tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 28, 2010 11:00am-1:00pm EST
recalling even more vehicles. melissa long has been looking into it. m.l., we hear dealers aren't the only ones pulling toyotas off the road today. what's up with that. >> reporter: you're right. some rental car companies are now making the big decision to pull the toyotas from their fleets. that's just for now. one is the company that includes alamo, enterprise and national. the umbrella above those companies, enterprise holdings. also avis announcing it is going to temporarily remove some 20,000 toyotas from the rental lots. now, there are two recalls. keep this in mind, two recalls causing concern. they're both, however, related to acceleration. first we want to be sure you're aware of the new vehicles that were added to the earlier safety recall. they were added late yesterday. here's the list. 2008 to 2010 highlander. 2008 corolla. venza, '09 and 2010. and the matrix '09 and 2010. and the pontiac vibe. look at the styles, the vibe and the matrix, they're very similar
vehicles. this adds 1.1 million vehicles to the 4.2 million that were recalled back in november. you remember that story, we have a list of all those vehicles on our website, cnnmoney.com. okay, the problem. the gas pedal getting stuck on the edge of a removable, again, removable floor mat. so that's one recall. the other one announced last week related to accelerator pedals that could get stuck on their own. this is called sudden, unintended acceleration. something you don't want. this is affecting three of the company's biggest sellers, the camry, the corolla and the rav-4, an suv. big question, you're scared. what do you do if you suddenly could accelerate in your are vehicle? doug took a drive with an editor of popular mechanics magazine to show you. so you're driving. the car all of a sudden begins to accelerate so you take your foot off the pedal and jump on the brake with both feet or one foot? >> it doesn't matter. just press it as hard as you can with all your force and move the shift lever from drive to
neutral and then turn the car off. >> reporter: it's not smooth but as we see it definitely works. >> reporter: again, not smooth but it is working. however, tony, obviously this would be maddening and frightening for some of the people who have toyotas parked in their garages and driveways. >> what's going to happen when someone is at a stop sign or going through and the gas goes like that and they don't know to put it in neutral or they lose control and they hit some kids at a bus top. >> they cannot expect us as consumers to drive a car that they're no longer willing to sell. >> reporter: so that was paul. paul lives here in georgia. paul says he bought the camry because he always believed in the brand. the company has had a storied history. now he says he wants his money back on that car. he says that's simply the right thing for this company to do. >> wow. all right, melissa, great information there. let's take this to the dealership level. so what are dealers doing about
all of this? earl stewart with earl stewart toyota in riviera beach, florida, is taking a break. we appreciate it, earl, from all of the customer calls to talk to us. let's start this way. i've been overseas for a while, i just got word of the first recall, a second recall. i give you a call and i say, earl, what do i do? what are you telling me? >> i tell you to bring your car in, tony. the first thing we need to do is determine even though it's recalled some of are manufactured in japan and these are perfect refine. these are on the camrys. some are manufactured by cts, which is a manufacturer of all the affected mechanisms. the next thing i'd ask you to do is bring the car in so we can physically inspect your accelerator mechanism and there are symptoms before you have a stuck accelerator pedal problem. it's a sluggish depression and also sluggish coming back. we can tell very easily if there's something that might be going to happen and prevent it from happening by taking you out of the car n my case i'm giving
free loaners to my customers if we suspect there's a problem. >> that's terrific. is this a problem with newer model toyotas or older model toyotas? >> well, that's a great question because it's a wear and tear problem, tony, it's not something that's a defect from the get-go. the mechanism wears. after tens of thousands of miles, this is when the problem, the potential problem does occur. if you've got a relatively new vehicle, i saw earlier a gentleman was saying if they're afraid to sell a new car, why are they asking me to keep my car that i'm driving, the new cars actually are not a danger at all, even the ones in the recall, until they get some wear and tear on them. the reason toyota said okay, let's freeze sales and stop production is so they can do the fix, get the part that they need to install to repair the mechanism right away. if they continue to sell the cars, they'd be scattered all over. as you know with recall
campaigns, only about 70% of the people respond. they want to get all those cars fixed in the plants and in the dealerships before they go out on the road. >> have you driven the car with the problem? if so, can you describe it? >> the problem is we can't find a problem. i've sold over 10,000 of these models, i'm a large volume dealer, between 3,000 and 4,000 cars a year. we have over 10,000 on the road. we've had no customer complaint on a single sticky accelerator. we've expected hundreds of these since the recall campaign. we only found one that was on a truck yesterday, a tundra, where one technician thought he was a little sluggish, the other technician thought it was fine. i talked to dealers all over the country and i know of no dealer that has seen a vehicle that had the symptoms of the sticking accelerator. none of them have had sticky accelerator at all. >> so how worried are you that folks will become so frustrated with the situation that they won't come back to your dealership, that this recall has created really an opportunity
for american car companies -- look, if i'm tony harris ford and i'm next to you in the auto mall, i'm trying to crush you right now. are you concerned? >> absolutely i'm concerned. i think toyota has got a very strong brand image. they have the highest reputation for quality. they also are a very large manufacturer. and, you know, they're the 800-pound gorilla. we're the target, we're the big guy on the block. when the big guy stumbles, the competition jumps right on top of you. we're definitely concerned about that. general motors is doing a special promotion now, if you'll trade in a toyota. i don't blame them. you know, they're trying to go after number one and i'm hoping that the toyota brand established over many, many years is strong enough to withstand this problem. but we made a mistake, we're trying to correct it and it is a matter of concern. >> all right, that's earl stewart with earl stewart toyota in riviera beach, florida. >> north palm beach actually. >> appreciate it, earl. thanks for your time, appreciate
it. american car makers are wasting no time, as you just heard from earl, capitalizing on toyota's troubles and it could mean a deal for you. susan lisovicz will have more details coming up in a couple of minutes. you know it is all about the jobs. the president lands in tampa this hour taking his message from his state of the union address to the streets. he will direct $8 billion federal stimulus dollars toward building a network of high-speed rail corridors. the projects will connect dozens of cities across the country, including tampa and oar landa. construction will generate new jobs and economic activity over the next four years. here's what he had to say about it last night. >> from the first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete. there's no reason europe or china should have the fastest trains or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products. tomorrow i'll visit tampa, florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed
railroad funded by the recovery act. there are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation's goods, services and information. >> what are republicans saying? senator orrin hatch says the president must be, quoting here, completely stone deaf by continuing a blame it on bush, washington knows best strategy. the president's rival for the white house echoed that last night on cnn's "larry king live." >> i appreciate the president's call for bipartisanship. i appreciate his support for our efforts in iraq and afghanistan. but it seems to me he quickly lapsed into the biob, the blame it on bush routine that has grown a little tiresome. i had hoped that he had heard the message in massachusetts on health care, and that is stop,
let's start all over and let's have some real bipartisan negotiations. obviously he didn't get that message. >> all right. the president has pledged to make jobs his top focus in 2010. should lift spirits in youngstown, ohio, today. the town has an unemployment rate approaching 15%. cnn's carol costello is there. >> reporter: keep in mind youngstown is a heavily democratic city. 70% voted for obama in 2008. that's what they wanted to see last night, they wanted to see the obama of 2008. bottom line, they did and they didn't. jim's bar was packed for a wednesday night. the crowd, middle class democrats and independents, gathered here to knock a few back while they watched the president try to reach out to them. >> i have never been more hopeful about america's future than i am tonight. >> reporter: it was a good try, but. >> he's having a dream. >> reporter: his skepticism isn't surprising. youngstown, ohio, hasn't seen signs the recession is easing.
one-third of the people here live below the poverty level. >> i never suggested that change would be easy. or that i could do it alone. >> reporter: it's something people here understand, but distrust in government at all levels runs deep. even with some democrats. >> they should be embarrassed, the democrats and the republicans, they should be embarrassed what they're doing to us now. >> reporter: in an attempt to ease that kind of anger, the president offered populous proposals like tax credits for child care and a cap on student loan programs. his most popular idea here, though, using money paid back by bailed-out wall street banks to help small businesses. >> i think he means it, but can he get it done. that's the question. >> it seemed as if he was trying to put a lot of sugar on a lot of things. it just seemed like he was jumping around a lot of things and trying to appease everybody. >> reporter: still others felt the president showed the kind of resolve they heard during his run for president, especially when he called for an end to
partisanship. >> the civil war is over with. we don't need another one between the republicans and the democrats. >> god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. >> reporter: as for whether president obama managed to reach out to these middle class people and make them believe that he was on their side, well, they liked his ideas but they're skeptical. they would have preferred a concrete plan. they want jobs. tony? >> all right, carol, appreciate it. thank you. jobs, the economy, health care, the war on terror. all topics in the state of the union speech last night. did you hear what you wanted to hear from the president last night? if you would, log on to cnn.com/tony. that's our blog page and leave us are comments. we will air some of your thoughts in the next couple of hours. the taliban in afghanistan, can they be turned into allies? the world gathers to figure out what happens next in a country american troops are fighting for. jacqui jeras is tracking a very dangerous ice storm in the plains. we'll talk to jacqui in just a
couple of minutes. but first, here is the latest on the dow. the new york stock exchange, wow, what a sell-off, triple-digit sell-off. we are down 115 points. we are following these numbers. what's going on here with the markets? we'll talk to susan lisovicz about it coming up in the "cnn newsroom."
reaching out to the taliban with a $500 million pay for peace plan. that's what afghanistan's president is pitching today at an international conference in london. he wants the global community to pick up the tab. cnn is committing its vast resources to bringing you all aspects of this important story. we have several people all over and we are going to talk to paula newton in just a couple of minutes. she is attending a news conference right now at this hour but before we do all of this, let's get you a bit of the back story now from cnn's atia abawi.
>> reporter: an explosive response to an offer of reconciliation. a fierce battle raging in the heart of kabul. taliban spokesman says the attack was meant to show the world that the group cannot be bought or divided. he told cnn those who joined the ranks of the government do not represent new talibs to begin with. when they talk about moderate taliban, these types are not a part of our group, he says. it's something that the americans have made up. when they speak of dialogue, they are not talking to us. that's actually something the afghan government and international community would agree with. they say they are not negotiating with the extreme i'ves, but rather going after moderate afghans who have been forced to fight for economic reasons. >> you know, you can't go around just killing everybody who supports the taliban out of mistaken views and being misled. most of the people fighting with
the taliban are not idea lodgeally supporters of al qaeda. >> reporter: here at afghanistan's national independent peace and reconciliation commission, the spokesman tells us they have been hard at work for the last five years, even without the support of the international community. the commission has worked to reintegrate more than 9,000 former taliban fighters and insurgents. this is one of them and still supports elements of taliban ideology. adamant the americans leave. but he feels supporting the new government is for the greater good. we are still the sons of afghanistan, he says. we want to build our country in a way that is modern but also in keeping with our own heritage. when we realize that disagreeing with our government isn't for the greater good, we have to negotiate. but the situation is still fragile. monday's events in the afghan
the stimulus program is all about creating jobs, and last night in his state of the union address the president singled out a philadelphia company that manufactures energy-efficient windows. >> talk to the window manufacturer in philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the recovery act until he had to add two more work shifts
just because of the business it created. >> wait for it, wait for it, don lemon is at the stimulus desk. >> i thought you were going to do it yourself. i like this rummaging around looking for the quote. >> so don, this is a success story? >> it is a success story, tony. i'm going to talk to someone who's involved in this success story who was actually a skeptic at first. very quickly, the guy who -- the window company, let's take you to philadelphia, let's say northeast philly. let's go exactly where it is. northeast philadelphia. that's where we're going to take you. the name of this company is northeast window corporation, right. northeast window corporation. so here's -- we want to explain what happens here. so it takes a while before this money sort of trickles down from hud. i'm going to show you how. so the government has given $13.61 billion to help with housing. so then that money is given from the federal government to hud,
$13.61 billion. federal housing authority there gets $126.1 million. and then it goes down to this manufacturer, hunter roberts, who contracts out people like northeast building products corporation and then they get the money. so joining me right now is a person who was spoken about in that state of the union last night. his name is alan levin, the ceo of this company. your dad started this company back in 1975. this is all you knew. i want to ask you about how did it feel once the president, you know, mentioned you? how did you feel about that? >> we were shocked. we were absolutely shocked when we heard the president mention our company. we were given a heads up earlier in the day that it may be mentioned, but you can't get much bigger than president obama. so we were very thrilled. >> so you've been contracted out. what you're going to do is probably 2,000 windows, you're going to weatherize them for 400,000 units for the philadelphia housing authority,
right? >> yes, that is correct. >> you were a skeptic at first of this stimulus money. >> well, i was worried. you know, it seemed like the company was a little in turmoil when president obama took office. we were concerned about mortgaging our children's future. it just seemed like numbers that most people can't fathom, talking hundreds of billions of dollars. and we weren't exactly sure how it was going to work. >> last year you had 185 employees, and this year? >> we're up to 285 currently. >> that's going to be part of our total. i just want to say some personal things about after this. but not only has it helped with jobs and what have you, but there is a rebate, you called it a 30-30 program that's also helped your business. >> that's actually been probably a bigger part of the effect on our industry. >> the tax credit. >> yes. there is a 30-30 tax credit which basically is if your u value is berow .30 or your solar heat gain is below a .30, it's almost a super energy efficient window, you can get up to 30% of
the cost of the window back, up to $1500. >> so that's helped because people are calling you saying i need my windows repairs, i want them weatherized and it's a tax credit so they do it. are you happy about this again? >> we think it's phenomenal. some of our largest dealers, we have a very large dealer locally, and they market it very heavily and it really helps spur on business. >> listen, congratulations to you for having been mentioned. i just wants to thank you to you. say hello to your 15-year-old daughter, sydney, your 13-year-old son, austin, your wife, fran, who was by the way his high school sweetheart. they have known each other for 24 years and been married for 18 years. thank you so much. we appreciate you joining us. tony, look, it is good news. this is a success story. so $400,000 that goes there, 100 jobs it created. but he's doing much better, his business, because of the tax credit. so a success story. >> absolutely. thanks for bringing that to us. that's very good. don lemon for us at the stimulus desk. let's do this, let's get you
caught up on our top stories. at first he called it fitting. now mayor michael bloomberg is having doubts about 9/11 terror trials in new york. he said security could cost a billion dollars. bloomberg says it would be great if the feds could find a cheaper location. the senate is expected to vote today on ben bernanke's renomination as federal reserve chairman. democrats predict bernanke will get a second term but a sure thing looked iffy for a while last weekend. the tide of anger at wall street prompted some senators to announce they'd vote no. an ice storm is already shutting down interstates an threatening to do more damage. jacqui jeras is on the story. i promise we're going to talk to jacqui right out of the break. . it shows. it slides. it tows. it sees. it calls. and it fits. we gave it more ideas per square inch...
so here's the deal. stay indoors and off the roads. that seems to be the best advice for a lot of folks today in the southern plains. jacqui jeras, talk us through this. maybe with pictures and everything you have there at the touch wall screen. this big storm really slamming parts of the country today. >> it is. things are really going downhill fast here, so to speak, tony. in fact we just got word out of amarillo that parts of i-40 here is shut down. the eastbound lanes because there are so many traffic accidents and a semi trailer has jack-knifed in the roadway so they're having to route people off i-40 to get around it in those eastbound lanes as that ice continues to accumulate. we'll start to see snow now in the amarillo area, but you head over toward oklahoma city and we've been seeing the freezing rain, which is starting to accumulate on the surfaces now. so it wasn't too bad when we started out earlier this morning, but now that we're down around 28 degrees, we're starting to get pictures like
this. take a look at this. yeah, this is the front hood of a vehicle. our dave hennin, our senior weather producer around here, he's in oklahoma city for some meetings and so there you can see that picture from him, all the ice accumulating on the cars. he said it's really becoming very hazardous. that cold air continues to be on the move now and this is from the oklahoma mezonet which is a series of weather sensors across the state to give you a better idea of what conditions are like. you've really got to look at where those cold temperatures are. here we're looking at the freezing line and so it's almost all the way across the state. all 77 counties, by the way, in oklahoma have been declared disaster areas because of this ice storm. here are the warnings which are in place. they have upgraded the winter storm warnings now to ice storm warnings down here into the lubbock area. we're expecting a quarter of an inch to even as much as an inch of ice, especially along that i-40 and i-44 extending up towards the tulsa area. this storm is going to be on the move, by the way.
this is heading towards the east. there you can see we've got the winter storm watches, which have been posted, for places like memphis and nashville, expecting to get several inches of snow here. we're likely going to be seeing some icing here the next couple of days as well stretching all the way into the carolinas. we're watching what it will do by the weekend, by the way too, into the mid-atlantic states. we've got one other problem that we're dealing with weatherwise across the country and this is the northeastern corridor. we have a weak cold front coming in with that arctic air and it's just enough to create hazardous conditions. we've got a lot of problems on the airways as well as the roadways. over an hour and a half. you can see it at la guardia, problems at newark as well. so be real careful in the northeast, but this storm system really ramping up. we think it's going to peak tonight, tony. thousands of people could very well be without power for a couple of days. >> okay, jacqui, boy, that's a real mess. appreciate it. see you next hour. the big toyota recall could mean a better deal for you if you're car shopping right now. we've got details.
so as we told you at the top of the hour, toyota's massive recall gets bigger with each passing day it seems. now the automaker is expanding it to include another one million vehicles, delivering another painful blow to toyota's once stellar reputation. susan lisovicz is at the new york stock exchange with details. susan, i don't think we can overstate the point here, so i'll put it in the form of a question to you. how important is reputation in the car business? >> reporter: it's everything, tony. let's face it, a car is a big-ticket item. one of the biggest expenses you'll make. it's not like buying a necktie, and yours is fantastic, by the way, tony. and people don't buy toyotas
because they're sexy or they're cool. they buy them because, you know, they're reliable and they offer quality for the money that you're going to spend and because they're considered safe. also when you compare it to detroit, detroit wasn't delivering the goods for years, so it really solidified toyota's reputation. that reputation is now damaged. i don't know about you, tony, but the concept of a stuck accelerator is scary. >> absolutely. >> reporter: and, you know, so toyota right now is in full-blown crisis management. and you know over the years i've had the experience of following a lot of companies who are in crisis management. there's a classic rule. address the problem quickly, fix the problem quickly and then move on. what is moving is toyota shares that trade here. they're down 3.5%. they fell 2% yesterday. and the market, the sell-off
that we're seeing overall is accelerating. the dow, the nasdaq and the s&p 500 each down at least 1.5%. >> well, you help us keep an eye on that. that's a big sell-off. you know, it didn't take long for u.s. automakers to try to capitalize on toyota's problems. isn't that the case? >> reporter: that's right. i mean the cold, hard truth in business, tony, is that gains often come at the expense of others, and that's one of the reasons why ford was able to record its first annual profit since '05. it benefited from the bankruptcies of gm and chrysler. now detroit has the rare opportunity to lure customers away from toyota. gm is offering $1,000 and 0% financing for current toyota owners and there are reports that ford is offering $1,000 off if you trade in a toyota. it's ferocious out there in the automotive world, tony. >> it really is. susan, very quickly, what's driving this sell-off? it's not toyota, is it? >> reporter: no, no, no, no.
>> what's that about? >> reporter: there's a couple of earnings that disappointed. qualcomm, which makes chips for cell phones, its ceo seize the recovery as weak and we have more evidence of that. we had initial jobless claims. the president was talking about jobs. initial jobless claims fell from the week before, but not as much as the street expected. and also, big-ticket items known as durable goods, we saw a marginal increase. everyone was expecting a much bigger increase. it's out there, the recovery is weak and so you see in the sell-off accelerate. >> susan, appreciate it. see you next hour. you know, it's not a sure thing but it appears likely the senate will reconfirm ben bernanke as chairman of the federal reserve. the vote later this afternoon. bernanke a lightning rod for anger over those wall street bailouts. dana bash is live now from capitol hill. dana, any fireworks so far? >> reporter: you know, so far not.
we are expecting about an hour of debate before that vote takes place, and this is the first critical vote, the vote that ben bernanke will have to get over to get 60 votes. and what really has been stunning if you think about it, since this is president obama's nominee, is how hard it has been to get those 60 votes, particularly because of democratic opposition. and that democratic opposition grew exponentially last week after the massachusetts senate race and the voters there seemed to be saying that we are very, very angry, not just at washington but wall street. and a lot of these democrats are hearing populous anger back home and saying is it the best thing to vote for the guy who was in charge of the fed at a time when everything went south? maybe not. so that's why this is so tough. let me show you some of the arguments. in fact one of the main arguments against him from somebody who has been fighting his renomination and reconfirmation for a very long time and that is independent senator bernie sanders of vermont.
>> the american people want change in the the way our financial institutions run. the american people want change at the fed, and i believe the american people want a new chairman or chairwoman at the fed. now is the time to say to the american people we hear you, we are going to bring about change. we are going to deny the reappointment of ben bernanke as chairman. >> reporter: now, it looks if the democratic leadership is right, if the white house is right, that that will not happen, that the senate will not deny that second term to ben bernanke. by the way, his first term is up on sunday so they are running up against the clock. the biggest reach is what you were talking about with susan lisovicz, the stock market. the argument that the white house has been making and bernanke supporters have been making to their fellow democrats is, look, i understand that you
want to react to populous anger, but the argument they're making is the worst thing you can do right now for wall street is to vote down the fed chief. that would just send wall street and the stock market into a tailspin, which is not exactly what the economy needs right now. so that's been their biggest argument in favor of giving ben bernanke that second term. >> our senior congressional correspondent dana bash for us. appreciate it. health care reform, the president says americans want it. the republican governor of virginia says americans already have the best system. hmm. we are fact-checking. get rid of algae, and we're trying to grow it. the algae are very beautiful. they come in blue or red, golden, green. algae could be converted into biofuels... that we could someday run our cars on. in using algae to form biofuels, we're not competing with the food supply. and they absorb co2, so they help solve the greenhouse problem, as well. we're making a big commitment to finding out... just how much algae can help to meet... the fuel demands of the world.
top stories now, just one word to describe it, miserable. a big winter storm is slamming the southern plains today before it heads to the east coast. parts of oklahoma and texas could get up to 10 inches of snow. there is also freezing rain and high winds in the mix. in wichita, kansas, testimony is expected today from the man who confessed to killing a high-profile kansas abortion provider. scott roeder is accused of shooting dr. george tiller in the head. roeder has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. his lawyers are expected to seek a manslaughter conviction. getting back to president obama's state of the union address, this time focusing on health care, the president waited until halfway through his speech last night to mention the contentious issue. let's look at that and republican response. >> here's what i ask congress, though. don't walk away from reform. not now, not when we are so
close. let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the american people. >> all americans agree that we need health care system that is affordable, accessible and high quality. but most americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government. republicans in congress have offered legislation to reform health care without shifting medicaid costs to the states, without cutting medicare and without raising your taxes. >> checking the facts here. a cnn opinion poll research corps poll from earlier this month shows 54% of americans favor a health insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies. 46% oppose it. now that's a majority of americans wanting some sort of public option, so where does the debate go from here? joining me live from arlington, virginia, jean cummings, assistant managing editor for
politico.com. is that a promotion for you, jean? >> thank you. >> i have cnn deputy political director paul steinhauser. the president handled the issue of health care last night with a bit of humor. what do you think of the way the president handled that portion of the address and where does the debate go from here? >> tony, you said it right off the bat there. he waited over half an hour to even talk about health care. jobs, the economy, that was the first 25 to 30 minutes of the speech. when he finally got around to talking about health care, there weren't a lot of details in there. you play that good sound bite from the president saying we're so close, don't give up, but there weren't a lotf details of where to go from here. one of the reasons is they don't have a lot of great options since they lost the supermajority in the senate. there's a debate ongoing do they go big or stay big or do they try to go smaller and just pass a few of the more less controversial and more popular parts of health care. so it is interesting. tony, i'll say one thing, we took a poll of people who watched the speech. and americans who watched the
speech are divided on whether the president is going to get anything done on health care reform. >> really. jean, weigh in on this. how did the president handle the health care portion of the speech last night? >> well, i think that the humor was good. i think that that helps break the ice up in the room and on the issue itself. it is a difficult road ahead. i do think that the white house has persuaded most democrats that to pass nothing, to walk away from a year's worth of work will be more politically devastating than passing something. so i think something will come out of the congress, but it is very unclear and very murky about how they proceed, because the house has got the liberals and the moderates very divided right now. >> let's pivot here to national security. here is the former mayor of new york, rudy giuliani, on "american morning." >> the biggest part of the speech i was disappointed with was national security, which he mentioned for it almost seemed to me like a footnote, like an
afterthought. very little time spent on it. nothing substantive said about it. the only thing he actually said about national security is he's going to bring the troops home from iraq in august of this year, but of course he was going to close guantanamo by january of this year. >> okay. so the president's critics are saying not enough of the speech was on national security. jean, let me start with you on this one. how did he do in your view on the national security portion of the speech last night? >> well, clearly it was very brief. surprisingly so. we're used to state of the unions under the bush administration that were heavily focused on those kinds of issues. and really the president almost seemed to turn a page on both of the wars, noting the dates in which both of them are scheduled to end. so he was almost trying to turn a corner on both of them. i think, though, that as much as that might bother rudy giuliani and some others who may care a lot about foreign affairs, that is not what the average voter
wanted to talk about last night. they wanted to talk about jobs and the economy and the president put his emphasis on that. i think ultimately it was the right call. probably could have done more on national security, but it was right to emphasize domestic economic issues. >> paul, did you want to weigh in on this before i move on to the next issue here? >> good joints mr. there's from jean. he spoke about nine minutes on international events and a much smaller portion was purely on fighting terrorism. you played that sound bite from rudy giuliani, right after the speech last night the president's address, bob mcdonnell, the governor of virginia, gave the gop response and he at criticized the president for how they're handling the suspected terrorists and treating them not like military combatants so there was criticism right off the bat. but the number one thing on the minds of americans is jobs and the economy. >> jean, let me go to this. i thought this was a stunning moment last night. the president rebuking really a decision in front of the
justices. justice alito appears to at least cringe. so here is the president and this is the context for this, responding to the court's decision to allow corporations to spend money on political ads. jean, what was your reaction to that moment? >> well, it was amazing to me that -- >> did we lose jean and paul? okay, paul. what was your reaction to that moment? >> a lot of people have been talking about it. anything from last night's state of the union address, this is going to be the most talked-about event. it was interesting that the president basically called out some of the justices who voted on campaign finance. they were sitting right in front of him there. and it was also -- maybe it wasn't as big a moment as the "you lie" moment from congressman wilson from south carolina from that primetime speech last fall, but it was very interesting to see the reaction from supreme court justice alito. remember, this was a sweeping decision which opened the flood
gates to allow corporations to put as much money as they want when it comes to campaign ads. the president right off the bat wasn't happy with it and still isn't happy with it. >> paul, appreciate it. our thanks to jean cummings as well. president obama has not been shy about it. he has ripped the supreme court for its recent ruling on campaign finance law and you heard it last night in the state of the union speech. now today that unusual criticism spread to the senate floor. have a listen. >> i cannot remember a time in my 36 years here in the senate when i've come on this floor to criticize even decisions i disagree with. but this one i am. because it goes to the very core of our democracy. and it will allow major corporations who should have laws written to control their effect on america instead
he wants the global community to pick up the tab. let's get to our paula paula n international security correspondent, in london. and, paula, any news out of the news conference this hour? >> well, the news really is something that we've known for a long time. you know, tony, in this town, no one wants to say this, but this is the afghanistan exit strategy, and what they are doing, they have a military plan in place and this kind of some people are calling a bribe, some people are calling an investment, it works along the lines of a program that worked during the sunni awakening in iraq, and that's that you try to split the taliban. meaning, you pay off 50% to 80% of the low-level militants and you try and reconcile, bring to the peace table, the top elements of the taliban, but at the same time, if that doesn't work, they have that surge of soldiers in there, mostly u.s. soldiers, working in the south, and they say that it will entice the taliban to get to the table. but what's clear here, tony, is that we are moving towards an exit plan.
you know, they're already talking about the end of this year, transitioning a lot of the security for the country, province by province, to afghan national army and the afghan police. and that is what is key here. that's what this conference is all about. tony? >> okay, paula, appreciate it. paula newton for us in london. you know, it is astounding, 15 days -- 15 days in the rubble -- and a teenage girl emerges alive. we will have her story in the next hour of "cnn newsroom." tch. i couldn't believe i was actually having a heart attack. i remember being at the hospital, thinking about my wife. i should have done more to take care of myself. now i'm exercising, watching my diet, and i trust my heart to lipitor. (announcer) unlike some other cholesterol lowering medications, lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and certain kinds of heart surgeries in patients with several common risk factors or heart disease. lipitor is backed by over 17 years of research.
lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. i'll never forget what i went through. don't take your health for granted. (announcer) have a heart to heart with your doctor about your risk. and about lipitor.
so, here's what we're working on for the next hour of "cnn newsroom" -- people without jobs reacting to the president's state of the union address. find out what they're saying now. and we will bring your reaction to apple's new ipad. all you techies, you want to bash it or buy it? upbeat rock. ♪ singer: hello hello hello can anybody hear me? ♪ ♪ i know i know i know i shoulda gone to ♪ ♪ free credit report dot com! ♪ that's whp$e i shoulda gone! coulda got my knowledge on! ♪ ♪ vo: free credit score and report with enrollment in triple advantage.
♪ don: now get free delivery of walmart's $10 90-day generic prescriptions... don: ...no matter where you live. don: plus get free shipping on over 3,000 other prescriptions. don: call 1-800-2-refill for your free home delivery. save money. live better. walmart. we are talking about billions of dollars in stimulus money, pumping up projects
across america. one of those projects put you young americans to work and helps with their college costs. here's cnn all-platform journalist jim spellman. >> reporter: following the stimulus money has led us to the lincoln national forest in mexico, where members of the southwest conservation corps are beginning their day. the scc is a 12-year-old nonprofit that puts young people to work maintaining public lands in national forests and parks. they're expanding with stimulus money. here's how it works. young people ages 18 to 25 sign up of tours of two to four months. they travel around the southwest in teams of eight doing conservation projects like clearing trails and fixing up campsites. the southwest conservation corps will receive about $4.2 million in federal stimulus funds. they'll say they'll umes the money to create over 600 seasonal jobs. this theme is one of the first put to work by the stimulus money. this is genevieve, she's 25
years old and she makes about $275 a week and she earns money for tuition through americorps. >> it would be nice to be paid more, but it's more important to me to actually want to get up and go to work in the morning. i really do think that this job has helped me find kind of my calling. like, i would love to take it to the next level and help educate people about how conservation and things like that work, that way these lands will be around for years to come. >> reporter: josh bird is a field coordinator for the southwest conservation corps. he said tucker's attitude represents a big part of what the program is about. >> we're creating people who care about conservation in the future. we're creating the world's future conservation leaders. >> reporter: one of those future leaders may well be juan coralla. he grew up in a tough, arizona border town. trouble, in the form of gangs, was all around him. >> i've been arrested. i've, you know, been incarcerated before. >> reporter: he says his work
with the scc has changed him. now he hopes to have a career in the forest service. what does this job mean to you? >> this is just everything right now. just the whole new world for me when i'm here. it's just easier for me to stay put and be positive. >> reporter: when the work day is done, the crew heads back to camp. they sleep in tent and dine under the stars. there are no tvs. no internet, no boom boxes, so they make their own music. glad to have their slice of the federal stimulus. jim spellman, cnn, the national forest, new mexico. >> that is good stuff. if you've got a tip on a stimulus project in your area, would you like us to investigate, we want to hear from you. just give us a call at 1-800-cnn-news. time for your "top of the hour" reset. i'm tony harris in the "cnn newsroom." it is noon in tampa where president obama is arriving now. he will announce a new
high-speed rail network and new jobs to build it. across the country, unemployed americans watched the president's state of the union address with a keen ear. did they hear what they wanted to hear? and one techie calls it an iphone on steroids. now that apple's ipad has landed, will it take off with the public? let's do this. let's get started. president obama is in tampa right now to put federal stimulus money and americans to work. washington will spend $8 billion to build a high-speed rail network. it will connect dozens of cities around the country, including tampa and orlando. the president says construction will create jobs. and he wants more, as he indicated in last night's state of the union. >> for every success story, there are other stories of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response. that is why jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and
that's why i'm calling for a new jobs bill tonight! okay. jobless americans, and there are north of 15 million of them today, had a vested interest in the president's address last night. cnn's thelma gutierrez got their reaction. >> reporter: i'm at a pink slip party in pasadena, where all the job seekers are networking with each other. they are also talking to headhunters, hoping to find jobs, but they're really hear to hear what the president has to say about the state of the union. one of them is rosa. rosa has been unemployed for 14 months. she has a background in real estate. rosa, did you hear anything that makes you feel any more confident from the president? >> absolutely. i certainly feel more confident after hearing his speech. mainly -- >> reporter: what did he say that you liked? >> his focus on jobs, and his number one priority is getting the unemployed back into the workforce. >> reporter: all right, rosa, thank you very much. and good luck. and we're going to cross
over over here. this is ed berry. ed is an i.t. analyst. ed, you have been unemployed for a year. it's been really tough out there. did you hear what you wanted to hear from the president? >> well, yeah. i heard a lot of positive, aggressive talk, so hopefully he'll give timelines to what he wants to do. but i did hear some positive things coming from him. >> reporter: what did you hear? >> well, reinvesting in the infrastructure. cutting some of the tax breaking of the jobs that went offshore. and also he wants a jobs bill on his desk. so, meaning hopefully that will be soon, hopefully. >> reporter: so, you heard action. >> i heard action, but hopefully he'll get the support he needs to get action to be a reality. >> reporter: thank you very much. good luck to you. and now we're going to come and talk to a man who has been unemployed for two years. this is edwin, two years that's a long time. >> that's a real long time, finding a job, yes. >> reporter: what did you hear tonight? >> i heard that president obama wants to have small businesses take advantage of what the --
what they have and help with the stimulus. what i wanted to hear is not only will he help small businesses grow, but i also wanted to hear how he can help and educate small businesses as to how to grow. >> reporter: that's just a sample of what some of the job seekers here had to say about the state of the union, in a state where the unemployment rate continues to be above 12%. thelma gutierrez, cnn, pasadena, california. >> thelma, appreciate it, thank you. jobs, the economy, health care, the war on terror. about president obama tell you what you wanted to hear in the state of the union address? here's what some of you are saying from dan, i voted and volunteered for president obama, but i had hoped to hear some tougher talk with more concrete plans for jobs and the economy and a clear plan for fighting terrorism here at home. gail writes, no, we did not hear what we need to hear. we are farmers, ranchers, in the west, and little was said to address our issues. although we as producers contribute the largest positive contributions to exports in the
nation. and joe tells us, yes, i heard what i think was needed to be heard. however, watching the republicans during the speech, i do not think they got the message. congress needs to work as representatives of the people, all the people. let's do this. let's keep the conversation going. send me your thoughts, cnn.com/tony. as we said, president obama is in tampa, florida, at this hour. he's at macdill air force base where he's meeting with military crews supporting missions to haiti. next hour, a town hall-style meeting at the university of tampa where he will announce the funding for high-speed trains, we told you about that program earlier in the hour. we are waiting for the senate to vote on whether ben bernanke keeps his job. the federal reserve chairman is expected to be reappointed after some doubts about that earlier this week. he's caught a lot of flak from opponents of the wall street bailout. no fed chairman has been rejected by the senate, but today's vote could be very, very close. okay.
tracking your stimulus dollars, where it's going. that is our focus all week. right now, our allan chernoff zeros in on fraud. lots of it. >> reporter: kentucky construction magnate leonard lawson a trial this week for allegedly bribing a staptte official to win bring projects, but that didn't stop lawson family companies from winning $24 million in federal recovery act contracts. lawson companies should have been suspended for bidding for stimulus work 45 day after leonard lawson was indicted, acoring to a department of transportation rule, even though he pled not guilty. but it took the ten months to act, after the lawson firms had won the contract. >> when people see folks getting away and getting contracts, even after they've been indicted, that, to me, does not help in terms of getting rid of waste. >> reporter: auditors for the
inspector general for the department of transportation warn there is a perfect storm for contractors intent on defrauding the government, given the billions in recovery act dollars washington is doling out. cnn has learned that federal investigators already are finding evidence of bid rigging in recovery act contracts for the federal highway administration. prosecutors are examining cases where contractors appear to have been colluding with each other to win road-improvement jobs, repaving and expanding streets and highways. no criminal charges have been filed yet, but the department of transportation inspector general has 25 criminal investigations under way, a dozen of which have been referred to the department of justice for prosecution. other cases involve what the government calls disadvantaged business enterprise fraud. companies owned by minorities or women bidding for contracts, then after taking a cut, passing the work to a nonqualified contractor. inspectors general at all federal departments and agent
sis are aggressively searching for stimulus fraud, certain that corruption will affect recovery act spending. >> fraud will occur. typically we see false statements, false statement, fraud, conflict of interest, antitrust violations. >> reporter: the latest stimulus fraud scorecard ten months into the recovery act. 470 audits, 106 active investigations and 25 cases accepted for prosecutorial review. and investigators say they're only just beginning. every department is training federal, state, and municipal workers in fraud detection, anticipating that corrupt contractors view recovery act funds as a potential gold mine. >> good story. cnn's senior correspondent, allan chernoff, joining me from new york. and, allan, you found another case of federal stimulus money not going where it should. fill us in. >> exactly, the new york state controller, thomas da napoli is
rejecting a contract for painting highways. the contractor has had health and safety violations, has been blacklisted by the new york schools construction authority and has very close ties to a company that paid fines, related to that very issue we talked about. >> right. >> disadvantaged business enterprise, l & l would not comment to us. >> and the government, as you mentioned, is training employees in handling stimulus contracts. how many people have received the training so far? >> tony, the number is huge. 55,000 people -- >> wow. >> -- that's both in the private and the public sector. not all of them have been trained in detecting fraud. >> right. >> but that's how many people have thus far been trained just how to not only check out fraud, but also how to actually analyze contractors, figure out how this whole system works. the government's very serious about this. they're doing what they can to prevent fraud, but they know
it's coming. >> yeah, absolutely, allan chernoff for us in new york, good stuff. allan, thank you. >> thank you. and all week c on the president's biggest economic initiative, what happened to $787 billion? man, it keeps growing. we talked about it yesterday. the stimulus project is actually digging in to how the money is being spent, who it is helping, and who may be abusing the program. in just a couple minutes, we'll economic in with that man, josh levs. he is at the stimulus desk to find out what they're working on for this hour. and you can also find in-depth coverage on this special initiative at cnn.com/stimulusproject to find out how the program is and isn't working. as we've been showing you this week, not everyone is relying on the stimulus. we will get an update from a small business owner who is trying to clean up with fun -- fun -- soap. first, though, our "random moment" in 90 seconds. why does lubriderm work so well with skin?
all right. are you ready for our "random moment of the day"? you know, it really is an appreciation of the number one female tennis player on the planet. straight out of compton, california, usa, serena williams -- no kerry white. not this serena williams. not the player who blew a gasket just four months ago at the u.s. open and threatened to put her foot somewhere -- you know!
all right. president obama makes it clear, he is focused on helping small business as he pushes his jobs agenda. we've been following small business owners in the newsroom for months now. today let's update you on one who hoped coming clean would lead to big bucks. here's our brooke baldwin. >> it began with a goldfish in a bag. it's the most popular today. >> reporter: the story start dws a goldfish, a bag and a bright idea, to sell novelty soaps. it's an idea that this 47-year-old entrepreneur has been poring over since she started this small business in her garage six years ago. early on, dawn got a phone call that changed everything. a massive order from a major retailer. >> all of a sudden now we have
tractor trailers pulling in our neighborhood. and so that became an issue, so then we took the leap and got our first building. >> reporter: by 2008, dawn was raking in revenue of more than $1 million a year. then, the recession hit. one of her biggest clients, linen n. things went bankrupt. as a result, dawn changed the way she does business, and she's following the hard-learned lessons. lesson number one, keep your business lean and mean. dawn cut the employees who weren't making the grade and keptest most passionate people. she also chopped her salary in half. >> there was a chunk of time you weren't getting paid. >> i didn't get paid for seven -- i added it up last night, i didn't get paid for seven months. >> reporter: seven months. >> and at that time i was the sole breadwinner, so it was -- it was -- it was the hardest thing i've ever done. >> reporter: two, keep your inventory in check. >> we won't order the inventory on speculation.
we will wait until we have a purchase order in hand. >> reporter: three, maximize your selling potential on hand. four, don't ignore the smaller orders. >> the mom and pops are tried and true. and they're the backbone of your business, they keep you going through the other orders. >> so, got to love the soap. got to love it. we're going to get -- that's on soap. wow! dawn, good to see you. >> thank you. >> welcome. did you feel like the president was talking to you last night when he was talking about small businesses like yours being the engine leading us out of this recovery? >> yeah, and i listened intently to see what he had to say. some of the things i liked. some of the things i still have concerns about. >> yeah. >> but, yeah, i think those got some things that i actually appreciated hearing. >> what concerns you? >> well, it concerns me that they're taking the stimulus money and, you know, putting it into government, making more government jobs instead of in the private sector. >> what do you think about taking the idea of taking money that's been returned from the
t.a.r.p. program and making that available essentially to community banks to make that money available to small businesses? >> as long as they'll let go of it, that's great, you know? they're not -- there's not been -- not been real good about letting go of it. >> tell me about the relationship with your bank, because it's key to small businesses. >> well -- >> i'm not asking you to bash -- well, maybe i am. >> let's just say they don't answer the phone when i call. >> what is that? how do you explain that? >> well, you know, my company has taken a very big hit. i got a front-row seat to the downturn in the economy. linen & things was my largest customer and filed bankruptcy and owed me hundreds of thousands of dollars and that sent my business on a tailspin and we tried to recover from that. we had to make tough choices and regroup. i had to take on a business partner. i had to make tough choices. >> how is your business today? >> we still struggle. payroll, making payroll is still an issue. like mostbusinesses, we
struggle day to day. i got back from chicago at a trade show and i have to feel like there was a small upturn. >> really? what did you sense? >> the aisles, a lot of people and buyers there. we're all still cautious, the retailers and the manufacturers are still very chawshautious, b could sense optimism. >> what was the thing that made the difference so far in your business still being here and surviving? >> well, the day that i found on the that linen & things filed bankruptcy, i had to let 14 people go that day -- >> whoa. >> -- and we've not been able to hire them back. and also we had to go back and renegotiate our present and go back and -- we're lean and meanwhile now, so, you know, we're better able to cope with this. >> yeah, give me your website. >> okay. >> because i wanted folks to be aware where you are. >> okay. >> and finding you. >> we have clearlyfunsoap.com and shopfunsoap.com. if you want to purchase items, go to shopfunsoap.com.
>> hold it up there. >> or go to clearlyfunsoap.com and it will redirect you to here. >> what have you learned about yourself as a businesswoman? >> ooh, you find out what you're made of when you go through what i've gone through with this business. i'm a survivor as most business owners are. >> stronger for it? >> absolutely. it's not for the faint of heart so -- >> dawn, terrific, thank you. how about this? you got that, ron? take that shot! how creative is this woman? >> i thought you might like that. >> yeah, that's your boy right there, on soap. rub ba dub dub. smelling good. thank you, dawn. best of luck. >> thank you for having me. the southern plains bracing for a winter storm. chad is in the severe weather center checking that. the latest conditions. nd to my new job at the refinery in the south. i'll never forget. it used one tank of petrol and i had to refill it twice with oil. a new car today has 95% lower emissions than in 1970.
exxonmobil is working to improve cars, liners of tires, plastics which are lighter and advanced hydrogen technologies that could increase fuel efficiency by up to 80%. all right. let's get you caught up on our top stories right now at this hour. president obama taking his state of the union message on the road.
right now he is in tampa to talk about an $8 billion stimulus project involving a network of high-speed rail corridors. it will connect dozens of city around the country. mayor michael bloomberg is having doubt about 9/11 terror trials in n s is in new york. no date has been set for the trial of khalid shaikh mohammed, the man who said he masterminded the september 11th attacks. another check of your top stories in 20 minutes. let's get you to chad myers. chad, what is the latest on this dangerous storm in the southern plains and moving, i guess, to the northeast at some point? >> how good are you at counting? >> i'll try to do my best. >> this will be easy. my son can do this. >> it needs to be easy. >> count the number of planes on the way to amarillo. >> that tells you a lot. >> there should be a dozen, and nothing. nothing. snow coming down in the northeast slowing down airports a few minutes but not like the snow and the ice we're seeing
from oklahoma city back to amarillo, with ice storm warnings, winter storm warnings. it's really going to be a mixture of everything you can possibly imagine. if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes. it will change, we will get something else for you. if you don't like the snow, it will be ice. if you don't like the ice, we'll get sleet. live shot here from our affiliate kwtv, oklahoma city. i went on to google maps and you can click on traffic, at least the traffic is doing 50 to 60 miles per hour in some spots, although down to 40 across i-40 and down to 5 in amarillo. if you just noticed what's going on from oklahoma city all the way back over to amarillo, i have done for an opposite tv station to that one, i've stood right there, on weatherford and had sleet and snow and ice in my face, and i couldn't even move my muscles, my face muscles, because i was sew cold. and that's what they're getting now, rain, 28 degrees and it's freezing on contact on the surface. amarillo, you are picking up more snow. the snow will be in the northwestern parts of the state,
ice across the middle, and obviously rain as you get all the way down to dallas, texas. it's a winter storm with severe weather on one side, snow and freezing rain in the middle. lots of snow to the north. that's how amidwestern southern storm happens in an el nino year. it's classic. tornados on the south end of the storm and freezing rain and ice event with hundreds of thousands people without power. this has just started, tony. the ice crystals here, i can already show you here. this is from one of our old interns, sent it in to us from lubbock, a quarter inch on the ground right now, another inch of ice is expected, and that tree is already down. if you had a power line right through here, your power would be out and the trees two have to get cut down and the power company would have to come out and put it back together. that's what will happen tonight. a lot of people will be without power. plan on it tonight. if you are there, plan on being without power and how you're going to deal with it. >> well said, chad, thank you,
folks are having way too much fun with this idea of my face on soap. stop the e-mails. stop the madness, please. the economy is priority one. we heard it over and over again during the president's state of the union address. our personal finance editor, gerri willis, is in new york. gerri, good to see you. if you would, break it down for us. >> sure. sure. i like that soap. well, let's -- let's talk about
what's going on here with small business. and we should say at the top here, why small business, why give small business so much help? because they create jobs. here are the proposals the president put on the table. he proposes using, get this, tony, $30 billion paid back by wall street bailouts to help community -- community banks give credits to small businesses. that means loans. new tax breaks for business that hire. they could do this by cutting payroll taxes. typically a business spends 7.65 per of wages paid to an employ we to payroll taxes and they would try to. ka it somewhecap it somewhere. $705,000. and there would be limits on how long the person would be unemployed. eliminating capital gains on small business investments. this is a big deal because if you invest in a small business, you always worry about how much tax you'll have to pay when you cash it out, sell it. also tax breaks as we said for job creation. so, lots of ideas out there really to get jobs going.
jobs are a major theme. the president talked about improving infrastructure, building clean nuclear power plants. he talked about giving rebates to homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient, so we could see more benefits coming that way, tony? >> the cost of college also a major theme for the president last night, what's on the table? >> earlier we talked about the middle class task force, right? and it showed up in the state of the union address as well. the president talked about capping student loan payments to 10% of discretionary income. so, think about that. let's say you just got your degree. you're out in the job market. you can't find a job that pays you very well. you're worried about repaying that college debt. well, guess what? you get some help from the federal government. this builds upon the existing incomes-based repayment program. it would also forgive debt after ten years and 20 years if you are in public service. he also talked about increasing the fund to pell grants, this is financial aid that goes to lower-income students and giving families a $10,000 tax credit
for 4 years of college. so, there was lots and lots of stuff for regular people. when it comes to housing, the president said his administration would step up refinancing in their housing program, but as we've been reporting, this program is having a lot of trouble getting traction. it's not been doing very well, so it will be interesting to see if they can really get that moving. and, of course, we'll bring you all the very latest. don't forget to tune in to "your bottom line" this weekend, we'll have more on the state of the union and the state of your wallet. plus, credit card reforming is coming, and coming soon, everything you need to know before it happens. tony? >> that is terrific. all right, "your bottom line," saturday 9:30 a.m. eastern on cnn. gerri, appreciate it. >> can you send me some of that soap? >> please cease e-mails. people are just -- ooh! >> i like it. what's wrong with that? there's nothing wrong with it. >> have a great weekend, gerri, thanks. >> you, too. do you drive a toyota? 1 well, what should you do now?
okay. as always at this time every day, we like to direct your attention to the terrific work being done by our money team at cnnmoney.com. i didn't pull up the -- the lead story. what is that, joe can? you see it? oh, the stocks selling off? yeah, we've got a big stock selloff right now. do you know what, let's get to the big board here. look at this. this is a -- this is a significant selloff. we're down 153 points. and susan lisovicz, we hustled susan up, thank you for making yourself available to us, susan. what is going on here today? >> well, you know, we're just in this period of time when you get a lot of information. >> yeah. >> and some of the information is unsettling, you know. we're in a recovery period.
but it doesn't come smoothly, and sometimes, you know, we take a step backwards. so, what's out there today? well, you've got everything from a weaker-than-expected decline in initial jobless claims. >> yeah. >> all about jobs. >> absolutely. >> big-ticket items, which is so insightful in to manufacturing and how that decimated sector is doing. >> uh-huh. >> we saw marginal improvement there when a lot of economists were expecting much better. you're seeing the nasdaq in particular take it on the chin today. we're -- we're in the thick of earnings season, tony. >> right. >> and so qualcomm, a company that is a huge maker of chips used in cell phones, talked about a weak recovery ahead. and so qualcomm shares right now are down 14%. apple shares, interestingly, you know, apple, all of the anticipation and hoopla about this big event yesterday? steve jobs was calling it magical, well, apple shares are down 4%. sure, this stock has more than
doubled in the past year. >> right. >> but, you know -- you know, now that folks have had a chance to look at this thing, well, it doesn't have a camera, and it has low battery life. >> yeah. >> and short battery life and, you know, they're picking it apart and saying it won't be magical. there's this doubt. ben bernanke -- >> right, right, right. >> -- there's some concern about that. so, there's just a lot out there. and we're coming off a week where we really got hit in the marketplace. >> no question. >> so, there's -- you're sensitive to -- to jitters and the market is really displaying that. >> look at that. >> bigtime right now. >> are we going to hang on to the t10,000 level? if we fell below 10,000, it would be horrific. >> i'm wearing green right now, tony harris, but the market is seeing red. it was a big moment and a key moment in his state of the union address. president obama's assertion about how many americans are working because of the $862 billion stimulus package. our josh levs is at the stimulus
desk. with the fact check. and, boy, josh, hard numbers from a politician are grist for us. >> and, you know, tony, what i love to do. you know that i love to hear these numbers and pop them with the cold, hard facts. the problem is this whole concept of how many jobs are created or saved by the stimulus is, like, this giant amorphous blob. i'm supposed to take a tape measure to it. because you have to imagine what might possibly have happened if that particular stimulus never happened in the first place. >> right. >> but what you i can do is show you what the president said and show you what it might be based on and some figures out there. so, let's start off with the president's assertion last night -- >> because of the stretches we took, there are about 2 million americans working right now, who would otherwise be unemployed. >> 2 million working right now who might otherwise be unemployed he said. let's open up this screen. i want you to take a look at this. this is from the president's when white house council of economic advisers. they did do one examination and they said between 1.5 and 2
million jobs have been created or saved by the stimulus. that's one figure out there. just to show you how all over the place the numbers are, this is the congressional budget office which we talk about all the time. the government trusts this, somewhere between 800,000 and 2.4 million they believe have been created or saved by the stimulus. pick any number in there and the cbo basically agrees with you. not only that but the council of economic advisors points to a bunch of other studies. this is 1.25 million, 1 million, 1.6 million, how do you decide which one it is? ultimately you have to accept that we'll never know for sure. >> yeah. >> how many can be credited to what was done. and the hypothetical what would have happened had we not done this. and there's another wrinkle, every time we talk about jobs, i want to emphasize, when we talk about jobs, it doesn't necessarily mean a permanent job, where you go to work, you have a job, and you get benefits. sometimes it's temporary work,
we have video here, work on construction sites and other types of temporary work that are being done, and in some cases you could be funded by some of the stimulus plans. i will tell you that the white house is saying that they have a formula for sort of combining together some part-time or temporary jobs, and they're not counting every single one in their jobs total. but the truth is, we ultimately don't know a whole number, tony. >> yeah. >> this right here, cnn's stimulus desk where we're doing a lot of these calculations. looking in to how your stimulus funds are being used in so very, very many ways including all these binders. if you haven't seen them yet, 57,000 projects, tony, funded by the stimulus, and we're taking a look at. >> that's good stuff, josh. thank you, sir. >> you got it. it just keeps getting worse for toyota. the world's largest automaker is recalling 1.1 million vehicles because of sticking gas pedals and bad floor mats. our deb rra feyerick has a stor
for you. >> reporter: it comes with a warning. >> hit the brake. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: the technical term is sudden acceleration. but the latest problem involves a new twist. the gas pedal gets stuck even after the driver lifts their foot. larry webster, and editor of "popular mechani" it and i don't think they know and that's why they've stopped prowkeducti. >> reporter: are we talking about a major part change? >> it runs of the gamut. sometimes it's replacing a part or adding a part or sometimes it's just sort of adjusting a part. >> reporter: the recall affects eight models including toyota's three most popular in the u.s., the camry, corolla, and rave 4 suv. it may be a faulty gas pedal assembly, a claim the pedal manufacturer disputes. >> i don't know why they stopped production, usually you use two suppliers if you have a problem
with one, the other one can take up the slack. >> reporter: dealers don't know how to fix the problem yet, but it if it happens to you. you're driving, the car begins to accelerate, you take your foot off the pedal and jump on the brake with one foot or one? >> it doesn't matter. press the brake as hard as you can with all the force. and move the shift lever from drive to neutral and turn the car off. >> reporter: it's not smooth, but as we see, it definitely works. so, as long as the driver knows how to stop the car, in the event the accelerator doesn't return, you should be okay. >> yeah. i think we need to come up with a song or something, hit the brake, shift to neutral. hit the brake, shift to neutral. >> reporter: the hit to toyota's reputation cannot be underestimated. the latest recall brings the affected vehicles towm s up to million and it's not clear when toyota will resume production of its most popular model.
all right. top stories right now for you. just hours after his state of the union address, president obama takes his message on the road. right now he is in tampa, florida, where he has been meeting with military crew members helping with the aid mission to haiti. next hour he is at a town hall-style meeting to announce funding for high-speed trains. in wichita, kansas, we are hearing from the man who has confessed to killing a high-profile kansas abortion provider. scott roeder has pleaded guilty to killing the doctor. and american automaker with something to smile about. how about the ford story right now?
going on today. talking about apple's ipad. cnn's stephanie elam has the unveiling. >> we would like to show it to you today for the first time. and we call it the ipad. >> reporter: with his customary flair, apple ceo, steve jobs, unveiled his company's newest creation, a multimedia tablet he says will change the way we read newspapers, magazines, and books. >> it is the best browsing experience you ever had. it's phenomenal to see a whole web page right in front of you, you can manipulate with your fingers. >> reporter: publishers hard hit by plunging ad revenue, weak newsstands sales and a consumer accustomed to reading online, they hope it will be a winner. jobs didn't mention about selling the content online for the ipad, but publishers hope
one day they'll be able to make decent money over the internet. >> if enough people buy the device, get used to paying for the content and taking notice of the advertising and marketing messages that surround the conteco conte content, it representing an exciting revenue stream for newspaper publishers. >> reporter: at an e-publishing conference in net work, experts were aghast, the advice is making content so distinctive that people will gladly pay. >> it takes the magazine and newspaper from a very flat, kind of very antique mod toll a web point 3.0 model and i think that's really what has publishers excited. there will be video embedded. there will be audio embedded and social networking tools embedded. it will be a whole another immersive experience.
>> reporter:. books let customers download books like itunes and it represents something to amazon's
kindle. >> if there are multiple intermediaries, it's a much more balanced playing field and you have apple coming in and two or three months from now you will have google coming in, so you will have three big companies, all of whom have a lot of traffic for publishers to reach their customers through. >> have all your books. >> reporter: the ipad does raise questions for publishers. will they agree to apple's cut of the profit? will apple share information on who is reading what? and will enough people buy the ipad to make it a transformative device? for now, though, the ipad offers publishers something they haven't had in a long time, a ray of hope. stephanie elam, cnn, new york. okay. so, the internet is all atwitter about this ipad tablet commuter thing, but is it the kind of attention apple wants. melissa long joins me with that story. m.l., what are people saying? >> there's the saying that any pr is good pr. that was the case here.
steve jobs unveiled the calling it a truly magical thing. many have been mocking the moniker. first perspective from someone in the industry. >> thetablet space is kind of a tough place to be. it's not quite a phone or a laptop. your phone these days does a lot. this device has to be really good in the middle of these two things and justify people spending money on it. >> and spending a bit of change. forking over a minl number of $499 for the 16 gigabyte version, let's highlight the critiques we've been getting from some of our cnn i-reporters. this is an i-reporter, gary berman, out of atlanta. he's calling it an oversized iphone with a lot of features. >> only major disappointment that i have is that it does not include a camera or a front-facing webcam or camera to
do live, streaming or webcam or video chat. that's the one thing that i can see that it's missing. >> all right. i mentioned the moniker. an i-reporter, is taking issue with the name "ipad." >> as soon as the name hit the twitter world, the jokes ran abundantly. i had admit, some were very funny, but for steve jobs, i don't think he consulted any of his female co-workers to make a determination is this the kind of name you actually want on your latest, greatest project from apple. >> a lot of people are talking about it. >> ouch. >> adriana there highlighting how the blogs, tony, were flooded just after apple announced the name of its slender tablet computer. >> yeah. >> it is a name inspiring many to think of
hygiene products than slick, new technology. check out this website, where were the women on apple's
branding team? it goes on to say are there no women, again, not a single person that say, hey, it sounds like a menstrual product? maybe you want to weigh in, on our tech site, people are having conversations about ipad, the name itself, could be an i-thfl were can find it on the tech pages. the ipod had a quirky name, and now it's part of our standard vocabulary. >> it's part of the lexicon. i'm not weighing in on the whole ipad. >> you're staying away from the story? >> take a look. m.l., appreciate it. thank you. the struggle continues in haiti, but we are still finding a few stories of survival. ♪ and earlier this morning, kurt franklin and his singers shared a song of love for haiti with kyra phillips.
you can help the aid effort by downloading your own version from itunes or amazon.com. ♪ ♪ eggland's best eggs. the best in nutrition... just got better. even better nutrition -- high in vitamins d, e, and b12. a good source of vitamin a and b2. plus omega 3's. and, 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs. but there's one important ingredient that hasn't changed: better taste. better taste. better taste. yum! [ female announcer ] eggland's best. better taste -- and now even better nutrition -- make the better egg.
was pulled from the rubble of her home in haiti yesterday. she was buried alive for more than two weeks. our gary tuchman has her amazing story. >> wait. >> reporter: a teenage girl, trapped for 15 days in the rubble of her house. and successfully pulled out. that's what her rescuers are telling us. it appears to be an amazing story of survival. a french rescue team is brought to the site by neighborhood residents, who say they heard a voice in the rubble. she was too weak to say her name. but neighbors say her name is darlene ettienne. the rescuers told us based on her condition, they believe she'd been trapped in her house near the university campus since the january quake. the rescue team said it took 45 minutes to pull her out of the opening. but they say she was in the small crevice behind my feet. that's where the bathroom of the house was. that's where there was plenty of water. the rescue team says she was not crushed, but she was entombed and could barely move.
>> translator: it's an indescribable feeling. it's a reward for all the haitians that believed anything was possible. >> reporter: dehydrated and with low blood pressure, the girl was whisked to a temporary hospital. through crowds of neighbors who had assumed she was dead. the rescuers jubilant about their success. they transported her to a french rescue ship, her condition stabilized. more than half a month after she was trapped alone for more than a month. gary tuchman, port-au-prince, haiti. we've been hearing a lot lately from independent voters. don't get me started on independent voters. you can read what they're saying on my blog, cnn/tony. but what do they think about the president's speech last night? you will hear that right after this.
president obama getting mixed reviews from independents, following last night's state of the union address. our casey wian gets reaction. >> reporter: a gathering of independent voters in a los angeles suburb. royce is a stand-up comedian who is disappointed with his former candidate. you worked for president obama's campaign. you voted for him. anything you hear tonight regret
the decision? >> not so much regret the decision. i think most independent voters feel disenfranchised after the last year, some of his decision, his decision to hand over his presidency to his own party. >> reporter: nancy voted for john mccain, yet likes what she heard from president obama. >> i think the best part is when he would use the veto, if needed. i think that means he'll stand up to his party if needed. >> reporter: also small bills owner who has had to lay someone off recently, he talked about jobs. he talked about incentives for small business. did you hear enough? >> i did like that part as well. i hope they can implement it. i -- i hope the money's there. >> reporter: phillip geiger protested against the vietnam war in the late 1960s, then grew disillusioned with party politics. did you see him attempt to bridge the gap thononight? do you think he accomplished that? >> i think he did, you know, in being open to the republicans, you know, the fact they sat on their hands and didn't applaud, you know, for the most part, i
liked his little spontaneous thing of, wow, i thought i'd get an applause line out of that. and it was all really stiff and wooden. you know, i think he's making the effort, but it takes two to tango. >> reporter: similar sientiment from michael reel, who voted for ronald reagan and barack obama. >> i think the president tackled some of the blunders or mistakes the administration made in their first year in office. i like the way that he not necessarily chastised, but he made the democrats understand that it's going to take two parties. >> reporter: eric fullkerrson applauds the president's focus on alternative energy and more. >> i was surprised. he really came out and almost proclaimed his independence and to a large degree, certainly towards the end there. i felt that way. so, i was impressed. of course, the big question, as some of our people here in this group have raised, is can he