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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  November 26, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PST

2:00 pm for video, blogs and extras. that's all for "the lead." i'm john berman sitting in for jake tapper today. i turn you over to jim acosta in "the situation room." happening now, holiday hell. torrential rains, wet snow, even tornado warnings. one-third of americans facing delays and disappointment heading into some of the busiest travel days of the year. will the way to grandmother's house be spent in bumper to bumper traffic? we are tracking a fast-moving storm. missed signals. the newtown shooter had an arsenal in his bedroom, trash bags taped over his windows and an obsession with school shootings. yet he never got the mental health care he so desperately needed. how did our system fail him and why hasn't anything changed? time-out. 60 minutes temporarily benches lara logan for a flawed report on cbs while msnbc and alec baldwin part ways over a
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derogatory slur. is there a double standard when it comes to who stays and who goes? and hunger games, the white house is pitting turkey against turkey in an online gobble-off. will both birds come out alive? is the annual turkey pardoning taking a cue from the hottest film in hollywood? wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim acosta. you're in "the situation room." 43 million americans on the move this holiday weekend. for many, the journey will be slow, difficult and even dangerous. air travel is getting more complicated by the hour, as rain and snow fell on the eastern u.s. look at the flight tracker behind me showing planes currently in the air right now. others are trying to join them, but facing lengthy delays and even cancellations. you can see that reflected in the airport misery map. dallas, houston, atlanta and washington are among the hardest hit airports where many of you
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are watching us tonight. we've got this satellite image to show you as well of the storm causing so much misery. you can see it covers a huge swath of the united states. our cnn correspondents are covering all angles of this unfolding travel nightmare. let's begin with meteorologist chad myers in the cnn severe weather center. chad, what are you seeing? >> you know, jim, i think we looked at the rain and said this is only going to be a rain event. well, you know what? the rain event is a big event. it's a big event if you're trying to put millions of people on the roadways to move. it's rain from pennsylvania southward all the way through here. snow to the north, don't get me wrong, in the midwest, ohio, pennsylvania, buffalo, but the issue is all of this rain. the rain itself right now is just making travel miserable across the roadways. this is what new york city looks like right now. i can't find you one city street that's going faster than about ten miles per hour anywhere across new jersey and all the way up through connecticut as
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well. the long island expressway equally miserable. take you to one more spot across atlanta. right there, there is a now 40 mile backup trying to get into atlanta right here on the way toward braselton, 40 miles worth of cars that have been stopped. i have been tweeting back and forth with some of these guys. they have been sitting there since 11:00 this morning. so yes, it's only rain but when you crash a car or truck and this was two semis crashing in atlanta or near atlanta, you will get misery. that's what we have right here. there's the low traveling to the north. i-95 stays wet. but buffalo, rochester, back toward pittsburgh, even to ohio, a lot of snow coming down, at least six inches of snow. some of it changing over to mist and drizzle for awhile but after sunset, it's almost right now, that's when the roadways are going to refreeze. i know the sun wasn't very strong today because it was
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behind clouds but there's enough heat hitting the ground that the ground was warm. the ground was 34. when the sun goes away, the ground goes to 31 and all the bridges freeze first and all the roads freeze next, and travel tonight is going to get a whole lot worse than it was today. that wind for tomorrow will cause airport delays in at least three to four hours across the major metro airports of the northeast. boston, new york and laguardia, so on and so on and so on. brand new delays just out of new york right now. renee marsh has more on that. >> so grandma ought to be ready for a few people to show up late this thanksgiving. all right. thank you so much. appreciate it. how does all of this affect you? weather-related delays and cancellations piling up across the country at airports. cnn's renee marsh is at dulles airport near washington. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: well, i can tell you those delays and cancellations, they are building up. more so the delays. i want to give you a live look at dulles. you can see people are showing
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up for their flights here but not everyone is making it through without a glitch. you just heard chad mention some of those delays that we're starting to see at these airports like newark, for example, 60-minute delays. at laguardia, almost all arrivals and departures, they're delayed by about 30 minutes because of low clouds and the latest tally from those websites tracking all of these flights in the air is that some 3400 delays total today is what we've seen throughout the country. so not exactly smooth sailing for everyone. we spoke to some of those people who experienced those delays. take a listen. >> we are going to leave about 45 minutes later, and then when i came in to check in, they said they can put me on the earlier flight which is also delayed. >> i'm going to atlanta and the flight was delayed by like an hour and a half which has me missing my flight to el paso. >> i'm keeping my fingers crossed. should be okay. >> reporter: all right.
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looking forward to tomorrow, we spoke with several airlines and they tell us this. they are not expecting a very large amount of cancellations, but the big word tomorrow once again is going to be those delays, because of the wind that we are expecting. of course, with windy conditions, you are going to have a situation where they're not going to be able to land as many airplanes within the hour, so pack your patience. you know how that goes. you want to call and check with your airline before you actually get to the airport. that's the latest from here. back to you. >> good advice. renee marsh, thank you very much. many drivers are finding it no better and in some cases, worse on the roads. cnn's shannon travis is in western pennsylvania near pittsburgh. you have been driving all day. how has it been for you out there? >> reporter: it's been pretty rough, jim. you and chad have been talking about how the roads are and will be a mess. that's what we have essentially been saying out here. we're on interstate 76, essentially the pennsylvania
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turnpike, in a place called irwin about 20 miles outside of pittsburgh. it's been essentially this mix of rain and snow all day since we've been here. i wanted to show you a little about the low visibility out here. we have been seeing it's moving pretty smoothly but again, the cars are driving a little bit slower that we've noticed. earlier today when we were driving in here, jim, it was just an annoying mess of that wintry mix of sleet and rain and snow earlier. we were driving through a mountain, a steep curve through the mountain. you already had to slow down but it was made even more potentially dangerous because of the mess that was coming down. i spoke with some officials today with the pennsylvania department of transportation and they said in conditions like these, obviously with about 40 million people taking to the roads for thanksgiving, with conditions like these, it pays to be careful but it also pays to step aside, pull aside and let those snow plows and salt trucks do their job. jim? >> good word of caution.
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shannon travis in pennsylvania, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up next, obama care is going back before the supreme court. details of what the justices will have to decide. also, thousands of u.s. troops could be in afghanistan for years to come. but why? plus, a homophobic rant costs alec baldwin his show on msnbc. but graphic remarks by another host apparently went unpunished. is there a double standard at the network? i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist. sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart.
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♪ when you think about it, isn't that what retirement should be, paying ourselves to do what we love? ♪ more trouble for obama care which is now headed back to the supreme court, this time over a dispute involving contraceptives and religious liberty. the justices have agreed to review provisions in the law requiring some employers to
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offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay. at issue is whether these companies can refuse to do so on grounds that it violates their religious beliefs. joining us now to talk about it, cnn senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. i guess when people were hearing this headline for the first time, they may be wondering is the entire obama care law going back to the supreme court for an entire review here. that's not what's happening, right? >> no, not at all. in fact, this is an important case but it's really a discreet and rather small part of the law that's being tested. but as you pointed out, it's one of those classic supreme court clashes where there are competing values, where religious liberty, the right of religious business owners to have their money spent in a way that doesn't offend them versus the congress, which says we think that birth control is an important part of women's health and we are not excusing people just because they don't like it,
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that this is a law that applies to everybody and everybody has to pay. >> how does the first amendment figure into all of this? do companies have first amendment rights? >> well, this is one of the very interesting parts about this case is the court has never precisely said what rights of religious freedom attach to a corporation. this company is a very big company. they have thousands of employees. it's not just a mom and pop operation. so the issue there is not just the rights of the owners. it's what about the rights of all the employees, including many women who could be beneficiaries of this law and who want to get birth control, they're entitled to birth control under the affordable care act, and they say that the religious liberty of the owners is not enough to overcome their right to be treated equally under the law. >> and where does this go from here? if companies can start asserting their religious beliefs in terms of denying parts of the
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affordable care act and not wanting to comply with certain parts of it, where does it end? could other companies say well, we have these beliefs over here and because of those beliefs, we are going to take action in this way, that might be in violation of the law or some kind of statute? >> you sound like a law professor. you're trying to lead us down the slippery slope. that's obviously what the obama administration is going to say to the supreme court. they're going to say look, what if a company is owned by christian scientists, does that mean blood transfusions will not be covered under the affordable care act? you can't allow the religious beliefs of owners to trump rules that apply to everybody. the people who are attacking the law say look, we're not talking about, you know t slippery slope. we are simply talking about long-held religious beliefs by these business owners which cannot be overcome by congress' recent judgment in the affordable care act. it's not a simple case. the lower courts have taken
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different views, have come out different ways. some courts have upheld the law, some have found it unconstitutional. it's going to be a closely argued case in the supreme court and beats the heck out of me how they will come out on it. >> it will be another fascinating court case to watch and probably another close one as well. jeffrey toobin, thank you for your time. we appreciate it. turning to afghanistan now and growing tensions over a potential security deal with the united states which would keep u.s. troops in the country for years to come. president obama's national security advisor susan rice is there and on afghan television issued this threat to afghan president hamid karzai, who is refusing to sign the deal. >> if the agreement isn't signed promptly, what i've said to the president is we would have no choice, we would be compelled by necessity, not by our preference, to have to begin to plan for the prospect that we will not be able to keep our troops here because they will not be invited because the bsa will not have been signed.
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then the nature of our partnership and the investments that we have made will be more difficult to sustain. >> all this raising an important question after more than a decade already, why does the united states need to stay in afghanistan any longer? let's bring in cnn senior international correspondent nick paton walsh with details. sounds like susan rice was issuing an ultimatum to the afghan president. what's the holdup in this deal? >> reporter: well, karzai has effectively changed the goal posts. everyone thought the major text was out, said he wouldn't sign that text until next year after elections, then threw in some conditions. no more raids on afghan homes, release prisoners from guantanamo. many asking why. i think people see him trying to keep leverage here. it's his last big chance to pry something out of the united states. he may have his eyes on the elections next year which will choose his successor. the u.s. was very critical of the elections that put him back
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in power in 2009 and he may want to make sure this deal, still hanging in the balance, could dampen any criticism of the electoral process. then of course it's solely hamid karzai's decision whether or not there will be an enduring relationship between the u.s. and afghanistan. if he doesn't sign this deal, as you heard susan rice say, there won't be much of one at all. >> i guess a lot of americans might respond to this and just sort of throw their hands up and say you know, we have done enough for this country, why don't we just get out of there. i'm sure there are a lot of other people in the countries of the other allied forces, nato forces, that are involved in afghanistan as well who are probably having the same feeling. hamid karzai doesn't like this deal, why not just get out of there. what do you make of that and this continuing presence that could be there for years to come? is it really about security? >> reporter: this is a two-pronged answer. first is the practical military necessity, the pentagon would
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argue, they could see a gulf opening up if they don't keep a presence there for al qaeda to come back in. of course, afghanistan right between iran and pakistan, too, very problematic countries for the u.s. u.s. drones still flying over taliban strongholds in pakistan. it's important for that reason, too. bear in mind also, the real thing here, this is america's longest war. do they really want to see it end on a dispute over a tiny detail, how fast can you sign a deal, or do they want to be sure that by having troops there and some sort of continued aid deal, some sort of continued u.s. influence, that america's sacrifice of blood and treasure there doesn't suddenly evaporate overnight and they have no influence on the afghanistan of the future. >> some good perspective from nick paton walsh. thanks very much for your time. coming up, even people thousands of miles from the storm hammering the eastern u.s., people are finding their holiday travel delayed and disrupted. we will take a closer look at the ripple effect. plus, we'll show you why steve barton would not shake president obama's hand. it was not a diss.
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100 million people in the
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eastern u.s. are feeling the impact of rain, snow and frigid temperatures and millions of people elsewhere are trying to get somewhere for thanksgiving and are finding their plans disrupted. if you aren't anywhere near the storm, you are also feeling the victim of being the victim of this ripple effect. cnn's tom foreman is now here with us to explain all of this. tom, how does this play out? >> it plays out right now with the nervous factor through the roof. it's unbelievable. tens of thousands of travelers are being slammed by this bad weather. many more could be hit by this ripple effect. these are people sitting hundreds of miles away in sunshiny airports. to understand why this happens, let's look at one hypothetical airplane. say it's a regional jet that starts in cleveland and tomorrow is scheduled to fly to new york, then grand rapids, then chicago, then louisville and then back up to cleveland finally. the airlines would like to keep all of these routes intact but there is a simple principle at work here. you have to keep as many planes and passengers flying as possible.
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that's how you make money. so if the weather forecast says that the east coast up here is really going to be slammed, if this is the part they're worried about, talking about a hypothetical circumstance here, maybe a good many of the flights in and out of this area would have to be canceled. now, right now the airlines are not seeing a huge number being canceled. we just got an update on that a short while ago. but when this does happen, it plays havoc with everything else beyond the system. for example, if you cancel this leg coming in, and this leg going out, what about all the other areas where they are counting on this plane to show up. and all the planes that are counting on the connections from that plane. that is the ripple effect. that's where people really feel it. >> is there any way for these passengers to avoid this? because it doesn't sound like you actually could. >> if you're going right here and your flight gets canceled, it gets really tricky. but maybe the rest of it, because when you're pulling these resources out of an area like that that gets slammed, it's so you can handle more
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people out here. here's the basic advice you might want to consider in a circumstance like this. first of all, you may want to go around the problem. if it's up here and you're being routed through here on a flight of some sort, call your airline, see if you can route through another area, if you go new york -- from l.a. to new york, for example, through cleveland, see if maybe you can go south through memphis or atlanta or somewhere else. that might be able to help you out. second, speed up or slow down. go a little earlier or a little later than you planned if you're flying right around the dangerous time, the time when the pressure's really on. and the last thing, let the airline help. the truth is the airline does not want you sitting in the airport either. they want to get you on your way. again, that's how they make money. so check their website. some are offering travel waivers that will allow you to change your ticket free of charge no matter what kind of ticket you have, and that can be a benefit to everyone. the airline, you, the airports
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and grandma, who is waiting for you. jim? >> good advice. she is waiting and we hope it won't be that bad but thanks for all that. we appreciate it. here's a look at some of the other stories we are monitoring in "the situation room" right now. at least ten haitian migrants are dead and dozens of others rescued after their overloaded boat capsized off the bahamas. the coast guard released these images showing approximately 100 people crammed on to parts of the 40 foot vessel, still above water, while others were in the ocean or clinging to the sides. all of the survivors were taken to the bahamas for medical treatment. another surprising move for pope francis who is laying out dramatic new changes to the roman catholic church in his first major written work. the document titled "joy of the gospel" calls for catholics to stop obsessing about cultural issues and enforcing church rules and to focus more on spreading the word, especially helping the poor and marginalized. president obama wrapped up his visit to california with a stop at dreamwork animation, where he bumped elbows with
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steve martin, the comedian and actor explained that he had a cold and didn't want to give the president his germs. later, president obama told entertainment industry leaders they have a responsibility in the gun debate when it comes to onscreen violence. next, chilling new details of the newtown school massacre underscore what some are calling a mental health crisis in the u.s. and it sounds like one of the movies, a top hollywood producer admits to a secret life as a spy. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist. sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart.
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we're just learning that a judge has now ordered the release of 911 calls from the massacre at sandy hook elementary. this just one day after a report revealed chilling new details about the shooter and images from that horrific day, all raising larger concerns about mental health in this country and whether it's in crisis.
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brian todd is working on this part of the story. brian, what are you finding out? >> experts are telling us they have no doubt that mental health in the u.s. is in crisis. they say that crisis is manifesting itself in rampage killings, other horrific incidents like the newtown shootings. a new report which includes some jarring photographs addresses the mental health of shooter adam lanza. the shot-out windows of the entrance to sandy hook elementary school. the bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 children and six adults. newly released bone-chilling images of the crime scene in the newtown shootings from connecticut state investigators. black plastic bags taped over the windows of his bedroom mirror the dark mind of shooter adam lanza. just off his computer room, there's a gun locker, a gun still perched inside. the new report says lanza did a spreadsheet on other mass murders, kept a newspaper clipping from an 1891 school shooting. >> adam lanza is sort of a black box in which we see the crash
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but we don't really know what happened that led to the crash. >> reporter: the report says lanza had significant mental health issues, but the professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior. >> what may happen is that if you cannot definitively say that that patient is a danger to themselves or others or property, then you don't turn them over to the police. >> reporter: this is a tale of two families and their struggles with mental health. the lanza family, whose efforts to get treatment for their son are unclear, and the family of virginia state senator creigh deeds. their son austin was evaluated for mental illness, released from a hospital a day before he repeatedly stabbed his father and then killed himself. released because according to the rothbridge area community services board in virginia, there were no psychiatric beds available. cnn later learned at least three hospitals in the state had beds. now senator deeds is lashing out
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at that board, telling a newspaper quote, i feel like they are responsible. members of that board didn't return our calls or e-mail. >> if we don't want people to get treatment, we created a great scenario to do that. >> reporter: treatment advocate doris fuller says cuts in psychiatric care have been happening for decades. when states close mental hospitals because of neglect and abuse, she says, they didn't build adequate replacements. >> today, we have about 450,000 people with mental illness living in jails and prisons. >> reporter: why did the united states just cut resources for the mentally ill over the past several decades? >> let's look at who those hospitals served. they serve a population that has no voice, a population that does not vote. >> reporter: the result, according to fuller, an increase in rampage shootings and other killings committed by the mentally ill. she says right now, about 10% of all homicides in the u.s. are committed by people with untreated mental illness. >> it's a problem we have to solve. brian todd, thank you very much.
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appreciate it. this topic is so critical to the debate over what's causing mass shootings we wanted to spend more time on this with dr. drew pinski, cook county illinois sheriff thomas dart and richard blumenthal of connecticut, home state of where the newtown tragedy occurred. thank you very much for your time. i wanted to ask you, dr. drew, there were so many warning signs for both of these cases that brian todd just talked about, the creigh deeds case and what happened with his family and what happened in newtown but it seems like this happens over and over again, dr. drew. we miss the warning signs, the warning signs are missed. how do we fix that? >> well, i wish i could answer it in just a minute here on your program but it's a complex issue. we have issues of mental health parity in that when somebody dies they don't look at it as a mental health problem so lack of bed availability is something that contributed in one of these cases and the other cases, perhaps there are family members
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that don't want to acknowledge that somebody has mental illness or what's very common is caretakers can't require people who are so ill to participate in treatment even if it means that person will have made healthier, happier and the community protected. >> senator blumenthal, we are coming up on the one year anniversary of the new witown tragedy. a lot of americans wondering why hasn't any meaningful legislation been passed to address either the issue of guns or the issue of mental health. what is the reason behind that? >> the failure of congress to address the issue of gun violence prevention is absolutely inexcusable and unconscionable. i have helped to lead the effort on behalf of common sense measures, including a mental health initiative that will address the kind of danger that's posed by the adam lanzas who need this kind of outreach and service and diagnosis but also common sense measures like
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background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines that were integral to the massacre at sandy hook. so the failure to act is inexcusable. >> the failure to act is inexcusable. sheriff, have the politicians done enough? >> no. i mean, this is one of those things where, you know, why people don't like government. we all know the scope of the problem. we all know this is something that is going to manifest itself in people getting hurt. yet truly, no one is doing anything about it. i have today over 3,000 people in my jail who are mentally ill. at the same time, my police officers are going to doors for people whose rights to own guns and hold them have been revoked who are severely mentally ill, yet there's no comprehensive system to do any of this so the fact that we have tragedies unfortunately is what is occurring because people are doing absolutely nothing because there is nothing out there. when they leave my jail, they go right to the street until they
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wander around and commit new offenses. in the meantime, they're hanging out with my jail with other criminals. >> sheriff, if i could follow up -- i just want to follow up -- let me follow this up real quick and say he's getting at the core of the issue which is that we have tremendous discomfort in this country with interfering with people's rights, even if those rights are infringed upon in such a way as to make them, a, better, and b, protect the rest of us. we don't want to do it. we don't have a will to do it and we must be willing to infringe on somebody's rights when it means they're impaired and can't make judgments about their own rights, particularly when it affects the rest of us and it affects the individual in question. >> we do know how we -- how do we do that? how do we see the warning signs in time to do that? if you're saying we need to go that extra step -- >> i'm saying we know the warning signs. my profession knows the warning signs. if we have the ability to intervene with force, with purpose, even if families object, even if patients object,
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even if they're not mental health beds available, we have the ability to do that even though -- we just have great discomfort with this. i think my colleagues would agree with me on this, that's where the rubber hits the road. we have to be willing to legislate we are willing, we have the will to infringe on people's rights when the rest of our rights are at issue here. >> senator blumenthal, some of that discomfort over at the white house. why has the president, member of your party, not done more on this? no laws have been passed. no laws have been signed since newtown. >> let's be very clear. first of all, the united states senate had 55 votes in favor of background checks and mental health initiative and other common sense gun violence prevention measures. keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. we can all agree, infringes on nobody's rights, neither second amendment -- >> how can i get the information senator blumenthal's initiatives if i don't have the right to give the mental health information over to these people, because the rights of the individual, it's a privacy
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issue, that prevails over gun rights. >> this issue has come up a lot, senator. how do we solve that? >> i think we need to continue to work and fight for these common sense measures to keep faith with those 20 beautiful children and six great educators and this report that was issued brings back all of the pain and grief of that terrible harrowing day but it also should reenergize and reinvigorate the movement for these common sense measures. people have second amendment rights, first amendment rights, there is no need to infringe on them to have common sense measures that require somebody like adam lanza to consider receiving treatment, his family probably needed treatment as well. also, to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people like felons and drug addicts and people -- >> let me bring sheriff dart in. >> that requires background
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checks. >> part of the problem is the political issue, senator. as you know, because democrats can't get gun control, they're not going to go down the road of mental health. they want something in exchange for going town tdown the road o mental health which is what republicans have been calling for. sheriff, let me ask you, what is going to happen from a law enforcement standpoint if this issue is not solved? does it mean your jails will keep filling up like insane asylums, and we will see more mass shootings? >> i'm the largest mental health hospital in the state of illinois. i think the second largest mental health hospital in the country, which is an outrageous embarrassment for our whole country. start with that. but when you have people that i have routinely come to my jail because it's the best and only place they can get mental health treatment, that's a problem. when you're looking for the preventive measures that can help us here, if you don't have places for people to go to get treatment, then it can't be on anybody's radar screen that this person should not ever come around a gun, because right now, in our state, we are forced to
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have concealed carry. the last state, well, you can't deny someone based on mental health reasons if they're not on anyone's radar screen because they had no place to go for treatment. so i mean, this is one of those things where it couldn't be any more a formula for disaster what we have now and it continuously gets worse. honestly, i don't think people care. >> dr. drew, do people care? >> i think -- it's sad to hear the sheriff say that. i think we have an awareness that parity needs to be a priority. people are talking about this. but the point is, i think where they don't care is they don't care until somebody commits a crime and they don't understand that that could be predicted ahead of time and those people could be brought -- their community could be brought to services and help earlier that really will make a difference. people don't know that. >> senator blumenthal, when you have the anniversary of sandy hook coming up for your community, what do you say to the people in your state as to
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why this has not been fixed, why this issue has not been addressed? >> we need to stand up and speak out against the special interests that have so confused and misrepresented the issue. they have led people to believe we want to take away people's guns. absolutely not. people have a second amendment right to guns. what i say to those families is that we will keep faith. i was there on the day of the shooting at the sandy hook fire house and i will never forget the sights and sounds of that day. parents coming out of that fire house and knowing that their loved ones would not be coming home. nor will i forget the comment that i heard today, the message that i saw from one of the loved ones of the victims who said i just saw a picture of the gun that killed my sister. so people do care. and i believe that 90% of the americans want these common sense measures and we need very
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simply to makework. i believe it can be done and with the help of the president and the leadership of the senate, and the congress, i think we will get it done. >> all right. gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us. dr. drew will be on hln later on tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. thank you, all of you, for that lively discussion on a very important issue. it does not get enough attention and so we appreciate your time in talking about it tonight. thank you very much. just ahead, controversial remarks cost alec baldwin his msnbc job but the network kept another host who made what sarah palin called vile remarks about her. is there a double standard at play? we went out and asked people a simple question:
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how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ to enjoy all of these years.
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shocking fallout on 60 mi
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minutes about the benghazi attack in libya last year. joining us, brian steltser. you've read this report about what happened at 60 minutes and the benghazi story. what red flags did they talk about in that report? >> well, there were several mistakes that were made along the way. and that's why the head of standards and practices at cbs said the whole report was inefficient. they didn't talk to their other colleagues at cbs who could have helped them figure out that this main source's background was very suspicious and that he had told the government one thing and told 60 minutes another thing. those contradictions are the main reasons why this report's now been discredited. and it seems that cbs failed to do that investigating beforehand. that's basic fact checking 101,
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the type of thing 60 minutes is known for doing every week. and in this rare case, they came up short. >> and of course all news organizations make mistakes. i think the key is to own up to them and try to live by the lessons learned. lara logan and her producer have taken a leave of absence. >> i expect them to be back on the air at some point, is the leave of absence paid or unpaid, cbs isn't saying. they're just try being to get away for the long thanksgiving holiday, to be frank. and when she comes back, what kinds of stories will she be covering? it might be awkward to assign her to another controversial political and military topic. she may have to wait a while before coming back to those
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stories. at the end of the day, it's all about reputation. i do believe the show can recover from that overtime, like i said, it's about owning up to those mistakes and cbs did a good thing by releasing this report and trying to at least in part explain what happened. and what about alec baldwin? he was only a couple shows in and then this big incident happened with this photographer. was he forced out? what do you know? >> it seems like both cbs and msnbc today tried to dump some bad news before the holiday, typical move for government, but it's different to see television networks doing it. i think this is a case where alec baldwin pushed before he jumped. this was a mutual thing. the reality is that this show was probably doomed from the get
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go. alec baldwin is the kind of guy who gets in these scrapes. he's done it before, and i'm sure it will happen again. he and the pop wroughtsy have this relationship. >> he's got a target rich environment to cover. welcome to have and thank you for your time. coming up at the top of the hour. millions of americans threaten bid a storm and major travel delays. plus hunger games. the white house is pitting turkey against turkey. it's coming up next. ya know, with new fedex one rate you can fill that box and pay one flat rate. i didn't know the coal thing was real. it's very real... david rivera. rivera, david.
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presidential turkey pardon ing has turned into a real live hunger games. >> reporter: what did one clumsy turkey say to the other in one photo opportunity? pardon me. there they were in the ballroom among dangling chandeliers. their snoods dangled. it's caramel versus popcorn. white house is running a contest, asking people to vote on which should be the national thank give turkey. some are comparing it to the hunger games. >> there's 24 of us. only one comes out. >> reporter: but in this case, both come out alive. but only one gets the presidential pardon. the other is the alternate. our money's on popcorn with a morrow bust gobble.
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caramel and popcorn join other ill treous turkeys. 20 finalists were trained in this cottage. john berkle practiced lifting them onto this table so they wouldn't do this when their big day came. popcorn and caramel seemed more relaxed than their human owners. the kids taught the photographers to trill. the turkeys made the drive. they've already outlived most of their compatriots. occasionally a bird gets peckish. >> thanks to the interventions of malia and sasha, because i was planning to eat this sucker. >> reporter: and then theres what the turkey that didn't get
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pardoned, the one that met his demise behind sarah palin's back. it happened as she was giving an interview shortly after she and john mccain were defeated. we'll spare you the gruesome part. the people will decide whether popcorn or caramel gets the glory this year. at least this government website is working. it's no turkey. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. happening now, buckle up for delays. stand by for up-to-the minute reports on a deadly winter storm in the holiday travel mess that's getting worse by the hour. plus, define china. the united states unleashes b-52 bombers into the defense zone. and birth control showdown. could you lose your insurance
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coverage because of your boss's religion? you're in the situation room. it's a messy, stressful and dangerous holiday nightmare. and if you haven't started your thanksgiving travel yet, beware, some of the worst weather is yet to come. a blast of arctic snow is on the way. look for many more cancellations affecting more airports. you may be watching us at one of those airports right now. over 100 million people could feel the impact of this storm before the holiday is over. we have team coverage on the roads and in the airports and in our weather center. we begin in buffalo, new york. george? >> reporter: good evening. so a light dusting coming down here in buffalo, new york. but this is just the beginning. they're expecting here in the city anywhere from 4 to 6 inches
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of snow and in ha they call the south towns and also the outer tier and northwestern pennsylvania, they're expecting anywhere from 6 to 8 inches, even a foot of snow in this area. but, again, this is all playing out right around wednesday. the worst of it tonight, one of the busiest, if not the busiest travel day of the year, but here in buffalo, they deal with snow like miami deals with sun. they know what to do. we talked to city officials about their snow plan, it involves a lot of salt and plows. >> this is roughly 25 ton here. this can cover the city for like two days in a bad event. so yeah, we go through salt as needed. we have electronic spreaders to tell us how much we can be throwing at that time and how much we need to throw based on temperatures and conditions. >> what's your greatest worry? >> we want to make sure that people slow down. they allow themselves ample time to travel. because we know it's a big travel time.
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>> reporter: so, you know, there's no snow story like no snow in the story, but given the next 12 hours we do expect that situation to change here. >> snow in buffalo, not a huge development, but we want people there to be careful there. of course the rest of the country, especially here in the northeast, things may get dicey. one third of the country lives in the northeast. the nation's capitol is one of the big cities bracing for a wal lup. i grew up in this area, this area does not handle this kind of weather very well, especially around the holidays. what are you seeing? >> reporter: i grew up here too. and everything shuts down. everyone freaks out. the hope in d.c. is that it sticks to rain. we are seeing the rain come down. some of the select roadways and traffic tieups. this is going to be a frustrating few days for drivers. because normally they'd say
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let's hit the roadway, skip all this air line travel and it will be easy. it is dangerous out there. this whole system is already responsible for more than 100 car crashes. and i want to put this into perspective for you. triple a has released numbers. and they say more than 90% of thanksgiving travelers are drivers. even beyond that, they are expecting those drivers are going to need help with roadside assistance. more than 320,000 drovers will be calling for help. it's going to be a dicey situation over the next few days. they do still think that tomorrow is going to be the busiest travel day for those driver, maybe up in new england they may wait a day or stay home. but hopefully if you're there you're eating turkey with your grandmother and you'll forget any of this happened. >> mom, i'm on the way. this won't get in the way. every major airline has a hub in the path of this treacherous storm.
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martin savage is at the world's busiest airport no atlanta. it's the world's busiest, is it also the world's most stressed out right now? >> reporter: you know, it's starting, you can feel the stress levels are starting to climb aby as i spoke to you earlier today, things were a little better. they've had heavy rain throughout the day. the system seems to be handling it fairly well, but it's started to shift now. this board doesn't necessarily tell it all and doesn't tell it all for all the airlines, but for delta it does. it was pretty much on time all day, but as we turn to the evening it's gotten more with delays. the delays aren't huge. delta says they're maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but all in all, they're handling things very well. the problem is, it's not just this airport. there are others that feed in here and this one feeds off to somewhere else. and any delay in that system, well, that's how you get the delays on the board.
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today was a relatively easy day. tomorrow, traffic ramps up. by the end of this day, that being the holiday, 1.8 million passengers expected to pass through here. unfortunately, it's looking like it won't be a problem free journey. >> i can see those eyes peering up behind you. my guess is that crowd is going to get larger. >> that's the tv they want. >> that's right. thanks. now let's bring in chad myers to give us an update on how everyone else is doing. >> yeah, 5,966 planes in the air is on this map behind me. that kind of gives you an idea of the ballet. the airlines have to go through to get you on the ground 30 minutes late but try to get you out another plane on time. so much congestion in the sky
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here. almost 6,000 planes right now. here's a look at the flight board at laguardia right now for departures. the next departure out of philadelphia, delayed. and then right here, to atlanta, delayed. 6:15 to pittsburgh, delayed. and a couple scheduled that were on time for a cuouple, but they're going down. they're getting more far and few between as we're starting to see them slow down. i think the slow downs have ramped up in the past hour and a half. something else that's on this map that wasn't on this map about an hour and a half ago is this freezing rain, sleet and mixed precip across pennsylvania. this is exactly what i thought would happen, as soon as the sunset. we're going from 33 and rain to 32 and sleet or 31 and freezing rain. and all of a sudden, the roads are going to get a mess in a hurry. i don't care if you have 2,000 snowplows out there more salt
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trucks. you can't get them all fixed at the same time. it's time to be very careful in this zone now that the sun has set. you say wait a minute, it was cloudy all day. but the sun warms the ground a degree or two. it's going to happen in a hurry. new york city, d.c., all the way down to raleigh, all wet, not white any more. that frozen precip is gone. there was pretty heavy stuff across the piedmont. otherwise the snow back tomorrow morning back into parts of upstate new york. back into pittsburgh and all the way down into west virginia. there will even be some snow coming down in atlanta, georgia. and if there's more than three makes coming down in atlanta, you can't find bread or milk anywhere. don't all go out there and crash that are trying to get to the
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publix trying to get bread and milk. >> chad myers, thank you very much. still ahead, a top hollywood producer behind the film mr. and mrs. smith and many others admitting to a secret life as a spy. and is china getting ready to respond to a challenge by u.s. war planes? it's a sensitive situation unfolding right now. i told my doctor i think i'm... i'm ready. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. i knew that i could smoke for the first 7 days. i knew that i wasn't putting nicotine back into my body to try to quit. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these,
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we're learning that china's only aircraft carrier is on the move after a direct challenge by the united states. war planes flew over the area that china's claiming is an air
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defense zone. beijing is also involved in disputes in that area. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. this sounds serious. what's going on here? >> china certainly flexing its muscle with its military and its navy. it was over the weekend that the chinese declared this air collusion zone saying that anybody had to file flight plans and let their intentions be known. the u.s. said no thank you, we won't be doing that. let's take a look at what happened on monday. two b-52 aircraft threw from guam, their home base and flew to the east china sea. they flew right through the air zone. they did not declare a flight plan or any of their intentions, then spent about an hour in that region, turned around and flew back to guam without incident. the u.s. says it was a training mission and that they do this all the time. and they see no reason to obey
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these new, what they view, chinese demands. both sides talked about it over the weekend, the u.s. pressing the chinese, even with this disagreement with japan over the territories, over the islands in the region, not to cause more problems in this very, very sensitive area. >> potential confrontation in the making. barbara starr, we know you will stay on top of this, thank you. a bombshell confession from a top hollywood producer who's worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment. while he was making movie, he also had a secret occupation as a spy. what do we know about this? this sounds like a movie? >> reporter: it sure does. this is the first time he has spoken publicly about these revelations. and you said it. this story sounds like one of the blplot lines of the movies produces. justin timberlake.
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vince vaughn, brad bit and ang gentlem lean a jolie. the hits like 12 years a slave, pretty woman and fight club says he spent years as an israeli secret agent and arms dealer. in a stunning interview that aired monday on an israeli investigative program, he detailed how he was recruited in the 1960s to israel's bureau of scientific relations. saying, quote, i did it for my country, and i'm proud of it. he moved to hollywood in the 1970s, but he suggested that his work didn't end completely. he hinted other big hollywood players were also involved. saying, quote, when i came to
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hollywood, i detached myself completely from my physical activities to dedicate myself to what i really wanted, film making. but sometimes it gets mixed up. he owns new regency films and works closely with directors such as martin scorsese and oliver stone. he forged a relationship with robert deniro. he said he was an israeli and he would of course do these things for his country. >> reporter: in a story that seems reminiscent to last year's film argo that depicted the collaboration to rescue dlpts, it's a safe bet hollywood execs will be fighting to bring this story to the big screen too.
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now we reached out to milton today, but we wered told he was traveling and unavailable. i have been covering hollywood for a long time and not much surprises me. but this is a wow story. >> it's too bad he's unavailable. when he's available, he should come out on the situation room. just ahead. birth control versus religion. the supreme court takes on a new case that could cause big problems for some women and for president obama.
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all right. new problems for the president. brand new cnn polling shows democrats are losing their edge over republicans with the midterm election year right around the corner. at the same time, the supreme court has decided to decide
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about -- joining us is a democratic strategist and a former strategist for mitt romney. let's start with this development with obama care. we know the supreme court is not taking the entire case again, and this issue of contraception. what do you think is going to happen politically for the president and republicans? >> it's a little deja vu. you remember something called the war against women? do you remember that? because that's going to come back. and, you know, the white house has already put out a statement saying that health care decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. and you'll remember, i don't have to remind you, sorry to keep picking on you, that the president beat mitt romney by 11 points, with young women, 2-1. >> was it because of
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contraception? >> i have no doubt gloria's right. and i think cornell will affirm this for us that democrats are going to try to use this again as an effort to drum up this fake war on women. but obama care, this is an issue that, again, i think is now going to be, it's shifted. obama care is more about with voters, it's more about what the government promised them about this law and how it would affect them and how none of that has been true. and i think right now the lens through this issue which will be fought with is employers. so many employers are being affected negatively and their employ employees are being affected negatively. >> no woman should have her health care dictated by her boss. that is fundamental. democrats do drive a gender gap. this gives democrats a chance to drive a gender gap.
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90% of women have taken contraception at one point in their life. this is not a fringe issue. this is an issue for millions of american women and the republicans are on the wrong side of it. >> obama care at the supreme court, i'll leave it at that. >> let's talk about this new cnn poll. you remember the government shutdown and what happened to congress then. 50% for democrat, 42% for republicans. that has now flipped. it is now republicans who have the edge in this question with voters. and gloria, how tables have turned, how fortunes have been reversed. >> you're up, you're down. >> that's the nature of politics? >> you're right. after the shutdown, the republicans were losing on this generic ballot. now it's, look, the public is
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fickle, because they don't like anybody. okay. there is no brand loyalty anymore. democrat, republican, they're just like looking at washington and saying, get your job done. so the democrats, if the rollout of obama care was a disaster, okay, it's your problem. if it was a disaster for republicans, it's your problem. they don't like what they're seeing. >> can you hang on to this edge? the obama care issue has been the gift that keeps on giving. will it continue to give? >> the shutdown definitely helped the atmosphere. but i think the long term effects of obama care is what's going to affect it now. it was a 41-47% issue. but you could say it was competitive. now it's shifted to like a 60-40 issue, because people are seeing it implemented. and the most mobile part of the electorate, which was a little more fickle, they've actually swung in a big way against democrats.
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>> i've talked to administration officials who really feel like once they get the websites, if and when they get the website fix thad a lot of this is going to go by the wayside. are you hanging your hopes on that? >> here's a couple problems with that. i think kevin will agree with he. any sort of generic advantage a year out means nothing. because a year in politics is forever. and you remember a year out, most of you all said dems were going to lose the senate and we did not. the washington post headlines was a problem for republicans. they said in rural kentucky, health care takes a back seethe as rural kentuckiens have lined up to get health care. when you have people who have never had health care in their life, especially in red states, it's going to change the dynamics of this conversation. i don't think democrats are going to be running from this fight, they're going to be
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running toward this fight in november. >> the democrats have actually kept their base, that that has not shifted. >> we're down 7 points among moderates which is a group that republicans have struggled with. >> what is obama care starts working? >> i don't believe it's going to start working. a website is not the problem. you're rearranging one sixth of the economy and in a way that really does hurt people's insurance. this is going to be a very big problem for them. some of the mileposts that are coming up, like how it affects smaller employers, how it affects the rates, that's a bigger problem. >> i got to let it stand right there. gloria, cornell, kevin. happy thanksgiving. good seeing you guys. and thanks for joining us tonight. crossfire starts right now. tonight, on crossfire. u.s. war planes challenging
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china. peace talks in afghanistan, nukes in iran. is president obama be being shaped by events? or is he shaping them in. >> there's still enormous challenges ahead. on the left van jones, on the right, newt gingrich in the crossfire peter bien heart and bill crystal. obama's hot zone, will the u.s. get burned? tonight on crossfire. welcome to crossfire. i'm newt gingrich on the right. >> and i'm van jones on the left. we've got two guests who have very different views of the world. we also have some pretty important breaking news. the chinese navy's only aircraft carrier is on the move. it's headed toward the south china sea. earlier today, cnn confirmed that the u.s. flew our b-52 bombers over another part of the pacific ocean that china's started to claim as its own, in
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other words, potential conflict between the u.s. and china at a military level. this news comes just days after president obama got the iranians to the negotiating table over their nuclear program. it is a dangerous world out there. and i am glad tonight we have a president who knows how to use defense and diplomacy. in times like this we need a leader who can be tough without being a cowboy. >> he certainly has a chance to prove that. he has karzai and he have things developing with the iranians and the new challenge with the chinese which may be in fact the most dangerous of the three current activities of the and that doesn't count iraq, syria, libya, you name it. >> i'm glad we've got a cool hand, no reckless cowboys. >> we're going to discuss how cool that hand is in a minute. in the crossfire