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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 19, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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below that 16,000 mark. there's the closing bell. little flat today. we'll keep an eye on that. go to thank you so much for being with me here today. i'm brooke baldwin at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. now to jake tapper. "the lead" starts now. a son is dead and his politician father who once made a bid to run the commonwealth of virginia is recovering from multiple stab wounds this hour. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. not so long ago, state senator craig deeds was the democratic nominee running for governor in virginia. as of today he's being treated in a hospital and his son is dead after something terrible happened inside deeds' home. also in national news, are republicans preserving the balance on the second most powerful court in the land or are they obstructing the president's power to appoint judges? or maybe both. our guest, gop senator chuck grassley, is firing back at the president's claim that congress
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is not doing its constitutionally mandated job. and the money lead. if you look at the top names in technology, you might conclude that silicon valley is estrogen deficient but a new report says it's not all hoodies these days. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the national lead. police are officially treating it as an attempted murder/suicide. the call came in this morning bringing police to the virginia home of creigh deeds, state senator and former democratic nominee for governor. inside, they found deeds stabbed several times in the head and torso but still alive. also inside, his 24-year-old son, austin gus deeds, suffering from a gunshot wound. gus deeds would not leave the scene alive. the richmond times-dispatch is reporting that gus deeds was sent for a mental health evaluation under an emergency custody order sometime in the past, but the paper cites a source saying he was released
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yesterday because no bed was available. his father, a man who once hoped to lead the commonwealth of virginia, was airlifted to a hospital where he is currently listed in fair condition. i want to get right out to chris lawrence, who is at the police barracks in charlottesville, virginia, where police just gave another press conference in this case. police held the news conference a short time ago. what's the news? >> reporter: jake, basically some of the new details that are just emerging now are that creigh deeds and his son gus were the only two people in that home when all of this happened and they are now working under the assumption that gus creeds stabbed his father multiple times and then shot himself once, a wound that would literally kill him within the hour. police found a chilling scene after an early morning 911 call. >> deputies arrived to find senator deeds stabbed multiple times about the head and upper torso. he was flown from the scene to the university of virginia
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hospital in charlottesville. >> reporter: police say creigh deeds was able to speak with them but is now in critical condition. inside the rural virginia home, deputies found the senator's 24-year-old son gus suffering from a gunshot wound. he died at the scene. >> we're not seeking any suspect at the time. >> reporter: creigh deeds is well known in virginia politics. in his unsuccessful bid to be governor in 2009, he garnered a presidential endorsement. >> when i look at the way he conducts himself and his campaign, speaking truth to power but always doing it in a way that reminds us that we have to bring people together instead of driving them apart. >> reporter: deeds was elected to the virginia state house in 1991, and in 2001, was elected to fill the state senate seat of tv personality katie couric's late sister. he wrote and helped pass megan's law in virginia which requires law enforcement officials to notify communities of registered sex offenders and he sponsored
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the amber alert program in the state. now, the home where all of this happened is in an extremely rural area. the house is set well back off the street, and we're now learning that creigh deeds, after being stabbed multiple tis, was able to walk about 75 yards down the hill from the house to get to that road where he was picked up by his cousin. just in the last hour or two, we have also learned that his condition has been upgraded to fair. jake? >> chris lawrence, thank you so much. i want to bring in michael martz, a reporter for the richmond times-dispatch. he joins us by phone. thanks for being with us. let's talk about the son, gus. can you give us any more details on this mental health evaluation he underwent and why he was released? >> our understanding is that gus was taken under an emergency custody order which would require a magistrate to issue
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the order. it allows for an evaluation for about four hours, you can get an extension for an additional two hours. we're trying to determine whether or not the evaluation was extended or they requested an extension. but our understanding, my colleague talked to the head of the community services board in lexington and he said that they simply did not have a bed available. they had to release him under the law, they didn't have enough information to detain him further under what's called a temporary detention order, tdo, which you can hold up to 48 hours, then you have to have an involuntary commitment hearing. that's the process. so this has been a problem before, mental health advocates will tell you that a couple years ago, there was an inspector general's report showing hundreds of people who
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were basically released because there wasn't a bed available for them to be held legally under the law. >> amazing, this tdo presumably would come if gus was a threat to himself or believed to be a threat to himself or others. do we have any idea, do you have any reporting on why gus recently withdrew from the college of william and mary? >> no, we don't have any additional information. our reporter who covers higher education is working, has confirmed that, but i don't have any further information about what the reasons were. i know one delegate, a minority leader from charlottesville, is close to senator deeds. sent us a statement earlier today saying the senator was quite close to his son and he had exerted what was called herculean efforts over the last
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several years to help him. so my guess is that this is -- has been a long struggle and we just don't know the details. >> creigh deeds, tell us more about him. he obviously ran for governor against bob mcdonnell four years ago, is now a state senator, was then as well. how big a figure is he in this community? >> well, i think he's a very big figure in western virginia. he was the commonwealth's attorney there. he served in the house delegates, he served in the senate, ran for governor, and i think he's very well liked. i don't know anybody from either party who doesn't like creigh deeds. he's just a nice guy, a very genuine person. >> thank you so much. your newspaper is doing exemplary work. turning to the storms in the midwest, we now know most of the names of those who lost their lives. in washington county which was struck by an ef-4 tornado, an elderly brother and sister,
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joseph and frances hoy were both killed. her family found her alive under a pile of rubble but could not hold on. his body was found 100 yards from the home they shared. three people lost their lives in another county. and steve newbauer was found dead after the storms. two fatalities in michigan, phillip smith was killed in the town of perry and a 21-year-old man whose name has not been released was killed in jackson county, michigan. our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. as to the survivors, who have a very long road ahead of them. when we come back, do your job. that's what the president is telling congress as a new battle brews between republicans and the white house. plus as a kid he told me his biggest concern was sneaking off to new york but years later, one teenager put things in perspective for matt damon. he will tell that story, ahead. people don't have to think about
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welcome back to "the lead." in national news, president obama's judicial nominees, please take your seats on the bench and when i say bench, i mean you're not getting into the game. if we were to compare the obama white house to an nfl team, i think even many democrats would have to agree it's been on a jacksonville jaguars type losing streak recently. the administration wants its draft picks to play and by draft picks i mean its nominees for the d.c. district appeals court but senate republicans for the third time in as many weeks have blocked an obama nominee to that court which is considered the second most powerful in the country. republicans want to keep the current balance on the court, four judges appointed by a democrat, four judges appointed by a republican. unfair, cry the democrats, whom we should note filibustered several of president george w. bush's nominees back in the first half. republicans say they are doing it because they want to organize the judiciary.
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d.c. has too many judges on the bench, they say. some democrats want to change the senate rules to require only a simple majority to confirm executive branch nominees. that's a so-called nuclear option. you probably heard that before. president obama released a statement on the blocked bids that reads in part quote, this obstruction is completely unprecedented. when it comes to judicial nominations, i am fulfilling my constitutional responsibility but congress is not. instead, senate republicans are standing in the way of a fully functioning judiciary that serves the american people. joining me now from capitol hill is republican senator chuck grassley of iowa, the ranking republican on the senate judiciary committee. senator, thanks for being here. what's your reaction to what president obama said? >> well, first of all, he is the first president of the united states to ever vote to filibuster a nominee for the courts and that's what he did when he was a senator. secondly, he has nothing to complain about congress doing
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its job. the senate doing its job to confirm. because we have confirmed about 208 judicial nominees of his and we have only disapproved four, than would be about a 99% approval rating. so i think he has done very well but there is some place where he's coming up short, and the latest figures now might be a month old, but there are 65 vacancies that he hadn't even sent names up to the hill for us to confirm, and under our constitution, we can't confirm judges until he nominates them. so he better get on the ball and nominate judges to these courts if he wants us to act faster. >> that's a fair point. but let's talk about the d.c. based appellate court. this is the third time in three weeks that you and your republican colleagues have blocked or used the filibuster, however you want to describe it, to prevent an obama nominee to the d.c. based appellate court from coming up for a vote.
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why not let them have an up or down vote? >> i want you to know that i also did the same thing when there was a president bush, because i eliminated the twelfth seat that was on the court and bush wanted to fill that vacancy, and the reason i did that then and the reason we aren't filling these vacancies now is because this is the most underworked circuit of the 12 circuits we have in this country. their caseload on average is only half what it is -- or their caseload is only half of what it is the average of the other 11 circuits in our country. >> i thought i saw statistics somewhere that said they actually have a bigger caseload per judge than the eighth circuit which serves in iowa. >> well, i hope you go back and read my speeches and find out how i use the cases filed and the cases determined, and when you go to the 11 circuits and go to cases filed and cases
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determined, you'll find out that this caseload is half of the average of the other circuits. >> chief justice roberts seems to disagree with you in terms of whether or not the appellate court here in d.c. should have these positions. wouldn't he know best? >> he doesn't know best from this standpoint, that we have letters from judges on that very court that said we don't need any more judges or there wouldn't be enough cases to go around. so i think that the judges on the d.c. circuit that say there wouldn't be enough work to go around is more evidence of not filling these seats than what the chief justice says, considering the fact that also we're saving $1 million every year for every judge that we don't confirm for a court where those judges aren't needed. >> just a few minutes ago, you noted that you did not want a twelfth slot on this court and you held that position up during
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the bush years, but you did vote to fill the ninth, tenth and 11th slots on this court. those are the positions you're trying to eliminate so it has not been completely equitable, right, because you did allow for three judge positions when bush was president. >> you were right on the ninth and tenth. but the 11th seat really wasn't the 11th seat because that was a seat that another judge had already resigned from. so that was really the tenth seat at that point, and you got to look at the fact that at that particular time, the caseload was a little higher than it is right now, but the caseload wasn't high enough to have a twelfth judge which president bush wanted so at that point, we eliminated the twelfth seat. now i have a bill in to eliminate nine, ten and 11 and just eliminate one of them, but the other two, we will put in
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circuits where they're more needed by caseload and then president obama can have the privilege of appointing judges there. so we are not denying him the right to appoint judges. it's just where he appoints them. by the way, this isn't a new crusade for me, because when i was in the senate in the 1990s, and chairman of the court subcommittee, i did a lot of studies on workloads of the various circuits and have made changes based upon those studies. >> senator chuck grassley, republican of iowa, thank you so much for your time and views. coming up next on "the lead" could a deal with iran in hopes of avoiding a war actually lead to a war? why the united states and israel are butting heads over a possible breakthrough with the islamic republic. plus, if you had a do-over on your vote last year, would you take it? a new poll says mitt romney could beat president obama if the election were held today. what's the president doing to turn things around?
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welcome back to "the lead." the world lead now. could the u.s. be close to a historic deal with iran that
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would ease sanctions while putting the brakes on its nuclear weapons ambitions? that all depends on who you ask. >> we believe there is the potential, anyway, to initiate the first phase of an agreement that would see iran halting progress on its program and rolling back certain aspects of it. >> i think the problem with a partial deal is that you reduce the sanctions and in this case, you reduce the sanctions, let out a lot of pressure and iran is practically giving away nothing. it's making a minor concession which they can reverse in weeks and you en danger the whole sanctions regime that took years to make. so i don't think it's a good deal. i think it's a bad deal, an exceedingly bad deal. >> to say the obama administration and the israeli government don't see eye-to-eye on loosening iranian sanctions, well, that's like calling the titanic's voyage sort of a disappointing vacation.
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israel, particularly its prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, sees the deal as unproven and untrustworthy regime while the administration sees it as a step forward in the peace process. joining me from jerusalem is a spokesperson for the israeli government. thank you for being here. today iran's foreign minister accused the israelis of trying to quote, torpedo an agreement to spread tension and mistrust. your reaction? >> we're not against an agreement. we are all for an agreement. we want to see the iranian nuclear crisis resolved peacefully. we have an interest in that. we think everyone would like to see that. but what we want to see is a good agreement, not a bad agreement like the one we had with north korea which everyone celebrated at the time, then just a year later the north koreans exploded their first nuclear device. we want to see a good agreement that actually effectively dismantles iran's military nuclear program.
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>> as you know, last week, some members of the senate got into a heated discussion with members of the obama administration about what exactly this lifting of sanctions would mean and the white house basically said that the numbers being floated and given on capitol hill by the israeli government are wrong. your reaction to that? >> you can have an honest difference on what the estimates are, but what our concern is is that you've got this equation out there on the table which says the iranians take small steps and then the international community in parallel takes small steps to sort of encourage them to move in the right direction. the trouble with that equation, it's based on a falsehood. the first falsehood is that the iranians are taking steps in the right direction. they're not. all that we've seen, all the information that we have is that the iranians are taking only cosmetic measures that in no way undermine their goal of having a
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nuclear weapon. they're not willing to take any serious step not to dismantle a single centrifuge. so that's the first problem. the second problem is that though the sanction relief is in the billions, and maybe for some people that's small, if you look at the strength of the iranian economy, it's quite, quite large, it's quite significant, and as my boss prime minister netanyahu said, it's like a small hole in your tire. that small hole will ultimately lead to a flat and we are very concerned that once you have cracks in the sanctions, the sanctions will fall apart and then there will be no pressure left on the iranians to encourage them to take even more necessary significant steps to dismantle their program. the iranians are building intercontinental ballistic missles. they're not building them for us. they already have missiles that can hit israel. they are building them for you. it's crucial we don't allow them to get nuclear weapons. >> if the deal goes forward and
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of course, it's the position of the obama administration that this deal would prevent, not allow, nuclear weapons, but if the deaoes forward, will it damage u.s./israeli relations? >> we and the united states agree on the big picture. we agree with a common goal and that is that iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. now, between friends, we can have honest differences about how to achieve that goal. israel is directly affected by this. this is for us a core issue in our national security and of course, my prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, wouldn't be doing his job if he wasn't concerned about this. >> he's concerned about it but you're not willing to say this would damage u.s./israeli relations so i think the average viewer at home might think well, if it wouldn't even damage relations, then what's the big deal. >> let me say the following. for us, it's a core issue, it's a crucial issue. i hope we come out of this with a good deal, a deal that does
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dismantle peacefully iran's military nuclear program. i hope it's possible. that's ultimately the very best outcome. >> thank you so much. >> my pleasure, sir. coming up next on "the lead," she was the obama care success story that even the president was excited about. that is until the cost of her health care suddenly skyrocketed. he's an international superstar so what was up with that weird promise from matt damon about not going to the bathroom? he'll explain. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the mercedes-benz winter event is back, with the perfect vehicle that's just right for you, no matter which list you're on. [ santa ] ho, ho, ho, ho! [ male announcer ] get the all-new 2014 cla250 starting at just $29,900.
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welcome back to "the lead." the politics lead now. she's a 48-year-old single mother of a teenaged son diagnosed with adhd. she's gone 15 years without health insurance. jessica sanford thought the affordable care act was the answer to her problems. the president thought so, too, when he read her letter aloud in the white house rose garden last
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month. >> i was crying the other day when i signed up so much stress lifted. now, that is not untypical for a lot of folks like jessica, who have been struggling without health insurance. that's what the affordable care act is all about. >> just days after that speech, everything changed for that single mom from washington state. senior white house correspondent brianna keilar joins us with the latest. this good news story ended up being something else. what happened? >> reporter: no, it's really gut-wrenching when you listen to jessica sanford tell this. she used the washington state exchange so not the federal exchange, just to be clear on that, and she was initially approved for a subsidy so a tax credit to help her afford insurance that would have put her in a gold plan, so a pretty good plan for about $200 a month. ultimately she was told she didn't qualify for a subsidy but that she could access lower level plans that cost between
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$325 a month and $400 a month, but that they would have higher deductibles. so obviously, the cost, much higher than she was initially told and the product, not as good. >> jessica sanford spoke to cnn's "new day" about it. take a listen. >> it was a huge disappointment, especially since i had, you know, my story had been shared by the president. i felt like, you know, i just felt really embarrassed that he had quoted my story. >> what happens to jessica sanford now? >> reporter: at this point she says she's not going to be able to afford the insurance so she will be uninsured and she will pay the penalty, and a white house spokeswoman, we are told, by sanford, actually called her today and offered to help we're told quote, in any way. so it just goes to show you, this is really a problem for the white house. it really creates an optics
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issue for them because people like jessica sanford were the very people that this law was aiming to give access to health insurance coverage at a price they could afford. >> senior white house correspondent brianna keilar, thanks so much. let's broaden this conversation with our panel. joining me, two former governors, former governor and senator for the state of nebraska, bob kerry and tim pawlenty. senator kerry, good to see you, as always. so this goes way beyond just this one woman's tale of woe. this has been a real rocky rollout for the president's signature law. what if anything can he do to turn it around? >> well, i don't think he should even try to turn it around. just try to implement the legislation and stay open to the possibility that some provisions of that law need to change. it's a very complicated bill. i actually ended up having to read it because i ran for senate unsuccessfully in 2012 and it's complicated. you need to stay open to the possibility there's provisions of that law that need to change. on this particular case, what
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you've got is a woman who was uninsured for 15 years. she was able to get insurance but it cost too much. that's not uncommon in the individual marketplace. among the provisions that apparently the president was unaware of is the law requires minimum standards in order for insurers to provide in this individual marketplace. she didn't meet it, she had to cancel the policy. that's a much bigger problem, failing to notice that particular issue. they should have actually changed that provision prior to these insurance companies canceling it. >> you don't think they should have the minimum standards? >> you can't have a minimum standard if you want to make certain that nobody has a policy change. because the minimum standard forces the policy change. if you don't want people to have to change their policy, you can't have a minimum standard, because it's self-defeating. all i'm saying is particularly in this environment, where the republicans almost unanimously want to repeal, that's their whole mantra, get rid of the whole darned thing, you have to look for opportunities where you say look, i think this is a reasonable change, let's make this change, and just try to make it better. because it's a very, very
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extremely complicated law. >> governor pawlenty, we talked in the past about the republican obligation to come up with all terniv alternatives to show leadership. let's posit that that's your position. where is the republican leadership on these issues? i see a lot of attempts to undermine the law. the upton bill i think went -- i think everybody can agree -- went farther than people were talking about the need for it to be tweaked. do you think the republican party, the republican leadership, is doing what it needs to do to put the country back on the right track? >> i think if you're going to be a responsible governing leading party, you have to not only just criticize the other side but offer your own ideas and solutions. i think you'll see republicans increasingly doing that but right now, of course, as the obama care infrastructure is struggling and some would say imploding, they don't want to jump into the middle of that because they think that gives them some advantage. but if you look at things like look, we need medical malpractice refo a world where the internet tight and buy anything anywhere across the
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world through the internet, why can't i buy my health insurance across state lines? are we that parochial? open up the market, make it more competitive. we should look at requiring providers to have easier, better, more consumer friendly disclosures around what stuff costs. if you go to the doctor now, depending on what health insurance you have and what reimbursement system you're under, there could be 10, 15 different prices for the same procedures. very difficult to find out, very difficult to have a market under those circumstances. those are just some examples but the answer to your question is yes. >> i want to broaden this conversation to the economy as well. earlier today, president obama met with business leaders at the "wall street journal's" ceo council and said this. >> i want you to know that i'm rooting for your success. >> are business leaders rooting for the president's success? >> well, i think all americans want to see their president succeed. but clearly, when the leader has a challenge of this magnitude, of this nature, on a signature issue, i think stepping back and saying okay, maybe this is a time where we should reach
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across the aisle and do the kinds of fixes that senator kerry just mentioned in his comment. but there's a lot of business leaders who would say this is a president who has done a nice job reaching out to them in many instances but hasn't done as good a job meeting in the middle as opposed to ramming through something that was more partisan. >> senator, you live in new york and i'm sure you're well acquainted with the fancy ceo types we're talking about. are they rooting for president obama to succeed? >> well, i don't really know whether they're rooting for him to succeed. they've got issues they want to get addressed. i would say there are many issues where they're very frustrated because congress isn't addressing them. right now, in new york especially, there's a considerable amount of frustration over immigration. the house won't take it up. they absolutely won't take the bill up. it passed thenden they won't take it up. it's long overdue. there's frustration on tax reform. there's a lot of enthusiasm to try to simplify the tax code but there doesn't seem to be much movement. there seems to be an awful lot of, you know, role playing going on in washington right now but
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not a lot of things getting done. i think there's more frustration on the lack of progress on fiscal issues that the leadership is willing to put the company in default, willing to shut the government down for 16 days. they don't like that. i don't think actually the republican leadership at this point likes that, either. there was a lot of hope coming out of that that possibly, the republicans and democrats in washington would find themselves in disagreement on some things but able to agree and reach compromise. >> you don't think it's going to happen? >> well, i actually think one of the problems with the implosion of the affordable health care act, particularly the exchange, the federal exchange, but also now this issue with people being thrown off of their policies, i think it's actually given some new hope to republican leadership that maybe they can get back on the attack. you have to look for these opportunities when they come, you know, to act genuinely rather than say we're going to cross party lines. tim has very good ideas and if it was part of a republican
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presentation to say we're not going to try to repeal this thing, here are three things we want you to put in there, let's change this and try to make it work for the american people. >> dare i suggest the kerry-pawlenty commission? >> i don't have any blue ribbons left. >> thank you both so much. we appreciate it. coming up in the money lead, for decades, men have dominated silicon valley but an influx of women could finally be giving the tech world a long-needed upgrade. in pop culture, how do you follow up on the work of jimmy stewart? you don't. but that's not stopping one production company from launching a sequel to one of the greatest holiday films of all time. keeping up with these two is more than a full time job and i don't have time for unreliable companies. angie's list definitely saves me time and money. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most. join today.
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welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the money lead. it's been an industry dominated by men for decades but now it seems at long last, women are finally getting a chance to make their mark in the i.t. world. new statistics show that as of the 60,000 new tech hires made last year, 60% of those jobs went to women. compare that to past years where 70% to 80% of new hires were all
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men. so is this shift a sign of things to come and if so, what's behind it? joining me now is phyllis calmis, president of women in technology. thank you for being here. what do you credit this sudden uptick in hiring women at i.t. firms? >> a lot of women are graduating from college now, 60% is the number of women graduates from universities these days, so it's not surprising to see an upswing in professional jobs being filled by women. and i think beyond th, there are some very high visibility women now who are in high tech roles. marissa levin, sheryl sandberg. those provide very high end models for young women to aspire to. >> i wondered about that. if those women, how much you think they are actually, their presence there is sending a signal to women this is a woman-friendly world, come in,
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that wasn't there just four or five years ago. >> there's no question about that. but i think it goes beyond that. it's very interesting that this year is the 20th anniversary of a couple of major women's i.t. organizations, so it makes you stop and say what was going on 20 years ago that these organizations would be celebrating their 20th anniversaries and i think it looks to what's been going on before that, because not only are these very high level role models for young women to see and women throughout the industry to see and aspire to, there's a whole chain of women. so women not only are there as role models, they are there as mentors, as advisors. we can talk about how women come and go in a career, deal with all of the situations like raising -- >> we shouldn't paint too rosy a picture. it's still only a third of the jobs in the i.t. sector are held by women. what needs to change? it's great news that 60% went to women of the most recent 60,000 but what do the tech firms need to do?
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is it diversity training or is this something that's just going to progress organically on its own? >> i think it will progress organically but not on its own. we have to be persistent in keeping this as a focus and industry does need to change. the changes have been coming slowly. when a small person entered my life, there were no day care centers, no arrangements. now of course there's much more and part of it is the women getting into the higher levels in companies, bring that sensitivity to recognizing -- >> making them for family friendly. >> making them family friendly, providing flexibility. men have also changed. >> although didn't marissa mayer say few hours working at home? >> well, flexibility doesn't nie necessarily mean working at home. i work in an area where we have core hours. everyone needs to be there from a certain hour in the morning to a certain hour in the afternoon but you may be doing additional
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hours beyond that and may be shifting your schedule. >> thank you so much. i hope the good news continues. it could be the single greatest life saving invention ever. seat belts, no. vaccines? no. penicillc penicillin? nope. [ female announcer ] it's time for the annual shareholders meeting. ♪ there'll be the usual presentations on research. and development. some new members of the team will be introduced. the chairman emeritus will distribute his usual wisdom. and you? well, you're the chief life officer. you just need the right professional to help you take charge. ♪
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this just in. welcome back. in politics news, he's not just a republican congressman from florida. he's a husband, father, former journalist, founder of a nonprofit and self-described hip-hop conservative. where does he get the energy? court documents show that the congressman was arrested for cocaine possession in washington on or about october 29th. the freshman congressman is scheduled to appear in court
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tomorrow. now it's time for the pop culture lead. if you're feeling a little flushed today, blame it on the calendar. it's world toilet day. i just have to forgive those of you who forgot to send a card. while it may not exactly be a date you had circled, for oscar winner matt damon it's one of the most important days of the year because for the past few years, he's been a man on a mission to help solve the water crisis that this day has meant to raise awareness about. >> all right. >> reporter: today's a big day for matt damon and water expert harry white. they're the co-founders of, a nonprofit aimed at helping developing countries gain access to clean water and sanitation. today, it's world toilet day. a day when they try to draw attention to a planetary water and toilet crisis. believe it or not, on this planet, more people have a cell phone than have sanitary bathroom facilities. damon recalls when he first learned of this problem. >> i was so just shocked by this. a toilet, yeah, there's the
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guest room toilet, there's the, you know, the toilet in your bedroom, there are toilets everywhere. how can this be. and yet 2.5 billion people lack access. it's a huge health issue. >> you have three, over three million people dying every year because of water related disease but that's just the tip of the iceberg. when you look at how it robs communities of their future. >> reporter: for damon and white, it's not just a matter of improving communities but a dedicated mission to save lives. you have three daughters and a stepdaughter. and a wife. >> yes. >> reporter: and you keep talking about how much this means to women in these countries, in these developing countries. >> yeah. you know, it's a very -- the very first girl that i met about eight years ago, i was in zambia and i went on a water collection with her. she was talking about how she was going to go to the big city, i'm going to go to the big city and be a nurse, and she was 14
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years old, and i remembered, you know, being 14 years old and ben affleck and i were going to go to the big city of new york and we were going to be actors, and i remember that feeling. i really connected to this kid. and i realized later that had someone not put this, sunk a bore well a mile from this hut she lived in, that her whole life would be about scavenging for water. she wouldn't be in school. she wouldn't be dreaming of being a nurse. >> it's not just the girls going to get the water. it's the risk they take at night going out to go to the bathroom. >> the girls, you know, wait until nighttime because they don't want to do it in broad daylight, and obviously, there are huge security risks that come along with that. so as a father of four girls, i connect very deeply and personally to this issue for a whole host of reasons. so it's not just a life or death issue.
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it's a quality of life issue. >> reporter: like most of you, i wanted to know how to help but i had a little trouble asking. what can people do for this cause, for national toilet day? >> world toilet day is coming up. >> it's not national. it's world toilet day. >> it's world toilet day, man. >> i apologize. >> it's bigger than us. >> if you want to help or just want to be able to say you have something in common with matt damon, go to to find out how to be an ambassador for this global issue. also in pop culture, what do you want? you want the moon or do you want a sequel to "it's a wonderful life"? >> hello, bedford falls! merry christmas, you wonderful old building! >> that's not a trick. frank capra's hollywood classic that taught us no man is a failure who has friends, is reportedly getting a part two. the plot allegedly focuses on george bailey's grandson.
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caroline grimes will have a role in the film which is due out for the 2015 holiday season. that gives you plenty of time to work on your jimmy stewart impressio impressions. the best man holiday did so well in its box office debut, there is already talk that a follow-up is in the works. the sequel to the 1999 comedy opened strong with more than $30 million in ticket sales. "the best man's" success shocked a lot of critics who assumed it would be no match for a big budget super hero flick. the comedy is the latest in a string of successful big screen movies featuring predominantly african-american casts. make sure to follow me on twitter. check out our show page at that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." mr. blitzer?
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happening now, george zimmerman back in court on a felony assault charge, accused of pointing a gun at his girlfriend. we have the astonishing details on his arrest and appearance before a judge. a lawmaker repeatedly stabbed in the head and torso and his son fatally wounded by a gunshot. that's the scene police found this morning. the story they're piecing together is even more shocking. as the u.s. tries to close a nuclear deal with iran, a split with israel goes very public. i will speak with the president's national security advisor, susan rice. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this coming into "the situation room." george zimmerman free on $9,000 bail. this is george zimmerman leaving the correctional facility in seminole county, florida, onl a few minutes ago. th j ces hours after