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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  July 11, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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>> i sang once for president george w. bush. and, really, it's tough. >> you knew all the words -- >> i did not mess up the words. but it's easy to do it. >> would you sing that for snus. >> maybe someday -- no. >> is there a videotape of that. >> that's not. >> we have to go. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. the house passes a bill for the 33rd time that has absolutely no shot of going anywhere. one lawmaker says he has a solution to fix congress. but is it really a solution or just another no-go gimmick? we'll ask him. mitt romney gets booed in front of a large audience. was this a miscalculation on his part to even take the stage? and the pentagon releases a report saying iran is dramatically upping the capability of some of its conventional weapons. let's go "outfront."
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good evening. i'm tom foreman filling in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, fiddling in washington while bankruptcy burns across the nation. san bernardino, california, is the latest american town unable to pay its bills. the math is $46 million in debt. they've made drastic cuts in employees and services. and the city has only $150,000 in the bank. that's it. residents are coming unhinged saying, why wasn't this calamity headed off at the pass? >> what about two years ago when they took $10 million from the employees? what were they doing then? now the city is forced basically to file bankruptcy because they have this tremendous amount of debt over their head. >> in the last 14 days, two other towns near los angeles have gone into bankruptcy. other places across the country
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have done the same or tried to in idaho, alabama, pennsylvania, rhode island, dozens of other local and state governments have made dramatic cuts just to try to stay solvent while they wait for the economic recovery to help with terrible budget shortfalls. and yet while this is happening congress spent today arguing once again about health care reform, holding a symbolic vote to repeal obamacare which no one, no one thought would pass, even the republicans who pushed to it the floor. and by that, i mean pass in terms of making any real difference. just to put in it perspective, this was the 33rd time congress has voted to repeal or defund the health care law. >> instead of focusing on jobs, which they claimed in the last election was their focus, republicans are creating a sense of deja vu all over again on the floor by staging a repeat of the health care reform. >> we on this side of the aisle care about the health care of
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the american people. that's why we're here. that's why i brought this bill forward, along with and on behalf of my colleagues. >> welcome to groundhog day in the house of representatives. >> as a physician, one of the tenets of medicine is first, do no harm. sadly, the president's law does real harm. >> we are joined now by one of the republicans who backed that vote today, congressman, thank you for being here. i have all the respect in the world for your party having the right to oppose this law, overturn this law or take whatever steps you want to on that front. but everyone today knew this was a show vote. why do you take part in such a thing? >> in the aftermath of the supreme court ruling where it's very clear this is a massive tax hike that's going to hit every part of the american economy, 21 new taxes little every one of our economy in light of the fact that we have 41 straight months
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of high unemployment at 8% or higher and very sluggish economic growth, businesses are telling us that they're having a hard time hiring because of the specter of this tax hike. >> i get that, a legitimate argument. but why not hold a press conference on the steps of the kopg and say all that instead of taking time in congress doing something which your party has been equally critical of democrats doing? why not be done with the showboating? things in this country are too dire for a bunch of dog and pony shows. >> clearly, we need to do a lot of things to help this economy to help tackle the debt. in the house, we've passed a number of votes to promote energy production, promote job growth. yet these votes are not taken up by the senate. we have a senate that's doing nothing right now. that's the key point. we're going to keep doing what we have to do in the house to try to move this economy forward, to give some certainty to the american people who are
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struggling right now with high unemployment, a very sluggish economic growth situation. they want to see action. we're trying in the house and we're going to keep putting pressure on the senate. >> this was an action. it was a vote that was meant to be a p.r. stunt just like the democrats have done. and i talk to voters all over this country, democrat, republican and independent, and every time either party does this, their view of congress drops lower and lower and lower. don't you want to fix that? >> well, i do. and i'm intent on providing good solutions to the many problems that families are facing. i can tell you on the health care law in particular, i'm deeply concerned as a physician with over 30 years clinical experience as to what's going to happen with this in terms of cost to family, dealing with ever-rising premiums. we're dealing with higher cost to the taxpayer. the congressional budget office has come up with revised figures
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showing a much higher cost to the taxpayer on this bill. we've got many, many problems with this, including significant interference with the doctor/patient relationship. so i'm very happy to point out as often as i possibly can in every possible venue the flaws in this health care law. >> let me ask you about one other thing. you introduced some legislation today to try to penalize financially congress member who is don't show up for votes. do you think that's going to pass? >> well, i'm going to push to bring to it the forefront and ask the leadership to consider it. the bottom line here is that we have an obligation to our constituents. and when congress is in session and votes are being held, roll call vote, meaning we're being recorded as having voted yes or no, i think it's important to be there to vote. and unless you have some extenuating circumstances, such as an illness or a family illness where it's a legitimate excuse, if you're not showing up to vote and you're going off to
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political functions and fund-raising, i don't think that's serving our constituents well. and i think there are members of congress who are doing that and i want to put a stop to it. >> i think there are plenty of voter who is might agree with you on that. congressman boustany, thanks so much for being here. we appreciate it. joiping joining me now is john avlon. you've been taking congress to task on this over and over again. i appreciate the congressman talking about this. but in the end, these are, as i said, dog and pony shows. both sides do it all the time. what ought congress to be doing right now? what could they be doing to help the people in california and idaho and alabama and pennsylvania? >> let's lay out three things that congress could be doing instead of this dog and pony kabuki. one study estimates it could lead to as much as 1 million new jobs. >> and both parties are saying, we want to help small business. >> both parties will pray at
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that altar because it makes good sense. but in this case, this bill should be a no-brainer, it's getting caught up in the bush tax cut debate. >> give me two more. >> second, u.s. post office, people know it's losing billions of dollars a year. the senate passed a bill to reform and restructure the post office. it's sitting in the house. they're doing the health care vote. instead of trying to save the post office. that would make a real difference in people's lives. final thing, let's look at cyber security. 2,000% increase in attempted cyber attacks against our critical infrastructure. there's a bipartisan bill ready to go in the senate. let's move it forward. this is an economic and a national security issue. these are some of the comm commonsense reforms that could go through congress.
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people are sick to death of congress right now. >> i know people don't -- they talk about false equivalence. this kind of gridlock we're talking about now, no matter who may be more at fault, can't be happening without both parties taking part in it. >> that's right. we've had divided government in the medication past. this is dysfunctional government. get it together, folks. keep your eye on the ball. >> and the economy just keeps burning the whole time. john avlon, thanks so much. "outfront" next, one of our guests thinks mitt romney knew he was going to be booed at the naacp conference and he thinks it was part of a plan. why would a statesman want to build nursing homes for our veterans only to have them unused? and the world's longest funeral may be finally coming to a close. stay with us. [ male announcer ] it isn't just your mammogram.
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>> there you hear it. our second story "outfront," boos for mitt romney when he tells the naacp he wants to repeal obamacare. but if you think that pit putts him on the defense, think again. >> [ speaking foreign languag ] language ]. >> romney is rolling out a new ad with his son, craig, who speaks spanish asking hispanics to give his dad a chance. american crossroads is slamming romney. and women are slamming him for jobs that have gone overseas. this is clearly a broad attack on president obama's base trying to make him defend his advantage among those voters. "outfront" tonight, mark hill, david fromm and reuben navarrete. the chances of mitt romney winning any of these groups would be slim? >> slim to none. >> slim to none.
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but he doesn't have to win. >> he doesn't. >> all he has to do is make some of these people in these various groups start thinking twice about whether or not barack obama has really helped them and made them feel like not going to vote this fall. >> right. he wants to help defrnlgize the base. he also needs to show independent voters he's not a radical wingnut who wants to alienate blake voters. >> do you think he made any headway? >> getting booed is not a good sign. >> that was part of it. he got applauded in other parts of it. for example, when he talked about chartered school, when he said this is a way of helping people, talking about taking on unions when they stand in the way of schools getting better -- >> the charter school thing are things that president obama has been ambivalent on. i don't think that will be a deciding factor. the stuff he did draw boos from were health care and the personal tax on the president.
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made him look unstatesmanly and alienated black voters. >> let's go to david fromm. you said, if i were a political cynic, i'd wonder if the romney campaign wanted to be booed at the naacp. explain yourself. >> mitt romney was on fox business channel this afternoon and said he expected to be body. so they put things in there they knew were likely to draw a negative response and said a lot of things to elicit a positive response. black america has been hit hard by the grinding recession. to really go into what this recession has meant for black america, not only in terms of the catastrophe in the private economy, but public sector
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growth -- that visual you showed of mitt romney being booed is not a very nice visual. but there are also a lot of people in the republican base, people who are the people who like mitt romney least, who may be energized in their turn by that -- >> all right, all right. maybe. let's look at the unemployment. let's look at the unemployment for june. i want to look at this graphic here. white unemployment, 7.4%. black unemployment, 14.4%. hispanic unemployment, 11%. reuben, jump in here. same question i was asking to mark here. do you think in any way that the message from mitt romney if he attacks all these groups and says, what has this president done for you, he can dampen their enthusiasm? >> absolutely. he can dampen their enthusiasm. he's not going to be able to turn them against barack obama but he can prevent them from turning out. that's a great sense of
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ambivalence in many communities and a touch of it in the african-american community. while they personally like this president and support him, they wish he had been more in their corner on a variety of issues. not just black unemployment but specifically black unemployment among teenagers, among young african-americans and how bad that's been, north of 30%. i think a lot of people are supportive of the individual, but they don't much like his policies and when you get down to it, a lot of those liberals on the left and the coalition you mentioned earlier think he's been far too conservative, to inclined to cave into republicans in congress. they wish he had handled things differently. >> mark, what do you think? >> i disagree. i'm not convinced that black people are disappointed in president obama's policies. i don't think that's true. there's no study to suggest that. are some people disappointed that he wasn't radical enough? absolutely. but they're going to vote for the lesser of two evils.
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>> david frum, what does president obama need to say right now if he wants to somehow block this message from mitt romney who's trying to upset his base? >> it's past the point of saying anything. there's been an economic debacle and a terrible economic pain. words are not going to convince anybody, especially after this summer's repeated bad news. we seem to get bad news every summer. and this summer, we've had more bad news. the people who the president needs, they know what's going on without a word spoken by any politician. >> we all have to sacrifice in this time of need. we're out of time. ruben, you lost your last comment. i owe you for that one. thank you for being here. up next, california spends more than $100 million on a new facility for our veterans. so why is no one moving in? and new information about the much-anticipated report on penn state's handling of jerry sandusky's child abuse scandal. that's coming up. ♪ how are things on the west coast? ♪
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our third story "outfront," we started this evening with the latest town going bankrupt out in california b. but another victim of the economy directly affects our nation's veterans. california has a budget shortfall of $15.7 billion yet spent a quarter billion in state and federal funds to build two new state-of-the-art nursing homes for veterans. good plan. problem is, the state can't come
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up with enough money to run the places. so now no one can move in and the state is spending a fortune maintaining empty buildings. casey wian went for a look in westwood, california. >> we were hit by an aircraft in this left number one engine and we were shot down. >> reporter: 89-year-old world war ii veteran rudy was shot down over germany. he spent 11 brutal months as a prisoner of war. now he wants a safe place to spend his remaining days near family in fresno, california, where a brand-new 300-bedroom veterans home was completed in april. but it sits empty because of california's budget crisis, it will stay that way until at least october 2013. in the meantime, hundreds of veterans wait to get in. >> there are veterans out there that are in a lot worse shape than i'm in that should be going into that home right now. >> reporter: the home cost $159
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million to build, split roughly 60/40 between the federal government and california. $159 million will buy you a very nice facility. here, there's a general store but there's nothing on the shelves. next door is a barbershop where no one's cutting hair. and just like with the state of california, there's no money in the bank and no residents. this year, the state only budgeted enough money for a skeleton maintenance crew and a handful of staff at fresno. >> understand that what the legislature and the governor were dealing with was a $16 billion deficit. >> reporter: state officials say regulatory hurdles are part of the problem. this veterans home in west l.a. was completed two years ago. 84 veterans including steve and millie have moved in, but 300 rooms remain empty. >> i think it's too bad because there's got to be -- there's a
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lot of waste in the government. >> these are not like hotels. you don't open the door and fill them with the residents. these are long-term care health care facilities that require specific equipment, specifically trained and specially trained professionals. >> you have to hire people, you have to train people. that story gets old after a while. >> reporter: this korean war veteran has been pushing for a home for 12 years. >> they don't give a damn. if they did, they'd take care of their people. >> these facilities will open. they are opening. the commitment is being kept. >> reporter: the plan is to move eight veterans a month into the fresno home starting next october. the question is, will that be too late for vets like rudy? >> casey, this just seems outrageous. i've heard part of the explanation there. but ultimately, how do state officials defend having fallen into this trap, building such a place and not being able to pay for it? >> reporter: tom, what they're saying is this is actually a
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victory for the veterans because as we mentioned, california has a serious budget deficit. they had to cut $8 billion in discretionary spending out of the budget this year. according to the california department of veterans affairs, money to maintain facilities like this and to prepare them to begin to accept residents is one of the only areas of the state budget that was actually spared from cuts. the veterans say they're tired of waiting, though. >> casey wian, such a story. thanks so much for joining us. a new pentagon report says iran's missiles are getting more powerful and deadly. is that a real threat or is it just saber-rattling? an investigation will release a report tomorrow on the jerry sandusky sandal at penn state. tonight, our susan candiotti has a few details as to what might be in it and there are indications that officials knew more than they admitted. take a right. do you have any idea where you're going ? wherever the wind takes me. this is so off course.
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welcome back to our second half "outfront." we start by focusing on some of our own reports from the front lines, various stories. the president of florida a & m university is stepping down more than seven months after a drum major in the band died. james ammons' resignation will be official this fall. he made no reference to the death of robert champion.
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in a statement to "outfront," champion's family says, we have always held the belief that the rampant culture of hazing found at famu would not and could not be eradicated without some major housecleaning of those who turned a blind eye to the problem. the captain of the "costa concordia" is breaking his silent. he said there was no breakdown in communication when it occurred. an italian judge lifted his house arrest last week. he's accused of manslaughter, causing a ship dltswreck awreck abandoning ship. we want to follow up on the story about corn from last night. it's worse than we told you. today corn crops will averagfor 146 bushels per acre.
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it's been the hottest season on record. the usda has declared over 1,000 counties in 26 states has natural disaster areas. and measures were announced to help farmers in those areas. it's been 342 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? today, we got the minutes from the latest fed meeting that show more step might be needed by the federal government to help out the economy. a report declassified just today from the pentagon warns that iran is improving the killing power of its ballistic missiles. the country could be ready to test an intercontinental missile by 2015. the report comes as iran is increasingly flexing its power in the face of u.s. and eu sanctions. iran's threatened to close down the vital strait of hormuz
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shipping lane. chris lawrence joins us. chris, how seriously do we take this? is this a genuine threat to the united states or to our allies or to whom? >> reporter: it's potentially very scary, no doubt about it. but that 2015 date has to be caveated by the fact that first iran would have to get some technical assistance from other countries, which they have in the past and then that 2015 would be test-firing the missile. that's not necessarily successfully test-firing the missile or being able to attach a payload to it, in other words, a warhead or something like that. but it does show significant progress on the part of the iranians. >> i want to bring up a graphic here. they've had a mixed bag like with the shabob 3 missile and with this new missile they're using. you see roughly how far they could reach with some of these
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missiles. spider, come in here on this. this business of launching a missile over a great distance with a nuclear warhead on time, it's a real threat but a real challenge. >> it's absolutely a real technical challenge but you're correct. what you see with iran right now is two parallel path that is they're going down. one is the weaponization of a nuclear capability, the enrichment program they have ongoing, whether they can continue to enrich and reach the level of enrichment that would allow it to be weaponized. then you have to miniaturize it and weaponize it and stick it on top of a rocket. and it has to be able to go a sufficient distance. and it needs to get where you intend it to go. the shabob is liquid fueled. the assurea is the first solid fuel. they have to get all this
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correct in order to even work this thing into a test. what we're talking about is a ballistic missile test. they have not married up the nuclear weaponized nuclear capability nor do we know that they have that. however, the indicators are very strong that they're moving down an inexorable path to that capability. >> chris, you mentioned their relationships with china and russia and north korea, people like that, particularly north korea who's very happy to ship things out although their missiles haven't been doing so well lately. that's the key, isn't it? watching those connections and seeing how much help they're getting? iran alone doesn't seem capable of delivering this. >> reporter: yeah, basically iran, pakistan and north korea have been sort of on the same track, sharing a lot of the similar technology. bun of the things that really jumped out to me on this report is, a, the development of that medium-range missile. it could go maybe 1,300 miles or so. that could hit significant targets in europe, giving iran
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possibly more political leverage in a crisis. also they've got -- they're developing a weapon system that can detect ships at sea and maneuver in the air to better hit those ships. the u.s. has two carrier groups in the region right now. they just added more mine sweepers to that area. that's another big capability that the iranians seem to be progressing with. >> general f you'll come back in for a second. the simple truth is, this is sort of an inexorable march by folks like iran. and my guess is that one day, someday, somehow, yes, our ships at sea are going to have to be ready for this and our allies will have to be ready. you can't hit your foe, you hit his friends. >> absolutely. and the deal is right now with the fifth fleet which has been in bahrain for years, its mission has been to provide a diplomatic presence as well as certainly a very strong military presence there in the gulf and
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elsewhere in the indian ocean. so the ability of iran right now is they can reach out and touch u.s. capabilities throughout the region. we know that. they know that. and i would tell you that our u.s. capabilities right now to detect -- to identify, detect and target the development of these capabilities is pronounced as anything you would ever see. we'll be able to stay ahead of the indicators that they are progressing down the path and our u.s. military is prepared day and night right now to counterman these capabilities. >> general, thank you as always. chris, thank you. thanks for being here. new information tonight about a much-anticipated report on penn state's handling of the jerry sandusky child abuse scandal. that report is to be released by a former fbi chief tomorrow morning. it will be about 200 pages long. leaked e-mails that were read to cnn indicate high-ranking officials tat school knew about
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a 2001 shower incident involving a boy and sandusky, but never reported it to outside authorities. also an op ed written by joe paterno a month before he died was released today. paterno wrote, this is not a football scandal and should not be treated as one, it is not an academic scandal and does not in any way tarn tish hard-earned and well-deserved academic reputation of penn state. susan candiotti in philadelphia, pennsylvania, what are you hearing, susan? >> reporter: hi, tom. this is going to be an interesting report. let's remind people how it came about. it was last november when penn state's board of trustees hired former fbi director louie free to conduct this internal investigation. and it should be no-holds-barred. two key things they're looking at is what could be done in the future to prevent other children from being sexually abused on that campus?
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two key things we're going to be looking at, an incident that happened back in 1998 involving jerry sandusky and a little boy that was investigated by local police but the local district attorney did not prosecute. and then abruptly the next year, jerry sandusky retires and a couple of years after that, lo and behold, he is apparently involved in another 2001 famous -- by now famous shower incident involving sandusky and a little boy. a lot to be learned from this report. >> a lot of this still swirling around the coach about what joe paterno knew or didn't know. the paterno family said in a statement, joe paterno did not cover up for jerry sandusky. joe paterno did not know that jerry sandusky was a pedophile. joe paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of jerry sandusky to claim otherwise is a distortion of the truth. is there any hint that this report is going to say that that statement is false? >> reporter: we don't know. it's unclear. what we do know is this, in one
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of those purported e-mails that was leaked to us, read to cnn, that we broke that story exclusively, we know that joe paterno is referred to in one of those purported e-mails, written by one of the officials who had talked about having a plan to contact child welfare authorities and then after he said he spoke with joe, that plan changed. what joe paterno may have said, we don't know. we don't know whether that will be addressed in this report. but as you said, the family continues to insist that joe paterno did not interfere with this investigation. let's see whether louie free goes there. >> susan candiotti, we know you'll stay on the case. thanks so much. still "outfront," are you mad at the government, are you mad about your paycheck? james carville is probably talking about you. >> these are people that had pneumonia and got run over by a pick-up truck. >> yeah, the middle class. and a man is cleaning out his grandparents' house when he makes a priceless discovery.
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we have breaking news on a congressman. representative jesse jackson, jr., lots of speculation over jackson's health since he unexpectededly announced a leave of absence from congress last month. let's go to our own, kate bolduan right now live in washington who has an explanation. what's going on here, kate? >> reporter: we're finally
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getting some more detail on this mystery that's been surrounding the congressman's absence from congress. we've not -- we're hearing now for the first time that the congressman is being treated for a mood disorder. a congressman's office issuing the statement moments ago from the congressman's doctor's office. i'll read you the brief statement coming from his doctors. the congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder where he's responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery. the congressman's chief of staff, rick bryant, goes on to actually say in the statement that we received that the rumors that really have been flying, tom, surrounding what's really going on with the congressman here, they really wanted to put them to rest saying any rumors about the congressman being treated for alcohol or substance abuse, those rumors are not true. so really finally getting some clarity, some disclosure here on what's been going on with the
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congressman. a lot of concern on capitol hill. but also there's been really mounting pressure for the congressman and his family to come forward and give more detail of what he's facing and suffering with because he has been out on leave of absence since june 10th when it was announced. i've been talking to people on the hill. and he hasn't been seen on the hill in committees, especially, since late may. >> something else. thanks so much, kate bolduan, down in washington. tonight's all-star baseball game ended in an 8-0 win for the national league team. that guarantees them the home field advantage in the world series. but that's not the only baseball story of the day. it's been confirmed a man in ohio hit a grand slam in baseball card collecting. while going through the things left in a house that once bronged to his grandparents, carl stumbled on to a box of
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baseball cards that had been there for almost 100 years. and the value of this collection is at $3 million. these cards came from an extremely rare series issued by an unknown candy company around 1910. card collectors grade cards on a 1 to 10 scale based on their condition. the best grade ever given to a ty cobb, for example, was a 7 from that series. 16 cobb cards were found by carl in that stash graded at 9. the family plans to sell most of the cards over the next two or three years through auctions and private sales so as to not flood the market which brings us to tonight's number. and there you have it. $200 million. according to the major league baseball players association, that is the current value of the baseball card industry. that's way down from the $1 billion it was valued at in 1991. one big reason, it's no longer child's play. as more adults turned card collecting into a business, card
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companies create add glut of cards to sell to them and collectors started hoarding the most valuable ones, slowing down sales and it probably won't change soon because these day, 70% of baseball card collectors are adults. we're back with tonight's outer circle where we reach out to our sources all around the world. to great britain, the son of one of the world's richest men is under arrest there after his wife was found dead in their home. hans rausing was initially picked up by police on drug charges. atika shubert is in london. i asked her what we know about eva rausing's death. >> reporter: hans and eva rausing were devoted philanthropists and also known as hard-core drug users. hans rausing's grandfather invented the tetra pak. you've probably used one of his products. this is what made the rausing family billionaires.
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hans and eva had nothing to do with the business but they certainly did spend the money. they have a history of drug abuse. they met in rehab. as to what happened yesterday, hans rausing was arrested for suspicious of drug possession. and when police went into his home to search it, they found the body of eva rausing. police say they do not know what killed her and they do not know how long the body was there. tom? our fifth story "outfront," the fading american dream. a startling survey from the pew hispanic center of all americans, look at this, only 58% of the people in this country think that hard work will lead to success. 58%. it's just one indicator that the middle class is struggling to survive. james carlville and stan greenberg highlight it in their new book. and they are "outfront" tonight. guys, let me ask you first of all, you look at that number there, stan, what do you think when you see a number like that?
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>> it rings true. i hear it from people. we spend a lot of time listening to people. they are in pain. they're watching themselves slipping. they're watching their parents slipping. and they know this is an enormous struggle. enormous str. we also know this number has dropped 20 points in 10 years. >> why do people fundamentally believe hard work save them anymore? >> a couple of reasons. they're working hard themselves and the proof in their own lives. they see people around them that are working hard and slipping behind. these trend has been going on for 30 years and kpfs kpaexacer the financial crisis. >> let me ask your definition of middle class. who's the middle class? >> totally aspirational. hard work, responsibility. try to educate their kids and
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have the next generation do better. >> that's another middle class? >> hey, we go with the people, how they define themselves. now, 60% in our polls, you know, self-define as middle class. >> so you're not -- >> another 25% working sdplasz. >> not a numerical equation? >> suppose you're retired and you own your own condo in tampa, you're a lot better off than someone in new york city. >> at $65,000, you would be bordering on underclass there. >> sure, so what stan decided to do, because this is his area of expertise is go by description and people who described themselves as working class and middle class. >> the line is from about $1 $125,000 for a median family of four. >> there are different estimates of that. for example, $40,000 to $250,000. boy, that's a big, big gap there
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to define the middle classes. but let's talk about what happens next in this equation. forget about the candidates, forget about left and right, forget about democrat and republican. what does washington need to do to give the middle class some sense that they matter still? and that it's their kocountry, t somebody else's. >> it has to put the middle class at the center of the discussion. what are we trying to do here? what matters? >> aren't they doing that right now? >> no. >> mitt romney is talking about the middle class. barack obama is talking about the middle class. >> well, maybe it's a big shift happening now, but up until now, you were hard pressed to say the main problem of the middle class. take the deficit, you know, as a focus. when the commissions were formed and the focus was the deficit, then it was legitimate to move health care costs away from government to seniors. but if the problem is the middle class, what you need to do so is focus on health care costs and get health care costs down for the middle claz and for the
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country. that will begin to address the deficit. it changes everything. >> what are three most important things that washington ought to do now to restore the faith in the american people? >> reform the way things are done. lobbying and campaign finance. i nope it's difficult. we talk about it in the book. it's not easy to do. but reform has to be step one in anything. the two things that really crush the middle class are high health care costs and high costs of education. they need access to education more than anybody else and they all get constantly crushed by high health care costs. those thing, you ask me for the three, those are the three. >> we don't have any more time to go into more of them. i wish we could. the book is called "it's the middle class stupid" and you ought to check it out. the discussion about the middle class is going to dominate our politics and economy for quite some time. thanks, guys. well, now let's check in with anderson cooper for a look at what's coming up. >> more on the breaking news
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ahead on the program, jesse jackson jr. has not been seen in public for weeks now since june 10. we got a statement from jackson's doctor. it turns out he's in treatment for what is described as a mood disorder. also, i'm joined by the mother and cousin of border patrol agent brian terry, the border patrol agent killed in the fast and furious gun running investigation. the operation, it is the first interview since indictments were unsealed on monday. charging these men and one other in the shootout that led to brian terry's death. also tonight, a 360 follow on a really bizarre story of a man facing up to 21 years in jail and appeared to have committed suicide right there in a courtroom. you see him put something in his mouth and then burying his head in his hands. all of it caught on camera. tonight, there are new developments. before he put that pill in his mouth, he sent his son an e-mail. that e-mail led police to what they now suspect he used to kill himself. we'll tell you what it is that police suspect.
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those stories plus tonight's "ridiulist" the toward of politics. all of that ahead. up next, imagine if you could see ted ddy roosevelt in person. he died nearly a century ago. it would certainly be an odd site. for russians, a similar site might finally be put to rest. stay with us.
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ lastly tonight, the world's wlongest funeral may finally be coming to a close.
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amid all that recent turmoil in russia, the flooding, the military action in syria, the economic issues comes news that vladimir lenin may at last be laid to rest. well, more specifically, he may be buried. ever since he died in 1924, the once intrepid founder of the ussr has been residing in a glass coffin, sort of like a strange soviet snow white. every year, countless russians pass through to see him. i joined them about 15 years ago during a summer of reporting in moscow. seeing lenin was somber, very dignified and also really strange. think about this. this would pretty much be like if we em bammed teddy roosevelt and had him on display ever since he passed. in any event, the russian culture minister says enough already, can't we put lenin into the ground and call it done? but consider this, every couple of years this idea has come up and it has never yet come to pass. maybe because