tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC May 8, 2012 10:00am-11:00am EDT
joining me now, molly ball and ezra klein. good morning to you both. molly, is this as tepid as you can get? >> i think it is. he managed to wedge the word "endorsement" in there. but if you blinked, you might have missed it. it was very clear this was kind of the opposite of getting up there on stage with him and giving him the full-throated attaboy. this was almost obligatory, here it is, i'm doing it. >> why not a major production to announce the endorsement or at least an in-person endorsement? >> because mitt romney didn't give him anything. there's an argument out there that rick santorum stayed in a little bit too late to leverage what he had over romney. by the time he got out when he actually wanted things and wanted a really good speaking slot at the conviction or a promise that he would be in in the administration, he had nothing to offer romney. and romney doesn't think he
commands a large number of americans. and also doesn't think that he personally adds much to either romney administration or the romney campaign didn't give it to him. so there wasn't enough transaction there to overcome the hard, hurt feelings from the campaign. >> do you think that we'll see them campaign together at some point? >> we might. i wouldn't put it aside. you have to remember that parties coalesce during general elections. a general election is one long process in which parties remind themselves about what they hate about the other guys. i think that will happen with rick santorum and everybody in the republican party. i think a lot of divisions we spend the time in between elections talking about go away by the time folks get in there to vote. >> one of the things the letter also includes is some of the things that they agree on, mitt romney and rick santorum agree on specifically abortion, specifically that marriage is between a man and a woman. gay marriage, something that's
been talked about a great deal over the past few days after the comments from joe biden and arne dunc duncan. reporters wanting to know if the president has changed where he stands. take a listen to this. >> i would simply say his views are evolving, which is what he said. i don't have an update for you on this issue. this president has been extremely aggressive in supporting lgbt rights. his views have not changed. i have no update to give you on them. >> molly, isn't it simple as this? is it that he's just afraid to come out and say that he supports this because it's not popular in swing states and could turn people off, specifically in north carolina and virginia? >> that is the impression that he's given a lot of people. and i think that's the damaging aspect of this whole episode is that in having other members of the administration be further out front on this issue than the president is willing to be and portraying this as a process of
evolution that seems to have no end point or in which there are no updates, a sort of static point in the evolution process, he really is promoting an image of himself as politically calculating and overly cautious. that, i think, is the problem with this whole episode for the white house and why they have sort of scrambled to put it to rest. >> ezra, has the administration's own track record on gay rights made it more difficult to support gay marriage right now? >> i think it's made it more difficult for the president to oppose gay marriage right now. they've been pretty forward on most gay rights issues. yes, we think gay people should have every single right that everybody else has and clearly what is it, six of obama's top staff are. they do not seem to be uncomfortable with it. but i'm not sure this is a bad thing for them.
obama's managed to -- the political calculation is so clear and the policy is so muddled that on the one hand, no gay person can really doubt the obama administration is on their side and just tactically doesn't think they can move on this yet. on the other hand, they can't really be accused of coming out for gay marriage. i think it makes them look bad. >> ezra, molly, always a pleasure. thanks to you both. any minute now, the president will leave the white house for a trip to albany, new york. he will tour a high-tech college campus, talk about the economy, research and development as well. i want to bring in george pataki now, former new york state governor. you know where he's going to be. the president expected to push a couple of proposals that have not gained a great deal of traction in congress, eliminating tax incentives, specifically for companies that ship jobs overseas, promoting new tax credits to help develop
cleaner energy, creating a veterans job corps and a measure that helps homeowners refinance. all these sound good. why are republicans continuing to find him on this? >> craig, this is all small potatoes when you have a president who's most anti-business that i have seen in my lifetime. he's going to a facility that employs thousands of people in great new tech jobs. it has spun off more than 10,000 great manufacturing jobs and three chip manufacturing facilities across upstate new york and it was done with policies that are the opposite of his -- reducing the regulatory burden, lowering the tax rate, lowering the corporate tax rate, lowering the personal income tax rate and putting in place incentive that is didn't pick a winner or a loser like solyndra. but incentivized a process like creating these centers. his policies are, we're going to penalize this country.
they may have a factory in germany. if they have that plant in germany, they can't build in america. it's stupid. >> what's stupid? >> it's stupid to have policies that penalize american companies when we want them to invest here. let me give you one example. right now, american companies have more than $2 trillion overseas. they don't bring it back because our corporate rate is the highest -- >> but they weren't bringing those jobs back before an obama administration. >> that's right. because our corporate tax rate is way too high. it is the highest in the developmented world. >> and when the white house talks about closing tax loopholes for corporations, that's not sufficient? >> what they're talking about is -- you have a company like ibm. take some of their billions that they have overseas and build a plant over there. then all of a sudden they can't get an incentive in new york state. >> how do we get those jobs back? >> we do what every single other major company -- >> lowering the corporate tax rate, just doing that alone brings jobs back from overseas? >> no, it's not just lowering the corporate tax rate.
what every single advanced country has done is have a global tax concept. it's call a territorial concept where if you pay taxes in ireland or you pay taxes in germany, when you bring the money back to the u.s., you don't have to pay a second tax. most countries have that. the president's own deficit reduction commission, bowles/simpson, says we should enact that. but the president is saying the opposite. we're going to go after them, we're going to raise their taxes. >> i want to ask you about the endorsement, obviously. rick santorum's late-night endorsement of mitt romney. you endorsed mitt romney a few months ago saying, it's hard for blue-collar families like mine to identify with him, it's hard for economic conservatives to identify with him. has that changed at all over the past few months? >> i think it is changing. governor romney has come along with a policy on deficit reduction -- >> so you identify with him more
now than you did two months ago? >> absolutely. primary, you find out what divides you. after this nomination is over, you unite behind -- >> it took michele bachmann, for instance, four months to endorse him. newt gingrich's endorsement was barely an endorsement. the perceived enthusiasm -- lack of enthusiasm for mitt romney, is it real or is it perceived? >> i played sports. and you would have a tough game against a tough opponent. you'd be fouling each other and the next week, you didn't want to look at the guy. but a month later, you looked at him and you say, i have respect. maybe they beat us, maybe we beat them, but -- >> like magic and bird, huh? >> that's right. >> governor, thank you. officials say the fbi is examining a bomb meant to blow up a u.s.-bound passenger set. it was part of an al qaeda bomb plot in yemen. that was stopped about a month ago. officials believed the attack was going to be carried out near the anniversary of osama bin laden's death. the plot involved a suicide
bomber wearing a sophisticated device modeled after the 2009 underwear bomb. that's what you're looking at right now. the bomb had no metal parts. it was intended to avoid detection of airport body scanners. congressman adam schiff has been briefed on the operation. congressman, good morning to you. >> good morning. >> i want to start with where we left off on the "today" show. do you know if the bomb ser in custody or is he did? >> that's not something i'm allowed to comment on, unfortunately. this is the perils of being on the intelligence committee. i can only comment on what's been made public. >> which is? >> well, that the plot has been foiled. we have the bomb in our possession and the public was never at risk from this device. so that's about as far as i'm allowed to go. >> you're not going to tell us whether he's in our custody or foreign custody? >> i really can't comment on that. >> why was there a delay in
revealing details of the plot? >> well, of course, whenever you have a plot that is rolled up, you want to take as much time as you can to do the investigation, to protect any sources of information you might have and to run down all the leads. once the plot becomes public, those that are involved in it scatter to the four winds. they know they may have been compromised and they take other actions. so obviously we want to gain as much intelligence as we can because they are adapting. we see just between the last underwear bomb and this one and the increase in the sophistication of the device they're using, they're trying to beat our defenses. so we have to stay on offense. that's why we keep the information close to the vest. >> we've known now that al qaeda has been working to research and create technologies to beat our security systems. this bomb had no metal parts. it was intended to avoid detection of those airport body scanners. has al qaeda in yemen figured out a way around our airport body scanners now? are they a lot more
sophisticated than we previously thought? >> they are more sophisticated than they were previously. but we are mindful of the fact that they keep on adapting and keep on changing to respond to our defenses. we have to keep changing our defenses. we also have to stay on the offense. we saw in the killing of qusa in yemen that we are staying on the offense as well as protecting the homeland playing defense. but the fbi will be studying this to determine, are the precautions we have at the airports sufficient now? we have a multilayered approach. obviously this was something that was interrupted by the cia away from our shores. but we need to continually adapt more quickly than our adversaries. >> congressman schiff, thank you. today at high noon, the showdown over student loans continues. the senate is expected to vote on a democratic plan to extend the 3.4% interest rates for about 7 million students for one
year without congressional action, those rates will double july 1st. while both parties agree on the extension of the low rates, they disagree on how to fund it. democrats want to close a tax loophole for large corporations. republicans want to use money from what they call a slush fund attached to president obama's health care law. [ fabric flapping in wind ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at nissan, our ideal is innovation. 5 all-new models over the next 15 months, including a completely reimagined altima. welcome to our most innovative year ever. nissan. innovation for all. ♪ ♪ power surge, let it blow your mind.
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>> i pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy and finally when that was done and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back. >> i'm joined now by shawn spicer. democrats, no surprise, having fun with this on twitter with the #thingsmitttakescreditfor. how do you explain this one? >> how do i explain it? >> yeah. >> i think it's -- the governor -- the obama campaign likes to point to the comment that is governor romney made back when the problems happened with the auto industry where he laid out an op ed exactly what should happen. much of which did happen. in other words, he argued for a managed bankruptcy to allow them to shed assets that weren't valuable, to get back to their core mission. that's pretty much what did
happen if you look at it. they shed 1,100 -- >> not to cut you off. but i want to let our viewers know precisely what then governor wrote. quote, if general motors, ford and chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the american automotive industry good-bye. it won't go overnight but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. that's what he wrote in 2008. yesterday, all of a sudden he's essentially taking credit for saving the auto industry. >> no, he's saying that the policies that obama instituted in terms of most of the auto bailout dealt with the -- what was essentially a managed bankruptcy. they shuttered 1,100 dealerships, got back to their core mission and allowed them to become profitable again. the model that he set forth is the model that was followed. >> not pandering here to voters in michigan and ohio?
>> well, i'm not sure how -- he was asked a question. he talked about what his plan was that he laid out. it's something the obama administration keeps pointing to. in terms of the plan that he laid out. yet when you look at, what did he articulate, it's pretty consistent with what happened. >> let's me ask you about rick santorum's endorsement of mitt romney yesterday. to call it lukewarm would probably be generous. he sent the e-mail out at 11:00 last night, the actual endorsement does come until the 13th paragraph. what can we make of that? >> i think you just had governor pataki on a few segments ago and he answer that had well. when you're in politics, two people go at it over a course of months, each person thinks they would be better at a particular job. at the end, we come together. i think there's still -- i think every one of our candidates is starting to line up behind governor romney. you're seeing our enthusiasm gap in the poll yesterday.
we're up over democrats in terms of enthusiasm come november. there's a lot of this, oh, was it the best endorsement, how big was it? but at the end of the day, they're all lining up behind governor romney. >> but none of them seem to be rushing to the front of the line. none of them seem to be joining the line with whiild enthusiasm >> with all due respect, craig, you guys seem to be so focused on how quick and what words were exactly used. the fact of the matter is they're all behind him, they're all supporting him and the polling is showing that everyone in the republican party is unified behind our nominee, getting ready to defeat barack obama in november. i know that it frustrates you, but the facts are what they are. and sitting around and parsing -- in 2008, the vice president called the president some pretty bad things when they were campaigning against each other. the now secretary of state said some pretty nasty things. the head of the dnc was hillary clinton's enforcer and yet it
all came together and somehow when it happens on our side, it's an analysis of, well, this endorsement happened at this time and it wasn't used properly -- >> we have to leave it right there. we'll pick it up a little bit later. >> right. >> thank you for your time, sir. voters in north carolina head to the polls today to weigh in on an initiative that has divided the state. the controversial amendment would define marriage as solely between a man and a woman. yesterday, the white house reinforced the president's opposition to the measure. >> the record is clear the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples. that is a position he has taken that precedes his taking a position in north carolina. >> rachel lee is a spokesperson for vote for marriage vinyl. jen jones is with us as well.
good morning to both of you. >> good morning, craig. >> good morning. >> rachel, i'll start with you. your organization supports the amendment. why is this constitutional amendment needed? >> craig, it's important because our current law, which is a great law, currently defines marriage between a man and a woman. but that law is vulnerable to the whims of activists who want to come into our state and tell us what marriage is. so this constitutional amendment will preserve marriage between a man and a woman to preempt any action on the court or by the state legislature to impose same-sex marriage in north carolina against the will of the people of this state. >> have there been actions by judges so far in north carolina, rachel? >> there has, actually, yes. in gilford county, near us here in raleigh, there's been a lawsuit filed challenging our state's right to license marriage.
so the threat to marriage is very real in this state. and the people of north carolina need to join together today and preserve marriage from such activism. we've been waiting for this opportunity for nearly a decade now. and the people of this state are excited and enthusiastic to come together tonight in the effort to preserve marriage. >> jen, how real is that threat in north carolina? >> well, pardon my french, but many of our legal experts think there's a snowball's chance that any activist judge would overturn our current laws banning same-sex marriage in north carolina. i've lived in north carolina all my life. i'm also a licensed attorney. and our supreme court judges here in north carolina are some of the most conservative in the country. they won't be coming out to activate against gays and lesbians in the state. they will be -- as it will be for 150 years in the state a statute banning same-sex marriage and reaffirmed again 15 years ago. so there are two state statutes
banning same-sex marriage. and for us, this isn't about marriage. it's about protections being threatened for all unmarried couples in the state as a result of an overreaching amendment that we're voting on here today and hopefully voting against. >> the country's attitudes on gay marriage seem to be changing as well. in a "wall street journal" poll three years ago, 41% said they approved it. now it's reversed. among african-americans specifically, the biggest jump from 32% to 50%. does this amendment that's being proposed there in north carolina, does it go against the changing tide in this country, jen? >> obviously public opinion has shifted considerably, even in the past year, we saw in polling in north carolina ten-point increases in support for same-sex marriage and also civil unions in the state. but this isn't just about relationship recognitions. this amendment has very broad
and vague language that not only eliminates civil unions and domestic partnerships in the state but in doing so threatens health care for children throughout north carolina, threatens domestic violence protections for unmarried couples all across the state and also has unintended consequences for end-of-life directives, hospital visitation -- >> rachel, this like many amendments is probably going to come down to who shows up. what are you hearing on the ground there about voting so far? >> well, first of all, craig, 30 other states have already preserved marriage in their state constitution, so north carolina is really behind the times in preserving marriage. so we're thankful that we have that chance. and there is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement surrounding early voting and on our primary election day today because we've been waiting for this opportunity to preserve marriage between one man and one woman in our state constitution.
our people in this state will not be swayed by the unintended consequence argument being speared by our opposition. >> we are out of time. i appreciate you guys sitting next to each other for the interview, though. thank you for that. what do rick santorum, will farrell and ron paul all have in common? ken whiting and his nephew, jeff, own whitings booths on the santa cruz boardwalks since 1953. they employ hundreds of college and high school aged employees for years. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer.
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>> the humble rescuers actually credited groves for her calm demeanor that ultimately helped save their family's life. experts on the front lines in the fight against obesity meet in washington, d.c. to outline a new strategy as america's wait problem expands. more than a 1/3 of u.s. adults are currently obese. but according to a study, 42% will be. and you might be suffering from nomaphobia and not even know it. more and more people are becoming obsessed with their cell phones. according to a new study, 66% of people have nomophobia or no mobile phone phobia. the number is up from a similar study four years ago. now dustin hoffman is the latest hollywood actor to turn real-life hero. we'll tell you what he did when
we go down to the wire in about 20 minutes. six months to go until the general election. ground game for mitt romney and president obama in full swing, though. got to check in on what's happening in some of the key battleground states. let's start with michigan. mitt romney is going to be there this afternoon. what's the latest there? >> mitt romney's in lansing, michigan, today, going to be at lansing community college. this is the state where mitt romney was born and raised. doesn't live there now obviously. but he is going to hope to try to put michigan in play to expand the map but so far we've seen pollings show president obama favored there. we have it as a lean democratic state. and a big reason is because of the auto bailout. the president who supported it has been touting that as one of the great achievements and accomplishments of his first term and mitt romney was against it. >> let's move to colorado, one of the states where the obama
campaign is running ads right now, correct? >> yeah, they're up on hispanic media, really startargeting hispanics. this is a key demographic out west. there's a path to 270 that could include obama not having to win places like florida, ohio or virginia if he's able to win out west. hispanics are key. they make up one in five voters in colorado. and they're the largest growing group in the past decade. >> you just mentioned florida, let's go there. "the l.a. times" writes it's the most pivotal state to mitt romney's victory. how so? >> huge cache of electoral votes there. mitt romney needs to win florida. he needs to win ohio and maybe even a state like virginia. he has a narrow path to get to 270. crucial he does well in a place like florida. >> you mentioned virginia. what's the key there for team
romney and team obama? >> it goes back and forth if it's a key toss-up state. but we have seen the polling starting to move with national numbers. and with president obama doing better over the last few months, the latest poll that was out last week showed president obama leading 51-44 in virginia. that's why you see mitt romney with someone like bob mcdonald who he's entertaining as perhaps putting on the ticket. >> let me get your thoughts on dick lugar, senator in indiana, going for his seventh term today. how much trouble is dick lugar in? >> a lot. a lot of people think that he's probably done there. it's really a remarkable story, considering that he is the senior republican senator right now. he would be the president pro t tem. really didn't see the tea party story coming. and one of the things that might
get overwritten is this tea party story because other senators have been able to survive. john mccain, no tea party favorite, survived after going after hayworth often. >> thank you, sir. appreciate your time. former friend of john edwards who helped whisk his mistress to an airport to escape reporters will be back on the stand today at his criminal trial. tim he also said that edwards was going to asked for bunny mellon to contribute more money. what were the details of this secret predawn mission to hide rielle hunter? >> well, it certainly gave
edwards' key political supporter and friend an insight into the affair and an understanding that it was edwards, not andrew young, who was the father of rielle hunter's child. this morning was more political drama and psychodrama than legal trauma. toben saying he disappointed he was in edwards. how he went to the officials in north carolina to tell them to make sure they looked into the allegations about edwards' affair and the possible love child. toben has not made the government's case yet. >> if rielle hunter does testify, who do you think that helps more? the defense or the prosecution? >> whether to bring hunter to the stand is a really tough question for the prosecution. edwards' lawyers think her testimony will support john edwards' defense. and yet she's been the focal point of much of the
prosecution's witnesses. so i think they are in a tough position if they bring her up. maybe an even tougher one if they don't. >> bunny mellon's attorney yesterday, prosecution witness, he undercut key aspects of the government's case yesterday testifying the heiress gave $725,000 because of a deep friendship, not to further edwards' campaign. how much damage did he do to the prosecution's case? >> i think his testimony hurt the government's case. it's a tough case for the government. they had to show willful misconduct by edwards. and bunny mellon's lawyers said that bunny mellon thought this money was for a personal, not a political matter. he thought that was the case. and from everything he knew, edwards thought it was for a noncampaign matter. if the government thought that mellon's lawyers was going to make their case, they were disappointed. >> appreciate your time, sir. thank you. folks, your commute could be hazardous to your health. cnbc's mandy drury is here now
with what's moving your money and details of a new study as well. what's the takeaway here? >> researchers at washington university in st. louis have found that people who live more than ten miles from their work are more likely to have high blood pressure than people with shorter commutes. and if you commute more than 15 miles each way, you're much more likely to be obese. basically it's kind of intuitive. you're not finding enough time for daily activity. also a 2011 study, craig, by swedish researchers found that people who had long commutes were more likely to divorce, to experience neck pain and also loneliness. >> so pretty much staying in your car for long period of times is bad for you. >> yes, bottom line. >> maybe this will reduce stress for folks. gas prices down for the fifth weekend in a row. >> that's the good news. the current average for a gallon of regular is $3.76. gasoline prices falling for the fifth consecutive week as fears have kind of eased.
a month ago, sitting at $3.93 when all the fears about $4 and even $5 were rife. a year ago, we were at $3.97. if you want to know what the peak was this year, it was reached on april the 2nd at $3.94. this is the national average. in some places, it's more, in some place, it's less. but the hope is that as some refineries are coming back on line and also bottlenecks in supply of crude oil are becoming unclogged, we certainly hope we're going to keep on dropping in price. >> mandy drury, thank you so much. gas prices may be down, but they are still up over $4 in some areas. here are the states with the highest prices. take a look at this. connecticut, number five. $4.05. washington state residents paying $4.08. californians paying about four bucks. in alaska, $4.36.
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to promote job creation and to help families refinance their mortgages as well. president obama getting on air force one headed to albany, new york. there's a guy racking up frequent flyer miles, george clooney. you might remember his character notched up 10 million miles in "up in the air." two guys who bought life plane tickets with american airlines have tripled and quadrupled that amount. the airline claimed that was costing the airline millions of dollars. everything is on hold now that american is going through bankruptcy protection. here to sort it out for us, brian kelly. brian, good morning to you. first of all, i don't think a lot of folks are familiar with this american air pass program, this golden ticket program, originally set up as a big cash
cow for the airline, right? >> right. yeah, in the '80s, american started selling this pass to raise money when it was hard to get loans. so i think most people aren't familiar with it because unfortunately it's no longer up for sale. but back in the day f you got in on this, it was an amazing deal. >> how much are we talking? >> they weren't cheap. when american first started selling them, they were about $250,000 for a single pass. and then as time went on, they add on the ability to add on a companion for an extra $150,000. most of the people that got in early got first class for life for $400,000. but as we see now, the few that got in on this really took advantage of it. >> you could fly pretty much anytime you wanted. it was essentially like having access to your own private jet. >> yeah. >> correct? >> unbelievable, yeah. as long as there was a seat for sale, you could get on it.
and american even covered the taxes on the trip, so it was completely free from that point on. and you earned frequent flyer miles. so one of these travelers earned 40 million american advantage miles. conservatively valued, those are worth over $400,000 alone. it was an amazing deal no matter how you looked at it. >> and then what happened? >> and then what happened. so of course naturally people took it to the next level. and these flyers were going to europe several times a week and then the real ethically gray thing happened. they were shuttling people for money. and you really aren't supposed to sell the companion pass. they poked the bear one too many times and american, for just a couple of these travelers, american pulled the pass. i think it is important to note, american -- the pass is still good for a majority of the people that purchased them. it's just a couple of the people who took it to the next level -- >> we reached out to -- >> took it too far. >> we reached out to american. i want to put up their statement on the screen. they said to us in part, most large companies have processes
and procedures in place to monitor misuse and fraud. cases like these are very isolated and represent an extremely small percentage of our overall airpass accounts but fraudulent activity costs all of our customers money. so we work hard to ensure our policies are followed and all of our customers are benefiting from efficient and fair practices. we're going to have to leave it right there. we thought this was a fascinating story. so we're glad you came on and talked to us about it. brian kelly, the pointsguy.com. thank you, sir. we have some sad news to pass along to you right now, best-selling author maurice sindhack has died. he was the author of "where the wild things are." he is being remembered on twitter. that was his most famous book. he wrote lots more as more. henry winkler tweeted, rest in wonderful fantasies. our very own savannah guthrie
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good morning, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. rick santorum clicks the "send" button and endorses mitt romney in an e-mail. what does it say about how conservatives really feel about romney? our political power panel will dive into that. plus, president obama under pressure to comment on his evolving stance on gay marriage all while ramping up to a major new york city fund-raisers being hosted by ricky martin. tell the kids to get off the sofa, away from the tv and off the sugar this summer. america's love affair with keeping our kids obese and the scary predictions about our weight by 2030. let's go down to the wire. prince harry making his first-ever trip to the nation's capital. the prince accepted a humanitarian award on behalf of himself and his brother for
their work with injured soldiers. colin powell presented the award. dustin hoffman saved a jogger's life in london's hyde park. hoffman called the uk equivalent of 911 and stayed with the man until paramedics arrived. and the stars turned out for the gala in new york. beyonce stepped out in a revealing designer. and jessica bihl and justin timberlake. walked the red carpet sporting a rock on jessica's finger there. and diane made her prom dress from hairbands and starburst wrappers. took her a year to collect the
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