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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 24, 2010 5:00pm-6:59pm EDT

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black and blue. let me tell you something, lorie beth, it worked for the rolling stone -- right? the album? thanks so much for being with us. rolling stones had an album called "black and blue," i know that, you know that. you guys know that over there, right? you know that? we've got guests over here who know about the rolling stone. that's it for us. thanks for being with us. here now, wolf blitzer in the situation room. breaking news. the american hiker released by iran meets with president ahmadinejad. we have details. 9/11, blame and anger. president obama has choice words for iran over allegations that the terror attacks were america's fault. right now, mr. obama's approval rating has sunk to a new low. the best political team on television talks about where the president has gone wrong, how he may pay for it on election day. the mood inside the hearing room in steven colbert's mocking
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testimony. the tv comic put the spotlight, though, on a serious issue. where the lawmakers are in on the joke. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." but, we begin with a breaking news. a remarkable face-to-face meeting today between the president of iran and the american hiker who was jailed in his country for over a year. mary snow has the details for us. she's joining us from new york. what happened, mary? >> that meeting took place today here in new york. we're told that sarah shourd and her mother, nora, met with ahmadinejad, that's according to a spokeswoman representing the families of the hikers who had been jailed in iran since july of 2009. at this point, we don't have details of that meeting. sarah shourd was released on september 14 and has been speaking out since then in an effort to gain the release of her fiance, shane bauer, and
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friend, josh fat tell. i asked if she could make a direct deal with the president, what would she say? what did she tell me? >> i want to beseech him and beg him to extend the same generosity and compassion and understanding and give the same humanitarian gesture to my fiance and my friend. >> mod mod hahmadinejad has bee york for the united nations general assembly. on wednesday, he spoke with larry king. and larry king asked him if he would consider meeting with the families while they were in new york. at this point, he said he would consider it. we hope to have more details soon about this meeting. we will have more of our interview with sarah shourd in the next hour. wolf? >> we'll stand by for that, mary snow. thank you. an angry reaction for president obama today to what he calls hateful allegations leveled at the united states by ahmadinejad. it was a direct response to the iranian president who went before the united nations
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general assembly yesterday and poured more fuel on conspiracy theories about the 9d/11 attack. let's bring on dan lothian in new york. dan? one expert on iran says when ahmadinejad comes to the united states, new york, and the u.n., he comes to put on a show, to confront his western critics face-to-fa face-to-face. if that is the case, he did not disappoint. >>. >> reporter: iran's president mahmud ahmadinejad once again opened his mouth, and inserted not only his foot but his entire leg, blaming the u.s. for the 9/11 attacks. >> some segments within the u.s. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining american economy and its grips on the middle east in order to save the zionist regime. >> reporter: the white house called his comments outrageous. and president obama fired back personally in an interview with
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bbc peres yeah. >> it was offensive, it was hateful, and particularly for him to make the statement here in manhattan was inexcusable. >> reporter: so much for only using the interview as a way to extend a warm embrace to the people of iran, to show that sanctions were not a personal attack on them, but a way to rein in their country's nuclear ambitions. but ahmadinejad has a habit of making outrageous claims. like this about gays -- >> translator: in iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. >> reporter: and this about jews. >> translator: it is unacceptable that a small minority should dominate the politics, economy, and culture of vast parts of the world through a complicated network and establish a new form, in fact, of slavery. >> reporter: but one expert on
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iran said ahmadinejad's rhetoric, as frustrating as it may be, should not stand in the way of pursuing meaningful dialogue. >> i don't know how you convince him that that's the case. but, you know, so far, the problem is, we don't have any better introloquiturs. we haven't identified others in the iranian government who would be more reasonable. >> threats and sanctions are not the right strategies ahmadinejad suggested. this kind of pressure will only hurt the diplomatic effort. but speaking to reporters today, he did suggest that he is open to talks as early as next month in order to resolve the nuclear issue. wolf? >> thank you. a day after president obama urged the united nations to embrace the middle east peace, his administration may -- repeat, may be very close to breaking a stalemate in the peace process. diplomatic sources telling cnn right now that a compromise may be in the works on new
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construction of israeli settlements in the west bank. secretary of state hillary clinton is due to meet in the next hour with top palestinian officials. palestinians have threatened to leave peace talks if israel doesn't extend a freeze on settlement construction that ends this weekend. we're told one possible compromise would let israel keep the freeze in place to a large degree but allow some limited construction. jill dougherty is working the story. we'll check in with her later. now to capitol hill at a time when so many americans are not happy with the officials and so many think politics is a joke -- we got this. a newsman with a sarcastic statement about a very real problem. steven colbert is apparently serious about the debate over migrant farm workers and whether they take jobs away from americans. he accepted a labor group's chang to experience life in the fields firsthand. that led to an invitation to appear before congress today. but did he help the cause or hurt it?
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let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. she was there in the hearing room. a lot of media attention that normally wouldn't have been much media attention. but it seemed a little bit surreal, didn't it? >> it was definite ly surreal t be in the room. those of us waiting for him, not just reporters but those in congress wanted to know which steven colbert would show up? would we see the faux conservative talk show host we see on "the colbert report" or a straight man talking about the issues in this hearing which is farm wages and worker's rights. we got a mix of both. >> reporter: celebrities testify before congress all the time. but not like this. >> when you're picking beans, you have to spend all day bending over. it turns out, and i did not know this, most soil is at ground level. if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we make the earth waist high, come on, where is the funding.
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this is america. i don't want a tomato picked by a mexican, i want it picked by an american, sliced by a guatemalan, served by a venezuelan in a spa where a chilean gives me a brazilian. >> congressmen in both parties were visibly surprised. some tried not to giggle. his comedic in character opener was far different from the straightforward statement he told the committee he would deliver. it was a risk chairwoman sow lovegren took inviting the comedian to testify about the plight of migrant workers and talk about his day working on a new york farm this summer to see what it's like. >> we have to do something because i'm not going back out there. at this point, i break into a cold sweat at the sight of a salad bar. >> at time, the satirist was serious about the cause. >> this seems like one of the least powerful people in the united states are migrant workers who come and do our work but don't have any rights as a result. but we invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave.
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there were lots of colbert's trademark truthiness. >> maybe this jobs bill would help. i don't know. like most members of congress, i haven't read it. >> the top republican openly questioned why he was qualified to talk about farm workers and why migrants are doing the jobs americans won't? >> is one day in the field -- >> one day of me studying anything makes me an expert. >> how many were illegal and how many were legal? >> i didn't ask for their papers, though i had a strong urge to. >> republicans were not the only skeptics. in an awkward moment, the democratic chairman of the full committee was so worried about the event becoming a circus, he tried to kick colbert out even before he spoke. >> i'm asking you to leave the committee room completely and submit your statement instead. >> i think many are eager to hear his comment. >> i'm only here at her ini have tapgs. >> steven colbert stayed and
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conyers told me afterwards in the end he thought it went well. he was funny and even, quote, profound. as for the chairwoman who invited him, she saidafter wards according to someone spoke to her said she had no regrets and she got what she wanted, that is attention to a cause, an issue that she says she has hearings on and no cameras show up at all. and the hallways were filled with reporters. but the hearing room was packed. in fact, the congresswoman, the chairwoman even joked the hearing that she had not seen that many people, that many reporters in the judiciary committee since bill clinton's impeachment. >> surreal moment for a serious issue, dana. thanks very much. new evidence coming in to "the situation room" that voters' great expectations for the obama presidency are being dashed. and striking new poll numbers just weeks before critical midterm elections. should evangelicals be allowed to sing the praises of
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christianity at a u.s. army base. complaints of a concert set for tomorrow. we'll update you on what's going on. big brother is watching new yorkers even more now than ever before. we're going to bring you an update on the controversy over cameras placed around the city. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." (announcer) everything you need to stretch out on long trips. residence inn.
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iconic image. barack obama celeb rating an
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historic victory surrounded by crowds in chicago. almost two years later, we have startling new evidence of the slide in the president's support. the approval rating is now sunk to an all-time low in his presidency in our brand new cnn opinion research corporation poll. it's now at only 42%. that's down from 50% early this month. let's bring in senior political analyst gloria borger and david gergen. gloria, right now, 42% approve of the way the president's handling the job. 54 disapprove. on december 1 and 2, 42% approved, 49% disapprove. it's going in the wrong direction for the president. >> it is going in the wrong direction. if you go back to history, you look at figures for bill clinton right around the midterm election, the disastrous midterm election in 1994 when he lost control of the congress. and his approval rating was exactly the same. it was 42%. if this midterm election is a
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referendum on barack obama, it's going to be a lot of trouble for the democrats. >> you worked for bill clinton at the time, david. do you see a similar disaster on november 2 for barack obama that happened to bill clinton and the democrats back in '94? >> wolf, this poll certainly suggests that may be shaping up. it's almost relief -- bad news for the president and his team. what i find most surprising about the poll is 37% of people in the cnn poll say they would support a candidate approved of and backed by president obama. but, half the people in the poll say they would support a candidate that's backed by the tea party. in other words, the tea party is much more influential than the president himself with voters. i don't think we've seen that that i can remember. >> heading in to this election, wolf, this poll shows that 75% of the voters say they made up their minds. and usually when that happens,
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it's a bunch of voters who feel very strongly about something, very motivated about something, these are likely voters. and that's probably going to head in the republican direction. >> 20% say they're open to changing their minds. they haven't made their minds up. look at the numbers here as far as the opinion of president obama. has he met your expectations. 32% say yes. has he exceeded your expectations? 9% say exceeded. 56%, though, say he's fallen short of meeting your expectations. seriously bad numbers for the president, aren't they, david? >> they are. that reflects the fact that his base has not found as much help as they've hoped. if you go to 56%, you're no longer talking about republicans or independents at this point, you're taking about your base.
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there's no good news in this poll. it suggests, wolf, with all of the departures in the white house, they have to hit the reset button and revive the presidency. >> look at the numbers, gloria. i'll put them up on the screen. is the country better off if congress is controlled by the republicans, 38% say republicans, 27% say democrats. 34% say no difference. they don't think either one of these parties makes a real difference. but the gap, 11 points between republicans and democrats could be significant. very close districts for the house of reps. >> it's significant when that number -- when there's that large of difference. but the no difference number, the 34% is really a warning to all politicians here. whoever wins control, whoever getse lengthed, this is not a
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great mandate. people believe in the policies that you're talking about. they want you to get this particular thing done or that particular thing done. it's just kind of a yes or no vote. yes, we like the guys who are in office, no, we don't like the guys who are in office. and so the folks who win are going to have to prove they can do something to change that number. >> let me echo what gloria just said. because it's important. i think this is a cautionary note for republicans. >> mm-hmm. >> half the people in the cnn poll say that the reason they're going to vote for republicans is not because they approve of republicans but because they disapprove of the president and his party. that goes to the mandate question. it's a negative vote. half of the vote is negative. so, they're essentially saying we'll give the republicans another chance. but we haven't rushed to embrace everything they stand for yet. >> david, i know you've been thinking about this. there's going to be a big turnover in the election in the white house staff if rahm emmanu
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emmanuel, chief of staff leaves, the national security advisor, jim jones, if he leaves, some of the top economic advisors have left. what does the president need right now to turn things around the next two years going to the presidential elections? >> well, wolf, i -- i just spent, as you did, some time in new york talking to the policy community and financial community and others. and if there's one thing people agree on, the president has a choice. that is, does he have continuity in his appointment or does he signal change? i think people are looking for change. you know, it's -- it's understandable he would want some people to carry out what he's done. it's understandable he would want to keep a lot of his inner circle. but i think people now are looking to bring in heavyweights from the outside to help him hit that reset button and revive his presidency. >> and, david, you know this. when you're two years into an administration, sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes to come in and say -- >> yes, i do. >> you've been doing this the right way, maybe you need to do this a different way. somebody who's been on the
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outside rather than living in the bubble of the white house the last two years. >> right. >> i think so. i think there's a sense, gloria and wolf, that -- that the president had for all of his great strengths and he continues to have great strengths, does have people around him to see a world in a similar way. and some alternative perspectives at the table around with him when he's making the decisions would be helpful. >> maybe bring in a ceo or someone of the business community, a leader. >> he can do that. >> see what happens on november 2. we're counting down to the midterm elections with the best political team on television. and gloria and david are members of that team. thanks, guys, very much. a major concert planned at a u.s. military post. now the center of a major firestorm. why some are saying it violates the separation of church and state. plus, a nick rnicaraguan di found dead in his new york city apartment, his throat slashed. more on the case that's coming in to "the situation room" right
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fredricka whitfield monit monitoring some of the stories
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in "the situation room" right now. four victims in a kentucky charcoal plant explosion have been badly burned. it's a freak accident. he believes high winds kicked up some debris sparking a flash fire. all employees are accounted for. the victims are being treated in area hospitals. investigators are not ruling out suicide in the death of a nicarag nicaragua n diplomat with a slashed road. he suffered a hesitation wound to the neck which could have been self-inflicted. he had 12 stab wounds to the stomach. no evidence of forced robbery or entry. family and friends are being interviewed. the president of the vatican's bank says he's humiliated of a rare money laundering probe of the institution. they received $1 million of questionable transfers from the bank this week. the president calls it a misunderstanding and realizes the need to be sure the bank is
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complying with internationally agreed standards. and eddie fisher, the 1950s pop star also known for the women in his life has died. fisher was at the center of hollywood's most notorious love triangles. he left his wife, the popular actress debbie reynolds to marry the screen siren, elizabeth taylor. he's the father of princess laya. eddie fisher died of complications of hip surgery. he's 82 years old. wolf? >> thank you very much. democrats may be missing a political opportunity when it comes to tax cuts. donna brazile and ed rawlins are standing by to hash over new numbers in the polls. stay with us for that. and michelle obama tries to drum up work for military veterans. 0 to 60? or 60 to 0? [ tires screech ] the quarter-mile, or a quarter-century? is performance about the joy of driving?
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you're in "the situation room" happening now, a political brawl erupts in las vegas between supporters of the tea party favorite sharon angle and
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the backers of harry reid. why are some voters in such a fighting mood? brian todd is investigating. plus, they're the doctors that helped bill clinton lose 24 pounds for his daughter's wedding. you're going to meet them. and find out how the diet plan works. that's coming up. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." nine years after witnessing firsthand the worst terror attack on u.s. soil new york city is now expanding the use of surveillance cameras. so what if -- what if technology could be used to prevent the next major assault on the country. mary snow is working this story for us. mary? new york has been following london's lead with the never blinking eye fixed on the city and the underground trains. new york has far fewer cameras but is wrapping up the efforts to counter terror on the largest subway system in the u.s.
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>> reporter: underground at new york's times square or penn station, two of the city's largest subway stations, cameras are now watching you. and police may be as well. >> this is a coordination of in lower manhattan where we bring in thousands, literally, of video feeds. >> this hub is where we met up with ray kelly, the goal here, prevent terror attacks and crime. police in private companies monitor the cameras 24/7. 500 dam are as have been added, watching subway stations in a system that has an estimated 5 million riders per day. >> roughly 40% of terrorist attacks throughout the world are focused on transportation systems. so it's given the size and the scope of the network we have here that we have to make a high priority. >> that priority has the nypd learning lessons from cities like london, where mayor bloomberg inspected the
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thousands of cameras that made up the so-called ring of steel. those cameras proved crucial in identifying the july 7, 2005 bombings. the nypd had it at the time and the result was the recreation of the bombers' homes. >> and the two rooms here are the two rooms in their apartment that they used to make their explosives. >> michael riggio is with nypd's counterterrorism unit and explains officers are trained to look for ordinary items that can be used to make bombs. >> may think this is a narcotics lab. but in fact you're in the middle. >> as they look to clues, they hope technology will help prevent future attacks. one sergeant explained how analytical software is programmed to seek out specifics. >> if this ja could draw up his backpack and leave it against the pole, after a predetermined period of time, they would alert users, bring the camera up to them, a little box and say, hey this, is new.
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>> but the civil liberties union is raising questions. all the tapes are purged after 30 days unless they're part of an investigation. >> we're not looking in private space, we are looking in places where the public has no reasonable expectation of privacy. >> donna lieberman, executive director of the new york city liberties union. >> you don't have to expect and you shouldn't have to expect that every move you make in times square or penn station or grand central will be recorded perhaps forever by the government and distributed to who knows who. >> the surveillance is only expected to expand. the goal is to have roughly 3,000 closed circuit cameras streaming live pictures into the nypd's command center. wolf? >> mary snow, thanks very much for that. a visit to the bank turns into a hostage standoff. we're going to tell you what's happening right now. and the first lady michelle obama steps on the global stage
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fredricka whitfield is monitoring some of the top stories in "the situation room" right now. what else is going on. a man with an explosive device is in police custody after an apparent hostage situation in a south florida bank. authorities deactivated the device at the scene. the hostages included bank employees and customers. no injuries were reported. first lady michelle obama is urging american employers to hire u.s. troops returning from the wars in iraq and afghanistan speaking at the annual meeting, mrs. obama called them an untapped resource of skilled and experienced leaders. 54,000 new veterans are looking for work. and investment power house, lehman brothers is expected to rake in millions of dollars during an auction featuring momentos from his london
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offices. on wednesday, christie's auction house put artwork, ceramics, antique maps, even company signs up for sale. a public viewing begins this weekend. lehman filed for bankruptcy in the united states two years ago and went to liquidation in the uk. >> big day on wall street. stocks soared out of the gate and managed to hold on to big gains in the wake of slightly importable durable goods. the dow closed 200 points higher and all three major indexes finished with gains in the fourth straight week making it their longest winning streak since april. need a little good news for wall street. >> good way to end the week for the wall street investors. >> that's right. >> they'll have a good weekend. >> enjoy. >> thank you. should president obama extend those controversial bush tax cuts? voters are weighing in. we're getting brand new poll numbers here in "the situation room." stand by. some comedians are coming out of the gate swinging at conservatives. are they doing the heavy
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get right to our strategy session. two political contributors, the democratic strategist, donna brazile and republican strategist ed rawlins. the bush era tax cuts went into effect 2001-2003, they're going to lapse, they're going to end at the end of the year unless congress takes action to
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continue the tax rates as they are. look at this -- our new cnn opinion research corporation poll almost everyone says keep the tax rates relatively low, the bush tax rates. for those families making under $250,000 a year. 79% favor keeping the tax rates at that level. 19% oppose that. when we asked, though, should everyone continue to keep relatively lower tax rates, including those making more than $250,000 a year, ed, 44% say they favor that, 53%, though, say they oppose it. in other words, they want tax cuts for the middle class, but not for those making more than $250,000 a year. how will this poll based on these numbers affect the voting in the congress between now and the end of the year? >> well, i don't think they're going to do anything. the house may do something before they get out of here. but at the end of the day, the democrats pin themselves into the packages as they always do
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to being the taxers. they want to raise taxes. and the vast majority of americans don't want to have their taxes raised, the end of the day, when you -- when you talk about the upper groups, pretty soon, people in the lower groups understood it's going to come down to them. i've never been able to understand why money i make or rich people make -- i'm not rich -- we -- we -- we spent -- we spend it and that's not good for the economy. the president says rich people are going to save it, well saving is good for the economy. tax it and give it to the government and they spend it on your behalf, why is that better? i've never been able to understand that. i think at the end of the day here, the democrats are getting themselves in a precarious place before the elections. >> go ahead and explain it to him, donna, because i know you disagree. >> first of all, ed, it took me sometime to realize this -- yes, we are wealthy. if you look at the median income of americans across this great land, we are indeed wealthy. we have more americans living in poverty than ever.
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the last thing we need to do is extend the tax cuts with borrowed money. we don't have the money to pay for the tax cuts. in 2001, it was a different situation. bill clinton and al gore left a surplus as far as the eye could see. it would be a huge mistake for congress to allow the tax cuts for the wealthiest americans to be extended without figuring out a way to pay for it. i believe we have to deal with the spending side of the equation at some point as well, hopefully sooner rather than later. to extend the tax cuts, it would be a huge strain on our pocketbook. >> $700 billion over the next ten years if you keep the tax rates for those making more than $250,000 a year at the 35% maximum federal income tax rate as opposed to going up to 39.6% which is where it would.
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>> except, i come back to the point. don't think because you take it away from well-to-do people and put it in the federal trough to pay for the debts that you have, that's not going to have an impact on the economy. the producers in this country, hires, create jobs, and small businesses which is the impact of this particular thing. it's not an either/or. at the end of the day, unless we control spending and get to the big programs that are automatically going up every year, we're going to be down to that lower bracket because at the end of the day, you can take all of the money from all of the rich people in america and you're not going to do it. >> once again, the republicans are using a smoke screen. 2% to 3% of small businesses will fall into that category. look, taxes are at the lowest in 60 years 1/3 of the stimulus money that was spent to allocate it last year went to continue to keep taxes lower for the middle class. so this is a question of whether or not we want to extend these tax cuts beyond the expiration
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date and how do we pay for it? do we pay with borrowed money? or do we just go ahead, tighten our belts, and begin to bring down the deficit with the new revenues that might come in as a result of the taxes going back to normal? >> i'm happy, obviously, to bring down the deficit. and i think your immediate past omd director who was the cbo director basically said this is bad economic policy. you know, whatever it may be -- and the other part of the poll we've talked about is do you extend this for a couple of years and basically not in any way, shape, or form affect the economy. >> it's a question of how do we pay for it. alan greenspan had a wonderful analysis yesterday that said it's time to end the tax cuts. >> but he wanted -- he wanted to go back for everyone, greenspan. bob ruben said, don't -- don't allow these tax rates to continue even for the middle class because the country can't afford it. but on this one question, could you extend tax cuts for a few years for all families regardless of income, donna. 52% say it's a good idea.
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45% say they oppose it. peter orszag says do it for a couple of years. mark zandi, the economist at moody's said do it for a couple of years. because at a time of economic distress, you shouldn't raise taxes on anyone. >> wolf, right now tax rates are at the lowest in 60 years. we're out of jobs. so whatever policy we enact, if it doesn't lead to job growth and keeping jobs here in america, i'm against it. >> but, donna, you can't say about raising taxes on people who are the most productive who make the most money and employ the most people that you're going to create jobs. it's -- the government's spending money, why is it better than these people spending their money. >> because, ed, over the last 30 years, we've seen the income of middle class americans go down. wages remain flat. and the income of high earners go up. so if they have all of this cash, spend it -- let's spend it on america. that's the patriotic thing to do. >> there's the question -- why are the democrats apparently
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blinking right now in the senate and maybe even in the house and not getting any vote on this between now and november 2? >> i don't know, wolf. i put the same question to my friends on the hill. i said, you know what, it's time to button up and go ahead and let these tax cuts expire. now, if they want to keep them for the middle class, if they think that's the strategy, then put that guard. i don't kn forward. i don't know why they haven't called for a vote. >> maybe they don't have the votes. >> you don't need a superduper majority in the senate. you can't do it with 50 plus one. because it's taxes. you have to have a super majority, not a super duper majority. we should allow the tax cuts expire. because the projected 2011 budget already in the red is dependent upon the taxes to expire. >> you don't mean for the middle class -- >> the top 2% to 3%. you want to call them wealthy, rich, well off. god bless them. >> the individuals making $200,000 a year and families making $250,000 a year. that's what we're talking about right now.
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and you know what, guys? we'll continue this conversation down the road. but we're out of time. >> hey, ed, i still love you. >> thank you, sweetie. >> all right. >> and you're the one that's rich in this group. you're the one that should be the republican. you make all of the money. >> all right. >> not the stereotype that a good-looking woman is rich. >> you have all of the houses down in new orleans. >> rich because my healthy. my health is my wealth. thank you, ed. >> bless you. thank you. >> thank you to you. >> have a good weekend. a watchdog group is trying to get the army to cancel a conce concert. a new unusual twist on the church versus state debate. details. later, bill clinton's strict new diet as healthyals he seems to think. i'll ask the doctors behind his move to eat only what he caused a plant-based food diet.
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you spent 8 days lost at sea ? no, uh... you love watching your neighbors watch tv ? at ally, you'll love our raise your rate cd that offers a one-time rate increase if our current rates go up. ally. do you love your bank ? a concert is scheduled at ft. bragg may seem like a good way for soldiers to kick back, but a watchdog is objecting because of the message behind the music and a message to recruit the troops to god's army. we go the chris lawrence who is working the story. what is the controversy, chris? >> well, wolf, on one hand, you have thousands of soldiers and the families who want to praise god and to hear this christian music at concert tomorrow. on the other hand, you have people saying why is the u.s. army helping an evangelical organization recruit new
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members? >> reporter: the christian concert is called "rock the fort" and it is living up to the name. the billy graham evan gel lis tick association is bringing christian rock bands to worship at ft. bragg and some say crossing a line. >> the express purpose of this event is to evangelize and spread the gospel to those who are lost. and soldiers are told to bring seven more people so they will bring them to christ. >> reporter: ft. bragg advertised the concert on his website, and this man says many have criticized saying, please help us, mrff, this is wrong. rock the fort has been to several bases including recruit training at ft. jackson. >> we pray not only they become soldiers in boot camp, but come into god's army in the sense of giving their life over to jesus christ. >> reporter: critics say it is a
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dangerous message for the military to bring into basic training. >> we are not supposed to be using the u.s. army to develop and engender new soldiers to christ. >> our goal is not to proselytize anyone from their particular faith that they are a part of and our goal is not to coerce anyone. >> ft. bragg chaplain says that the base is open to the public and no one has to come, except for the thousands of soldiers and their families who are excited to do so. >> it is really up to the individual. and people like any message or any faith can choose to accept or reject. >> reporter: the chaplain wrote to north carolina churches on ft. bragg letterhead promoting the event. and billy graham's website states right up front, the rock the fort concert is to channel new believers into your church. organizers of the separation of church and state wrote the secretary of the army to stop
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the military's endorsement of the event. they argue that proselytizing is illegal, and the army says it is merely a host for anyone who wants to come. the chaplain also told me that sharing the faith is part of a christian tradition, and he is not only obligated but happy to support any other faith on base that would want to put on a similar event. now, critics say that when it comes to religion, all of the army is supposed the to do is to give soldiers some place to worship and these concerts go way beyond that. wolf? >> chris lawrence, thank you very much for that report. a new twist that is a political firestorm involving the obama administration and voting rights. we have the latest information coming into "the situation room." why are some voters in such a fighting mood this campaign season? brian todd is investigating. 's .
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today a self-proclaimed whistle-blower is unloading on the obama administration uncovering sensitive questions of politics and homeland law. let's bring in our correspondent jeanne meserve who is working the story. >> that is right, wolf, another chapter in a highly politicized argument over the enforcement of civil rights law. a department of justice official testified today that the law is not being applied equally to all people.
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>> reporter: at issue, a video still on youtube from election day 2008 which captured members of the new black panther party outside of a philadelphia polling place. >> i think that it is intimidating that you have a stick in your hand, that is why. >> who are you to say that? >> i mean, that is a weapon and that is why i'm worried. >> reporter: the bush justice department brought an intimidation lawsuit against the panthers, but the obama administration dropped most of it. the man who once headed the voting rights division calls that outrageous, and a travesty of justice. >> white voters have an interest to go to the polls without race haters such as black panther haters whose public rhetoric includes such statements as kill cracker babies, kill cracker babies. standing at the entrance of a polling place with a billy club in his hand hurling racial
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slurs. >> reporter: coates now an assistant u.s. attorney told to civil rights commission that the obama administration enforces the voting rights act in a racially selective manner. >> a large number of people working in the voting sector believe correctly and vehemently that enforcement of the voting rights act should not be extended to the white voters, but extended only to protecting the racial, ethnic and language minorities. >> reporter: a spokesman called the probe a so-called investigation, and thin on facts and evidence and thick on rhetoric adding that the department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits and not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved. the department has involved the civil rights commission with thousands of pages of documents and testimony from the assistant attorney general for civil rights. the d.o.j. told coates not to
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testify despite a subpoena. today, coates claimed whistle-blower protection because he felt ethically, and legally and more ally bound to tell a story, but democrats say it is more about politics. wolf, back to you. >> thank you, jeanne, very much. happening now, clouds on the horizon are getting darker for democrats as the election closes in. we are getting a new sense of what voters are are saying and feeling and best news yet for republicans. also, the american hiker recently freed after more than a year in a notorious teheran prison met with the iranian president mahmoud am din jad, and she is revealing more details of her ordeal with us. and bill clinton's weight loss, he talked to me earlier this week on how he did it, and i will talk to the doctors ant the diet that transformed the president in time for his
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daughter's wedding. i'm wolf blitzer, and you are in i'm wolf blitzer, and you are in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- this is cnn breaking news. all of that is coming up. we are resieving breaking news. a state in california has voted to resume executions by lethal injections and the first one is to take place this weekend. a lawsuit challenged the state's lethal injection method, because saying that the cocktail of drugs could cause cruel and unusual punishment, and the officials have revised the levels of drugs and the state built a new execution chamber and that clears the way for a convicted rapist and killer to be put to death next week barring a successful appeal. we are staying on top of this story for you. 39 days to go before the
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midterm elections and there are new numbers out today that should make democrats shutter. take a look at the latest cnn/opinion research corporation poll. obama is at a new all-time low for him, 42 p do 242%, down eig from a week ago. troubling news for lawmakers. 53% of likely voters say they would choose a republican for congress putting the gop 11 points ahead of democrats on what is called the generic ballot. compare that to 1994 when the republicans won a congressional landslide, and back then the gop was only polling three points ahead and yet they did very, very well in 1994. behind the new numbers, a simmering voter anger that is boiling over in some cases, including one high profile senate race. some people got into a fistfight at a candidate's forum. brian todd is joining us now with details. he has more. brian, what happened? >> well, they started out, wolf,
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heckling each other and kept up with that all evening and then down to blows. it is emblematic of that campaign and voter anger peaking as we come to the midterms. >> reporter: it looks like a brawl in taiwan's parliament, but this is a political throwdown in suburban las vegas. after the heckling got to a boil in a senate campaign event, supporters of the republican tea party favorite sharron angle and backers of the senate majority leader harry reid hauled off and hit each other. an isolated incident? what do you make of this event, voters in nevada at a boiling point? >> well, it is happening all over the country and we have seen it for more than a year, because people are angry about the politics and the fact that washington has done nothing to fix it. >> reporter: and will reid says that when so many americans have friends and relatives who have lost jobs for the recession, e fears for their own well-being can lead to angry outbursts. one new poll from tassociated
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press and gfk roper show that republicans are more angry than democrats. democrats are a popular target. take this from governor chris christie when a heckler shouted at meg whitman. >> hey, listen, you know what, you want to yell. yell at me, but don't give her a hard time. we are here, and we are here talking about the future of the state of california and the future of our country, and you know what -- and you know what, let me tell you -- let me tell you this, you know what, it is people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country. we are here to bring this country together, and not to divide it. >> reporter: how does this all of this anger translate into a vote this november? >> well, it is going to play out well for the republican party. we have seen poll after poll that shows that the republican voters are animate and excited and ready to get out, largely, because they are angry of what is going on in washington, d.c.
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and the midterm is the opportunity to change the direction of the country. >> analysts say that the equation is pretty simple. angry voters turn out at the polls. and reid wilson says that the republicans are the angriest voters right now who are successful in getting out to mobilize the independent voter just like the democrats did in 2006 and 2008. wolf? >> and conversely, brian, more democrats are disappointed in their own leadership right now. >> they are. and that sake distinction, because analysts say they more and more democrats are not angry, but disappointed that more has not been accomplished under the president and the domestic programs which could translate to them sitting home on election day, and once again, advantage republicans. >> thank you, brian todd. now, in depth with john king host of "john king usa" which begins at the top of the hour, and candy crowley who hosts "state of the union" every
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sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. and if you look at the likely voters for congress, 75% say they have made up their minds and 20% are saying they could change their mind. and that is not a lot of leeway for the democrats to play with. >> they have no room for error to limit what's the expected losses as opposed to win anything. and the bulk of these people, when you look at the internals tend to be the conservatives, so these are people who are not going to change their minds. so, the question is, and in these remaining days what are the democrats going the argue to bring over and i don't know if it is bringing over the 20% who has not made up their mind, but it is getting them out to vote. >> and the surprising number to me, and i assume to you guys as well, but are you more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who the tea party supports? 50%. that the tea party opposes? 33%. i was surprised by that. >> it is a huge reflection,
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wolf, of the sense out there, and some people it is angry and some people it is frustration and some people, it is disgust that washington can't get its act together and face the issues facing the country, and the tea party is identified to send in the people who are anti-washington, and anti-establishment and stir it up. especially if you look closely into the polling of the suburbs and the rural areas. if you overlay the suburbs and the rural areas with the map of the congressional and the most contested congressional districts, they are in the suburbs and the rurals, and the democrats tend to hold the urban districts. so anyway, it is more and more bad news with the numbers. >> and the tea party to 2010 is what president obama was to 2008. he was the change and the hope and the guy who seemed to be fighting the insiders, and now he is one. >> and look at this poll number ant enthusiasm which is so important, john. are you extremely or very enthusiastic ability voe yas st
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enthusiastic about voting this year? well, it is from 53 to 42% for republicans and 30% to 27% for democrats. the republicans have a 33% advantage over this. >> and the democrats are saying there is time, and there is time, but wolf n 2006 and 2008, the democrats had numbers just like that saying they had the intensity gap, and that by far, and by huge margins the democrats were more enthused and intense about voting and getting involved in the campaigns, but republicans have it this year, and there is a big debate in this town about whether the cake is baked. most people who have done this a long time will tell you, yes, five or six or eight races around the margins, but largely, the cake is baked. >> and limited number of charismatic and person that the president is to get the base out, and the enthusiasm rising is not going to be easy. >> no, it is not doing to be easy and the president is not at this moment his best salesmen. there are areas they don't want to take him into, and
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congressmen didn't want him to come in, and face it, this is it. it is about how enthusiastic you are, because you wake up on tuesday morning, and it is pouring down rain and if you are not enthusiastic, you roll over and go the sleep. >> and turnout for midterm election is never what it is for a presidential year election, so to get out of the vote is more difficult if you are not enthusiastic. >> yes, that is right. >> see you at the top of the hour, "john king usa." and see you sunday morning, candy, on "state of the union." >> and california is now poised to resume executions. next week after a four-year break, we are getting new details. plus the comedian steven colbert is appearing before congress with a serious subject, and you will hear rather unusual testimony. >> i am honored and pleased to be here. i was asked to share my vast experience -- ice 1) we've detected an anomaly...
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the american president is firing right back at the iranian president for his controversial comments about 9/ 1. in his speech at the united nations yesterday, mahmoud ahmadinejad said that america orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. today, the president reacted to bbc persia. >> well, it was offensive. it was hateful, and particularly for him to make the statement here in manhattan just, just a
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little north of ground zero where families lost their loved ones, people of all races, all ethnicities who see this as the seminel tragedy of this generation, and for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable. >> the american hiker meanwhile, recently freed by iran after more than 14 months in a prison met today with the iranian president in new york city. let's go to new york. cnn's mary snow has details. what do we know? >> well, sarah shourd went to that meeting with her mother, nor, and she just released a statement calling it a gracious gesture and good meeting. while i was in prison i pleaded with the chance to speak with president ahmadinejad in order to clear up any misunderstanding that led to our detention.
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this is a meeting that comes ten days after her release from prison. earlier today, i spoke with her about her ordeal. we are here in central park and you a free woman. does this feel surreal to you? >> yeah, that is is a good word. i still feel numb. it feels like a big disappointment, and freedom is everything i dreamed it would be, but it is the most important part of it is taken out of it not to have my fiance and friend josh with me. >> reporter: sarah says that josh fattal and shane bau er ar still contained because they went over the border with iran, and they didn't know they were close. >> if we had any idea, we would have stayed far, far away and we never would have risked our
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safety, and we were not there to take any risks whatsoever. we were there to enjoy the green mountains and northern iraq was an obvious choice, and i had a couple of friends of mine from damascus had made this trip, westerners who had no problem, and people go there from all over the world. >> reporter: you were hiking for a few hours. what happened? >> we were hiking on a small trail, and there was no indication of a border. there wasn't a sign. there wasn't a flag or a fence. and all of the sudden, we saw some soldiers, and we, of course, assumed they were iraqi soldiers and when we found out they were iranian soldiers, we were baffled, mystified and confused. they took us, you know. >> reporter: taken to iran's notorious prison where sarah was put in solitary confinement, and she was blindfolded even to go into the bathroom. >> in the beginning i would scream and cry a lot and sometimes i would bang on the walls, but eventually, you realize that resistance is
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futile like no one listens. no one cares. i mean, shane and josh were the thing that kept me going. >> reporter: eventually sarah, and shane and josh were able to spend up to an hour together each day, and the two men share a cell. how small is the space? >> it is about 10 feet by 5 feet. it is the same space i had, but there is two of them. so, the space that they exercise on, it is like about the size of a towel. >> reporter: it is those images that keep sarah fighting to gain release of shane and josh and a mission she shares with their families, including alex fattal, josh's brother, who now considers sarah a sister. >> it is bittersweet, and great to see sarah and hold her hand and feel more connected to joshings but i really want the give josh a hug and get out on the basketball court with him. get shane home, too, and for all three families, this has gone on way, way, way too long. >> reporter: and the families are organizing their efforts on
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the website "free the hikers".org. >> thank you, mary. we wish her the best and we hope her two friends are released soon from iraq. fredricka whitfield is monitoring the other top stories in "the situation room." what else is going on, fred? >> well, another lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct has been filed against atlanta area pastor eddie long. he is accused of coercing a 15-year-old boy into sex in a trip to africa and continuing the improprieties into the boy's college years. three other men have filed similar lawsuits, and a spokesperson for long says the pastor categorically denies all allegations. and in the west, torrential rain is causing severe flooding. and wisconsin and iowa and other areas are under water. a surge could cause some
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flooding in major rivers, and wisconsin and south dakota declared states of emergency. so far, no death sbrns reported. and cubans will be able to work for themselves in 178 sectors of the activities under new guidelines released by the government. for the first time in decades, entrepreneurs can hire nonfamily personnel, and it is to shed jobs over the next six months to bolster is the struggling economy. raul castro says that the social system will not be altered. if you are a facebook or twitter page, lights up with news of a tsunami off of a coast in california, no worry, because it is only a drill. natural disaster launched the drill to see how social media could be used in a crisis, and so-called x-24 included the u.s.
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and many other countries and also the red cross and many other nonprofits. if you see it, it is clearly marked x-24, and as fake. well, there's an app for everything these days, but have you looked skyward and said, i wonder where that plane is going? well, a new app called plane finder ar helps iphone users point their phones to the sky, and find out about the flight over head, how fast they are going and where they originated, and their numbers. it debuts last week at $2.99 but i can't say that i have wanted to know that badly where that plane is going and now an app for it. >> thank you, fred. we have more on a breaking news this hour with a judge clearing the way for executions in california after a four-year moratorium. details coming in from l.a. and the latest wrinkle in the battle plans for a islamic
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this is cnn breaking news. all right. let's get more on the breaking news we are following out of california.
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a federal judge has cleared the way for the first execution in that state by lethal injection in four years. cnn's casey wi nan is joining us from l.a. right now. tell us how this is unfolding, casey. >> well, wolf, i have got the ruling right here in my hands, and i have just finished reading through it. this involves the case of a gentleman named albert greenwood brown who was convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl who was on her way home from school back in 1980. now, executions in the state of california have been on hold since another court ruled that the state's cocktail of drugs used to execute death row inmates had the potential to cause pain before they were put to death. specifically, the first drug was considered in some cases that the patients were still awake. so that the executions have been on hold since that ruling was issued. in the meantime, the state of california has come up with a
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new execution protocol that involves a different combination of drugs. also, other states have in the meantime executed prisoners using just one drug. so, what this court has ruled is that the execution can go forward on wednesday with the certain conditions, and that is that the inmate, his name albert brown, has to choose which method of execution he would like, the single drug or the new three-drug cocktail. the court also ruled that if he chooses the single drug, the state has the option to put the execution on hold again, because it has not done a single drug execution in the past. this is all also pending another state court's hearing which is scheduled on monday that is going to look at some of the same issues, but this is another hurdle in the way of california executions which have been on hold for more than four years. they could go forward starting on wednesday, wolf. >> all right. thank you, casey, very much.
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let's get some legal analysis from sunny mostin and trutv's "in session" and she is a former prosecutor and analyst. sunny, hundreds of inmates on death row in california right now, a should we expect to see a waveecutions now? >> well, that could certainly happen, wolf. it depends where they are in the appeals process. this has paved the way for the death penalty to go forward in california, but there are still hurdles. there are still hurdles, so it is too soon to say that the executions will all go forward, but certainly one hurdle is clearly, clearly over now. >> and so barring some other report intervention, we could have the first execution in california as early as next wednesday? >> yes, that is right, as early as next wednesday, but of course, the lawyers have asked marin county judge to block the execution on other grounds saying that it is the state's
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new state procedures and stating improper court training, and new supervision, and also a new death chamber in san quentin has been put in, and that should be seen prior to any execution being held on wednesday. >> thank you, sunny hostin. we will stay on top of the story for our viewers. and bill clinton's dramatic weight loss and he talked to me about it earlier in the week sparking a buzz about how he did it. coming up, i will speak to the doctors behind the diet that helped the former president lose 24 pounds. grilled flavor and goodness to savor ♪ ♪ friskies grillers blend. ♪ feed the senses. it's work through the grime and the muck, month. tow and pull without getting stuck month.
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when i sat down with former president bill clinton this week in new york city at the clinton global initiative we spoke about the u.s. economy and the election and world affairs, but the part of the interview that grabbed so much attention was about the dramatic weight loss and the diet that helped him shed two dozen pounds. >> and i live on legunes, vegetable, and i drink a protein supplement every morn, and no dairy and i drink in almond
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milk, and protein powder to start the day out. it changed my whole metabolism and i dropped 24 pounds and i got back to what i basically weighed in high school, but i did it for a different reason. i mean, i wanted the lose a little weight, but i never dreamed this would happen. i did it because after i had this stent put in, i realized that even though it happens quite often that after you have bypass that you lose the veins, because they are thinner and weaker than arteries and the truth is that it clogged up, which heen nmeans that the choll was causing problems in the vein to cause the bypass and thank god i could take the stents. i didn't want it to happen again. so i saw with research that people since 1986 who have gone on a plant-based, no meat of chicken or fish or turkey, and
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every once in a while, i will have fish, but if you can do it, 82% of the poem w-- people who have done it, their arterial blockage cleans up and the calcium deposits around the heart breaks up. >> let's discuss what the former president said with the doctors behind the diet that helped mr. clinton change his life. dr. caldwell eslsten is the author of "prevent and reverse heart disease" and dr. dean ornish is the author of "the spectrum." and you both inspired him to begin this diet, so walk us through it, doctor, why this diet is so good for people with a history of heart disease? >> well, thank you, wolf, for having me on this evening with my good friend dean arnish. there is no question that if the truth were known that coronary artery disease is a toothless
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paper tiger that need not exist, and if it does, it need not progress. what we have heard from president clinton is the remarkable change that he has been willing to make to remove completely from his nutrition those foods that which we know will devastate and injure the inner lining of the arteries. the remarkable thing is the capacity that the body has to heal itself. and when you do what president clinton has done, where you completely try to remo any foods that are going to injure your vessel, the body has this remarkable capacity to begin the heal itself. i'm afraid as a medical profession we perhaps have fallen down and really emphasized too much the drugs and the procedures and the operations that really treat the sympt symptoms, and they do not treat the causation of the illness and this is first time since hippocrates that we have treated the illness and not symptoms.
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>> are you on the same page? >> yes, i love and respect president clinton and i was thrilled to hear he is making the changes, because i want him to live a long time, and whatever the politics, he can inspire people to make these changes. what we have shown, and we tend to think it is a new drug or laser or something high-tech and expensive to be powerful, but in more than 33 years of research, the simple changes of what we eat, and how we respond to stress and exercise and how much love and support we get, cannot just prevent, but reverse chronic illnesses like heart disease and so on. we found that almost more than 82% of the people who made these changes as president clinton indicated were able to reverse the disease. so rather than getting a quick fix like a bypass or a stent does, which doesn't treat the underlying cause. it is like mopping up the floor around the sink without turning off the faucet and it will come back unless you change what caused it. >> is this diet, no dairy, no
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meat, no chicken, basically no fish -- is this diet for everyone or only for those who have heart disease or history of heart disease? >> one other thing i would add and no oils. no processed oils. >> when you say, olive oil? even olive oil which is supposedly pretty healthy? >> i am afraid i am going to have a divergence of opinion there. yes, i would include absolutely olive oil, sunflower oil, and saf flour oil, and corn oil and they are all out. since we know that the foods are injuring people, why would we want them on the menu of the schoolchildren? when you question why wait until people do have heart disease. we know for instance if we do the autopsies on the gis who died in korea and vietnam, roughly 80% of young gis have gross evidence of coronaries disease that you can see without a microscopes.
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if we want to make a breakthrough, we will have to start when they are young. >> you are saying that young killeds should not drink milk, is that what you are saying dr. arnish? >> no, there is a spectrum of choices. what president clinton is doing what you might call the pound of cure. if you are trying to reverse a chronic disease like heart disease, we also show that the same changes can stop, and reverse the progression of prostate cancer and diabetes and high cholesterol and then you need bigger changes. but if you try the lose a few pounds or get the cholesterol down, start with moderate changes, and if that works, great. if not, do more. >> doctor, is this the one ta you live on? >> yes, i certainly do. my dad had his first heart attack at age 43, and i have been eating this way for 23 years.
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>> is that the way you eat dr. ornish. no meat or dairy or fun things in life is what you are saying? >> the old joke is am i going to live longer or seem that long if i eat this way. it is not what you exchoose but include. i recommend that people take three milligrams of fish oil, because of the omega acids. >> well, i heard him say no oil. >> well, we are slightly of a different of opinion there. there are some studies that show it can help the cardiac reduction of disease by 30%, and if you are a woman breastfeeding, it can raise the iq, and so the studies are compelling. >> i take fish oil, is that a bad idea? >> well, i won't wrestle over the fish oil, because we have so much in common, and we are
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striving to make the basic point is that by eating the whole foods and getting away from the processed foods and away from the dairy or anything with a mother or face, meat, fish, chicken, it is so incredible how powerful a body can be. if we are going to have a seismic revolution of health in this country, which is really right at our fingertips, when the major behavior that has to change is interestingly enough our food. that is the absolutely key card and trumps everything. >> i agree. and let me say this, when you make these changes, because these mechanisms are so dynamic, your brain gets more blood, and you will think more clearly and you have more energy, and your skin gets more blood and the sexual organs get more blood in the way that viagara works. so you will live longer and feel better and you will have sustained free democrat, and om.
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people will see that they go from fear of dying to sustain a joy of living. >> you both have a good shout out from president clinton and he is on your diet, and doing the best he can. he is very happy. i saw him in action eating some of the beans and the vegetables away from some of the other fun foods as we like to say. let's hope he lives a long and healthy life. guys, thank you for coming in. >> amen. >> and thank you, doctor, you are doing tremendous work. >> if you put a predecessor together, they will be talking about weighty stuff. what did president obama say though that made president bill clinton laugh so hard? we will tell you.
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all the controversy over the proposed mosque and center at ground zero may be moot. because part of the project may be in jeopardy right now. allan chernoff is in new york getting more details. bottom line, is this center going to be built?
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>> well, wolf, people watching this situation closely are are wondering just that because the project's developers are wondering just that. >> reporter: the development in new york says that there is much conflict around the proposed islamic center in ground zero that el sharif gamel is very confused. >> reporter: this woman says that her group muslim for peace was approached by el gamal asking her organization to raise money for his project which is park 51 seeking its own nonprofit status. >> one of the developers in the project, sharif alga mall wanted to use the 501-c status for muslims for peace to raise funds for this islamic center. i thought that was a little bit
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inappropriate. >> reporter: she says that he raised a few thousand dollars. today, the donation link on the park 51 website sis inactive. a spokesman says that the nonprofit fund-raising effort has yet to be launched, but el gamal has asked for donations at prayer services held at the existing building. already the developer is at odds with one of the major investors who tells cnn he has a controlling interest in the project, and might sell-off his portion for a profit. he would not speak on camera, but his attorney did. >> well, he does have the majority control, and according to the agreements, he is the person who is going to decide how that who is going to make decisions with respect to the property. >> reporter: el gamal says that is dead wrong say heg has control. meanwhile el gamal, and fizal abdul rauf, the visionary of the project are presenting different
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concepts to the public. imam refers to it as cordova house after his nonprofit institution, but el gamal refers to it as park 51 saying it is the mosque within the larger center, ap while the developer has described a community center hope for all, but a prayer service for just muslims, the imam said something different. >> there is a prayer space for christians and jews. >> reporter: there is even conflict within the muslim community. islamic leaders who said they have never been consulted last week peppered el gamal with questions as to whether park 51 would be for elite wealthy muslims. >> nunl of our organizations is capable or putting money into this. >> reporter: money is now the critical issue. >> we have not raised any money for it yet. >> reporter: while seeking money from banks and other private individuals, el gamal is determined to carry the project
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through. >> we have the building, and we are are doing it there god willing. >> if el gamal is unable to raise money domestically, he may have to turn to foreign sours in t -- foreign sources in the islamic community, and that is further controversy. there was a statement sent to cnn saying that there are planning to include a interfaith prayer space at the center. wolf. >> and you mean, saudi arabia, and united emirates in the oil-rich countries? >> yes. >> we will see how he does in the u.s.? >> okay. thank you, allan. stein colbert is up at capitol hill appearing before congress. we will hear about the serious subject, and the comedian's testimony. mills big g cereals. they put a white check on the top of every box to let people know that their cereals have healthy whole grain, and they're the right choice...
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congresswoman from california says that the state has done the -- the democrats should have no regrets about inviting comedian stephen colbert to testify on migrant workers before a subcommittee of the house. the host of xom comedy central colbert show" showed him working on a farm. his comments were met with criticism. he was met with a healthy dose of sarcasm though. listen to this. >> as part of my ongoing series "stephen colbert's fallback position" where i try other jobs and realize mine is better. i participated in the ufw's take our jobs campaign and one of 16 americans to take up the challenge, though that number may increase in the near future as i understand that many democrats may be looking for work come november.
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now i -- i'll admit that i started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor, but after working with these men and women and picking beans and packing corn for hours on end side by side in the unforgiving sun, i have to say, and i do mean this sincerely, please don't make me do this again. it is really, really hard. for one thing when you are picking beans, you have to spend all day bending over and it turns out, and i did not know this, most soil is ground level. if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put earth waist high. where is the funding. this brief experience gave me a small understanding of why so few americans are clamoring to begin an exciting career as seasonal migrant worker. i'm not a fan of the government doing anything, but why isn't the government doing anything? maybe this ag jobs bill would help, i don't know, like most
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members of congress, i haven't read it, but maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants who, let's face it, who could -- maybe you could offer more visas to the immigrants who would do this job anywayimgrants recourse if they're abused. it stands to reason, if your co-worker can't be exploited, you are less likely to be exploited yourself. that may improve working conditions on these farms. eventually americans may consider taking these jobs again. or maybe that's crazy. maybe the easier answer is just to have scientists develop vegetables that pick themselves. the genetic engineers at fruit of the loom have made great strides. we have to do something, because i'm not going back out there. at this point i break out into a cold sweat at the sight of a salad bar. i thank you for your time. >> stephen colbert testifying before congress.
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>> here's a look at some hot
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call or click now for an agent or quote. . >> we want to leave you this week with this president obama saying he's the luckiest guy in the world, but it has nothing to do with being president of the united states. listen to his humorous and heartfelt tribute to the first lady, michelle obama this week as they both attended the clinton global initiative in new york city. bill clinton understands where i'm coming from here. he knows what it's like to be married to somebody who's smarter, somebody who's better looking, somebody who's just all around a little more impressive than you are. all right.
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this is not news to people. since michelle and i first started dating 22 years ago, pretty much everybody i know who's met her at some point comes up to me and says you know, you are great and all, i like you, but your wife now, she's really something. i of course agree. they're right. i feel grateful that michelle, so far at least, has not run for any offices i've been running for. she would beat me thoroughly. >> while i get plenty of good advice from a lot of people during the course of the day, at the end of each day, it is michelle, her morale voice, her morale center that cuts through all the noise in washington and
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reminds me of why i'm there in the first place. while i'm tremendously proud of the first lady that she's been for this country, at the end of the day, i'm most grateful that she's been such a partner to me and the best mother that i know. every moment that i spend with my daughters, i am thankful for all that she's done to make them who they are. everyday, i see her strength and her kindness and her character reflected in the two of them, and there's no greater gift, and i know bill feels the same way, about when he looks at chelsea, he sees this incredible force that a mother can bring. to this day, i still don't know how i talked her into marrying me, but i know that


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