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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 20, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EST

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he was finally vindicated. there's something to be said. >> thank you so much, sunny. we'll see you back here tomorrow. in the meantime wolf blitzer will deliver with the interview and so much more in "the situation room." for me, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for watching. this hour, gabby giffords's husband talks about the big moves and the small gestures inspiring him and indeed the entire nation. the chinese president may have gotten glares on capitol hill, but wait until you hear what donald trump is saying about him. joining me to talk about the country he calls, and i'm quoting him now, the end me. two years after president obama was sworn in, democrats share important news about his political future. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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less than two weeks after she was shot in the head, congresswoman gabby giffords is about to begin the next stage of her remarkable recovery. her husband spoke today about plans to transfer her to a rehab facility in houston tomorrow, and what a fighter she is. >> i'm extremely hopeful that gaby will make a full recovery. i've told her that. she recognizes it. she's a strong person, a fighter. i mean, she is a fighter like nobody else that i know. so i am extremely confident that she's going to be back here and back at work soon. i've been telling the hospital staff that they should expect to see her walking thus these has into the icu within a couple months. i am sure of that. >> mark says every time she enter acts with him, she does something, quote, quite inspiring. >> she smile at me, do a couple things she's only do around me,
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like pat me on the face. she used to do that before, just very gently. i can look in her eyes and tell. she's well aware of who's around her, just, you know, very aware of the situation. let's bring in paul bercamp. is it true that she's actually standing, getting ready to talk? what do we know about this, paul? >> absolutely, wolf. she has been standing. this is with assistance, of course, from her doctors and nurses. they were able to get her to stand. her husband says that she can bear her own weight. quite remarkable. in terms of talking, they say she's been controlling through her ipad. she's not been talking per se, but she seems to be attempting to mouth words. she has a tube in her trachea that does not allow her to talk, but doctors are debating whether or not they should replace that tube and give her a full go at
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trying to talk, wolf. >> that would be encouraging to hear her voice. you're in tusen, not in houston. she's going to be transferred to houston. what do we know about this transfer? >> reporter: what they're going to do at 9:00 local time, she will levy a ambulance to a nearby air force base, then flown directly to houston, wolf. >> the rehab facility there, what do we know about that? >> reporter: we know it's one of the great rehab facilities in the world for anybody who's undergone trauma to their brain. also, mark kelly, being an astronaut, a commander, lives in houston. he has two teenage daughters, giffords' stepdaughters. he says it's important to hem him that he's nearby if he can return to work, and it's good for the daughters in school, the idea was to keep the family together, and there's mutual respect between the doctors here in tucson and the doctors in houston. they've been in contact with each other. they are very confident that this tag team will prevail and
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they'll get giffords back on her feet and in great shape. >> one of her key doctors, dr. reed will be joining john king on "john king usa". the accused tucson shooter jared loughner now facing federal charges for attempting to murder congresswoman giffords and two of her aides. the indictment was issued yesterday. legal experts say more charges are likely, perhaps involving the six people involved in the shooting. the next appearance is monday in phoenix. now to the chinese president's meeting with congressional leaders here in washington. members of both parties have openly vented concerns about the communist regime. the senate majority leader went so far to refer to hu jintao as, quote, a dictator, but how much were lawmakers willing to say to his face? let's turn to dana bash. dana, what was it like on the hill today? >> reporter: you know, president hu definitely faced a congress
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determined to be tougher on china than in the past. one of the words used to describe him, dictator, others were gangster, even emperor. but lawmakers were tough but polite today, we're told. democratic senate leader harry reid is known as someone who doesn't smile much, but look hat this diplomatic smile with chinese president hu jintao. even though reid said this about hu the other day. >> he is a dictator. he can do a lot of things. he through the former -- maybe i shouldn't have said dictator. >> reporter: we tried to ask about that. what do you expect to accomplish with the name-calling -- no answer. they pressed the. nancy pelosi brought up human routes. >> every country has their own laws, their own level of development, and everybody has to follow the laws of their country. if i had a chance, i would have
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said i did not find that a satisfactory answer. >> and house speaker john boehner. >> i expressed my concerns about intellectual property, and the issue of north korea. >> reporter: these rare meetings with the chinese president are snow small matter for lawmakers, especially since china is a politically charged topic when it comes to american jobs, which candidates tried to exploit in the last election. >> pat toomey, he's working to bring jobs. to china. >> reporter: but some congress men were frustrated they didn't have time to push president hu on trade imbalances and currency manipulations. >> i had a lot of concerns i wanted to discuss. >> reporter: john mccain admitted they did not win new commitments, but said that it's worth the efforts. >> i think the meetings can play a role in helping improve or -- not only our relations, but also
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understanding the depth of commitment here in the united states on these issues. >> reporter: some lawmakers came out saying they were frustrated there wasn't much of a dilock, only the house speaker and the democratic leader got to tau to president hu formally, but in the senate it was a smaller meeting, and john kerry, he was a bit more upbeat. he says he believes china is slowly beginning to appreciate its responsibilities as a global power. let's bring in one of the most famous names in the world of the big business community. he has big problems with china and its economic policies, we're talking about real estate mogul and tv personality donald trump, who says he's thinking of running for president. donald, if you were in one of those meetings with president hu jintao, in a nutshell what would you say? >> i wouldn't be having steak dinners, and he's the primary representative that's done nothing but take advantage of the united states.
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i find it amazing when i listen to some of the political leaders talking about how we're making progress. they're making $300 billion a year, probably more than that each year, call it profit, off the united states. they're manipulating their currency, intellectual property rights and everything else are a joke over there. they're making stuff that you see being sold all the time on fifth avenue, copying various, you know, whether it's chanel or whatever it may be, the brands, just selling it adnaushium. this is a country that's ripping off the united states like nobody other than opec, has ever done before, and i certainly wouldn't be saying, as i've been hearing you for the last few minutes as your representatives and people on the show have been saying, oh, we're making progress. these are not our friends. these are our enemies. they do not understand niceness. the only thing to do, wolf, to get their attention is say we're not going to trade with you any
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further, or in the alternative, we're going to tax your products as they come into the united states. >> china also is america's leading banker. they have nearly a trillion in t-bills, in u.s. treasury notes. when you have bankers you have to deal with all the time, aren't you nice? >> and who's done better with bankers than i have. look, the fact is simple. the tax would be 25%, is what i estimate. in a short period of time, in a matter of a few years, the hundreds of billions of dollars that they've really bought for their own benefit -- they didn't buy it for our own benefit, so they think they can have some control over the country and get a nice rate of interest, by the way. so what happens is the tax to be paid on the products that come into this country would more than pay off those loans in a very short period of time, and the fact is we're the highest taxed country in the world. we are the highest taxed country in the world. we would -- i would lower the
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taxes for people in this country and corporations in this country, and let china and some of the other countries that are ripping us off and making hundreds of billions of dollars a year, let them pay. >> you know that general motors sells more cars in china than it does in the united states. there's a lot of american jobs at stake right now, isn't there? >> well, you know what's happening. china will -- is very hard to do business with china, first of all. it's almost impossible. >> gm is doing a pretty good job. >> say it again? >> gm is doing a pretty good job dealing with china. >> they're going to make general motors build the cars in china. they're not going to let general motors take their cars from this country and sell them in china. they want general motors to give up all its intellectual rights and at the same time have chinese workers build the cars, something which we are not doing to that extent. if you look at what's happening with china and what they're selling to, or take south korea with the television sets and everything else, they're making
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it over there. china wants general motors to build the cars in china. >> you know that a lot of the economists, the free trade experts say if there were a trade war between the united states and china, it could cause not only a worldwide recession, but a worldwide depression if these two giant -- the number 1 and number 2 economic powers in the world we aren't to war against each other. >> no, it will cause a depression in china not here. china is making the money, we're not. look at the numbers. look at the difference to what we import compared to what they're importing. >> it's about 3 to 1. >> much more than 3 to 1, wolf. >> you're right on that point, but -- >> i like getting rid of that partnership. that's called we're losing a lot of money. i like getting rid of it. that has nothing to do with free trade or fair trade. i like to call it fair trade. free trade, forget it, it doesn't exist between these two
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countries. i'm a big believer in free and fair trade, but this is unfair trade. >> i take it you were not invited to the state dinner? >> well, i wouldn't have gone if i was. >> but you weren't invited. >> absolutely not. no, i would think they're smart enough not to invite me. >> are you city thinking about running for the president of the united states? >> i'm giving it serious thought. >> when will we know? >> sometime prior to june. >> what will be the main point? >> it's all jobs. it's all jobs. we have an effective rate of 18% unemployment, not 9.4%. depending on the way you count the numbers it could mean more than that. we'll see what happens with jobs. we'll see what happens with the fact that opec is ripping us just as badly other even worse than china. anything worse is opec, and nobody from this country says, listen, you're going to destroy our economy. the price ares are almost up to $100 a barrel.
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and the last time that happened, we almost had a massive depression, and nobody ever blamed the oil prices. they talked about the banks. the banks were certainly at fault, but so was are was oil. gasoline now is selling for aover $3 a gallon. if something doesn't happen with that, if something doesn't happen with jobs, i very well may do it, world. because this is not a respected country anymore. we're a whipping post for the world. >> and just to be precise, you would run for the republican nomination? >> i'm a republican. i would run as a republican. >> and can you give us a ballpark how much of your own money you might be willing to invest? >> a lot. if i decide to do it, a lot. >> donald trump, you'll let us know what's going on. thanks very much as always. >> thank you, wolf. a new step back from the brink of war on the korean peninsula, a region where the stakes are very high. south korea now says it has accepted a north korean proposal for high-level military talks, but they are conditions.
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the south says it wants to hold lower-level talks first and only if the north takes responsibility for military provocations last year. we're finishing a major one-hour special on my recent six days in north korea with governor bill richardson, i think you'll enjoy that. thanks very much. you'll be tuning in to see that. americans appear to be suffering from a new ailment, some are calling it palin fatigue. we're talking about the former alaska governor's overexposure. and stand by to find out who had a surprise close encounter with the first lady michelle obama.
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>> woman: good night, gluttony-- a farewell long awaited.
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good night, stuffy. >> ( yawning ) >> good night, outdated. >> ( click ) >> good night, old luxury and all of your wares. good night, bygones everywhere. >> ( engine revs ) >> good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning, unequaled inspiration. >> ( heartbeats ) the future of health care reform is on jack cafferty's mind. >> there are a lot of people who want to get rid of the health care reform law. the house voted 245-189 to
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repeal the signature legislation, with some democrats joining in a unan misrepublican vote. the bill is unlikely to see the light of day in the senate, and if it ever gets to the president's desk, he would likely veto it. so they may try to cut funding for parts of the law or eliminate specific provisions. democrats call the repeal vote a gimmick. really? not exactly. it's not just house republicans who are against the health care reform law, not by a long shot. more than half the states in this country are challenging the law in court. another six states have joined a florida lawsuit bringing the total in that case to 26 states, plus virginia has filed a separate lawsuit, and oklahoma says it plans to do the same. the states insist the law is unconstitutional, because it forces people to buy health insurance. they might have a point. a thompson/routers poll shows an
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overwhelming 65% of doctors say that health care reform will mean worse patient cares in the next time years. only 18% think it will make patient health care better. those are pretty stunning numbers, better than 3 to 1. we're talking about doctors here. finally most of the american people aren't sold on this thing, either. a recent poll shod 50% want the new law repealed, only 42% would choose to keep it the way it is. here's the question -- what does it mean if more than half the states are fighting the new health care reform law in the courts? go to, post a comment on my blog. >> jack, thank you. sarah palin looming large over american politics more than two years after she burst on the scene as john mccain's running mate. there's growing evidence that americans may be suffering from what some are calling palin fatigue. 56% of americans now have an
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unfavorable view of palin, you want from 49% in october. our senior political analyst gloria borger writes about her in her new column, and joining us eric erickson, the editor in chief of when you say palin fatigue, and i read your excellent column, tell us what you mean. >> thank you. what i mean is sarah palin was on the scene. she was fresh to everyone, new, the hockey mom, now she's become sort of like a salesman who nothings on your door every day, whether you want what she's selling or not. she tweets, she's got a reality tv show, she's done books. we hear from her an awful lot, more than some people would like. i think people are getting kind of tired of her, exhausted by her, and that doesn't help when you're a politics. >> are we seeing too much of sarah palin, eric? >> i think relative to the other
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candies, yes. i don't think it's a coincidence when you look at the polling, the candidates who are ranked higher than sarah palin are the candidates we're not hearing from right now. >> right. >> i think though, wolf, one of the issues is number one i'm not even sure she's going to run for president. a lot of people take her zealous supporters and the support for that. the reason she has the support is if you go back to 2008, we've still never seen obama's college transcripts or constituent file or what he did with a.c.o.r.n., but we know a lot about sarah palin. if she makes a typo on twitter, it makes the lead story on "world news tonight. dwgs. >> that's why candidates have been staying away from criticizing her publicly. they're not afraid of sarah palin per se, because as eric says, they're not sure if she's going to run, but they're afraid of losing her supporter. i do think, maybe after tucson,
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and may this is all just built up, we are beginning to see potential republican candidates start to tag her on a business like newt gingrich who admonished she might be more careful with what she says. >> i agree with gloria on that. you have this grows sense, outside of the grassroots that you know she's probably not the sh shou shoo-in, because of the fatigue among independent voters. she's got a year to combat it, but it will be tough. whatever she says or does, sheet get attacked. >> forget about sarah palin for a moment. donald trump says by june he'll decide whether to run for the
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republican nomination. if he decides to run, can he get that nomination, eric? >> i don't see a path to victory, but i'll support the republican nominee. >> gloria? isms i think he would be great in a presidential debate. the more the merrier. let's have more in the primary field to cover. i think he would be interesting to cover. >> it would be lively indeed. guys, thanks vessel. silvio berlusconi, quote he never, not once, had sex with an underage nightclub dancer. now the teenager is speaking out with her time with italy's prime minister. and ohio democratic congressman denis kucinich accusing special interests of trying to silence him and erasing his congressional district, but he's not giving up without a fight. now people everywhere are getting a deep clean and fresher mouth without the intensity that kept them away. it still kills bad breath germs for a whole mouth clean.
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is there a neonazi link to a backpack bomb found on a martin luther king jr. day parade route
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in washington? we're monitoring some of those stories. >> it is indeed, wolf. the fbi tells cnn that it has no evidence right now of any link between the backpack bomb and neonazi activity in spokane, but it continues to investigate and consideration the matter an act of domestic terrorism. authorities rerouted monday's martin luther king unity parade after a bomb was found on a bench. the bomb is being analyzed in quantico. a teenage girl is denies she had sex with silvio berlusconi despite contradictory court documents, but she claims that the 17-year-old told her she was off often at the prime minister's house, had dinner and danced for him. the girl nicknamed ruby says she received more than $9,000 from the prime minister last valentine's day to help her. an eight-term ohio democrat
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dennis kucinich says he's fighting for his political life. here's a look. take a look at this. with that state-looking two congressional seats, his district is fund-raising to keep the district from being eliminated. he says, he will, not let, quote, special interests force him out, but he needs help to keep the district's voice from being silenced. visitors today got a little surprise. it was a personal welcome by first lady michelle obama. she greeted them as they entered the blue room. her office says it is to mark the two-years an verse of president obama's gnaw race and part of the commitment to keep it open and accessible to the public. they thought they were gust going to get a tour. >> that's great. lovely. the kids were very, very happy, as they shall be.
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right now president obama is laying groundwork for a second term. what democrats are doing and saying to promote the reelection campaign. a would-be hopeful taking a very surprising jab at president obama. it involves the hot-button issue of abortion and race. ♪ but i really love my bank ♪ i hate-- didn't quite catch that last bit. i said i really love my bank. right... is there a problem ? it's not really raging, man. uh, we were hoping for more raging ? well, you said write from the heart. yeah... don't do that. at ally, you'll love our online savings account. named the best of 2010 by money magazine. ally. do you love your bank ?
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let's get to our "strategy session" lots to discuss with roland martin, and up republican strategist ed rollins. thanks very much, guys. ed, as someone who ran a presidential campaign, is it smart for the white house to move their political operatives effect activity out of the white house in getting ready for the reelection campaign, sending them off to chicago, working in chicago and the dnc, not
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necessarily through the white house? >> i think it's a mistake to go to chicago. when reagan asked me to run his reelection campaign it was in march of '83. i didn't leave the white house until october. we moved everything out at that point in time and set up the reelect. i think the biggest concern is getting back and forth to chicago. you set up three difficult power bases, the campaign, the white house, the dnc power base where they're moving the political operatives, and it's just not good logistics. as equally important to the 23 democratic senators says we're doing our own thing and not worry about you. >> david axelrod will go to chicago. jim messina going to chicago, leaving the white house. tim kaine staying on as the dnc chairman. what do you think about this effort to get out of the white house and let the dnc in chicago take over? i want if you look at what took place in 2008, he moved a lot of the dnc operations to chicago,
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and away from washington, d.c. i don't necessarily see a problem getting out of the beltway, because folks do get stuck in this crazy world here where everything revolves around washington, d.c. when you're in the middle of the country, in terms of chicago, it's also easier to get to the rest of the country from that location. you have people focused just on the campaign versus all the other drama that's going on u of the campaign, what's happening in congress and the white house, and so look, it's their call, their move. they've always done things unconventionally. >> look at this new cnn poll. cnn opinion research corporation, as far as the first two years of the obama administration, today is exactly the anniversary of the-'s taking office. were these first two years a failure? 19% say it was a failure. 45% of independents say it was a failure. not surprisingly 83% say it's a
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failure. when you look at those numbers as a political operative, what do they say so you? >> they tell me 1 out of 5 dims are not very happy. nearly half the independents are not happy. the only issue i would take with my friend roland is the white house is the power center, and what you do in the white house has a total effect on the campaign. having both in the white house and the campaign, i can tell you that. you don't have the freedom to run against washington when you are the white house. i think the president is coming back, coming back -- the view is he's cooperating with the congress. we'll see how that goes in the coming months. as equally as important. people have high expectations the economy will get better. the economy gets better, he will be a formidable candidate. if he doesn't, obviously we have a shot. >> first the question gets asks, is it a failure or success. no rationale, no reason. like folks assign any particular thing.
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so really, you know, what's the reason behind it? so we sit here and say success or failure, but the question then goes to why? i'm always one to ask that -- the second question, why do you think something is a failure or a success? and we don't know from this poll. >> let me play this clip, a potential republican presidential candidate, rick santorum, the former senator from pennsylvania, he had sharp words. he's fearly antiabortion. he said this about the president. listen. >> the question is -- and this is what barack obama didn't want to answer -- is that human life, a person under the constitution. and barack obama says no. well, if that person, human life is not a person, then i find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people. >> what the hell is rick santorum talking about?
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is he saying that white guys get it but the black guy doesn't get it? for him to even bring that in just makes no sense whatsoever, but also the supreme court has ruled on this particular issue. you can target president obama all you want to. why don't you target the folks who are on the supreme court, and only one african-american was on that court when it happened. so it's an illogical statement he's making and it makes no sense. isms what he's saying, rick santorum, ed, let me let you what i in, that life begins at conception, that there's a person there it is fetus, and since earlier in our history blacks were not considered full human beings, and should be more sensitive to these human beings. >> first of all there's two widely viewed points, when life begins, and obviously rick santorum is a very strong pro-life person, he believes life begins at conception. at the end of the day roland's
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point is accurate. why is it black, white or anything else? it's either you believe in conception and obviously if you take -- do abort that conception or somewhere in the stage between the birth, it's a very difficult, very personal decision. obviously the president is pro-choice. santorum is a pro-life leader. more and more of the debate will take on, but the what has no place here is whether you're black or white. it doesn't matter who you are. i want you to weigh in. you heard donald trump say earlier he's thinking of running for president, republican presidential nomination, will decide by june. if he runs he'll spent a lot of his money. can he win? >> absolutely not. he doesn't have a snowball's chance in heck of winning the nomination. can he spend a billion and be an independent candidate? sure. can he win? absolutely no the. >> roland, can he get? >> ed rollins has a better
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chance of being a radio city music hall dancer, and frankly has wasted breath even talking about him running for president. >> all right. guys, next time tell us how you really feel? >> and i don't want to see ed's legs. >> that ain't going to happen. if you this i mafia is a thing of the past, think again. the fbi says it's nabbed dozens of alleged mobs terres in a single day. stand by. and we've learned that the actor george clooney has come down with a very serious disease. we'll tell you. was an archer drawing his bow. ♪ could that have also inspired its 556 horsepower supercharged engine? ♪ the all-new cadillac cts-v coupe. we don't just make luxury cars, we make cadillacs.
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piers morgan will be joining us live in the next hour. he's tweeting george clooney has contracted malaria. lisa sylvester has that and other top stories. >> we are learning from the new cnn host that clooney came down from malaria while in sudan.
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he's taking medication, but, quote, feeling rough. clooney will appear tonight, and we'll talk to piers morgan next hour and have much more about george clooney's condition right here in "the situation room." michelle obama and walmart are joining forces. the first lady was as a suburban d.c. walmart today to announce the let's move campaign. under the initiative, walmart will make healthier food items like fruits and vegetables more affordable, also will put seals on the packages identifies healthier foods and will beef of support for nutrition programs. an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but is his necktie making you sick? a doctor in canada is urging other physicians to ditch ties at work because of the concerns about bacterial buildup. he says ties may not be cleaned frequently, and could transmit bacteria to patients, as doctors make their rounds.
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we'll let you think when what you think of that one. also think your commute to work is bad? let's see how it stacks up. the texas institute. gridlock, dallas, san francisco, coming in at number 4, number 3 is houston, going nowhere at number 2, los angeles and tied for number one, chicago and washington, d.c. i saw you reacting to that tie story. >> i'm not a doctor, so i don't have to worry about it. d.c. bad traffic? they need to tell me that? >> every time we go home. a stunning surprise at google today. there's a big change of the guard at the technology giant. who's taking in the reins, and what it could mean for you. plus a killing that horrified the world. the murder of the courageous
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michael, what does this mean? >> well, you know, it was a surprise, as you say. what i think it means is that larry and sergei, who have been sort of the creative and engineering soul of the company, they sort of want to take that soul back. and larry as the leader, i spoke to some folks who are ex-googlers, and people who are still at google, and of the two, he is definitely one to be the leader. the question people have is, is he ready? >> that's a good question. is he the best person to take over goog the rye now at this moment? >> remember, eric schmidt was brought over to be, as he admitted.
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of course it's got all its search advertising, but larry is a brilliant engineer, and he didn't run it for the last decade, and i -- you know, it's a question, an open question whether he's really the right guy to be running it. >> who would be the right guy if not larry page and, sergei, is he the right guy to run it? >> i don't think so. sergei again is a great and brilliant engineer. my sources within google are saying that, look, eric did a great job as ceo, and it will be a loss to see him step down as that ceo. now, it seems that we are going to have larry as ceo of they've said it, so he can do the job that he can do. what's unknown is, is he going to be that leader of a public company that google. >> what is the biggest challenge for google going forward.
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>> for one, in a name it's apple on the mobile front. another company that's that it's facing is facebook. if i'm turning to social media for my answers, as opposed to google, that's a problem for google. google needs to step up both -- it's done a great job in the mobile world, but needs to keep the pedal to the metal. in the social world, it needs to come up with products that pull people more into the google world and make google your friend as opposed to a source of information. >> michael copeland, thanks. >> thanks, wolf. growing concerns of a new oil disaster involving a major pipeline. cnn investigates what many fear is an accident waiting to happen. and the amazing story of a woman who was kidnapped as a baby and found her mom, 23 years later. .
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let's check out a few hot spots. a hotel made of waste opens to bring attention to ocean garbage. in cuba, a man updates bookkeeping. cuba pushed for some private businesses as part of an economic reform strategy. a man prays at the grave of his cousin. here in washington, a new
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agreement between the united states and china allows the giant pandas to remain at the national zoo five more years. hot shots. pictures worth a thousand words. let's get right back to jack for the cafferty file. jack? >> may be the most meaningful piece of international diplomacy done in the last generation. i love those. >> panda diplomacy. >> yeah, absolutely. question this hour, what does it mean if more than half the states are fighting the new health care reform law in court? this following the house repeal of the reform law. excuse me. jason writes a number of states fought against the 13th and 14th amendments. a number of states fought against brown versus the board of education. a number of states fought against the civil rights act. nevertheless, we continued on the path of justice, continued paving the road to equality. now we stand at the forefront of another storm and we'll continue to march undaunted in the face of the nay sayers. jeff says there's a lot that passed last year that doesn't add up. it needs to be fixed.
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chris ann writes it means the whole system has to change. not just some parts of the system. this is a process and is a good sign that we will eventually have the kind of health care in the country that we need. sherri writes it would mean more than half the states are idiotic. i know the law is not perfect, but it's better than the status quo. i have a preexisting condition, and without this law i would be unable to get insurance should i lose my job. another writes if our leaders were wise enough to create a single payer system, we wouldn't have to go through the nonsense. bob in ontario, i suspect the original legislation was such a convoluted complex bill is that nobody could be certain what it entailed in terms of expenses to the individual or the quality of future health care. try asking politicians pointed questions as to the contents, and i expect you will get varied answers. unless a more transparent bill that answers basic questions can be structured, the health care law should be changed in court. and susan in idaho says those
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states smell a rat. if you want to read more on the subject, go to wolf? >> will do, jack. thank you. after the gulf coast oil spill, could the alaska pipeline be the next scene of an environmental disaster? cnn investigates wear and tear on the critical source of america's fuel supply. and the inside story of the fbi's huge bust of alleged mobsters.
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the pipeline responsible for supplying a major source of u.s. oil is up and running after an unprecedented shutdown this month. it pumps about 11% of the nation's oil from wells in alaska's north slope. but operations came to a screeching halt when a leak was detected at pump station one in prudhoe bay. bp is one of the companies that owns the pipeline. critics say they're pushing the pipeline to cut corners on maintenance. drew griffin has been following the story. drew is joining us now with the latest. what's going on, drew? >> well, wolf, a lot of the criticism has come from congress itself. the senator from alaska is the latest to call for a hearing. he wants to know if maintenance cuts or delays are causing all this. >> this latest leak led to the
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shutdown of the transaction pipeline for more than three days. and kept more than 2 million barrels of oil from market. 30 years of wear and tear on this engineeri inin ining marved with maintenance may create a recipe for disaster? a very hard to reach location. that is the belief of fairbanks state representative, david gutenberg who told us this summer he sees a string of small mishaps and maintenance deadlines as a sign the pipeline's principle owner, bp, is willing to risk alaska's pristine environment to save money. >> i guess your fear is the same bp corporate culture that we're seeing in the gulf of mexico where corners were cut is the same corporate culture managing this pipeline. >> well, that's the been the problem, i believe, yes. >> not just an accident waiting
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to happen. the accidents have been happening. repeatedly on this pipeline. critics say they were largely ignored until the gulf oil crisis. >> this latest leak, 13,000 barrels, was contained inside a pump station, while crews built around the leak. they still don't know the cause. and that's the problem, says representative gutenberg. by phone from fairbanks, he says lack of oversight allows the pipeline company to do what it wants. >> so where have they been? we're constantly told alyeska's gold standard of pipeline integrity and we're looking at it trying to figure out what's happening. >> reporter: alyeska's official dispute the allegations of shotty maintenance, saying they have addressed piping issues an alyeska spokesperson said in an e-mail that we've made numerous repairs. in the umer of 2010, we replaced approximately 600 feet of buried
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piping with new, above-ground piping. last summer the pipeline official flatly denied the pipeline was under any pressure to cut maintenance cost. >> we stick to safety, integrity, environmental protection, and protection of a safe workforce. >> are you under pressure to cut costs on this pipeline? >> no, we're not under pressure to cut costs. >> representative gutenberg says the latest leak is another warning that the next oil disaster could well be in some of the roughest, wildest, and harshest environments to clean up. >> one of these days it's not going to be environmentally safe or contained. and we're going to have another valdez on the rocks. >> and the problems with the tra transacti
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tra tra tra transalaska pipeline. it could clog and stop them from working again. if that happens, they'll str to be shut down again. it will be another couple of weeks before they no for sure. wolf? >> thanks very much, drew. drew griffin reporting for us. happening now, one of the biggest organized crime busts in u.s. history. we're digging deep into what it took to take down more than 100 suspects. and she's made extraordinary process, and the next step for congresswoman giffords is in a rehabilitation center in houston. now the house voted to repeal health care reform, the speaker, john boehner is going after another controversial issue involving women. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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it was one of the biggest mob busts ever. hundreds of federal agents spanning out in the northeast this morning and swooping in on alleged crime busts from seven mafia families. they made more than 100 arrests. mary snow has the breakdown on the massive, massive takedown. >> in all, 125 suspects were taken into custody. most in new york. but some in new jersey, rhode island and italy. the crimes include what he terms classic mob hits to eliminate perceived rivals to truly senseless murders. and he calls this a major operation. their-called street name sounds like an episode out the sopranos. while it may have seen organized crime families were fiction,
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it's a myth that the mob is a thing of the past, and eric holder made a high profile trip to new york to underscore the point. >> it is probably not nationwide in the scope. it's impact as it once was. but the reality is, it is an ongoing threat. a major threat to this the economic well being of this country, in addition to being the violent organization. >> more than 120 alleged mobsters were arrested in three states, and one in italy. 16 indictments lay out charges that range from a 1982 murder in a new york bar to illegal gambling, to extortion and labor racketeering, including a case where union members passed along christmas bonuses to crime families. the indictments are unrelated. the question is why the massive sweep with cases dating back decades. janis heads the fbi's new york division. she cites the scope of the investigation and cooperation between agencies.
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>> as we looked at the totality of the indictments, it made sense to bring them down, to do the takedown at the same time. >> they say the fbi used all the tools in the tool box, including informants and wiretaps. while the feds tout it as an unprecedented crackdown, william doubts it will put a huge dent in mob operations. he is a journalist who covered the mob for more than 20 years. >> i don't think there's anything spectacular in the indictments themselves. and frankly the day-to-day operation of the family, this is like a bump in the road. he's seen the bumps in the road frequently for the last 20 years. >> the one thing everyone seemed to agree on is that if anything, the mob is resilient and far from being eradicated. >> he made a living by going after the mafia bosses.
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before that, eliot spitzer was new york's governor, attorney general, and manhattan's mob busting d.a. as well. what do you make of the scope of today's arrest, eliot? >> i think it is more impressive in terms of number than in terms of the ultimate impact on the mob. the fact there are still movies made about the mob every five year it's still there. i think bill bastone is correct about that. having said that, the crimes charged in these multiple indictments are street level crimes. there's murder in there. most is extortion, a bit of
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drugs, a will the of street level stuff. the sorts of systemic crimes against the mobs years ago where they're controlled industries are not in the indictments. the reason is those tentacles of the mob have in fact been cut off and eliminated. >> o lot of us remember in 2002 when you went after the gambino family. why is it impossible to break up the mafia? >> it is an organic organizat n organization. >> there will always be seeking money from lone sharks and that's where organized crime preys on the most vulnerable population. sometimes it's organized on different ethnic lines. it will always be there. that's why prosecutors will be vigilant. there was another aspect of organized crime, what i called
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the white colorization where they moved to trucking, the concrete industry, the fishing industry, and essentially formed the monopolies. they said we would rather be john d. rockefeller taking 10% of the top of an entire industry. and that's how they made a lot of money when john gotti was the boss of the gambino family. that type of activity has been eliminated which is why they've been pushed back to the street level extortion and loan sharking and drug running that's the guts of the indictments. >> basically i hear you saying they can arrest 100 or 200 guys every few years. in five or ten years we're going to have the exact same conversation. hollywood and the godfather created an ora around what's called the traditional organized crime. a lot of other types of organized crime from asia to the caribbean, latin america, that
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have embedded themselves in drugs to even wall street at different times. so, yes, organized crime will never totally disappear. the sorts of cases announced by eric holder are clearly important in pushing back against it and controlling it, constraining it, and forcing it to adjust in the face of all these prosecutions. >> i'm sure eliot will have more on parker spitzer at 8:00 later tonight. thank you very much. >> thank you, wolf. tomorrow gabrielle giffords will be moved from a tucson hospital to her rehabilitation facility in houston. just under two weeks after she was shot in the head in the tucson shooting rampage. she stood for the first time yesterday and today doctors were planning to let her sit outside, like all of us her husband the astronaut mark kelly is amazed at her recovery so far. he calls her a fighter, but he's still shocked at the circumstances. >> i don't think we're ever going to fully understand the why and the how and the death of
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a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and the -- she recognizes it. she's a strong person, a fighter. she's a fighter like nobody else that i know. so i am extremely confident that she's going to be back here and back at work soon. i've been telling the hospital staff that they should expect to see her walking through the halls and into the icu within a couple of months. i'm sure of that. >> we can only hope for the
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best. meanwhile, our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohn is in houston with more on the next phase of congresswoman's treatment will entail. >> reporter: gabrielle giffords doctors tell us say there's reasons for cautious optimism. she reached out and adjusted her husband's tie. that seems like such a small thing, but it shows she can see something. she can make a decision. she can act on it. that's a sign of a higher level cognition. however, they say the recovery from an injury like this is a marathon, and not a sprint. in fact, they say she's not ready to go into rehabilitation yet when she comes to houston, she's not going to the rehab hospital behind me. instead she'll go to a regular hospital on this campus. i talked to one of her doctors earlier today. >> why isn't she going to the rehabilitation hospital? >> well, there are concerns about ongoing medical issues. and again, i don't want to be
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more specific about that. but she's not quite ready for rehabilitation yet. so we're going to be coming here, doing a thorough assessment. and once we've been able to do that, we can tell you more. >> reporter: when she is ready for rehabilitation, she'll learn to walk again, to dress herself. all the things we take for granted. her doctors say they're not sure when she'll be ready to start that rehab. wolf? >> thanks very much, elizabeth cohn, reporting for us. an incredible story. 23 years after someone kidnapped a baby girl from a hospital she's now reunited with her family. he found them herself. we have details. and two years to the day since his presidency began, president obama is already planning for a second term. we're learning new details of his re-election campaign. lgtsds irts
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always the visionary, jack cafferty is looking ahead.
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jack? >> visionary. yeah, that will do it. if it's 2011, then it must be 2012. what that means is another presidential campaign is already under way. that's unfortunate. but we really don't have a choice, i guess. potential republican challengers to president obama are popping up everywhere. you can spot them in the early voting states like new hampshire and iowa and south carolina, and you can hear them weighing in on national debates, things like raising the federal debt limit. what makes it worse is a lot of them are the same bunch that we were subjected to the last time around. former arkansas governor mike huckabee all over the place promoting his new book. former massachusetts governor mitt romney, just back from a week long trip to afghanistan and the middle east. got to pump up the foreign policy credentials, you know. the country has been there and done that with huckabee and romney and turned them away. former governor tim pawlenty already made several trips to
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iowa by last summer. others are hinting they may be interested, including donald trump. he does that every four years. he never runs and people long since cease to take him seriously. the potential candidates, quote, are like bubbles in a shaken bottle of champagne. sther anxious and ready to pop. unquote. a couple of new polls suggest huckabee, romney and sarah palin still at the top of the republican pack with newt gingrich, chris christie and congressman ron paul bringing up the rear. on the other side, the democratic national committee announced today that president obama's re-election campaign will be based in chicago, starting in march or april. here we go again. here's the question. are you ready if the start of the 2012 presidential campaign? go to and post a comment on my blog. >> you know i am, jack. i'm always ready for politics.
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>> you're ready for 2012, 2016. >> yeah, i'm ready. love this stuff. standby. >> we're following a truly remarkable story in new york city right now. a woman kidnapped as an infant found her way back to her mother after 23 years. what's even more remarkable is how she did it. >> just a remarkable story. a cold case cracked wide open. carlina white was kip napped in 1987. she was just 19 days old. it was because of her own suspiciouses that she tracked down her birth family. a joyful reunion more than two decades in the making. >> i just always believed that she would find me. that was something that i always believed myself. that she would come and find me. the same way that i thought this would happen. >> i looked and went back.
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i came back. i couldn't believe this was real. i looked at her up and down, then i decided to grab her. i was like, okay. >> it's a story that made national headlines when it happened 23 years ago. carlina white, an infant from harlem, again just 19 days old, was taken to the hospital for a fever. she was kidnapped by a woman posing as a nurse. it stunned the city. stumped the new york police department, and left her family dumbfounded. here's how her mom reacted to the news all those years ago. >> i hope she's taking good care of my baby. >> carlina was never heard from again. she was raised under a different name and reportedly abused. it was in her teens that she began to think something was up when the woman she thought was her mother couldn't track down her birth certificate. that led her to this the internet. >> i came across the article and the baby picture struck me because even though i didn't see my baby picture, it looked like
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my daughter. >> she found baby pictures of herself on the website for the national center of missing and exploited children. >> she called us around christmas. and she conveyed the sense that she was suspicious about who she was and where she was. our call taker took a lot of information, asked a lot of questions, gathered facts and details, and then our analysts went to work on the case. >> i know we have the forehead and everything over here. >> in the end, carlina found her own way home. to be sure the nypd took dna samples, and of course they were a match. so that part of the story is solved. the big question, wolf, is who kidnapped carlina all those years ago? so far police won't identify a suspect, but they say the investigation is continuing. wolf? >> what an amazing, amazing story, elina. thank you. 23 stories high, this rocket made history when it lifted off on the west coast today.
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we're going to tell you why. and the new house speaker is bringing up an old debate. we'll tell you about the controversial issue john boehner is now tackling.
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>> america's latest spy technology is taking off. lisa sylvester is monitoring other top stories in "the situation room." hi, wolf. it was a successful and historic
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space launch a couple hours ago. this 23 story rocket is the largest ever to lift off of the west coast. it launched from california vandenberg air force base with the power of 33 hoover dams. it's carrying a secret spy satellite for the national reconnaissance office. a steep cost estimate of the recently repealed ban on gays serving openingly in the military. the government accountability office concludes it costs about $52,000 for each discharge and replacement. now, multiply that by 3,600 plus discharges between 2004 and 2009, and the cost of don't ask, don't tell is around $193 million over just five years. and news google ceo is stepping aside after a decade at the helm of the world's online search leader. he is staying on as executive chairman, focusing on partnerships and business deals.
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google cofouner larry paige will be the new ceo. he was the company's first chief. he'll continue to share power with the cofounder. and exactly 50 years after john f. kennedy was inaugurated president, vice president biden joined lawmakers in marking the anniversary with a tribute ceremony at the capitol. everyone marking the day in 1961 when president kennedy uttered this famous phrase. >> and so my fellow americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. >> kennedy's popularity has endured a new cnn opinion research corporation poll shows him with the highest approval ratings of all presidents in the last half century. 83%. that's followed by bill clinton and ronald reagan. bill clinton, about 72%. and ronald reagan around 70%. >> bill clinton is more popular
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than reagan. >> interesting. that runs out the list of the first, second, and third. >> thanks, lisa. more changes at the white house as the re-election team begins to take shape. what are the signals going out now saying about 2012? and an exhaustive new study shedding light on the gruesome killing of american journalist daniel pearl. well, hotels know they can't fill every room every day. like this one. and this one. and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these: unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. my brain didn't even break a sweat. where you book matters. expedia. [ male announcer ] while others are content to imitate, we'll continue to innovate.
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the pieces have been falling into place for the president's re-election effort and for all intensive purposes, the 2012 campaign is now at least unofficially under way. let's go live to dan lothian who is getting the new details for us. what's happening? >> one of the things that is behind this push for another term is that the president believes that the economy has come a long way. it has stabilized. but it still has a long way to go. he wants to build on the momentum and believes another term will help him do that. with his approval ratings on the the rise, president obama is sending the clearest signals yet that he's running for a second term in 2012. white house spokesman robert gibbs all but confirmed that decision had been made. >> i think it's likely that that's going to happen. obviously. the president's likely to file
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papers in the future that would -- that would officially make him a candidate. >> the white house has been actively preparing for re-election campaign with the staff reshuffling in recent weeks. dnc chairman tim kaine who announced he'll remain on the job through the 2012 presidential election laid out the pieces of the puzzle in an e-mail to dnc members. chicago will be campaign headquarters starting in march or april. top advisers, david axelrod will shift to campaign mode. jan o'malley dillon will become campaign manager. working together, i i am confident we can protect the progress of the past two years, kaine wrote in the e-mail. but critics see the last two years differently. >> on domestic policy i would give him a c minus to a d. >> arguing the government play too big of role in the key challenges, like the economy and health care. and while the lame duck session produced results, he gave the
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prospects of a second term low marks, too. >> i agree with vice president cheney that because of it, this administration will probably be a one term administration. >> what kind of reaction has the president given to comments about him being a one-term president. we heard that from cheney and others. how does he react to the comments? >> i haven't talked to him about it. i don't think he spends a lot of time thinking about political prognostication. >> asked about the timing of this ramped up campaign effort and whether it was too early, gibbs said it's right in line with past campaigns, pointing specifically to the lead up to the '96 and 2004 campaigns. he said a lot has to go into forming a campaign operation, and right now this time line is on track. wolf? >> let's bring in our senior political analyst, gaidavid ger.
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>> joe klein was with me a while ago waiting to come on john king. both said we're not ready for this. i don't think the country is ready for it. more than that, it's unfortunate to have confirmation of all these positions just before the state of the union. it sort of gives a color ration that everything is being done for campaign purposes. when the president has a small window now. we can really get down to seriousness about it. we need a moratorium on campaign politics while we get serious things done. >> the number has been out there. a billion dollars in the re-election campaign. they have to get started, and quickly. >> well, i guess. they have shown and enormous capacity to raise money very quickly. i think you could wait a bit. it just seems to me -- i don't know. it's just too early, wolf. we barely put down the 2010 campaign.
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here we go again. we politicized everything in the country. so everything seen through the lens of campaigning and permanent campaigning as opposed to governing. >> it's going to put pressure on republicans because they'll want to get started in the race as well. >> it sure does. and it put pressure on them and gives them permission to get going. it's time to make your political statements. out there in your hot dog stand. most americans want to see action on the jobs. >> it's been two weeks since the tucson tragedy. a lot of talk of gun control, but not necessarily from the president or the top democratic leadership. am i missing something here? >> you nailed it, wolf. here's a president who had a long track record of opposition to nra and the laws on the books and guns, and it's been totally
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passive here. he's being pushed for members of his own party, and there's a letter circulating with 40 or 50 names in the house, of democrats, urging in the state of the union he at minimum embraced a law to limit the size of the magazines that people can buy sort of over the counter, in effect. you know, loughner had a magazine that held some 32 rounds. they want to bring it to ten. thats entirely sensible. the nra has been winning a lot more than losing in the past ten years, and it has reduced the amount of restrictions on guns. i find it stunning in the wake of tucson we have such a passive nation on this whole question. you would think we would be more seized with this, as well as mental health issues. but we're not. and i think it reflects almost a resignation on the part of many people who have been for gun control in the past. they can't seem to make it work.
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that's the part of brokenness of politics. >> would you be surprised if he raises the issue of gun control next tuesday night? >> i would be surprise if he glides over it and doesn't say anything. >> he'll say something, you think. >> yes. >> a lot of democrats think this is a losing issue for them going into an election campaign. >> well, you know, you have to have some principle in the party. it seems to me -- i think the larger issue is the culture of violence. i would really hope he would bring together a group of distinguished americans to look at the whole range of violence on the entertainment industry, on the internet. between the gun culture and all the other things and see if there's some ways to reign this in. we're losing an astonishing number of people to guns and violence every year. >> david gergen, thanks very much. the culture war came roaring back today. the latest sparks set off by former republican senator rick santorum. he's a possible 2012 presidential contender. and the new speaker of the house is setting off sparks of his
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own. let's bring our national politic political correspondent, jessica yellin. >> that's right, wolf. he was speaking on a conservative channel, and he said something comparing our shameful history of slavery in the country to current abortion laws. notice the last sentence that's gotten attention. >> the question is, and this is what barack obama didn't want to answer. is that human life? a person under the constitution? and barack obama says no. well, if that person, human life is not a person, then i find it almost remarkable for a black man to say now we're going to decide who are people and who are not people. >> now since obtained a statement from santorum elaborating on that. he said, quote --
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this is santorum, again. i am disappointed that president obama who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country. so in essence, wolf, he's equating the way slaves were treated as a group to the way fetuses are treated as a group in the country. >> and on a similar issue, john boehner, the new house speaker said something that caused a stir today. >> that's right. the house republicans are introducing a slew of new laws focusing on federal money dealing with abortion, leaders say they're trying to ensure no federal money subsidized afworgs abortions no matter how indirectly. the others say it will prod them
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to drop insurance all together. what speaker boehner says is this is one of his top priorities. why now? the new majority is fulfilling a promise to the conservative base. and some of the bills deal with the health care reform bill, so it's another way to dismantelpieces of it. john boehner's bill regarding abortion is called hr-3. he says the number three makes it clear it's one of his top priorities. >> jessica yellin reporting. new information about the gruesome death of an american journalist, daniel pearl. and health concerns now for george clooney. our very own piers morgan broke the news. he's standing by live to join us. breathes easily. it flows with clean water. it makes its skyline greener and its population healthier. all to become the kind of city people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some
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>> there's new evidence to corroborate that he personally beheaded daniel pearl. nine years after the brutal killing, a new study out today reaches very disturbing conclusions. brian todd is here with the details. brian? >> wolf, lots of compelling new detail in this new report on daniel pearl's murder, including information on how investigators tied the killing to alleged 9/11 master mind khalid muhammad. >> he claimed he cut off daniel
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pearl's head with his blessed right hand. because he had been known to exaggerate, there was lingering doubt that alleged 9/11 master mind had really done it. now a report that seeks to erase those doubts. >> we have more details from the fbi's interviews with khalid mohammed that how he was drawn into the plot through an al qaeda operative. >> he was a friend and colleague of daniel pearl's at the wall street journal. she led an exhaustive investigation of pearl's murder nine years ago. they can pin the killing on him because they analyzed an unusual technology called vein matching. they say at one point the fbi asked the cia who was holding mohammed to take a picture of his right hand. they took the picture and matched it against the frame in the video of pearl's murder. in the video all you can see of
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the killer according to this report is his hand. the vein patterns on the hand in both images were a match. we asked a respected criminologist about that. >> together with the fact that mohammed has confessed, i think together that appoints everybody in the right direction. whether or not this will be admissible in the courtroom is a question. >> lawrence says that's because vein matching hasn't been fully validated as an investigative tool. the new report from the center of public integrity says a man named omar shake was wrongly convicted of killing pearl, though he did allegedly set up the kidnapping. it says mohammed was asked by a top operative to get involved because the kidnapers didn't know what to do with pearl. >> at one point this could have gone a different direction, right? >> what we diz covered is that omar shake had the original ransom note that danny would be released. and so the case turned.
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and became murder. but it wasn't menant to start a a murder. danny was supposed to be released. >> according to this report, pakistani officials mishandled much of the pearl investigation. not only by pinning the murder on the wrong people, but by not picking up at least a dozen men who were allegedly involved in the plot, and by letting at least one man who was go free. contacted by cnn, officials at the pakistani embassy here in washington didn't want to do an interview. they told me off camera their government did not botch the investigation, they did not convict the wrong people. but they say they'll send the report to pakistan to see if any part of the case should be re-examined. the fbi would not comment on any part of this report, wolf. >> the report also gets into the reaction from osama bin laden to word that pearl was kidnapped and killed. >> really fascinating part of the report. mohammed said he wanted to exploit the murder for propaganda. but a detainee at guantanamo
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said when bin laden found out how brutally he killed daniel pearl, he was very angry. he didn't want that kind of attention brought on al qaeda. he was angry at the brutal and public nature by which he allegedly killed pearl. >> sending planes into two buildings and killing 3,000 people, that was okay. >> but not the way he killed daniel pearl. the major movie star with a serious disease. new developments involving george clooney's health now. piers morgan broke the news. piers is going to join us live. we'll also get a little personal with piers.
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>> someone asked me what do you think? i said, it's like inviting a hammer head shark to dinner. then when he eats all the guests you start complaining. you know what you're going to get. >> that's one thing. but also as i said, i don't think i did anything wrong. those were like jibes at these people. and i'm sure they've got a sense of humor. >> you're going to learn what really happened behind the scenes at the golden globes as premier week on piers morgan continues with ricky gervais. he's joining us now with more. this is going to be a great interview, i know, piers. and you had a lot of fun doing it. how would you have handled the situation at the golden globes if you were asked to emcee the event? >> well the key thing here is obviously as a fellow brit i
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understand the bedrock of our humor back home as sarcasm. and we have a sort of great history of humiliating people at award shows. also my view is refreshing. it's funny. and i think everyone should get over themselves. when i was watching it online, it was hysterical. when i watched ricky in my studio last night, watching back his own jokes, he wasn't laughing loudly when everybody else was. the bit he laughs is when everybody gasps in horror. then he roars in laughter. he's a dangerous comedian. if people are genuinely insulted by the humor, they've got to really get a sense of huhumor. >> you think he'll be invited back? >> if he's not available, i'll step into the breech. >> i don't know if they would invite me.
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but they might invite you. let me get to news about george clooney. he's your guest tomorrow night. you broke the story on twitter. tell us what you learned. >> it was in the middle of the interview george let slip he contracted malaria. he got it in a recent trip to sudan. he was joking it was a mosquito in a bar he was in, but he said he was feeling rough in the interview. he was on medication. it had been a nasty bout. it seems that he's now recovered. but, you know, he was making the point that if you have the right medication, unlike the millions that die in africa and places like sudan in particular because they don't have the medication, he's recovered in about ten days. there's a good point to be made by george that if you get the medication to these kids dying of malaria, the lives will be saved in the ways he has been saved. >> how did he look to you?
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>> i thought he was getting a bit hot under the collar because the competition in the heartthrob stakes. it turned out it was malaria. >> did you make him cry? >> i didn't make him cry. but i think it's because he was more concerned of not dig from malaria. if i had him in a normal week. it would have been tears by tea time. >> i watched your first three interviews on piers morgan tonight. condoleezza rice last night. i was sure she was going to start crying when you raised the issue of her mom and dad. she never cried. >> she's a tough cookie, you know. i think she came from a tough upbringing in birmingham or bombingham as she called it where she saw and heard about terrible things. that made her the tough woman she is. i was struck by the relationship with her father who refused to march with martin luther king because he didn't believe in peaceful demonstration. he believed in an eye for an
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eye, tooth for tooth, fight your fight. that was the atmosphere that condoleezza rice grew up in. i liked having had this kind of tough knuckle conversation with her. in the last segment she suddenly opened up about her own life and was fun and amusing and frank. we saw another side to her, which is quite a gentle side. she was a woman of many contradictions, but very fascinating. >> we saw a little flirtation. >> i'm glad you noticed. >> i noticed. we'll continue the conversation, maybe tomorrow. thank you very much. it airs at 9:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. good luck with the new show. thank you. >> thank you, wolf. it was a great show tonight. look forward to it. are you ready for the start of the 2012 presidential campaign? jack cafferty is standing by with her e-mail. and her fall made her a youtube sensation. she's not happy about it. now she's taking action.
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how are those flat rate boxes working out? fabulous! they gave me this great idea. yea? we mail documents all over the country, so, what if there were priority mail flat rate... envelopes? yes! you could ship to any state... for a low flat rate? yes! a really low flat rate. like $4.95? yes! and it could look like a flat rate box... only flatter? like this? genius. priority mail flat rate envelopes. just $4.95. only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. ♪
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excuse me... your change.
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the question this hour is are you ready for the start of the 2012 presidential campaign because it's starting. david in vancouver, i can't wait. i'm a canadian, this is blasphemy. give me a good old rootin' tootin' election over a hockey game any day. is the donald going to throw his hat in the ring? is nader, will hillary swap jobs with joe? will joe pull a joe? will hillary pull an upset? al in delaware, i want to see less campaigning, a little more governing.
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i admit it, i'm an election junkie, it's my favorite sport except for bears/packers games, of course. i was sliled when it was announced obama and clinton came not far behind in the midterms. come on, republicans, i'm board with you all, let's rumble peacefully. in mississippi, he talks about haley barbour and his plans to run for president. it's been speculation in all the news and the talk of the town in the state capitol. the sooner starts, the sooner it's over. then we can all get charged up with the 2014 midterms. why don't you just ask if we're ready for those mayan end of the world predictions in december 2012? that will probably be more fun than an election campaign. if we never have to listen to hypocritical campaign rhetoric from either side. i'm as ready as i am to see you jack and rosie o'donnell
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together doing the tango naked on dancing with the stars. >> that's not funny. it's really not funny. think about it, it's not funny at all. if you want to read more on this go to the blogs. >> i want to see you do the tango. you don't have to be naked. >> i wouldn't dance with rosie o'donnell unless we could be naked. >> see you tomorrow, jack, thank you. she fell into a fountain while texting and the video went viral. the story doesn't end there. a most unusual look when we come back. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% more on car insurance?
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host: does it take two to tango? ♪ ♪ anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% omore on car insuranc
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it was a most unusual fall, and now there's a most unusual fallout. a security guard has been fired from the fallout of that video going viral. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: we now have a face to go with the fall. >> it's funny when it's not you. >> reporter: at times her interview was nearly as wet as the fountain she fell into. >> when it's you, it's a totally different feeling. >> reporter: she was texting when she ran into the fountain. >> the next thing i know i'm seeing pennines and coins in front of my face. >> reporter: and soon millions were seeing her as the security camera video made its way to the
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web. >> a girl falls into a mall fountain while texting. >> reporter: the mishap was put to music and replayed mercilessly. it took kathy two days to discover she had become an interkneinte internet star. i was like are you kidding me? my nephew was like no, you're on youtube. i started crying. >> reporter: we know how dumb but easy it is to text your way into a tree, into a poll. and there was that open manhole. >> there was no warning of an open hole. you can hear laughter as someone shoots the tape. kathy says she told a security manager that putting the video on youtube was wrong, she says he said --
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>> the thing is they didn't see your face no, one knows who you are. others at the furniture store where she works recognized her. now the security company has fired the guard that shared the video. kathy has the lawyer. >> what do you want the lawyer to do? >> what needs to be done. >> reporter: not necessarily to sue, at least get an apology. at least she resisted answering her phone when it rang during the interview. >> when you left -- >> the bruise on her leg is healing, but not her bruised feelings. >> it's not over and it's not going to be over. you know how many people are laughing at -- >> she's got that right. walking into a fountain is kids stuff. >> at least she wasn't at the grand canyon this girl. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> you can always follow what's going on behind the scenes here in the situation room. i'm on twitter. you can get my tweets at


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