Skip to main content

tv   Starting Point  CNN  December 4, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

4:00 am
welcome everybody, our starting point this morning. the counteroffer from the gop. how republicans want to solve washington's fiscal cliff dilemma, and what the democrats are saying about it. we'll talk about that, and much more with our special guest this morning, the former british prime minister tony blair is with us. but planes from iran. revolutionary guards showing off what they are claiming to be is a captured american drone. coming up why the pentagon says don't believe it. and baby makes three at buckingham palace. the royal couple, will and kate, creating a media frenzy on both sides of the pond with word that they are expecting. we're going to go live to london. >> talk about this morning, in addition to tony blair, we're talking to democratic congressman xavier becerra, republican senator ron johnson from the state of wisconsin,
4:01 am
also pat houston, whitney houston's sister-in-law and manager and jeopardy champion ken jennings written a new book. it's tuesday, december 4th, "starting point" begins right now. welcome everybody, you're watching "starting point." we're honored this morning to have the former british prime minister tony blair with us as our guest. he's going to be weighing in as a number of topics. we're going to talk about the fiscal cliff, we're going to talk about the global economy. we're going to talk about the civil war in syria. we'll talk about the royal baby coming soon. first we want to get right to zoraida sambolin for an update on the day's top stories. >> soledad, the fiscal cliff debacle, with 28 days remaining before drastic tax hikes and spending cuts take effect, a republican spending plan has been rejected by the white house. brianna keilar is live from washington. what now, brianna? >> well, right now it's about the pressure building and the clock kicking, zoraida. as house republicans in the
4:02 am
white house try to ultimately broker a deal between two very different plans. house speaker john boehner's counteroffer, if you take a look at the headlines from this $800 billion in what would be savings from tax reform. so that is new tax revenue. but not done by increasing income tax rate on the wealthiest. but instead by closing tax loopholes, eliminating tax credits. and also $600 billion in health savings. that's what you'd get from entitlement reform. from reforming medicare, and doing some cuts there under this plan. but compare it to the white house plan, very different than what's on the table there. $1.6 trillion in new taxes. that is two times the amount in the boehner plan, and also, of course, includes increasing those income tax rates for the wealthy. $400 billion to medicare and other entitlements, that's $ 00 billion less than in the speaker's counteroffer and this would force congress to give up its debt limit vote which is a nonstarter for house republicans.
4:03 am
the white house saying that boehner counteroffer is nothing new, that it lacks specifics. but i will tell you, zoraida, that one house democratic aid telling cnn that it passed the laugh test. so certainly i guess it could have been worse in some estimations by democrats. >> i suspect some people were laughing. brianna keilar live at the white house for us, thank you. in the next half hour, we'll talk about the prospect for a fiscal cliff deal with california's democratic congressman xavier becerra. the rain and flooding are relentless in northern california. four storms in less than a week left at least one death now attributed to those storms. and more rain is expected today. let's get right to meteorologist rob marciano. he is following it all from the cnn weather center in atlanta. good morning. >> good morning, zoraida. this is the worst stretch of storms that northern california has seen really in about two years. another punch today then we'll set up for a dry trend. the good news is that it has been dry so the ground, even though we've seen a lot of major flooding, the ground has
4:04 am
absorbed a fair amount of it. seattle to portland, rain right now. snow at the highest elevations, and the rain will eventually push down into san francisco and sacramento later on today. this system is actually messing up the atmosphere and creating a lot of warmth across much of the country. if you live anywhere east of the rockies, actually anywhere east of the cascades and sierras, you're feeling it. temperatures, record breaking yesterday, into the 60s and 70s across parts of the midwest. 20 and 30 degrees above average. that would be the case again today, and then a little bit of a cooldown as we go through time. but watching the rain closely across san francisco as mentioned, somewhat drier for at least california, not so much the pacific northwest. but california will be drier as we get towards the beginning of next week. zoraida? >> all right, rob marciano live in atlanta for us. iran has made a bold claim this morning that it has captured an unmanned u.s. drone. iranian state television broadcast what it claims is the drone, and says the aircraft was collecting data in iranian air space. but, a u.s. defense official tells cnn that the navy has accounted for all of its drones,
4:05 am
and that whatever iran claims to have, it is not an actively operating american drone. the head of the cdc warns that all the signs are pointing to a bad flu season this year. cdc director dr. thomas friedan is advising all americans over the age of 6 months to get vac continuated. he says the flu arrived early this year but the vaccine is an excellent tool to fight it. soledad, i did not, and i never do. but i may this year. >> really? >> i don't. >> why not? >> because i get sick every year. so i don't bother. >> think about that for a moment. it's so easy. >> i got it one year and i got sick and so i thought, well -- >> it's very scientific. >> i think everybody in my little world, get a flu shot. >> listen to them. >> let's talk about prince william. he's back at a london hospital this morning with his wife catherine. they are expecting their first child, and catherine is being treated for symptoms of very severe morning sickness.
4:06 am
britain all abuzz with news of the pregnancy. richard quest is live in london this morning. hey, richard. >> good morning to you. indeed, the prince is now back at the hospital. the duchess is being treated for this very severe form of morning sickness. depending on the number, this affects 1 in 50 or 2 in 50 women. but when it does hit apparently it's very bad. although it doesn't necessarily pose a threat to the life of the mother or baby, it is considered to be so debilitating that you do go into hospital for this infusion of fluids. which i'm told by experts make things a great deal better. this is the way the morning papers in the uk are reporting the story. just simply a wealth of puns, jokes, and the like. kate expectations, says "the daily sun." "the mirror" for pregnant kate in hospital for days.
4:07 am
and the "daily mail" has it has a nation's joy, a husband's nerves. so, whichever way you cut this, everybody seems to be delighted. i mean there's just -- there's just tons of tons of papers by the yard. >> can i go out on a limb and say it's just the beginning. you have nine months, and then the kid is born, and you have years of the same exact thing. richard quest for us this morning. thanks, richard, appreciate it. we've heard from brianna keilar just a few moments ago, both the white house and congressional republicans have laid their plans on the table to deal with a looming fiscal cliff which is now 28 days away. both proposals have been flat-out rejected by the other side. former british prime minister tony blair is with me this morning to talk a little bit about what the standstill means not just for the united states, but really, the international community, as well. it's nice to have you, sir. >> thank you. >> we know here in the united states as we talk about this step toward the fiscal cliff, unemployment, 9.1%, millions of
4:08 am
people would lose their jobs, the country would go back into a recession. what are the global implications, if, in fact, we do go over the fiscal cliff? >> very bad if it happens. everyone hopes it doesn't. i mean i think right now you would expect people to be flatly rejecting the other side's proposal. i mean, there's going to be -- >> 29 days? >> it's going to be a really tough negotiation. the expectation, by the way, in the world is that you will sort it out. and if you do, i think the american economy, i would be probably more optimistic about the american economy right now than certainly any part of the rest of the western world. so if you can get this sorted out, you can really move forward, and therefore, i think now that your elections are out of the way, i'm just speaking as an outsider, now your election is out of the way, there's going to be all this bargaining and positions, but my expectations, i hope, and the desire of the world, is sorted out, and we can move on, and then sort our own problems out. >> for those of us in the united states, we see sort of what seems to be two intractable
4:09 am
issues. republicans saying we will not raise taxes on the top 2% of earners. the democrats say we're certainly not going to have cuts that hurt spending cuts that hurt the middle class. and as the proposals go on the table they seem intractable on it. >> they do. but you would expect them, the republicans to be more on the tax side and democrats to be more on the we're not cutting spending side. this is pretty routine type of argument. the question is, you know, are they so far apart they can't bridge the gap? i think they could bridge the gap. you know, there have been proposals put forward on a cross-party basis before that very nearly resulted, you know, we've just got to hope that after all the tough bargaining, if everyone just came together and said we've got an agreement, then that would be rather unlikely. so, i mean, i hope it doesn't run on too long. because the world really is watching. and the single thing that would give the biggest boost to local confidence right now would be to resolve the fiscal cliff position, and then see the american economy, you know, what
4:10 am
a fantastic natural advantage is in this huge game change you've got in energy policy to see that economy really take its proper place again. and if that happens, i think that will also, by the way, have an impact on say the eurozone, which is still very, very fragile. >> all the ifs in there. you have written an article, a special to cnn called be bold to escape the economic crisis. that's the headline there. what is the lesson? i mean i think often the big superpowers don't necessarily look to africa, for example, for good lessons on how to strategize. many of those countries, those emerging economies are doing, are growing, at a rate faster than the united states, and favser than many others. >> yes, they're moving ahead very fast as economies. but i think for us efficiently, if you take europe they've got to take some really big decisions now, and as it were, sort out the short-term issues to do with the single currency crisis, and then make the long-term reforms that we're all going to have to make. i mean, your fiscal cliff --
4:11 am
some of the issues there, around entitlements and welfare and reform, they've got echoes of what we're trying to do in europe and in the uk, where frankly a lot of the systems we've built up in the post-war years, as a result of technology, as a result of an aging population, you know, as a result of rising costs in health care and elsewhere, you're going to have to make some quite big fundamental changes. so i think the issue is to sort out the short-term problem, and then get going on those long-term reforms that will allow us to start being competitive again, and taking our places from the growing economies. >> we're going to have to ask british prime minister blair to stick around for just a few moments. we want to get your take on syria. the president has a very stern warning for president assad about using chemical weapons on his own people. we'll discuss the latest on that. plus, of course, the royal baby. is a royal baby in the rule womb of the royal soon-to-be princess one day. we're back in just a moment. ♪
4:12 am
4:13 am
[ ding! ] losing your chex mix too easily? time to deploy the boring-popcorn decoy bucket. then no one will want to steal the deliciousness. with a variety of tastes and textures only chex mix is a bag of interesting. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪
4:14 am
[ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage.
4:15 am
citi price rewind. start saving at welcome back, everybody. we're talking with former british prime minister tony blair. he's also a representative with the quartet on the middle east. it's nice to have you with us. let's talk a little bit about syria. hillary clinton had a statement out yesterday. she's in the czech republic, and she said this. i'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event there's credible evidence that the assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people, but suffice it to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur. first of all, what do you think that means, specifically? and, and what should it mean? >> i think it means that it's a red line for americans and the world. if that were to happen then i would expect some form of very tough military response. >> which would be what? >> i think it would be unlikely
4:16 am
to speculate and specify right now and that's why she's being cautious in what she said. but up to now, what the west has been doing is giving some political support to the syrian opposition, obviously trying to resolve the situation as far as is possible. it's not been possible so far. >> and every day 100 people die or more. >> there are a lot of people dying. now the death toll probably would be around 40,000 since this began. that's a large number of people. but if there were any sense at all that assad was going to use chemical weapons or did use chemical weapons against his own people, i would expect a very tough response that would be military. >> do you know him? i mean is he the kind of person who, in fact, would, i mean, the foreign ministry in syria says we confirmed we would never use under any circumstances chemical weapons against its own people, if such weapons exist. there's evidence the weapons do exist. would he, in fact, do you think? >> look, i do know him. but i don't know the answer to that question. except that you've got to take into account that he is content to have a situation which, as i
4:17 am
say, almost 40,000 people have died so far. they're dying every day. and they're dying, by the way, this is why large numbers of civilians are dying, essentially the attack forces can no longer really combat syrian opposition hand-to-hand on the ground. so what they're doing is they're just, you know, using their superior air power and fire power just to, you know, wipe out villages and towns, and that means you have an indifference to the loss of civilian life. that i'm afraid is not a great character reference for what he might do. he's got to understand that the consequences of going that step further and using chemical weapons would, as hillary clinton has made clear and president obama made clear that would invoke a completely different response from us. i think, though, we've got to be looking for ways to try to bring this ghastly conflict to an end. >> but what you have said that to piers morgan, you said we need to ramp up pressure on aside and i think there are people in the state department who said we've been trying to do that.
4:18 am
what needs to be done? >> well, i think we are. but, i think we've also got to look at ways now that we give support to the syrian opposition, especially around this notion of how you protect certain parts of the territory for them. and really just send a signal to assad that this will only have one outcome. the important thing here is that is to show that in the end it is a matter of time. it's -- it's when and not if. now there are also, i think, signs that for russia and china, i think they would be prepared, possibly, to look at a way you could manage an outcome of this, so that you get some form of agreement that -- >> provide asylum, we're getting him out -- >> -- but for the rest of the world, such are the consequences of this disintegration are happening, most people look at any reason to get him out, get a new form of democratic constitution in, and then try and stabilize the situation. >> i'm going to make a very sharp turn to talk about something much more joyful,
4:19 am
which is the news of the oil baby, whose birth is impending. we know that catherine is in the hospital now. what is the -- what's it like in, in london, in great britain, with this kind of news? people must just be going insane. >> well, you know, britain loves the royal family. so, and people are very happy, very joyful. they're a very popular young couple and this is great news for them. and you know, also, really actually, when the economy is a little tough, and when times are a little tough, this is news that cheers everyone up. >> it's nice to be able to talk about the royal bun in the royal oven, as opposed to talking about the fiscal cliff, for example. british prime minister tony blair. it's nice to have you with us this morning. we certainly appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> still ahead on "starting point" this morning, more fallout over the failed fast and furious operation that cost a federal agent his life. we'll tell you who in washington now out of a job because of that. and our "starting point" team is heading in to talk about that and much more. you're watching "starting point."
4:20 am
re gets the most rewards of any small business credit card. your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! ahh, the new fabrics, put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? the spiked heels are working. wait! [ garth ] great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? [ cheers and applause ]
4:21 am
a new way to save on your prescriptions. it's the aarp medicarerx saver plus plan from unitedhealthcare. with this plan, you can get copays as low as a dollar through a preferred network pharmacy like walgreens -- where you'll find 8,000 convenient locations. best of all, this plan has the lowest part d premium in the united states -- only $15 a month. open enrollment ends december 7th. so call today or visit your local walgreens.
4:22 am
4:23 am
it is 22 minutes past the hour. welcome back to "starting point." attorney general eric holder's chief of staff is stepping down. gary grindler has been criticized by house republicans investigating the failed gunrunning operation fast and furious. grindler's office was in charge of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives which spearheaded the program that allowed hundreds of illegal weapons to fall into the hands of mexican drug cartels. three finalists for the heisman trophy have been announced. texas a&m quarterback johnny
4:24 am
manziel, notre dame linebacker te'o and kansas state quarterback colin klein also competed for college football's highest honor. the award will be presented saturday. soledad. >> it's going to be johnny football. i love it, i love it. our team this morning, ron brownstein is cnn's senior political analyst, editorial director at the national journal, bob shrum is with us, democratic strategist will cane is a cnn contributor and columnist for the let's talk a little bit about fiscal cliff. depending on who you believe, it's going fine, or it's going terribly and we're never, ever going to have any kind of agreement, we're going to go right over the cliff, especially now that the republicans have but up their counterproposal, what do you think? or is it kabuki theater? >> i think it's kabuki theater. i think the republican proposal is a serious proposal. it's not where the deal is going to end. there has been an election. but it does reprise a lot of the arguments from the negotiations between the president and john boehner in the summer of 2011. it's not something that really should be laughed off the page.
4:25 am
i mean, the most difficult thing for republicans is accepting an increase in the top rate for the top earners in the tax rate which they don't want to do in this proposal but which they don't ever have to vote for in order to have it happen. i think somehow that will be a key element. >> it's a bad thing that the white house immediately dismissed -- i mean it couldn't have been three hours, four hours maybe. >> i think the president has decided to take a very different approach than he did in 2011. he's not going to put on the table what he thinks the final deal is. he's going to say no, he's going to negotiate it a tough way. the proposal and i hope ron is right and i kind of thing that in the end, as with t.a.r.p. in 2008, when everybody rebelled, and then the markets crashed they got to the right place, i think that we'll probably -- we will get a deal. but, this proposal, fundamentally, is an awful lot like what mitt romney was talking about during the campaign. the deductions, for example, if we're going to get the $800 billion from, you can't -- they don't add up. you can't get there with those deductions. >> but it's also a lot like erskine bowles proposal before
4:26 am
the simpson-bowles commission. because in other words it came from bill clinton's chief of staff. this is where the proposal -- >> -- >> listen that's a point. that's how extreme this is, bob. and -- >> in terms of -- does not have the rate reductions, does not convert medicare and does not convert medicaid to a voucher. it doesn't have the structural changes that are objectionable to the democrats. there's a lack of specifics here. but if i'm the president i'm thinking they're putting $800 billion on the table in removing deductions and exemptions i'm going to pocket that and add some of the additional revenue from rates i can get from allowing rates to expire. >> we're going to be talking to senator johnson this morning also xavier becerra about the details or lack of details in the two competing plans at this point and how much bowles is connected or not connected to this plan. still ahead this morning on "starting point" a young cancer patient missing from a hospital and her life depends on finding her. we'll tell you what happened when police found her father. that's coming up. this holiday, share everything.
4:27 am
share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. sharable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. get a droid razr m by motorola for $49.99.
4:28 am
five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. a new way to save on your prescriptions. it's the aarp medicarerx saver plus plan from unitedhealthcare. with this plan, you can get copays as low as a dollar through a preferred network pharmacy like walgreens -- where you'll find 8,000 convenient locations. best of all, this plan has the lowest part d premium in the united states -- only $15 a month. open enrollment ends december 7th. so call today or visit your local walgreens. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars ends december 7th. to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america.
4:29 am
we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. look this isn't my first christmas. these deals all seem great at the time... but later... [ shirt ] merry christmas, everybody! not so much. ho ho ho! this isn't that kind of deal. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our support teams are nearby, ready to help. it's no wonder so many investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
4:30 am
good morning. welcome, everybody. you're watching "starting point." republicans have come out with their version of what a fiscal cliff solution should look like. in just a few moments we're going to get reaction to that proposal from the democratic congressman xavier becerra of california. students at one elementary school in atlanta will be attending class have to move to a different building though, dozens were sickened yesterday by their regular school by carbon monoxide poisoning. zoraida has that story on other stories. >> it is awful. at least 49 people were actually sent to the hospital, soledad. fire officials believe the heating system failed. there was no carbon monoxide detector required in that school. so the next hour we'll talk to a student, a parent and an official as well there. new york city police are searching for a man who allegedly pushed another man who his death in front of a subway train. the two men apparently had some kind of argument on a subway
4:31 am
platform yesterday prior to that fatal assault. soledad? >> the story of that kids who had cancer who has now gone missing. police wanted to speak to the father of that child. a terrible story on that. what, what happened -- >> an 11-year-old leukemia patient was removed from a phoenix hospital lasts week by her mother. but police have located emily's father now. he denies any involvement in the case. doctors say the young girl could die within days. she has been receiving chemotherapy at phoenix children's hospital for about a month, and has had a catheter in her heart that actually could become infected. so they are desperately searching for that little girl, soledad. >> oh, wow how awful wow. obviously keep you up to speed on that story. let's talk about the fiscal cliff now. shall we? well, why not? because it almost came to fisticuffs a moment ago. let's talk about erskine bowles. i think that's a great place to start before we get to our
4:32 am
interview with xavier becerra. erskine bowles, he's been sort of cited in the majority leader's letter as saying this is the bowles plan, and he, mr. bowles, was quick to put out a letter himself saying, not my plan. it's, it's sort of is his version 1.0 of his plan, isn't it? >> right. right. it's a plan that reflected the original thoughts. we put together a plan to move us towards some kind of deficit reduction package eventually evolved into the simpson-bowles commission plan. but the point i was making and i think the speaker is making is republicans have not come out here with some hardball, crazy off-the-table negotiation. what they have done is put something that bill clinton's former chief of staff at one time odd voe indicated for. and i think in the end that reflects that we are moving toward the potential compromise deal. >> he said -- >> i think i'm inappropriately in the middle here. i ought to be over there on the left. what bowles said yesterday was i was testifying before congress, and i described that as a midpoint between what republicans want and what democrats wanted.
4:33 am
it was not what i would recommend. but i don't think that's even relevant. >> -- circumstances have changed since then. >> i don't even think that's relevant. i think the real question here and i think ron's right about this is are tax rates going to go up? yes, they're going to go up, because republicans are not going to have to vote for them to go up. we'll go off the fiscal cliff, down the fiscal slope. yes i think it will happen because it is the one way republicans can, without violating the pledge, and offending the grand inquisitor grover norquist, it's the one way they can let this happen. >> and, in fact, you know, what could happen, you can imagine a scenario where you go off the cliff on taxes, rates go up for everybody, you then vote to restore the rates for the vast majority of taxpayers, 98%, and further it is even conceivable you negotiate down the top rates in the level under bill clinton a little bit by putting in the pot offsetting deductions for credits which would allow republicans to claim some sort of victory as well. that could be a scenario where you have a consensus on the tax run. >> let's run all of this by representative xavier becerra of
4:34 am
california. he's joining us now. nice to see you, sir 367 appreciate your time. what is really the white house dismiss kind of out of hand i mean i don't have the exact number of minutes that they had this republican proposal but it was not very many and they dismissed it out of, of hand after i thought geithner spent the entire weekend calling on the republicans to come forward with a plan. >> well, soledad, the plan the republican plan failed the very first test of fairness. it went after the middle class. and it goes -- it protects all millionaires and billionaires from the bush tax cuts, or keeping the bush tax cuts, at the same time that it asks middle-class to carry the load. it also, by the way, went after seniors and tells them, you shouldn't get that $21 on average cost of living increase for the cost of your food, your medicine, but we'll go ahead and let millionaires keep the $78,000 or so they get in one year in tax breaks. so the president was right. this fails the test of fairness. and at the same time, it almost acts as the republican plan is
4:35 am
almost as if the republicans didn't watch the last two years of campaigning in an election where essentially what they proposed was the romney plan, and the president said, we're going to do this the right way. we're going to make sure the middle class is protected. >> well, so, in his letter, mr. boehner said, we recognize it would be counterproductive to publicly and privately propose entitlement reforms that you all don't seem to support. he has a whole list of sort of like the original house plans and he kind of lists them and says we're not going to put these on the table because that would be sort of sticking to our side. and wouldn't be helpful. instead we're going to go to something that really was the sort of erskine bowles version 1.0 which he has backed away from saying time has changed. but in a lot of ways it is similar to what erskine bowles did have on the table, isn't it? >> soledad, no it's not. this is a different time. we've got $2 trillion worth of spending cuts already in place that we didn't have when the bowles commission was in place. never once did we get anything to balance it out on the tax side. so no, it's a totally different
4:36 am
world. for republicans to cherry pick parts of what the bowles commission or what erskine bowles did is just ludicrous to try to have a conversation that way. but more to the point, the bowles-simpson plan said something very important, let the bush tax cuts for the highest income go away. expire. >> right. that's -- >> the simpson -- >> that's not bowles and believe me -- for those of you playing at home following this is the most complicated thing. there's bowles-simpson and there's sort of bowles who was testifying about his ideas and he didn't have that in his original plan -- >> soledad -- >> -- nothing to do with this plan in his letter. and this is his, his first iteration of the plan. go ahead, sir. excuse me for interrupting. >> and soledad, every bipartisan, large deficit reduction plan calls for the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% to expire. because it's tough to get to a balanced solution that's big without at least collecting that revenue. >> okay. >> secondly the bowles,
4:37 am
mr. bowles was saying something at a time when we did not have the $2 trillion-plus, $2 trillion-plus in spending cuts already in place. >> so then can -- >> -- anything to balance that -- >> my panel this morning basically says this could happen, you go over the fiscal cliff, you sort of have let republicans off the hook in terms of having to -- >> exclusively vote to raise the tax rates. >> on the rich, right? is that how you see this playing out, then? >> if republicans are so wedded to this tax pledge to the special interest grover norquist and his organization that if they can't find a way to come up with a bipartisan solution, they have to let the devil do it for them, i guess that's possibly the way we do it. if that helps preserve or protect the middle class, then so be it. but one way or the other republicans have to realize that an election was had, that the wealthiest in this country have to contribute a little bit more. and if they continue to try to protect millionaires and billionaires while they're willing to cut the cost of living increase for seniors on medicare and social security,
4:38 am
it's a nonstarter. >> so then under this plan we have to go over the fiscal cliff, even if, right we have to. that's the only way we could get to -- >> can't do it any other way. >> and erskine bowls has said this is kabuki theater. i guess as a voter you all are in the business, a reporter but as a voter you get very frustrated. so this is kabuki theater. this is a whole machination so then at the end you can get to a deadline so we can fall off the cliff which frees everybody -- next election cycle people will be able to say -- >> i think that's frustrating. >> soledad, soledad, elections have consequences. and the president ran his campaign for two years saying he was going to let the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% expire. he was very clear about that. for republicans doing everything on the books to shield millionaires and billionaires from that tax increase is the reason we're still stuck. the moment they let go of that, we have a deal, and that's why
4:39 am
some people are saying the only way we're going to get a deal is to let all these protections in the law expire for millionaires and then we'll get a deal. that, to me, is a couch potato way of resolving what we should do every month because every month americans sit down at their kitchen table and resolve their budget, and we should be able to do the same thing this month. >> xavier becerra with us this morning. it's nice to see you. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> ahead on "starting point" we're going to be talking about prince william. he's at a london hospital by his wife's side, as you know, the big news, across the pond, is that there is a royal bun in the royal oven, so to speak. we're going to talk about her condition. she is quite sick with morning sickness, that's straight ahead. also we want to know what your must-get gifts are this year. send us a photo of yourself or your loved one or even a letter to santa. i'll show you all the gift i'm hoping for. story graph. that's we'll share with everybody here on cnn throughout the holidays. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health
4:40 am
4:41 am
plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+. anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became
4:42 am
a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well. the potential of yelp unlocked. nyse euronext. unlocking the world's potential. ♪ mom? dad? guys? [ engine turns over ] [ engine revs ] ♪ he'll be fine. [ male announcer ] more people are leaving bmw, mercedes and lexus for audi than ever before. take advantage of exceptional values during the season of audi event.
4:43 am
welcome back to "starting point" i'm christine romans. minding your business this morning, stock futures are up a little bit. gridlock in washington over the fiscal cliff making stock investors really nervous. stocks are acting unpredictable. so watch out ahead here. companies should be making hiring and spending plans for next year. instead they're left wondering whether consumers are going to take home less money, and that government agencies can slash spending. a recipe for recession. i asked the ceo of fedex how companies plan ahead when washington is so dysfunctional. >> well i think most of the ceos look at the situation in washington with complete amazement and dismay, to be frank about it. the problem is, the ideological pinnings on both sides of this
4:44 am
argument are so difficult to bridge, that it's going to be hard for them to get a deal. >> that's right. other ceos i talked to yesterday said they think it will be hard to get a deal, soledad and it's kind of a grim move right now in d.c. about how long it's going to take -- >> xavier becerra, it sounded like compromise could be on the table because they're going to come to this cliff deadline that will put pieces in place that maybe just have a deal. >> i hope you're right. we will see. >> look maybe we're not being fair. you go over the cliff, the rates go up. >> right. >> the president then says, i want president then says i want to cut taxes for 99% of americans. how at that point do the republicans vote no and say we're going to hold this hostage until you cut the top 2%? >> might even let the top rate be reduced because of the 39.6, he might take it down a notch, offset by desuctions -- >> cut taxes for -- >> and everyone gets to take that home. >> and -- >> -- why the american people
4:45 am
hate congress. >> -- revenue. >> -- want to talk about a british baby. >> that's right. >> and, in fact, thank you will cain, royal watchers around the world buzzing with news -- >> looking at -- >> what prompter? >> the duchess of cambridge is in the family way, as they used to say. she's also in a london hospital. she's being treated for symptoms of severe morning sickness. this morning her husband prince william is by her side. i was hospitalized with severe morning sickness in >> were you? >> yeah, when i had my twins. how dangerous is it, elizabeth cohen is with us she's cnn's senior medical correspondent. i mean, is it dangerous for the fetus? is it dangerous for the mother? >> soledad, it's not dangerous unless the mom loses a ton of weight. and then they might start worrying about the baby. but really it likely is not very dangerous at all. they just needed to get her in the hospital. they'll likely put an iv in her, giving her nutrition, fluids and anti-nausea medications. >> wow, so they're going to do that -- is there an indication -- what my doctor
4:46 am
told me was that the reason i was so sick was because i was having twins. i had two older kids, so i wasn't kind of as queasy, but i wasn't as sick as i was with twins. is this an indication that she, she could likely be having twins? >> you can get horrific morning sickness with a single pregnancy, with twins, with triplets. it is more likely with multiples. it's also more likely if you're carrying a baby. i know your twins were boys -- a baby girl, rather. if you're carrying a girl you are somewhat more likely to have morning sickness because you're got your hormones plus her hormones to deal with. so if the duchess has twin girls, you heard it here first, if she doesn't i never said anything. >> duly noted. i like that. elizabeth cohen for us. thanks, elizabeth. >> thanks. >> still ahead, ditto from me, too. >> a lot of deniability in the conversation. >> -- doing. >> ahead we're going to talk to the man whose winning streak -- streak on jeopardy made him a tv folk hero. now, he's an author, ken
4:47 am
jennings is debunking some of the myths that we were all brought up with like should you swim after you eat? doesn't that give you cramps and eventually kill you? should you run with scissors? doesn't that kill you? back in just a moment. they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
4:48 am
4:49 am
4:50 am
welcome back. i'm zoraida sam bolin with a quick check of our powerful the storm has destroyed homes, triggered landslides and officials say that millions of people could be affected. troubles keep coming for actress lindsay lohan. are you surprised? latest news involves a visit from uncle sam.
4:51 am
tmz reported irs has reportedly seized her assets, include iingr bank accounts because they say she owes close to $234,000 in unpaid taxes from 2009 to 2010 and also an unspecified amount from 2011. soledad says she feels sorry for her. >> i do. >> give her a subsidy. help her out. >> tough for that girl. i'll go with you on that one. rookie quarterback robert griffin iii benefiting from a friendly bounce with the washington redskins over the super bowl giants. runs it into the end zone for the touchdown. redskins are now within one game of the giants. >> and the cowboys, i might say. >> in the nfc east. >> boo. >> will, i guess no one likes -- >> it's tough being america's team. breakfast is the most
4:52 am
important meal of the day. make sure you finish your carrots, it's good for your eyes, eat everything on your plate. kids are starving in africa. it's okay to pick it up, five-second rule. all of these are things that parents have said to make their kids do things but have you ever thought if they were actually true? the new book "because i said so" by ken jennings, the truth behind the myths that every generation passes down to their kids. did you decide to dig into the myths or what made you decide to dig into these? >> we lie to our kids all the time. we don't want to -- >> lie is such a strong word. >> it's not lying. we're just protecting them, right? sbt that how perhaps you started down this road?
4:53 am
>> that's the thing. >> you just start doing what your parent said. >> my son asks, i'm really not supposed to run with a lollipop in my mouth? i said i'll be honest, i have no idea but that's what grandma told me so you have to suck it up, too. >> the five-second rule you rate that as mostly false. >> there are actually four or five good academic studies of the five-second rule believe it or not. it either gets dirty when it falls or it stays clean much there's no magical time interval by where it gets dirty on the floor. >> running with scissors, that would be terrible in any small child. any parent would know that. >> when i looked at emergency room data, cutting with scissors much more dangerous than running with them. >> okay. so here is -- >> how about breakfast, is it the most important meal of the day? >> i come down on the side of true for that one.
4:54 am
>> i never ate it. >> you see all kinds of gains in school, grades go up. >> that must have been my problem in school. >> i have to say, i think this is wrong. no soda. sugar always makes you hyper. you don't think that's true. what? >> parents are going to come at me for that one. but there's at least 12 studies showing no link between sugar and hyperactivity. parents swear by this because they see their kids running around. >> i swear by it, too. >> your kids are eating sugar because they're at a party. and they're running around because they're at a party. >> would you feed your kid a cupcake right before bed, ken jennings? >> i would. science has forced me. >> thumb sucking, bad for you. >> your dentist is right and psychiatrist was wrong. >> what is the biggest misconception? what is the wrongest advice that parents give to their kids? >> the thing i always -- this one is sort of serious. don't talk to strangers and parents take this very seriously and make their kids scared of
4:55 am
strangers. this myth of a strange kidnapper in white van, that never happens. kids need to be comfortable talking to strangers so if they get lost they can find help. >> ken jennings, nice to have you with us. you can have breakfast, you can pick up the food off floort and you can run with scissors. still ahead this morning, relentless rain to tell you about in the west that's already proven deadly. more rough weather on the way. we'll talk about that. and don't waste any time getting that flu shot this year. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok.
4:56 am
[ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at [ gordon ] for some this line is a convenience. how you doing today? i'm good thanks. how are you? i'm good. [ gordon ] but for others, it's all they can afford. every day nearly nine million older americans don't have enough to eat. anything else? no, not today. join me, aarp, and aarp foundation in the drive to end hunger by visiting
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
good morning. welcome, everybody. our starting point this morning, the counter offer comes from the gop. how republicans want to solve washington's fiscal cliff dilemma. what the democrats are saying about it today. plus bold claims for iran. revolutionary guards showing off what they are claiming to be a captured american drone. why u.s. officials are saying don't believe it. baby on board at buckingham palace. the royal couple, will and kate, creating a media frenzy on both sides of the pond with word that they are expecting. >> lots to talk about this morning. republican senator ron johnson, steve smith, to talk about that carbon monoxide leak that sent dozens of kids off to the hospital. and pat houston, whitney houston's sister-in-law and manager will join us to talk about a new book tuesday, december 4th. "starting point" begins right now.
5:00 am
good morning. welcome, everybody. ron brownstein joins us this morning, cnn senior political analyst. editor for national journal. bob shrum, and will cain. zoraida is sticking around with us as well from "early start." our "starting point" really is about the frustration and more finger pointing now about this fiscal cliff. 28 days remain before drastic tax hikes and spending cuts take effect. republicans are offering a plan that calls for $2.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade, including $800 billion in tax reforms, $600 billion from medicare reforms and $6 billion in spending cuts. the white house said no go to this. why so fast? >> reporter: very quickly
5:01 am
because they want republicans to capitulate on increasing tax rates for wealthier americans. the white house is insistent it won't talk to republicans about details of entitlement reform, which republicans want, until they cave on those income tax rates. and as of right now, republicans aren't budging. the white house, congress iiona democrats feel confident in their position because they point to poll that is show the vast majority of americans say he when talking about how to raise revenue, they think increasing those rates should be part of that. but in the meantime, it's really just the blame game. take a listen. >> making vague promises about achieving revenue through capping deductions or closing loopholes simply doesn't add up to a serious proposal. >> i'm certain that if this is not good enough for the white house, we will go over the fiscal cliff.
5:02 am
this is a compromise on taxes. >> now as soon as speaker boehner's counter offer came out, the white house communications director responded, saying this is nothing new, saying it lacks specifics. i will tell you sort of behind the scenes there was a democratic leadership aid that told cnn that actually, soledad -- this may surprise you -- that the offer passed the laugh test. it does have some of the things that were in the grand bargain, that failed grand bargain worked out between -- where president obama and speaker boehner tried to work out last year. and also -- while certainly both sides are saying that specifics are lacking, there is certainly, i think, a feeling from some democrats that maybe it could have been worse. maybe they were expecting something that in their estimation might have been even more towards what republicans would want. >> brianna keilar, thank you. i guess we're supposed to be encouraged that everybody wasn't just giggling over the proposals. rks said they laughed at the
5:03 am
white house proposal. let's get to senator johnson, member of the budget committee and the appropriations committee. we appreciate your time this morning. >> morning, soledad. >> you heard brianna's report a moment ago. she said the white house rejected it because they're like, listen, it has to have tax increase on the top 2% or it's a complete no go. would you be willing, in fact, to raise taxes on the top 2% wealthiest americans? >> to meet the case for growth and how it's ten times more effective than just increasing tax rates. few numbers. i like numbers. >> yes, you dorks sir. >> even in this meeg economic recovery we've had since 2009 revenue has increased by $344 billion per year. if we return to a normal economy like we had in 2007 when we had the same tax rates we're experiencing now, when federal revenue was 18.5% of our economy, that would add another $400 billion of revenue per
5:04 am
year. total add it all up, it's about $750 billion of added revenue through economic growth. the president's proposal, let's just round it up. you hear different figures out there. let's say $75 billion per year. it's a tenth of what you get with economic growth. the problem with that, soledad, is by punishing success -- which is really what you're doing here -- you put at risk that economic growth that's ten times as more effective. >> if you go out and poll americans, right, they'll say, yes, wealthier people should pay. isn't that a ten use, challenging position for a republican to be in? polls in the 60%, 70% area when you ask people should you tax that top 2%, most people say yeah, you should. they should pay more money. >> soledad, i would imagine 98% of the american public -- >> i believe that's it. >> because we haven't made the case for economic growth. the american people don't really
5:05 am
understand that economic growth is ten times more effective. those numbers we just talked about proved it. shouldn't be playing gamemanship and we wouldn't be if democrats had passed a budget over the last three years. we need to see what is the president's plan? let's talk about the $75 billion. >> let's talk about economic growth. can we back up? >> the economic growth thing is -- >> hold on a second, senator. >> under bill clinton, we had taxes at 39.6%. we created 22 million new jobs. we cut them under job bush, had almost no net job creation. why do you keep making the argument cut low taxes for the richest people in the country are the key to job creation when history refutes that? >> we could go do a history lesson but i would argue that clinton's economic recovery really dates back to ronald reagan, when he cut rates -- i started my business in the '80s. so did apple. so did microsoft. those businesses came to fruition in the '90s and president clinton, together with
5:06 am
the peace dividend, also produce bid ronald reagan, that's what created that economic engine. let's take a look at just the bush tax cuts. 2003, federal revenue was a little under $1.8 trillion when those were enacted. revenue had risen to a 44% increase through economic growth. it actually works. this president simply doesn't understand that. as a result he will punish success. we'll put at risk the economic growth that we really need to create the jobs, create taxpayer s and the revenue we need to lower our deficit. >> let me play a little chunk of what congressman basetta said to me a few minutes ago. >> elections have consequences. and the president ran his campaign for two years, saying he was going to let the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% expire. he was very clear about that. for republicans to do everything possible, to shield the
5:07 am
millionaires and billionaires from that tax increase is the reason we're still stuck. the moment they let go of that, we have a deal. >> he says the moment you let go of that 2%, you have a deal. if that were the case, if the moment you let go, you have a deal, are you standing in the way of a deal? are you potentially sending america over the fiscal cliff, 9.1% unemployment all the other bad things, millions of people lose their jobs, for protecting -- dogs and cats live together for protecting the 2%? >> what's the deal? i get the 2%. i realize that may raise $75 billion the first year, which is 7% of our deficit. what's the solution for the other 93%? that's what republicans are talking about. this president has put forward four budgets and has yet to put forward a solution to save social security or medicare. his last two budgets so unserious they've garnered zero votes from even members of his
5:08 am
own party. democrats haven't passed a budget in three years. if you actually want to have a deal, put something on the table that the american people can actually evaluate. i am tired of these secret negotiations where the financial future of america is going to be determined by what, one or two individuals and their staffs? >> senator -- >> this should be a very open process that is debated by elected officials, members of congress, congresspersons and senators. that's how this process should work. democrats in the senate have refused to follow the regular order, and actually putting even vote to a budget. that's where we have to start. >> senator johnson, this is will cain. you said, okay, fine. i'll give you the 2%. how are you going to solve the 93%? what could they come back with, with spending cuts, that would satisfy you, to give the 2%? what kind of spending cuts are you going to require? >> first of all, i didn't concede the 2% because growth would be better. before i would even consider it, i would want to see their full
5:09 am
plan. republicans have full plans. two house passed budgets that included a solution to save medicare that was used against us in the election. republicans have proven to be willing to be held accountable. democrats have not. can you explain why one democratic senator hasn't put his vote to a budget proposal? that's key. >> and i give you that. i want you to answer will's question, which is a great question. list for me -- >> oh, sure. >> we're low on specifics, really from both sides. tick off for me the top three things that the democrats should put on the table in terms of spending cuts that you would be cool and would make you feel good about the 2% given? >> health care costs will be the driver. we have a trillion dollars of middle income tax increases c k cooked in the books under obamacare. >> that's one, obamacare. what's two? >> by the way, that is grossly underestima
5:10 am
underestimated as to cost. we need to stress that. structure reform for both medicare and social security, structure reform, things that can't be taken away as soon as they're enacted. we actually put some spending restraint in the budget control act. and everybody is trying to get out from underneath that deal. we need structure reform. >> and number three would be what? what would you cut? >> i'm not cutting anything. we are talking about restraining the growth of spending in these areas. and then i would start looking at agencies. the other problem that is holding our economy back is the explosion of regulations. and i don't see we're going to reform these agencies. the way you reform them, you actually cut their budgets. that will force them to focus on the most important parts of the economy to have effective regulations. go after the agencies, put structure reform to save -- that's the important point, to save social security and medicare. we've got to address this health care law. it is a disaster. medical device manufacturers because of that 2.3% tax are moving overseas. we are going to crush innovation
5:11 am
in this economy. i'll tell you, another point i've got to make. >> that's four. >> you want more? >> no. >> listen -- >> i asked for three but i'll take four. >> this is fantasy land like saying ronald reagan invented the apple ipad. it's crazy. obamacare will not be on the table. >> i also imagine that cutting the budgets for some of those agencies will give you massive amounts of money? it contributes a lot to the budget, right? >> true, because discretionary spending is about $1 trillion. our deficit is $1 trillion. soledad, that's the problem. republicans have put forward budgets, voted for them, willing to be held accountable. democrats have not. president obama has not. >> you won't vote for them. >> nor have any democrats. >> democrats have voted for those budgets and supported those budgets. >> zero to 610 is the vote total of the last three votes on his last three budgets, 0-610.
5:12 am
do you think that's a serious proposal? president obama, show us your plan. >> he can't show you a plan he gave you a plan. his plan is not to repeal obamacare. not going to happen. you lost the election, buddy. >> we are out of time. we need to take bob shrum's coffee away, bring everybody back down. we appreciate your time, senator. i love you hashing the numbers with him. he always comes ready to lay it out. >> political reality, it is a very different world than he is laying out. republicans won't consider raising the top rates, it is not your choice anymore. they are going up unless you make a deal that the president accepts. believe it or not, there are some other stories in the world today that don't involve the fiscal cliff. that sounds like a shocker, but zoraida has those for us. >> iran has reported that it's captured a u.s. drone.
5:13 am
a defense official says, quote, the u.s. navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles operating in the middle east region. you are looking at state tv showing two iranian revolutionary guard commanders examining what appears to be an intact scan eagle drone. rain and flooding are relentless in northern california. at least one death now attributed to those storms. forecasting showers in the area through tomorrow afternoon. but it's tapering off through the rest of the week. there's a little good news for you folks out there. the head of the cdc warns all the signs are pointing to a bad flu season this year. cdc director dr. thomas freeden is advising all americans over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated. he said the flu arrived early this year but the vaccine is an excellent tool to fight it. >> do you get the flu shot?
5:14 am
>> no. >> do you get the flu shot? >> of course. >> it's irrational not to get one. >> okay, it's irrational if i don't. prince william is back with his wife in a london hospital. katherine, the duchess of cambridge, is being treated for severe morning sickness. buckingham palace has announced that she is, indeed, pregnant. it's the announcement they've been waiting for. >> odds on whalt baby's name will be, top name for a girl, frances. top name for a boy, john. >> really? >> that's exciting. exciting names there. >> do you know what happens if it's twins? the first one that comes out is the heir, the second one that comes out is the spare unless the first one that comes out is a girl and the second one that comes out is a boy. the british have refused to change the rule that gives males precedence. >> they're working on that rule. >> they're working on it, but -- >> it may change. >> i don't think the queen is
5:15 am
going to let them move that fast. >> they could grandfather it in. >> grandbaby it in. a red line on syria. stern warning for president assad about using chemical weapons on his own people. pictures surface of this, george zimmerman bloodied in the nose and mouth the night that trayvon martin was shot dead. [ male announcer ] it started long ago. it's called passion. and it's not letting up anytime soon. at unitedhealthcare insurance company, we understand that commitment.
5:16 am
so does aarp, serving americans 50 and over for generations. so it's no surprise millions have chosen an aarp dicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it helps cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. to find out more, call today. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel.
5:17 am
and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure. men with breast cancer or who have or might have prostate cancer, and women who are, or may become pregnant or are breast feeding should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, possible increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. talk to your doctor today about androgel 1.62% so you can use less gel. log on now to and you could pay as little as ten dollars a month for androgel 1.62%.
5:18 am
what are you waiting for? this is big news. new this morning, the head of nato saying that if the president of syria would use chemical weapons on his own people it would provoke an immediate international response. here is what the former prime minister tony blair told me earlier on the show. >> if there was any sense at all that assad was going to use or did use chemical weapons against his own people, i would expect a very tough response that would be military. >> barbara starr is with us.
5:19 am
usually at the pentagon, but today here in person. if it seems that there is evidence that chemicals are being moved along with the war heads, is this a new phase in syria in some way? >> intelligence assessment back in washington is just that assad is feeling the pressure, the fighting is intensifying around damascus and his own military commanders are giving him this option to try to achieve some rollback against advances. >> so you know him and have studied him a lot. would he do it? would he put chemicals on -- >> well, he would have to be convinced. the thinking is that he is not yet convinced, that he knows he will face international outrage i think that's why you're seeing these statements, don't do it, to push him to understand he cannot go down this route. still ahead on "starting point" could fashion icon and notorious boss anna wintor be taking a job with the obama
5:20 am
administration? what gig would it be? and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today. and with my bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i love 'em even more. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpkin pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport. it's as easy as... -[ man ] 1... -[ woman ] 2... [ woman ] 3. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards card. apply online or at a bank of america near you. [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards card. when you take a closer look...
5:21 am the best schools in the world... see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
5:22 am
5:23 am
welcome back. our tough call this morning, there's no evidence coming to light in the trayvon martin investigation. there's a picture, new in-color picture of second-degree murder suspect george zimmerman, released by his attorney. it was reportedly taken by a police officer the night that zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin. the picture itself is not new. the fact that it's a high resolution color photo is. we've seen black and white versions. to what degree does this help george zimmerman's case? does it change the case? >> obviously we're not in the legal process, so we don't know all the details. but i don't think it really
5:24 am
tells you that much. it doesn't tell you at what point any injuries were sustained and what was going on when they were. clearly there was an altercation, which we always knew that. >> i'm a nonpracticing lawyer. >> you always do the denials first. i just want to say, this is not my client. then you launch into -- but if you see a guy's bloody face -- >> it's absolutely right there's some altercation. we know that. the fact that he has a bloody lip doesn't justify killing somebody. >> this does prove there was an altercation t might shed light or give evidence to some story of who was the aggressor at the time the killing took place. >> i would think if you're the member of a jury, looking at a now clean cut and cleaned up george zimmerman and someone shows the picture -- i don't think the wounds are devastating but certainly has been struck in around the mouth and nose. >> we can't preguess what's going to happen in this trial.
5:25 am
it doesn't necessarily prove he is the aggressor, that the other guy is the aggressor. he could have been the aggressor. >> no, but i think there will be an impact on a juror. >> we'll see. >> we know there was an altercation and this shows us that again. >> you guys will never be good celebrity lawyers if you're not going to go out on a limb for me and make gouesses on things. young cancer patient missing from the hospital now. the cops actually talked to her dad. that's coming up. plus a fallen star from the baseball diamond manages to go even further. that's ahead. your watching "starting point." all energy development comes with some risk,
5:26 am
5:27 am
but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
5:28 am
domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. welcome back. you're watching "starting point." dozens of students were poisoned by carbon monoxide at their atlanta elementary school. there was no carbon monoxide detector even require d at the
5:29 am
school. we'll talk to a student, a parent and steve smith, the deputy superintendent of the atlanta schools. first, though, zoraida sam bo n in has a look at the other stories making news today. a man who allegedly push ed another man to his death right in front of a subway train in midtown. the men apparently had some kind of argument on the subway platform yesterday prior to that fatal assault. the judge overseeing the court-martial of accused ft. hood shooter nadal hasan has been removed. a court has ruled that the judge was bias, an order that his beard be shaved. he objected to that order in a number of appeals citing religious freedom. a cancer patient mysteriously removed from a phoenix hospital by her mother search is intensifying. they have located emily's
5:30 am
father, who denies any idea of her whereabouts. the young girl could die within days, they say. she has a catheter in her heart that could become infected. a powerful typhoon has struck the southern philippines this morning, killing at least 27 people. that storm packed winds of 110 miles per hour. it destroyed homes and it triggered landslides. officials say that millions of people could still be affected there. former new york mets star, lenny dystra sentenced to 6 1/2 months in federal custody, pleading guilt toy three fel nochlt y counts, bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering. former outfielder is already serve i serving a three-year prison sentence in a separate case for grand theft auto. soledad says that's really sad. >> talent wasted. that's just sad. let's move on here to anna
5:31 am
wintour, editor in chief of vogue. add the title of ambassador to her name? president obama is considering pointing her as ambassador to either briton or france. it would be the president's way of thanking her for raising a lot of money for his re-election. >> i'm no expert on anna wintour, but i have seen the devil wears prada. that does not reflect diplomacy, to me. when i see that movie, i don't think -- >> did you watch the end? >> could play nice to the president of france. the people like ron will go to work on her staff that have to worry about this. >> would she consider that a promotion or demotion? >> she runs vogue, so that would be a demotion. >> exactly right. i think it would be a step down. >> those are both very important posts. they actually matter. the people who occupy those posts don't just do social stuff. they do a lot of real, hard work. it would be interesting to see if she's appointed. students at this one
5:32 am
elementary school in atlanta now attending class in a different building this morning. there was a carbon monoxide leak at their elementary school. they had to evacuate yesterday. the gas leak started in the boiler and heating system of the elementary school. 34 kids, several adults had to be treated at a nearby hospital. measuring carbon monoxide level of 1700 parts per million near the school's furnace. fire department says that's one of the highest levels they've ever seen. of course, the normal would be 50 parts per million. and they measured 1700. one of the kids sent off to the e.r. after she passed out was adrian witner, joined by her mother, josephine benjamin. we'll be talking to the deputy superintendent and chief of staff at the atlantic public schools. josephine and adrienne, thank you for joining us. how are you doing today?
5:33 am
>> good. >> did you really pass out and have to go to the hospital? what was that like? that had to be so scary. >> she can't remember. >> she's like, yeah, whatever. all right. i'll talk to mom instead. i know 7-year-olds well. josephine you must have been absolutely in a panic, in all seriousness, when you get a phone call from the school saying that your child is on her way to the e.r. what happened? >> at first i got a call saying that the building is being evacuated because they're being quarantined and i was like, well, what is going on? and she was like, well, she's okay and i was like, well, i'm on my way. she was like, well, if you come, you're not going to be able to get by her, touch her or nothing like that. and i was like, well, what's going on? she's like, well, they're doing okay. and i was like, okay. well, i'm on my way still. >> you went anyway and then you find out that she had passed out and was on her way to the emergency room. >> yeah, uh-huh. >> what were they telling you
5:34 am
there? >> i got a call 30 minutes later saying she was going to the emergency room. she still didn't tell me what was going on. when i got to the emergency room that's when they told me she had actually passed out and was not responding. she couldn't respond. >> oh, my goodness. you must have been terrified. >> yes, i was. i was nervous. i was shaking. i was scared. i was like, i wish they would have told me that over the phone. i would have flew even quicker to get here, to get my baby. >> the principal truly sounds like a hero in this story. she was one of the ones who evacuated the school, when they started figuring out why all the kids just got sick and started complaining and started to pass out. were you surprised there was no carbon monoxide detector in the school with all these little n kids? >> yes, i am. i'm very shocked they don't have them in school. that's crazy. i have smoke detector.
5:35 am
you have everything else in school. why not have that? i'm not understanding. >> let's ask steve smith. he is a deputy superintendent of the atlanta public schools. adrienne is yawning, so i'll give her a break for a little bit. why no carbon monoxide monitors? that seems basic. they're not all that expensive. i think you can get one on amazon for 5 bucks or something. >> thanks for asking, soledad. utmost importance is to make sure that our staff and students are safe. while the law doesn't require for us to have the carbon monoxide detectors in the schools, certainly as a result of this incident it will prompt us to look into that matter which we actually started yesterday. our understanding is actually there are probably -- there are some state that is currently do have that option. and that's going to prompt us, as a result of yesterday's incident, we've already started that process. >> in the state of georgia,
5:36 am
where you are, if you're in a residents, you have to have a carbon monoxide monitor. it seems contradictory that your school, which is relatively new, built in 2005 or something, that you didn't need to have one there. that seems sort of like lack of common sense in that law. >> we certainly would respect, in terms of what the laws are on the books. and this incident provides us the opportunity to really be able to, as in any incident that is a crisis like yesterday, it allows us to have the opportunity to process afterwards. and we are very pleased with the response team yesterday, the way that the entire incident was handled. and as we have begun yesterday the process of debriefing regarding this incident, the item you mentioned certainly will help us to be able to ensure that we have the utmost safety and security for our staff and students.
5:37 am
>> the school is now being held at the nearby middle school. what kind of questions are the parents asking you where you're able to say, yes, your kids are going to be safe? >> we were assured by the authorities yesterday and even through last night, our security as well as our facilities team literally worked through the night, soledad. they worked through the night to ensure that we had a very effective plan for transition of our students to kennedy middle school this morning. and this morning that plan has worked very well in terms of our transition of our students from finch to kennedy elementary school. we will continue to work with the appropriate authorities in terms of making sure that the facility is safe before our students return. >> steve smith is the deputy superintendent of the atlanta schools. lesson learned and nobody was seriously injured. so that's good news. josephine benjamin and adrienne
5:38 am
witten joining us as well. sorry for keeping you up this morning. nice to have you with us. appreciate your time. got to take a break. i love 7-year-olds. they just do what they're going to do on tv or whatever. >> how about christmas recess they just install detectors is this. >> they're now -- they were very lucky. they dodged a bullet, so to speak. you could have had a serious, serious injury and they didn't. still ahead, legacy of whitney houston is living on. her manager and sister-in-law will join us. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain.
5:39 am
but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer.
5:40 am
visit capella university understands back from rough economic times. employees are being forced to do more with less. and the need for capable leaders is greater than ever. when you see these problems do you take a step back, or do you want to dive right in? with a degree in business from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to go further in your career than you ever thought possible. let's get started at
5:41 am
5:42 am
♪ and i will always love you >> it's been nearly ten months since the legendary singer, whitney houston, tragically pass ed away. her music lives on in the 171 million albums and single she is sold. another part of her legacy being celebrated is her image. her sister-in-law and long-time manager pat houston is releasing a new book called "whitney: tribute to an icon." pat houston joins us this morning in atlanta. nice to have you with us. thanks for joining us. this book is absolutely gorgeous. >> thank you. >> someone actually stole my copy. i have to hunt it down this morning. do you have a favorite picture of whitney houston, how you like to remember her? >> you know what? i love the still photos of whitney during the bodyguard series in the early '90s.
5:43 am
those pictures were absolutely stunning. and it was such a pivotal point in her life, get iting married, having a baby, becoming an icon. those are my favorite pictures. >> the one i love is a picture where she's clearly holding bob kristichlt na as an infant t gives you all the potential that really she struggled with down the road. there's a picture in the bathroom. let's throw that up on the screen first and then we'll talk a little bit about it. >> okay. >> that's a great picture. tell me about that picture. >> you know what? that photo was taken by randy st. nichols here in atlanta in 2010. and, actually, it was a photo shoot for her world tour. she was absolutely stunning. she was in a great mood. and, of course, it helped that the photographer was randy st. nichols. they had such a great, great relationship. and she just not only captured the moment but she captured
5:44 am
whitney was absolutely amazing. she had a lot of fun. she was like a little girl. >> there's a great picture from the 1990s, which was in new york city. really, she looks so young in that shot. >> right. >> let's show that picture, too. >> okay. >> that's one of those pictures. there's another one. one of the things i'm surprised by in this -- or stunned by, really, in this book, this collection of photos is how young she was. when she first started coming on the scene for those of us who ran out and bought all her albums in the late 1980s, to see just her youth and she's not even posing for the cameras really. she's really inexperienced. she looks almost a little awkward as she's doing what seemed to be these kind of publicity type photos. >> there were photographer that is worked with her that captured moments in her early years and then there were photographers that worked with her that captured whitney. she was such a girl when she
5:45 am
first started out. and just so full of life. and one of the most beautiful women i had ever seen in my life. she wasn't just the voice. she had such a phenomenal style about her. and all of that was just conveyed in her in the photography. and she was just so, so beautiful. and i was so privileged just to work with her and be around her. >> you're part of this new reality show now. that kind of surprised me. one, because it came so quickly after her death. i would have thought that your family would have been like, no. away from the cameras. away from the celebrity. everybody out of our business. we need a moment. instead you decided to open yourselves up to the cameras. how has that been going and why make that decision? >> regardless of whether we had done a reality show or not, the cameras would always be on us. grieving has -- there's no timetables when it comes to grieving. there are no rules. we are certainly are used to
5:46 am
reality and i'm not talking about the bobby brown reality show. we shot a pilot two years ago called power brokers that involved the family. just a continuation of being together as a family, supporting one another, standing with one another. and even if we don't do a second season and we move on, i think the cameras will always be there, just because we are whitney houston's family. >> you're whitney's former manager in addition to being her sister-in-law. do you think one day you would manage bobbi kristina? >> no. i think i just want to be auntie pat. i'll let someone else do that, just be behind her all the way. >> this book is absolutely gorgeous. i have to say whoever stole this out of my office, i would like it back because it's my christmas gift to me. thank you for being with us. >> you're welcome. >> i did not take that book.
5:47 am
i promise. >> you had you. >> we will find it. it is gorgeous. u.s. stock futures up slightly this morning. s&p 500 up 12% so far this year. where it ends depends on the fiscal cliff. i asked the ceo of fedex how companies plan ahead when washington is so dysfunctional. >> i think most of the ceos look at the situation in washington with a complete amazement and dismay to be frank about it. the problem is the ideological pinnings on both sides of this argument are so difficult to bridge that it's going to be hard for them to get a deal. >> on twitter yesterday, the president was asked by a ho homeowner whether that popular tax break for mortgage interest will die. the president tweeted breaks for middle class important for families and economy. if top rates don't go up, danger that middle class deductions get hit. and he signed the tweet b.o.
5:48 am
we mean, everybody, the president, barack obama, actually wrote that one. our money embroiled in fiscal cliff. still ahead on "starting point," what's next for hillary clinton when she leaves the administration. mayor clinton? >> probably not. >> new york city is looking for a mayor. >> maybe something with a little more beach front property the next few years before thinking about iowa. >> i don't know. you're watching "starting point." we'll take some guesses. 0 calor? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
5:49 am
when you take a closer look... the best schools in the world... see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level.
5:50 am
let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
5:51 am
point." this just in, a school bus carrying children has crashed
5:52 am
into a pole in seminole county, florida. this is from wftv who spoke to the florida highway patrol. troopers told them the children were taken off the bus. we have no other details available at this time. we are try iing to get some mor details here. we don't know the condition of the kids on the bus or what grades they were in either. this is seminole county, florida. a school bus crashes into a pole there. new york city mayor michael bloomberg wants hillary clinton to be his successor. several new york newspapers report the mayor called the secretary of state months ago and urged her to run in 2013. he is said to be convinced she would win, calling her a perfect fit as well. she reportedly told mayor bloomberg she is not interested. >> that is so bad. >> she wants a nap. >> buffalo. >> grover cleveland, i think, the last mayor to go from mayor to president. >> do you think she's going to run for president?
5:53 am
>> maybe she'll run for mayor of buffalo. >> there's a very good chance she'll run for president. >> really? >> she says she won't. says she won't. says she isn't interested. i think she'll take some time off. in a year from now she'll begin thinking about this, be very active in the mid terms one way or another. if she runs she's a very formidable candidate. i don't think she can take it for granted. >> running against the democratic primary, andrew cuomo. >> martin o'malley, governor of maryland. i agree with bob, i don't think she has any plans to run for president but there's a certain gravity from polls, ahead 16-15 in iowa and new hampshire, that will be a powerful force to resist. >> it would be kind of fun to have her as mayor of new york city. i do. female mayor would be great. why are you laughing? >> i didn't see hillary clinton as mayor of new york and fun didn't pop to my mind. >> other side of the transaction maybe. getting into a high-ranking
5:54 am
prep school, minority student from an underprivileged background it's often considered to be a ticket to a first-class education that can open up many doors but an elite private school discovers that gaining admittance is not the same thing as gaining acceptance. in our series "black in america," jason carroll. >> you're sitting in a classroom and you realize all of a sudden you really are a minority. >> reporter: revealing look at a subject few tubing openly about, race relesions in the elite world of a prep school. >> the tragedy of an undiverse place is that you don't have the full sound. just that there are pieces of the spectrum just missing. >> reporter: the experience of being admitted, yet feeling like an outcast inspired students at new york's trinity school to film a documentary called "allowed to attend." now a college freshman, she remembers her years at trinity well. >> did you feel like you
5:55 am
culturally fit in with the rest of the student there is? >> short answer is no. there are some things that are straight up racist. a lot of people on scholarship, when tuition rates were raised, there were rumors that it was all our fault. straight up races where people confused me and my friend cece, who we don't look anything alike, but we're both black. >> many of trinity's black, latin and asian students routinely feel socially isolated. the documentary explores the reason why. >> we didn't know exactly what they were going to say really but we knew that getting honest, personal stories about experiences here would be fabulous and it's what we really needed. >> trinity alum clay wardman says gaining acceptance at prep schools can be tough for any student regardless of race. trin sit one of the most
5:56 am
country's most expensive, tuition running upward of $35,000 per year. >> it's a product of socioeconomics, which means a product of race, i would say. if you look really at literally what is dividing people, i think money is most of it. >> but regardless of what the cause is, the discomfort is there. so what you need to take care of is just open dialogue. >> banton says she has fond memories of trinity and is a pride alum. she hopes dialogue of the documentary will help students be more than just "allowed to attend." >> who is black in america, the fifth in our series t will premiere this sunday december 9th at 8:00 and 11:00 pm. it focuses on colorism and racism only on cnn. [ female announcer ] the humana walmart-preferred rx plan p-d-p
5:57 am
gives you a low $18.50 monthly plan premium... and select generic hypertension drugs available for only a penny... so you can focus on what really matters. call humana at 1-800-808-4003. but they have to use special care in keeping the denture clean. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident is designed to clean dentures daily.
5:58 am
its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day.
5:59 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on