in the post office stationed across the country. they have hundreds in the processing center. some should be closed, very important. a third element is the post office has to be more entrepreneurial. they have to use their business model to do things like flat boxes. >> when you talk about entrepreneurial, we had the president of the mail carriers on with us earlier. he testified about other things the postal service needs to take advantage of it. ways in which the post office can prove its viability and usefulness, e-commerce deliveries, conducting censuses and maybe delivering medication. might these be ways to help kind of clothes that gap? >> well, there are some other things that the post office can do. one of the things that was mentioned this morning by the post master general, in other countries, the post office could do a variety of things other than simply deliver the mail. i am not so sure we are
interested in emulating all of those. sar is some other work. for example, things the federal government does now that can be handled, centralized and handled more appropriately at the post office. we have to use that basic model and go into everybody's home every day, six days a week and the idea you are in every community. use that basic business model. i think it can be done. we have to be smart about it. >> senator tom carp per of delaware, thanks so much. i need to pay fredricka, delaware a visit. >> we will see you in fredricka delaware. >> under water, unless you are a fish, it is not a good thing. half of homeowners with mortgages will soon be underwater. meaning they will owe more money than their house is worth. cnn personal finance editor, gerri willis is here with a breakdown. grim news. i don't want to hear that. >> you got the numbers right, almost half of u.s. homeowners, that's 25 million homes, will be
under water by 2011. home prices, according to this report, will fall another 14% on average. this is a report that came out today from deutsche bank. right now, about 26% of homeowners are upside down owing more than the house is worth. they could find as much as 90% of borrowers could be underwater. they are looking to add markets like california and las vegas. you might be wondering, what will the consequences? more people defaulting on their mortgages is going to send prices lower, more foreclosures. normally, we would see this obviously after a life event. it goes on and on. no increase in consumption. people tend to take out home equity loans when prices are going up, up, up. when they go down, down, down, they can't do that. they can't spend that money on
other things to help boost and already struggling economy. so it could push the economy back down further into recession. fred? >> so if you are a homeowner with a mortgage, what else does this mean for you? >> well, you know, it depends. it may not mean much at all if you are going to stay in ta house for a long period of time. these markets are always cyclical. prices will go up. prices will come down. if you are planning on staying in your house for five, 10, 15 years. ultimately, it may not mean that much to you. experts say that this report is especially, though, pessimistic, especially when it comes to the home price idea that is based on consensus is that home prices will only fall 5 to 10% more. there is a little disconnect there. >> it does look according to some numbers. we are coming to the end of this down turn. it looks like the job market is
stableizing. we have been talking about job losses of 700,000. now, it is about half of that. that's good news. foreclosure mitigation seems to -- it has been slow. it may help homeowners out there. remember earlier this year, there was no plan at all. it is likely by next spring. housing prices could begin to stabilize. there is some criticism of this report. people should know, there is some very smart people out there that think that the likelihood that you would owe more than your house is worth is high indeed. >> fred? >> smart people out there, including you, gerri willis. i am always listening to what you have to say. >> good to he see you, fred. imagine having a 32 story condominium building all to yourself. peace and tranquillity is one thing. for this couple, their retirement oasis proved only a
marchag marchage. here is john zarrella. >> reporter: resort living. at pool, there is always a chair. your own private gym with state-of-the-art equipment. you can work out all by yourself. nobody here to bother you. look at this parking garage. you never have to hunt for a space. when you get on the elevator, you never have to worry about anybody getting off first. sounds great, right? well, maybe you should talk to victor. this was going to be victor and his family's vacation and retirement home in the oasis, a 32-story condominium building in ft. meyers, florida. the new jersey fireman closed in november, paid $420,000. >> i tell people at home and they say, it's your own building. sounds great. it can be eery at night.
why? because the rest of the building is empty. this is a ghost tower. most of the units never sold. those that did, the owners were able to move to the sister tower next door where there are people but victor's lender won't agree to let him swap his unit here for one there. >> i called them up a couple times. i got their law department that told me, don't leave your unit. they recommended that is abandonment. so i have to stay here. >> his attorney and the developer are trying to negotiate a solution. nothing yet. victor's biggest concern, safety. someone got him into the building a month ago. now, every night, he checks the building blocks. >> i have to make sure, yeah. if i don't, what happens is they can get into this pool area through the parking garage. >> the family has no idea how this will work out. what's really starting to bother them is the eery silence when
the only other voice they here is -- >> door is opening. >> reporter: john zarrella, cnn, ft. meyers, florida. it's an american flag that is more old than glory. take a look right there. neighbors weren't thrilled. they wanted it gone. the guy who owns it, no way. sa not until something special happened. >> so we raised her up every morning. because of one word,
while her man was on a mission in north korea, u.s. secretary of state, hillary clinton, headed to africa for a seven-nation tour. she was kept in the loop throughout. >> reporter: so president clinton comes back. he spends three hours talking to the leader of north korea, kim jong-il, what was his impression? >> we are going to get a full debriefing. >> reporter: you spoke to him on the phone? >> i do. i have spoken to him on the phone. i have this policy i never talk to what i talk to my husband about. we are hoping that maybe without it being part of the mission in
any way the fact that this was done will perhaps lead the north koreans to recognize that they can have a positive relationship with us. >> reporter: the bill clinton mission was unorthodox. here you have a former president going on what appeared to be a state visit from the way in which he was greeted, being received by north korea, stopping nuclear negotiator. >> this, as you know, came from the families. this was a message that laura and euna were given by the north koreans which they passed on to their families and former vice president gore gaminaming him specifically. >> you want to catch that entire interview with president clinton. sunday, 1:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. up to five shared wifi connections. two are downloading the final final revised final presentation.
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ze spite despite neighbors who thought it was an eyesore and kind of disrespectful. >> i love this story. >> everyone loves this story. >> he kept it up there saying i am not taking this flag down until his son were to come home from a year-long deployment. >> and neighbors were mad at him. >> they must not have known the entire story. we do have an update now. a few hours ago, corporal paul horos and 80 of his fellow soldiers returned home. the old flag, it was retired. a new one is flying in its place. now, i'm sure the people of this sad neighborhood, now that they know the story, they have to feel pretty embarrassed and ashamed. >> they were dropping off brand new flags at his doorstep, at his front porch. >> saying please replace it. >> get rid of that thing. a lot of them were veterans and they were offended by looking at that. >> they probably thought of it more as symbolic.
this is the emotional journey that he has been on since his son has been away. look at it that way. hence, the tattered flag. >> think of the star spangled banner and the term, old glory. >> the guy says, i lo have my son too much to take anything down until he comes back. i made the promise and i'm going to keep it. our viewers, twitterers, they love this. >> i am sure now everybody will come together in the neighborhood. >> you are going to see it. the embrace of dad and the son and the whole thing. we are so happy. we are excited about that. this health care thing, we are going to be all over it. >> we'll be watching. you be all over it. rick sanchez, thanks so much. appreciate it. see you in a few minutes, six minutes from now. two rape suspects held over after some tear-filled court hearings. the nine and ten-year-old boyce accused of attacking a younger girl wechltle have the very latest from phoenix.
>> mr. president, i would ask you if we begin the vote now and we will make sure the two or three minutes we are starting early. >> without objection. >> the yeas and nays been ordered? >> they have not been ordered. >> we send a request. >> the clerk will call the role. >> mr. akaka? we're expected to keep a close watch on this as the vote is to take place. it is believed it will be a unanimous decision among the
democrats and a handful of republicans voting for the confirmation of sonia sotomayor. the first hispanic supreme court justice to take to the bench. that will take place momentarily. i am going to hand it over to rick sanchez. more health care town halls turning into tea parties with a constant theme. >> you need to open it up to the free markets. >> isn't that who runs health care now. >> this lawyer has made millions buying up health care facilities. is rick scott as accused by the left orchestrating these so-called angry anti-government mobs. we'll ask him. guess who showed up in court where the john edwards case is being heard? his a