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tv   Starting Point  CNN  February 24, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

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that one, he says he's now sorry. she shouldn't ha said it. he shouldn't have said it but he still thinks it. that's kind of a half-hearted apology, if you ask me. we'll talk about that as well this morning. "starting point" begins right now. doesn't that take you right back to "16 candles." >> our music on this show was back to the '80. >> "breakfast club." >> yeah, this is danny figuro and it's his pig. it's all staff today. although we have been collecting from the audience as well. the staff gets to pick. let me introduce you to our panelists. editor of thompson reuters digital. she's back. >> political scientist, professor at columbia university. nice to have you as well. will cain, columnist for
4:01 am happy friday let's get to our "starting point." protests happening right now in afghanistan, protesting the decision of some nato trops to burn korans. hundreds of people to surround the embassy. five people have been hurt. nick paton walsh is live for news kabul. what's the latest? >> well, what we're hearing is that the west of the country, hurat, one of the main city there's. u.s. consulate in kabul, the u.s. consulate out there have a very angry crowd outside. hundreds of people, i had actually from an eyewitness could hear the sirens, the panic from that particular area. we understand that to the hospital in hurat, one dead body has been brought fr presumably from this protest. one injured and one lost their life. they are apparently close to the u.s. consulate, setting fire to police cars, clashes now
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breaking out police police and proteste protesters. in kabul, we have heard of shots being fired in the air to try and move the crowd that we're heading toward the presidential palace here. reports of policeman and injured civilians. other protests across the country, more peaceful and smaller in nature but really this is now the fourth day of violent protests. against this mistaken burning of korans on a u.s. military base here in afghanistan. frankly, there's not much more america can do to apologize since president barack obama had an ambassador here to hand deliver an apology. hope that afghan authorities and afghan religious leaders could try and slow this protest down. not happening so far. >> thank you, nick. appreciate that update. let's take a look back at how this started. it began on tuesday when afghan workers found the burn korans in a trash pit that's used by coalition troops. roughly 2,000 afghans started
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protesting outside bagram. by wednesday, u.s. diplomats across the country were on lockdown. five people killed in the demonstrations then. then yesterday a man wearing an afghan army uniform believed to be connected to the protests killed two american troops. the afghan president hamid karzai med with the parliament and started talking about investigation and president obama apologized to hamid karzai saying, quote, the error was inadverte inadvertent. i assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible. a chaplain at guantanamo bay. at gitmo he advised them on the detainee religious practices. the president has now really all this has gone into an apology, but as you heard nick paton walsh saying, it doesn't seem to be slowing down the protests, you sense this is going to escalate with thousands of people in the streets. >> i would think that probably
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more and more people are going to protest because it's a very, very sensitive issue. no doubt it was a huge blunder culturally. and one of the things i point to is that this has been a pattern in this conflict. both in afghanistan and in iraq with culture sensitive mistakes being made, whether it's the burning of the koran just recently, whether it's the urinating on dead bodies last night by marines or the desecration of the koran in gitmo in 2003. >> let me ask you about the presidential apology, does that carry any weight at all? enamong the populous but certainly to the government official, many who say they want an investigation and really don't sound like they're backing down or receive that apology. >> yeah. i don't know what effect that apology is going to have. i do think it was a good step for the president to admit, hey, there was a mistake made. i think that's a sign of good leadersh leadership.
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but i did hear the general, general allan, said that all the coalition troops will get some culturally sensitive training. >> isn't that kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has run out, to some degree. as you pointed out, there have been past incidents. what kind of sensitivity training do people get, especially in the heart of a place where it's really, really critical. >> for one, i think it's appalling that ten years into this conflict the soldiers didn't already have had this type of training. but the type of training they should have really, they should have an overall basis of islamic culture, the muslim people. but more importantly, instill those moral and ethical values not to do these type of things because ultimately not only undermines the mission but it jeopardizes american lives like we saw those two american soldiers' lives taken. >> james, you mentioned that you see this now as part of a larger pattern. what is that pattern evidencing to you?
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>> good question. what is that? maybe a leadership failure. leadership failure within the ranks of the u.s. military to ensure that our troops overall really are instilled with these moral and ethical values. >> you feel certain that we're not looking at a series of mistakes? >> yeah, i mean, no doubt these are mistakes and these things are things that shouldn't happen. on the other hand, the violent protests, no justification for that as well. however, the demonstrations, the protests, the verbal and staunch condemnation of what happened, i mean, that's -- that's no different -- that should be no different than what americans do every day in our country, protesting and expressing our right to free speech. >> what is the rule? how is somebody taught about how to handle the koran? >> i don't think that is taught in general. >> at all? >> as far as i know, i don't know. when i was in agaguantanamo i
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helped policy within the prison cell blocks which took into account culture sensitive handling of the koran and actually working with muslims who were assigned to the joint task force in guantanamo to help, you know, crush some of the demonstrations and riot protests within the prison when the desecration was going on. >> let me play a little bit of what newt gingrich said and then we'll get to your question. here it is. >> president obama surrendered twice today. and i think it deserves to be brought to the country's attention. there seems to be nothing that radical islamists can do to get barack obama's attention in a negative way and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the united states, period. >> so i was going to ask for some cultural sensitivity training for us. i imagine americans would be pretty horrified, say, if we
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discovered that in the saudi embassy bibles were being burnt. does -- >> do you believe that 2000 people would rush to the streets in the united states and kill people? >> saudi arabia is not occupying the united states. soing it's a slightly -- it's a very different situation. but i just offered that as an example of, you know, maybe how people might be starting to think about it in afghanistan. what i wanted to ask was, how do you think this feels? what message does this send if you're a person in afghanistan? what, you know, what are they taking away from this? i'm sure it's a mistake, right? i totally accept that's what happened. >> no evidence that it was not. >> i don't think it was meant to be a hostile act but how does it read to a person in afghanistan? >> i think the growing numbers that we're seeing in the protests that keep getting larger and larger over the last couple of days and even until today is an indication that the
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people really there now are really fed up with having the troops there in their country. i think it's a sign that the people are saying we've had enough of american troops here, you know, there are some views here in the united states where people want all the troops to come home immediately. so i think that's playing into it, as well. but it's an excuse to say, hey, here's another mistake made, when are you going home? >> you're the author of "for god and country." thanks for being with us. appreciate your insight on that. got to get to other headlines this morning. christine has that for us. >> good morning. >> good morning. while you were sleeping, gas prices aren't. according to aaa, gas average is $3.65, up 3 1/2 cents from yesterday. gas prices have never been this hyatt this time of year. the forecasts keep rising. with the syrian army continuing to shell the city of
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homs, world powers are meeting in tunisia. what is being called a friends of syria conference. secretary of state clinton is there. just a couple of hours ago former u.n. secretary general kofi annan announced he will serve as a joint u.n. arab league envoy to syria. the u.s., europe, and arab nations are drafting a warning to syrian president bashar al-assad to agree to an immediate cease-fire so food and medical supplies can get in and wounded and dead can come out. judge in alabama tossing out the days of the so-called hon honeymoon killer. he was charged with killing his wife on their money hoon while diving off of australia's great barrier reef. wats watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter in australia and spent 18 months in jail there. the case came back to the u.s. since he was accused of plotting this on u.s. soil but a judge judge ruled yesterday prosecutors did not have enough evidence of a crime to send this case to a jury.
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maryland is on its way to approving same-sex marriage. the state senate passed a bill to legalize gay marriage last night. maryland's governor pledged to sign the bill into law. if that happens maryland will become the eighths u.s. state, plus the district of columbia, to approve same-sex marriage. seven states and several catholic groups are suing the federal government over its new contraception mandate. the lawsuit says that policy constitutes religious rights to freedom. for religious institutions that must provide contraception coverage to women employed by those institutions. white house officials have given no comment on the pending litigation. minding your business this morning, stock futures for the dow, nasdaq, s&p 500 all trading up this morning. dow future is up 30 points. positive economic data in the labor market here in the u.s. is getting the credit. maybe he just needed a cook cookie. indiana lawmaker who called the girl scouts a radical organization, girl scouts, a
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radical organization that promotes abortion and homosexuality, he is now apologizing for the tone of what he said. state representative bob morris said he was sorry for his emotional reactionary and inflammatory words. soledad? >> but he meant them. but then he went on to say, but i meant them. >> you know, i have a lot of girl scout badges and none of them are for any of the things he's so concerned about. >> communism. >> no badges on my sash for those. >> i'm glad. i feel better about that. christine, thank you. still ahead, we're going to tell you about a gop congressman apologizing after making a comment about killing a couple of democrats to get them to pass a budget. also this morning, told you about gas prices going up again while you were sleeping. president obama says don't expect a quick fix. and republicans are on the attack on that. plus, our "get real" this morning. a brawl at the mall and it's all about the sneaks. plus, we continue our staff
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i love it when it comes up with justin timberlake. what song is this? >> "carry out." >> this is mercedes, this is her choice this morning. i like that. thank you. she says, "carry out." let's talk gas as we told you just a few minutes ago, gas prices are going up, up, up, and the national average is $3.65 per gallon. the highest ever for this time of year. much higher than that in some areas. was it orlando who had $6? >> yeah. maybe at the airport. >> $6 a gallon. >> $4.93 a gallon in los angeles. the surge in gas prices is
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triggered by gas in iran. president obama stressing the all of the above approach on this. listen. >> right now we are experiencing just another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future. just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country. this time it's happening even earlier. >> i represent $2.50. he represents $9 or $10 a gallon gas. ask, which of those are going to be happier? >> rhetorical question, what would i be happier with? $2.50 a gallon? >> logical to me. >> or $9 or $10 a gallon, i don't know, christine. >> if the president wakes up in the morning and decides what the gas is going top. you blame the president or the speculator or whatever the story line happens to be when gas prices are rising. >> obviously iran is part of it.
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>> we have a complicated world oil market. emerging markets are gobbling up energy. they're using much more of it than, you know -- in fact, our demand is down for oil. our demand for gasoline in the united states is actually down. but you have all of these other factors. we're not the only game in town anymore. you also have probably $10 per barrel of gas -- per barrel of oil is speculators. people putting in bets. we think oil is going to be higher. that drives oil higher. >> the president was harsh on republicans saying that they were sort of cheering for the bad news because, of course, all of these stories turn into political stories in a political year. do you think that's true? >> i think that in a political year there are two things that are for sure in my life that is my mother loves me and everything about the price of gas is political. you know? and people try to ply every economic member for their own advantage. that's just the way it works. you know? i think the longer term discussion about how we're going
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to get our energy, use our energy, these are all valid discussions. in the very near term, to say that there's one reason why gas is so high, one thing to blame is too simplistic. >> at the end of the day it's one of those indices, right, that you're like, people feel that. you feel it when you fill up your car. you feel bad about it and that's going to translate directly into how you're going to peel when you vote. >> i don't think republicans are cheering high gas prices but certainly realize the political value of high gas prices. that being said, it doesn't make it legal intellectual honest. you can walk over to saudi arabia and hold hands with king abdullah and we've done that. the world is producing gas as fast as it can. global demand is skyrocketing. there is a critique in the obama administration. we shouldn't be investing in whatever we don't know is the tomorrow the industry of the future. shouldn't be shutting down the keystone pipeline but what your
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gas price is you just can't put on president obama. >> if you pass the keystone pipeline gas prices would still be $3.65 today. one thing dangerous for him and administration is the payroll tax holiday, two tanks of gas has just taken away your payroll tax. >> $4 a month was the selling pitch on that? >> the keystone pipeline is the political achilles heel. i agree with christine's analogies. i think this is 90% iran, is the cause of the price spike. but if you are a republican politician i think you can legitimately say there is no good reason to block keystone and in the medium term that is a way to increase america's energy security. >> sort of is the gas and long-term issues. >> i think that's one that can predict it. >> no hammering on. >> oil in congress, for the record. >> all you can do is fill up today and not just tomorrow. >> if americans don't speculate,
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everybody else still will. >> that's true. governors going to the white house today brainstorming on how to create jobs. maryland's governor is going to be there. and get real, going wild over glow in the dark nikes. and actually it's an all out brawl. you know what, maybe people will riot in the streets over things at times. >> if they burn shoes. >> courtney davis is our tech manager and this is the choice. [ jane ] how did i get here? with determination. courage. and all the points i earned with my citi thankyou card.
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so, heather, is this mika? heather is our researchers. this is mika. "relax, take it easy." >> disco? >> kind of. heather is way too young to have experienced the disco era at all. >> you say that like it's a foreign word. >> i had something in my throat. >> great message for friday morning. >> i love it. i'm learning a lot about the staffers and a lot about music today because i haven't heard any of these songs before. let's talk about "get real." brawls have been breaking out over this new sneaker being released. this particular one is a mall in orlando. they're a new nike basketball sneaker called the nike foam posit galaxy. it costs, guess how much? >> $200. >> $220. close. they glow in the dark, as well. they kind of look like a jellyfish sort of thing. yes, that costs $220.
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there's someone apparently even on craigslist where you see them as high as $2400 for a pair of some of those, offering to trade in their car. '96 chevy cavalier. i'm sure it's a fine car. anyway, it's not the first time that people like lose their minds over trying to get a pair of sneakers. the release of the new retroair jordans last christmas. nationwide mayhem. people used pepper spray at cops and then, of course, if you've ever been to the bridezilla event also known as feilene's basement, yes, this is not even a once in a lifetime occurrence when people smack each other trying to get a wedding gown. >> you have done this story or in line? >> both. i tried to get a wedding gown. it's a horrible experience if you're not really prepared for it. and i also covered it as a reporter. craziness. $2400. >> $2400 for a shoe. >> $220 you can fill up your car with a tank of gas.
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>> still ahead this morning at "starting point," we're going to talk to the former senator russ feingold. he's got a new book out called "while america sleeps." he's also president obama's campaign co-chair but he's bashing the president over super pacs. we'll talk to him about that. plus, maryland's governor is a state maryland is a state that has lower unemployment than the national average pep talk to him about his secret in creating jobs. and then we're going to talk to chazz palminteri walking down the red carpet. he's done it. nominated for an oscar and changed his life. he's going to join us to talk about the oscars. really, is being nominated as good as winning? everybody is like, just to be nominated is enough. it's an honor. it just to be nominate and, you know, i don't believe that. michelle murta is a line producer. she's going -- who is this? okay, go, "white-knuckles." [ horn honks ]
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♪ i feel compelled to say this is an all-staff pick day. this is not off my ipod. i kind of like that. that's bruce williams, line producer. and john sebastien with "welcome back cott kotte are." having heard about that in 30 years. >> i love it. >> this is america and everyone is allowed to love what they love. >> christine has a look at that. >> i haven't heard that since i only have three channels on my tv. >> exactly my point. federal authorities this morning may be launching their own investigation into jerry sandusky. penn state officials say u.s. attorney subpoenaed the school for information on sandusky and
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his second mile children's charity. a source says authorities may be investigating accusations that sandusky took one of his alleged victims across state lines. a sex tape involving john edwards and his former mistress re ry el hunter is headed to the swreder. hunter won back a tape in a lawsuit that she filed against former edwards' aid andrew young and his wife. hunter lived with them, that couple, when she's pregnant with john edwards' child. she was ordered to destroy the tape within 30 days. oklahoma congressman john sullivan is apologizing for his poor choice of words at a recent town hall meeting. sullivan who is a republican was answering a question about fellow congressman paul ryan's budget plan and what it would take to get it passed. when these words came out. >> i believe in that, i support it, the paul ryan budget. send it over to the senate. now, i live with some senators. i yell at them all the time.
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i grabbed one the other day and shook them. i would love to get them to vote for it. boy, i would love that. you know other than me going over there with a gun and holding it to their head and maybe killing a couple of them, i don't think they're going to listen unless they get beat. >> congressman sullivan's office says despite the rhetoric he doesn't condone violence to fix what's broken in washington. check your flights this morning. a winter blast hitting the windy city in the upper midwest. the third big snowstorm of the season. they're expecting seven to nine inches when this is all said and done. it's still snowing right now, folks. o'hare international has canceled more than 350 flights so far. of course, it's o'hare, that means the effects of this will be felt across the u.s. meteorologists rob marciano following this extreme weather. he's got an update for us. good morning, rob. >> good morning. big storm extending into the northeast as well. delays at the new york airports also. on top of the canceled dplfligh from yesterday, you've got to a. ground stop in midway.
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in laguardia, an hour delays. big storm stretching into the northeast. we've getting heavy snow across the up state new york and northern new england. that will change the way. chicago and it's really starting to pile up. the good news is it's been relatively warm there. the bigger roadways, the interstates for the most part are on the west side if nine inches before it's all said and done. extends up towards the northeast. the i-95 corridor should remain snow free with this event approximately it will be on the mild side but also bring with it a significant amount of winds. potentially across the area. that does include parts of new york and philadelphia later on today as the storm edges off towards the east and a threat for severe weather down across the south. powerful storm system effecting millions of people. christine, back to you. time for your a.m. house call now. breaking up is harder to dothan telling your boss i quit. a new study out of the university of illinois says people regret decisions they make about love far more than they regret decisions they make
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about work. researchers say decisions of love like ending a marriage or a relationship are much tougher to overcome than just quitting your job or even dropping out of college. soledad? >> yeah, i believe that. that's not a surprise to me. >> yeah. >> would have, could have -- a job, you're like, i'm done. i'm out. not here, of course, but just generally speaking. christine, thank you. wisconsin senator russ feingold served for 18 years and the only one to vote against the patriot act after 9/11. let's show you some pictures on the floor of the senate one month after the attacks. listen. >> we must redouble our vigilance to ensure our security and to prevent further acts of terror but we must also redouble our vigilance to preserve our values and the basic rights that make us who we are. >> he's got a new book called "while america sleeps," a wake-up call for the post- 9/11 era. he joins our panelists. i want to talk about your
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departure from the senate. you have said that after you cast your vote on health care you knew it was over. tell me a little bit about that. >> i wasn't certain, but, you know, i could tell that people in this state were thinking the economy is bad, the democrats are in charge of everything at the federal level and state level and even though i certainly think democrats were the ones responsible for this it seemed to be the end of the bush administration, antiincumbent fever. the health care bill people said things about it that were completely false even before it was written. people had a bad impression about it. i thought it was time after swent years to get people health care. i think that was it. >> are you mad about it? >> not at all. i got to be a united states senator for 18 years and now i got to write a book yt while america sleeps" first time in my life to talk about something that's been worrying me for ten years? >> what's that? >> after 9/11, we better pay attention to the rest of the world. there are all of these clues out there about al qaeda that we didn't really tag into. well, you know, we started off
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pretty well with afghanistan and sort of getting that right in the first place and the invasion of it was sort of done in a sensible way. then we got into iraq. we got diverted into this invasion of countries idea. we stopped thinking about al qaeda for what it really is. organization of 60 countries around the world. very serious threats of al qaeda right now throughout parts of africa and places like el shabab in somalia and northern africa, there are chapters. i think in nigeria a goup is pulling off all kinds of attacks. we've seen this movie before but we're not alert to it. all we do is talk about other legitimate things, economy, iran. we have to learn to walk and chew gum at the same time and we as people have to become better informed about the rest of the world. we need to learn languages and so on. i think together after ten years kind of going back to sleep with the rest of the world. >> why did you vote against the patriot act? >> because i read it. when i read it -- when i read it
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afound out there was all this stuff in there shoved in there by people from the fbi and others who could never get those things through before. the late bob novak said it was an old wish list of the fbi, took bob's phrase. he and i didn't agree on a lot of things. going after people's library records who had absolutely no connection to terrorism. being able to go into people's houses when they're on vacation and being able to go in there in situations that they never even used it for terrorism for a long time. it was kind of a manipulation of fear and it's never been picksed. >> seems like the tenor has been changed and you write about that in chapter two "growing climate of fear in the capitol." you're talking about meeting a columnist who comes into your office and you say, hi, i'm russ feingold. and looking arizona aloof as possible, unsmiling george will said, no, he said, smilingly, well, it's devil himself.
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you said, well, why don't you meet the devil's chief of staff. it seems to me 9/11 is this moment in time in which we start seeing a certain hostility and maybe greater partisanship in washington, d.c. where people who used to at least essential socialize. you were there. >> after 9/11 it was very good until we got into the iraq situation. that's where things really polarized it. and headed down a road with the tea party wanting us to not talk about social issues or for roei policy. it's just the way we are. including myself. we have this tendency to think, oh, thank god, bosama bin laden is gone. we're done. we're not done. the dumbest thing in the world is we get surprised again. we need to pay attention. >> super pac question, can we move to a super pac question? you know i hate to interrupt will. i don't want to run out of time. you are the obama campaign finance co-chair, right? >> yeah, i'm the devil himself into super pacs. >> you are, indeed. >> kind of sort of, yeah,
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actually. i think that's fair to say. and yet you've also fought very hard against super pacs. >> i'm completely against them. >> how does that -- wow. that sounds completely hypocritical, sir, and kind of morally hard to walk that fine line. >> it's no fun when you spent a good part of your life trying to change a system. i absolutely think it's wrong for anyone, whether it's romney or gingrich or santorum or the president to be involved with super pacs. i think it will be overturned, the decision that allows them. and i think it's actually a mistake for the president, even though i support him and i co-chair of his campaign. i think it hurts him politically to go down that road. he's in good shape. he doesn't need to be involved in this kind of money. but i will say this -- why stay on as the campaign coach? >> because i agree with him on almost everything else. i think he's done a wonderful job in international policy, he's gotten bin laden, a daffy is gone, health care legislation, the economy is getting better. you know, grown-ups disagree on some things and you can still support each other. i really hope he changes his
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mind on this but i think he's a good president. i think president obama will end up become aggregate president and i think he's our only chance to get justices to overturn citizens -- i think it makes a lot of sense. >> senator, why do you reject the justifications we've heard from the president and his team about super pacs? their argument is, yes, we think that this is wrong, but we can't unilaterally disarm them. >> the only way to win the election is money, which is a trap and it's not, almost every one of my elections i was out spent and still won. that's not the only way to win. when you show people you're more like them, you're not just about big huge checks from hidden sources that is a powerful political weapon. our president has the chance to renew people's understanding. he's far more like that than the republican candidates who are attending their own super pac events. >> the book is called "while america sleeps." thanks for coming in. still ahead this morning on "starting point," governors
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going to the white house today talking jobs, jobs s, jobs. maryland's governor is there as well and we'll talk to him. from our staff play list. todd pults, senior producer. oh, god, he's listening to miley cyrus. this is "party in the usa." it changes everything i think about todd. [ wind howling ]
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there are signs of improvement in the economy. jobless claims, lowest level since the early days of the recession. and today president obama is going to meet with democratic governors to talk about job creation. the maryland governor is going to be at this meeting. he's the chair of the democratic governors association. he joins us live. nice to see you, sir. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> you look at your state's unemployment rate. 6.7% in december. that's just almost two points lower than the national average back in october it was
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significantly lower than the national average at the time. so what do you want to hear from the president and what are you doing right? >> well, i think the president is doing a lot of things right and democratic governors, in order to create jobs and expand opportunity, how are we doing that? by investing notice education of our people and our workforce, by accelerating, you know, things like newer, more fuel-efficient cars. in our state, soledad, only thanks to the president, we were able to join forces with gm and now they're going to increase hiring from 200 people to 400 people, making the next generation of the electric drive cars. this is innovation. this is new ideas. and this is what a new economy needs in order to create jobs. and that is new investments. and a t. talents of our people and new products. >> your state as a $1.1 billion budget gap. you have proposed capping income tax deductions. there are some who are calling your proposal, this is a quote, socialistic and have said,
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listen, the way you reduce -- the way you grow your economy is your reduce the tax burden. you don't add to the tax burden. do they have a point there? >> well, you know, the way you create jobs is by making a modern investment in a modern economy requires. but, yes, in this current year's budget, in a state that has a aaa bond rating, our state is cutting $800 million. once again, we've cut $7.5 billion. but there comes a point when you also have to make investments. just like our parents and our grandparents made investments in their days. you know, bridges don't repair themselves. they don't get stronger and broader with age. they're not like trees. so, yes, you get what you pay for. and if we want jobs to expand, if we want more opportunity for ourselves and for our kids, then we have to be willing to believe enough in our country's future and our state's future to make these investments. and most people find that a slight capping of deductions is
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not such an outrageous proposal in a state that has been able to build up for four years in a row the best public schools in america, a state that's gone four years in a row without a penny's increase in college tuition, a state that actually has a rate of job creation that's better than most of the other states in our country. so, hey, you get what you pay for. >> let me ask you a question about really, i think, the tone in the country, specifically maybe the gop primary contest has really been about social issues and, of course, last night the maryland senate voted to legalize same-sex marriage and you said you're going sign that bill into law. do you think social issues is hurting the gop or will hurt the gop in the national election or do you think that this is something that's going to help the gop? if you look at how santorum's surge, if you call it, that start talking about social issues heavily, he started doing very well. >> talking about divisive cultural issues within their primary process mayhem them within their primary. but it doesn't help the vast
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majority of the people of our country, soledad. what they want to hear about is jobs. how many times did rick santorum mention jobs in the debate the other night? zippo, zero, nada, not once did he mention the word jobs and yet that's what the vast majority of people who are making a decision about the country's future in the fall want to hear. in maryland, in states that are governed by democratic governors, we're focused on jobs. the president's focused on jobs. yes, from time to time, we have to confront issues that are potentially divisive or culturally divisive. but, look, we don't spend a whole lot of time figuring out ways to outlaw contraception, outlaw gay relationships, outlaw women's rights. we're about jobs and opportunity and protecting people's rights for all. >> last week there was lots of conversation about, i think, contraception and a lot of that came right out of the president's office. governor -- >> it wasn't about outlawing it. >> appreciate your time this morning. thank you. >> thank you, soledad. still ahead on "starting
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point," taking sex ed out of schools unless it's abstinence only. there's a state trying to do that, creating an uproar. and the countdown to the oscars. oscar winner chazz palminteri is going to join us. that's straight ahead. ♪
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thank you, ashleigh banfield. that's the gypsy king. this is like a walk down my junior high school, high school, college life. all right. everybody knows it is the 84th academy awards going to air on sunday night. many nominated of course, but only a handful win. often people will say it's an honor to be nominated. we have actor chazz palminteri. best supporting nomination. here's a clip.
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>> sylvia phoned to say she's pregnant. it'll be a great finish. >> oh, god. that's so great. >> no, don't speak. don't speak. >> that's chazz palminteri on his big night now back in 1995. there you go. looking nice at the oscars. it's nice to have you with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> here's what i want to clarify. every time someone's nominated. it's just an honor to be nominated. if i win, if i don't win, is that true? did you just really, really, really want to win? >> to be honest with you, no, soledad. if you win, it will be great. to be there. maybe the second time, yes. i think the second time you feel that way, you really want to win. the first time you're so happy to be there. you know, it's a dream as a young actor. you're holding a hair brush when you're a kid talking about how you're going to --
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>> i want to thank the academy. i want to thank the academy. i want to thank the academy. >> all of a sudden you're really there. i agree the first time. the second time, i agree with you. you want to win the second time. >> tell me a little bit about when you got your nomination. what was going -- do you write out a speech? is it, i'm going to wing it? how did you plan? >> i wing it. i'm good on winging it. if i write it out, it comes out a little stilted. i knew what i really wanted to say. i had parents that really believed in me and my wife. my wife really -- >> you're delivering it right now. >> i'm delivering it right now. exactly. >> nowadays though it seems like the actors, i want to thank my stylist, i wa nt to thank george guy/ar man any for the suit. >> you can't be crying and hysterical. >> how surprised are you? we have odds makers who publish who will win. when you're sitting in that seat waiting for that announcement to come up, do you have an expectation of whether or not
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you're going to win? >> yes. i was pretty sure that mario landeau was going to win. >> it's always tough. forrest gump. quiz show, myself. anybody could have won and it would have been okay. >> do you watch the show? do you have oscar parties at your house? >> yeah. i watch the show. i go or i watch the show. i've been there three times. >> okay. >> a while ago. >> he's like, or i just go, soledad. >> or i go, yes. yes. >> handicap the race before we run out of time. who do you think will be the big winner on sunday night. >> i think the descendents, i love george clooney. he was terrific in that. they did an incredible job for hugo for best picture. those are the two that i really see. jessica shartane in "the help"
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was great. >> we'll be watching on sunday. i love the guy who calls him marty. we call him martin. yes, that's correct. >> i do want to mention that i am going to be in caesar's -- excuse me, at the mirage hotel doing my broadway show. >> they're bringing it to the stage. >> no, it was first on the stage, then it just came -- >> movie and back to -- >> movie, now i'm bringing it back to the stage at the mirage march 12th through the 20th. >> thank you for joining us this morning. i appreciate it. still ahead this morning on "starting point." mayhem. four people killed this morning alone. newt gingrich is now slamming president obama for apologizing for that. we'll talk about that ahead this morning. mitt romney's corporate tax plan versus president obama's plan. which helps keep business in this country, jack and susie welch will join us. tim tebow had a date with this little girl. so cute. and he made her dream come true. you're watching "starting point."
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--mcaptions by vitac -- new glu ewww.vitac.comart. good morning. welcome back, everybody. our "starting point" is the backlash over the koran burning. new protests and more people have been killed. plus obama versus romney. it is the battle of the tax plans. we'll take a look at what you might pay and how the united states plans to pay for them. jack welch and suzy will join us. tim pawlenty dropped out of the race and endorsed mitt romney. he says romney is a likeable guy who he expects will hold on to his home state of michigan. we'll talk to the former governor straight ahead. "starting point" begins right now. ♪ move on up toward your destination ♪ oh, little curtis mayfield this morning. move on up. that's michelle's choice.
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thank you, michelle. appreciate that. let's get right back to our panel. krista freed land, will cain. we want to start with the breaking news coming to us from afghanistan this morning. new eruptions of rage there. a local official says four more people have been killed this morning in protests over what was a mistake, the burning of a koran at the largest u.s. air base there. two american soldiers were killed yesterday. newt gingrich has been blasting president obama for apologizing to the afghan president hamid karzai. he said this. >> president obama surrendered twice today, and i think it deserves to be brought to the country's attention. i haven't seen the president demand that the government of afghanistan apologize for the killing of two young americans. >> one of those protest days happening very close to the u.s. consulate. we are continuing to follow this story very closely. james eu, a former chaplain is going to come and join us to
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talk about some of the implications of what is happening in afghanistan today. first we're talking duelling tax plans. obama versus romney. obama's tax plan looks like this. he wants to lower the tax rate from 35% to 28%. set a minimum tax on overseas profits. small businesses will be able to write off up to a million dollars in investments and it would create new tax subsidies for manufacturers. romney's plan also out this week also would cut the corporate rate. it would cut it from 35% to 25%. a slight difference there. and there is a lot on the individual taxes. a 20% cut to all income tax rates, repeal the estate and alternative minimum tax, and he says he would pay for it through spending cuts of approximately $500 billion. jack welch is the former ceo and the founder of the jack welch institute.
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suzy welch also joins us. they are contributors for righters. let's walk slowly through tax plans because sometimes i think talking about tax plans on television is really, really hard and really, really confusing. but let's say you're a ceo and you hear the obama plan and you hear the mitt romney plan where essentially it sounds fairly close dropping from 35% to 25%. in one case 35% to 28 percent perfection. what's the real difference in those plans? >> look, soledad, they're both directionally correct. we've got to get the corporate tax rate more competitive on a global scale. these are moves in the right direction. i don't want to get in the weeds as to which particular one is better than the other. they're both directionally correct. >> but when i look at the corporate tax rates around the world, we have a little graphic of this, i'll throw it up. >> we say united states is at 35%, france is at 34%, belgium at 33%, spain at 30%, japan at 30%, mexico at 30%.
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it sounds like we're kind of competitive, right? >> well, i think we would be a lot better off if we get ourselves to a terry to recall tax like can at that and other places. >> there was lots of uproar about ge's tax bill. the company, ge they're talking about, reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the u.s. its american tax bill, none. ge claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. so i think it's hard for people who are not, you know, tax attorneys to understand how a major company can make $5.1 billion here in the united states and then get a really large tax benefit at the end of the day. can you explain that? >> well, probably not well enough, but i can tell you this. i retired ten years ago but from
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what i know general electric's tax bill was impacted dramatically by the heavy losses it took in the financial sector in 2008 and two now nine and that carried over to 2010 tax bill. >> so let's talk a little bit about this article that you've written in reuters. it was surprising because when i saw the headline, they're writing about jeremy lin. huh? suzy, you're not writing about sports really. you're sort of writing about the metaphor of sports in the board room possibly. can you explain what the article is about? >> the righters column every other week is about linking events in the nugs to management or business lessons. and a few days ago jack started muttering about jeremy lin being a fantastic business lesson. i was excited about jeremy lin like everyone else. i said, what are you talking about? he got very excited about saying, look, this is all about liberating your bench because every company has 20s and 30 something people who are real
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stars who are sitting there on the bench being told, you know, wait your turn. you haven't been seasoned enough. and these people fester and then what happens is they lose -- corporations lose them. this is why so many of the great companies in america right now, like the apples, googles, face books are started by people who didn't want to be in corporations being told to wait their turn. jeremy lin reminds all of us, people who are managers and leaders, liberate the people. give them a bigger dhans than they're ready for and maybe they'll surprise you. >> here's a little bit from the column. when you manage to put aside all hooting and hollering aside about jeremy lin, really bad puns as well, his nation gripping story just so happens to offer an important lesson for business leaders. give your bench a chance. i can see business leaders everywhere saying, i'm not going to put somebody who's been cut and about to be cut, you know, to play in the big game because,
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you know, we're talking about all this money that's riding on this individual. do you think realistically that's going to be advice that any business leader's going to take? >> absolutely. soledad, the idea really is you've got a lot of high potential young people in your organization, late 20s, early 30s people who are being prepared to go through all the steps, not unlike your career at nbc, through all the steps. >> jack was my boss. my boss's boss's boss's boss's boss. >> when you go through all these steps you get frustrated and you jump ship and you go to cnn, you go wherever you go, and people do these things. and the idea is give people who show that spark, who have got those smarts, give them a chance early. there's no down side. if they win, you win big. if they don't, they can move on somewhere else. the idea of keeping them with a
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lid on them through all these bureaucratic steps with bosses saying, well, i didn't move that fast. i didn't get that break twhifs 29. break that mold and you'll have a more exciting company, a more energized team, and you're liable to get three jeremy lins out of that to run different businesses in your company. >> jack wemp and suzy welch, nice to see you. if you want to work me into your next column, call my people. we can work it out. always great to have you. thanks for talking to us this morning. appreciate it. >> soledad, if you want you can join them in the column lineup. >> that's right. >> you can be a reuters columnist. >> i can make that ham. reuters is my kingdom. thanks to them. let's get to other headlines. christ tas han that. >> good morning, soledad. watching your money another day. another spike in gas prices. aaa says the national average for a gallon of regular gas is now $3.65. that's up 3.5 cents from just yesterday. it's the highest gas has ever been for this time of year.
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prices are much higher in some parts of the country. nearly $5 a gallon, for instance, in los angeles. in the markets, u.s. stock futures for the dow, nasdaq and s&p 500 all pointing to a higher open today. dow futures are up 20 points now. markets getting a boost from positive economic data and the labor market here in the u.s. yesterday. media bill mier putting his money where his mouth is big time. during a concert maher announced he was doe natding $1 million to president obama taes super pac. the show was streamed live on yahoo. he tweeted thank you everybody who's hit me up after the show. a great san jose audience. obama donation was a surprise to yahoo, too, fyi. the utah house has passed a bill banning schools from teaching about contraception in the sex ed classes. this bill would also allow schools to drop sex ed programs
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altogether. teachers would be allowed to answer questions that students though bring up to them about birth control. tim tebow makes a young fan's dream come true. the nfl star invited 9-year-old presley collins as his date to the cartoon network's hall of game awards in los angeles. presley suffers from a tumor disorder called neurofibromice sis 1. tebow sent presley home with several souvenirs including an autographed football. >> to presley, number 15, tim tebow. god bless. go broncos. >> she says tebow is a thousand times nicer than she thought he would be. although he's nice. >> yeah. >> a thousand times nicer. >> that's really, really, really nice, isn't it? how sweet. nice for her. thank you. still ahead this morning on "starting point," despite some controversial comments recently, gop women are warming up to rick santorum. we'll talk about some change in the numbers for him among women.
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tim pawlenty weighs in on the race that he left and why he thinks mitt romney's going to be there at the bitter end. plus, help wanted at nasa. won't get you to mars but you'll get to eat like you're there, which sounds and looks a little unappealing. and our staff play list, it's mercedes once again. she's playing alicia bridges "i love the night life." this is a walk through my young adulthood. i love it. ♪ one chance to hunt down the right insurance at the right price. the "name your price" tool, only from progressive. ready, aim, save!
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welcome back, everybody. new poll numbers show a tightening race between mitt romney and rick santorum. arizona and michigan hold their primaries on tuesday, and some analysts are calling the primary in michigan a do or die state for mitt romney. now they seem to say that all the time. the latest poll by the american research group shows mitt romney trailing rick santorum there just slightly, 38% to 34%.
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within the margin of error so statistically it is a tie. former republican governor tim pawlenty joins us live here. it's nice to have you. we've moved to a different set so we can grab an early interview with you. back in your state of minnesota mitt romney came in third. that was looking tight. he ended up not doing particularly well in your state. as we look at michigan it's very, very tight. how do you predict he'll do? >> in michigan mitt has the momentum. he was trailing a week ago. now most polls have it tied or perhaps mitt with a little bit of lead. in politics momentum matters and that's a reflection of some things. rick santorum didn't get a lot of scrutiny as a second or third tier candidate. now as he's in the first tier we get to see his record on labor, spending, tax issues and what republicans are responding to saying maybe he's not as conservative as he said he is. they're coming back to or staying with mitt romney. >> i use the words do or die. i feel like i've said that a lot
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about almost every single state. you could look at michigan and say maybe it is more true in the state of michigan because, of course, mitt romney's father was a governor. it's considered to be a home state by him and he was leading by something like 14 points just several months ago. >> well, if we've learned anything in this republican nomination for president, soledad, it's that no state is do or die for anybody. it keeps changing and going on. mitt obviously has been the one constant in this race. he's been at or near the top of the heap for the whole thing. is michigan important for all the reasons you suggested? of course. is it do or die for a candidate like mitt romney? no. i thinkally do well. >> stephanie scutter, when we chatted with her, i think she was talking about sort of the lack of a front-runner and why she thought there was a lack of a front-runner. of course, she's helping trying to get president obama re-elected. here's what she said. >> a couple of things. one, there is no front-runner in the republican race. i think that's pretty clear. it was pretty clear on that stage last night. there was a contest to see who could move further to the right on issues like immigration or
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taxes or earmarks and they went at each other on a number of different things. you know, for instance, on earmarks. every one of them on that stage has taken an earmark. >> let's talk about some of these issues. she's talking about moving further to the right on immigration. we certainly heard more from mitt romney about immi dwrags. is that going to be a challenging stance? let's say he does get the nomination. let's say now he's heading into the general election. is he going to have to back away from some of the things he's been saying about immigration? >> no, i don't think so. he's been consistently strong about enforcing our immigration laws, making sure we have a way to verify whether somebody's here legally or not. he's been for immigration but he wants it to be legal immigration. most americans agree with that. the other thing is the hispanic and latino community is not a monolith, depending on how long people have been in the country, even the hispanic and latino community has different views. this idea if you're for enforcing our laws against illegal immigration, that
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somehow you annoy the hispanic votes. >> >> my full name is maria, de soledad o'brien. >> can you say that three times? >> probably not. i agree with you completely on the monolithic thing. when it comes from hostility from the gop, you heard from marco rubio, the senator, saying guys we have to think about the tone because we'll lose latino voters. >> of course. do you know who did best in florida of all the republican candidates and did historically remarkably well amongst hispanic voters? mitt romney. and so his views on immigration are, look, we want to be in favor, we want it to be legal, reasonable, orderly, if you have a chance to have a discussion with most americans with that issue, they agree with his position. >> president obama has a new ad that is running, and i want to play a little bit. we'll talk on the other side. >> made in america. for generations of michigan auto workers, it's more than a slogan, it's a way of life. but when a million jobs were on
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the line, every republican candidate turned their back, even said, let detroit go bankrupt. not him. >> don't bet against the american auto industry. >> no surprise that's an ad that's running in the state of michigan as we head into the primary there. how much do you think that an ad like that could hurt your candidate, mitt romney? >> the polls are showing mitt romney's position on the auto situation doesn't hurt him. in fact, it's a positive thing for him. what he said is, look, there's a system in place for failing companies. it's bankruptcy. he wanted it to be a managed bankruptcy. he would not have allowed the companies to fail, but he wanted them to go through the normal process rather than a special deal. >> the normal process. most analysts said the normal process would have been impossible at a time when credit was tightening, that there was no way to do that, that that's why the government did step in. >> ironically barack obama had the companies go through bankruptcy anyhow, soledad. the only difference is he gave them money beforehand and gave some special parting gifts to his crony friends, namely the uaw and unions as part of the
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process that most other employees and most other companies don't get. the objection here isn't whether they had to go through bankruptcy or not. even under obama's plan they did. what president obama did is give them his supporters and special groups special favors. that's not what mitt wanted to do. he wanted them to go through the normal process, play by the rules everybody else had to play by and that would have worked. in fact, i'm confident it would have worked. >> it's going to hurt him? >> no, the polls show it doesn't hurt. in the republican primary they had polling out showing that mitt romney's position wasn't hurting him in michigan. >> what if he loses in the state of michigan? what happens? are we having this conversation six months from now who's going to be the front-runner? >> you don't get coronated. you have to go out and earn every vote. mitt understands that. he's doing that. i believe he's going to win michigan. even if for some reason he didn't, his campaign doesn't end. it's going to go on. he is the person who's the front-runner, the most constant performer and person who has the best record in this race on taxes and spending. he's done it.
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just vote for stuff or give speeches as an executive outside of washington he's actually done it. michigan is really important. i believe he's going to win. i think you'll see that. it's not dispositive. >> we'll talk about it after the state of michigan. nice to have you, thank you very much. going to take a break. back in just a moment. and our communities... america's beverage companies have created a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more low- & no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories, america's beverage companies are delivering.
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i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson. couple quick headlines this morning. new york knicks tar jeremy lin has filed to trademark the term linsanity. it would give him exclusive rights to put the signature term on a variety of products, including clothing, coffee mugs, action figures, you name it. if you're willing to spend the next four months eating nothing but space food, four months
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nothing but space food, nasa is looking for you. the space agency is looking for six people to spend four months in hawaii wearing space suits and eating nothing but astronaut food. it's a simulated trip to mars to find out how to improve the bland food that astronauts get right now. you have until february 29th to apply. round trip air ticket, soledad. five grand, i think, but you have to have a science or math degree, b.a. >> hawaii? $5,000? >> in a space suit. >> bland food. >> lose weight. it's a spa. the nasa spa. >> get a massage at the end. could all work out. christine, thank you. this is the story of a doctor who makes his house calls by boat bringing health care to the world's most remote areas and it's all free. take a look at this week's cnn hero. >> my name is dr. benjamin lebrot. i don't have a private medical
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practice. i make no salary. >> ben, do you want to take her. this is ingrid. >> i started an organization called floating doctors to use a ship to bring health care to communities that have fallen through the cracks, been denied access to health care. floating doctors has a 76 foot, 100 ton ship that we refurbished and we use that to transport all of our supplies. since we set sail about 2.5 years ago our mission has been continuous. we were two months in haiti, we traveled to hondouras. we've been working in panama for the last eight months. in the last two years we've treated nearly 13,000 people in three countries. i'll find patients who have never seen a doctor before in their lives. >> that was about as good a result in that ultrasound as we could possibly hope. >> typical community is living with no electricity, no running water, no sewage. living with none of the basic
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requirements as we understand it. we've built schools. we've done community projects. we've provided health education for thousands of patients. floating doctors is an all volunteer organization. nobody gets paid. all of our medical supplies are donated. i had to postpone many aspects of my own personal life. i don't have a home somewhere. i had to give up a lot, but i gained everything. still ahead this morning on "starting point," mitt romney laying out his economic plan today. he's hoping to seal the deal in his home state next week. ron brownstein will join us live from detroit where mitt romney will be unveiling that plan. also, she wrote seven heary potter books. i have read them all. now there's going to be a new book from j.k.rowling. this one is not for kids. this is for adults. harper blin, models, flash dancers. dancers. ♪ [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
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♪ i kind of like that. that's reese. i like that. we're having a very boppy sort of morning. wow. all right. i like it. christine, headlines. >> the music. all right. let's turn to syria. the syrian army shelling the city of homs still. world powers meeting in two nearby yeah. what's being called, soledad, the friends of syria conference. secretary of state clinton is there. just a couple of hours ago former u.n. secretary general kofi annan said he will serve as joint u.n. arab league envoy to
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syria. the u.s., europe, and arab nations are all drafting a warning to syrian president bashar al-assad to agree to an immediate cease fire so that food and medical supplies can get in and the wounded and dead can come out. federal authorities may be launching their own investigation into jerry san dus kick. penn state authorities said u.s. authorities subpoenaed the school. a source says authorities may be investigating accusations that sandusky took one of his alleged victims across state lines. 35,000 jobs on the chopping block at the u.s. postal service. the postal service announcing it will either consolidate or close down more than 200 of its mail processing plants. the agency says the move will save $2.1 billion and affected employees will begin to be notified this week. job cuts and transfers all starting this summer. author j.k. rowling of harry potter fame is writing a book for adults. details about the new book
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expected later this year. a fellow british author who happens to be rowling's neighbor tweeted his suspicion. he wrote, wouldn't it be funny if her first novel for adults turned out to be a crime story set in edinboro. my world, yes? new poll showing rick santorum gaining more support from republican women. critics said some of his views on abortion, birth control, women in combat would hurt him at the polls but the new washington post a.b.c. news survey shows that 50% of gop women now have a favorable opinion of santorum. that's a 13 point pickup since last month. he's now within striking distance of mitt romney who was at 61%. soledad. >> christine, thank you very much. mitt romney of course is hoping to build some momentum ahead of tuesday's kroougsal primary. he will give a major economic speech that will include a tax plan with changes like this, lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.
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retaining the 15% top rate on capital gains and repealing the estate and alternative minimum tax. he's going to pay through for it all through spending cuts. let's get to ron brownstein. he's the editorial director of the national journal. he's in detroit. he'll cover that speech. good morning to you. walk me through some of these numbers. it could be a tough crowd for him in detroit, don't you think? >> yeah. well, he's going to the detroit economic club, which is where candidates go to make big economic statements. he has the back drop about his opposition to the auto intervention bailout, rescue, whatever you want to call it. there was a poll out last week, 63% of michigan voters said they supported the deal and the auto companies have clearly turned around. that's the back drop. the specific proposal, what you're going to hear, is probably less spending, less regulation, and above all less taxes the key to reviving the economy. there will be questions of course about how he pays for it.
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>> he said something very interesting on wednesday. let's play a little chunk of it talking about sort of the wealthy and what they could face. listen. >> for a high income folks, we're going to cut back on that so that we make sure that the top 1% keeps paying the current share they're paying or more. >> so when conservatives hear, maybe will, we'll bring you into that conversation, pay what they're paying or more, is this going to be problematic for him, that little chunk that he delivered on wednesday? >> well, you know, first of all, the key proposal here, i don't know if it got into your chart, is he is proposing a 20% reduction across the board in marginal tax rates. so people at the very top who now pay 35% on the last dollar they earn, that would go down to 28%. of course, the contrast is even sharper because president obama would allow the bush tax cuts to expire, which mean under his plan the top earners would pay 39.6%. there is a big difference there. now what romney says is that he would offset at least part of that cost for the top earners by rolling back their ability to
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take deductions for things like state and local taxes, charitable deductions, charitable contribution, mortgage interest and so forth. the problem is the math that has been done, the quick back of the envelope math is you cannot completely offset the loss of revenue from reducing rates that much by rolling back those deductions unless -- so he is in essence going to be proposing a -- probably a significant tax cut in the end on people at the top, especially compared to obama who wants them to contribute more going forward. >> the truth is this, i'd be curious to see ron's feedback, apparently after seeing economic plans from santorum, gingrich, romney, paul, obama, i think we can safely say that no one, maybe outside of ron paul, is truly concerned about deficits. no one is truly concerned about balancing this budget. >> yeah. look, there's something to that. certainly president obama's budget envisions large deficits as far as the eye can see. and one thing, soledad, to keep in mind when romney talks about paying for this with spending reductions, well, he already needs those spending reductions
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to meet his goals of reducing the deficit. so if this is a net revenue cost and it's hard to see how it wouldn't be with a 20% reduction in marginal tax rates, he's going to have to find additional spending cuts beyond those that he's already identified. the proposals, for example, converting things like medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers into a block grant, converting medicare into a premium support program. will is right. it's very hard to see how the deficit rises to the top of priorities when you are looking at a major tax cut at a time of trillion dollar in red ink per year. >> how does this differ from the 59 point plan that mitt romney had released early on. >> simple. >> except that it's not as -- doesn't have 59 points. truly, in all seriousness, ron? "the wall street journal" said about that it's a job plan that shrinks from some of the biggest issues. so when it came out it was not really embraced. he's kind of going at it again. what's the big difference, would you say? >> the big difference here is an across the board tax cut.
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in his original plan he identified no specific tax cut beyond extending the bush reductions except for reducing taxes from middle income -- middle income, up to 200,000 families on dividends and capital gains. now he's proposing an across the board reagan style george w. bush style tax cut. the debate will be, you know, ten years after that bush tax cut, which was, again, an across the board cut in marginal ratsz, there were more people in poverty, median income was lower, and there were fewer people working than there were on the day the tax cut was passed. i think he will face a challenge to show that in fact tax cuts are the key to starting this economy. while it did work under reagan, it didn't work under bush. we grew pretty well after bill clinton raised taxes in the 1990s. it's hard to look at that record and say this is the single variable most likely to get us going again. >> ron, the romney plan includes the proposal that the estate tax be completely abolished and at a time when a lot of people are talking about social mobility being an issue, that the rich
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are able to pass on their privilege. do you think the democrats are going to make an issue out of this? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, look, the contrasts here are sharp, as you say. the complete elimination of the estate tax, maintaining capital gains at a highest rate of 15% where president obama would have those rise for top earners. above all, the top marginal tax rate for the wealthiest earners, as we said, would go back to 28%, the level it was after 1986 tax reform, whereas, obama would raise it to 39.6. on all of those you have both sides stepping into what is a pretty clear and sharp debate. strikes me, i was thinking this morning, very different than 1996 when bill clinton ran for re-election on the era of big government is over and bob dole was a centrist. you have the republican candidates, the whole field, running on the sharpest reductions in the federal roll arguably since reagan in '76. unlike clinton, obama is not moving his direction to the center. he insists the wealthy pays
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more. you have a stark difference in this race regardless of who wins the nomination and especially after today that difference will be much more clear. >> ron brownstein for us. he's watching, of course, that announcement that will be officially made. we know a lot of the details already. thanks, ron. appreciate it. still ahead on "starting point," some backlash over the burning of the koran. it's growing. we're hearing about more deaths this morning. are we expecting it to get even worse? we'll discuss that straight ahead. plus a young latina trying to become one of the very first female boxers ever to compete in the olympics. hanging tough, moving on. she'll talk about her recent huge victory. off of our staff play list. this is "news uprising." ♪ ♪ they will not force us ♪ they will stop degrading us ♪
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♪ they will stop degrading us
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welcome back, everybody. some breaking news to get to out of afghanistan this morning. violence is becoming more deadly after the mistaken burning of korans. a local official says nine more people have now died in protests that have been happening this
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morning. two american soldiers were killed yesterday. former u.s. army chaplain where he advised the commanders on the camp on detainee religious practices which sometimes was fraught with challenges for you as well. >> yes. >> practically speaking one would think any time you're touching any kind of religious material at bagram, like everyone would be extra, extra, extra careful. is there not some kind of conversation that happens about that? we know now that, of course, there was a concern that there was writing in the koran. maybe this was being passed back and forth among the detainees which is why they gathered them up and to dispose of them they burned them. there's sort of a question about prak particular kalt and preparation that surprises me there. >> i think the picture that we were getting is that the soldiers who took the materials and tossed them into the garbage burn pit didn't know they were religious materials. that's the mistake or error that
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they didn't know about. but in general the troops should have some type of training in which they are informed about religious practices, islamic practices, observances and i think it's really important now to really ensure that troops understand how muslims all over the world view the koran as being essentially the little words of god. >> so when newt gingrich basically says the president has surrendered on this issue, in fact, let's play that and we'll talk about it on the other side. >> president obama surrendered twice today. and i think it deserves to be brought to the country's attention. there seems to be nothing that radical islamists can do to get barack obama's attention in a negative way and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the united states, period. >> do they not deserve the apology of the president of the united states? >> certainly president obama did not surrender. you can read into a lot of the
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rhetoric that we see coming from newt gingrich here, but there is one thing that i might agree with newt and it was also reported. he said that if, you know, maybe we shouldn't be there. maybe we shouldn't be wasting our time in afghanistan. maybe we should go home and say good-bye. he was reported recently as saying that as well in that same speech. i don't see its a a surrender. i actually see admitting your mistakes and then committing to moving forward and correcting those mistakes as a sign of good leadership. >> i agree there should be probably some kind of cultural sensitivity training for troops, but i'm sure, i think our awed yents wants to know, isn't there an element of common sense. if you see a koran, wouldn't you know not to throw it into a pit to be burned? >> right. there's a lot of common sense that definitely should go into this whole situation. i am one of saying that perhaps leadership should take a firmer stand on ensuring that morals and ethical values are really instilled. we've seen over the course of
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this conflict a series of scandals, whether it's marines posing with an s.s. nazi flag, whether it's the burning of dead bodies, whether it's the urinating, the video that came up earlier. >> is that morals and ethical -- forgive me for interrupting? is that saying, listen, you need to understand other cultures' values. you need to understand the impact of what you're doing beyond just, you know, putting something in the garbage. >> understanding, sure. the urinating on dead bodies, the burning of dead bodies, the nazi flag, these are things that seem to -- that have been done to instigate. of course, again, the picture that we see here with the koran burning this most recent incident was a mistake. very different from what happened in guantanamo where that was being done intentionally in interrogation. >> is that an easy mistake to make? if we had them right here, i am not an as lamb mick scholar, would i recognize them to be korans? >> if you have actually really
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looked at what the material -- what the material is. maybe some supervisor said, toss this stuff in the trash and the troops took it and threw it in the burn pit. so i think there's leeway to say, hey, the troops who did that didn't know. >> james yee, nice to have you. we appreciate your insights. still ahead on "starting point," she has her sights set on the london olympics i love this story of a young woman who wants to box in the olympics. we've been following her for a year. that story straight ahead.
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♪ that's beth wood rick's choice. i like that. i haven't heard that. that's great. this is a story i love. this is a woman literally fighting to be on the team that will represent the united states in the boxing ring at the olympics this summer. first time ever in the history of forever that women are allowed to box in the olympics. her name is march lynn in a sparza. she made history when she advanced to the world
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championships. here's a little clip of the documentary. >> the olympics is a big goal. >> it's huge. i honestly truly feel like if i go to the olympics and medal, that i could probably be totally happy for the rest of my life. yeah, like completely happy. >> well, you're almost all the way to totally happy for the rest of your life. it's great to see you. congratulations on your victory. you got into boxing because of your brothers. will you tell everybody about that story? it's a great story. >> yeah. i started boxing because my dad was totally in love with it. and my older brother, my younger brother were going in and out of the gym for about two years and my dad kept telling me no, but it came to a point where only my little brother wanted to go. so i told my dad, if i can take him, then, you know, he can go. and i can go too. so my dad actually had to let me go just for my little brother, and i ended up being the only one staying in it.
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>> your coach at first turned you down when you asked rudy that you wanted him to train you. he was someone who was training the serious fighters. he kept saying, no, no, no. what happened? >> yeah. he -- at the time, you know, this was 11 years ago or so so at that time, you know, almost girls in the gym was like nonexistent. he was reluctant to let me train with him. so i had to ask him at least four or five times to let him -- to ask him to train me and ee vunlt actually because i guess i was being so annoying he finally said yes. and he still trains me today. >> when did the olympics become your dream? now you are officially part of the olympic team. there's still more fighting that has to be done in china. like at what age did you say, i really want to be an olympian? >> i would say probably like around 15 or 16 years old. i won my first nationals at 16 and when getting ready for that and after i won it it was kind
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of like, what's next? and for females, that was kind of the highest place you could go. and i wanted something more, something bigger. and it was definitely olympic games that i felt that would complete, you know, everything i've done and everything i wanted to do. and it wasn't in yet, but i had heard rumors of it being in '08. it was turned down. after that i was updated on a regular basis about what was going on. so the olympics had always been in my mind somewhere around like '06 and '05. >> you now have six national titles under your belt, and you're, what, 5'2", 112 pounds. you'll fight in the feather weight category. do you feel like women's boxing in the united states gets the same attention that women's boxing in other countries gets? >> no, not at all. i'm sure, 100% sure that
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boxing does not get the same publicity as in other countries. we're catching up. i think right now is definitely the transition of when it becomes something bigger in the united states. it's simply because of the olympic games. i feel like once you're in the olympics in the u.s. then you're officially a real sport and something that people actually want to pay attention to. so i think right now we definitely have our foot in the door. i think it will get really big. we are behind as far as it goes compared to other countries. but we do have a lot of talent so it makes up for it. >> you're a big part of that. good luck to you. we'll be watching you. my boys, who have seen her fight and love, love, love marlen are pushing that we go to lon do to see her fight. good luck to you. hi to your family. appreciate that. "end point" is up next with our panel. we leave you with our staff play list. this is a researcher, ted call low way, minnie the moocher.
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covered a lot of genres. ♪
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♪ all right. reflex, the politics of dancing, end point. >> ron


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