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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  October 25, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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interview if you go to the brooke blog, cnn.com. i asked how has your life changed in the last six months. it was six months ago just about when the two blasts went off on boylston street. thank you so much for being with me on this friday. we go to washington now. "the lead" starts right now. what's a little espionage between friends or against friends, for that matter? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. now that dozens of world leaders suspect the nsa is spying on them, the obama administration turns to the op-ed page for damage control, but how will allies react to essentially being told hey, everybody does it. the world lead. panic after a massive earthquake off the coast of japan rattled the ground beneath the fukushima power plant which is still crippled after suffering the worst nuclear disaster since chernobyl. also in national news, this young teacher was murdered and they are tasked with putting a teenaged suspect behind bars for
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it. the district attorney's office prosecuting the case that shook a massachusetts town is now talking to cnn. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the national lead. it is friday, and you can imagine they're saying tgif at the white house. right now, president obama's speaking at a school in brooklyn, where perhaps the laughter of children will distract his thoughts from the past week. it has not been a great one for him. in the last five days, president obama found himself sheepishly promising the federal website for his affordable care act will work eventually. republicans want his health secretary to take a permanent sick day. the german chancellor called him personally after she learned that u.s. intelligence may have been listening in on her phone, then the guardian newspaper revealed that the nsa monitored phone conversations of 35 world leaders, citing a document from the president's dear old friend, former contractor, edward snowden. this week, well, it's been like watching that video of the president airballing on a
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continuous loop. factor in the loss of jay cutler from the chicago bears' lineup and it's doubtful that this week will get a prime chapter in the obama memoirs. today lisa monaco defended his surveillance policies in a "usa today" op-ed, writing those policies are under review but she asserts that every intelligence service in the world collects information on allies and tries to assure the american people that quote, we are not listening to every phone call or reading every e-mail. far from it. though we collect the same sort of intelligence as all nations, our intelligence community has more restrictions and oversight than in any other country in history. joining me now for reaction is former state department spokesman, p.j. crowley. thanks for being here. this is just the latest in a string of nsa revelations coming from edward snowden. do you think we've seen the bottom of this or are there more to come? >> we don't know. obviously, at some point, you'll reach the floor and then you can
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begin to rebuild what has been damaged and restore what's been lost. but i'm not sure that we're at that point yet. it's that drip, drip, drip aspect to it is part of the difficulty the administration is having of getting ahead of it. >> how devastating are these charges when it comes to spying on our allies? i've heard that for the french, it's kind of feigned, they're not really outraged, but the germans are very offended and obviously what we've heard out of south america, the state dinner being canceled, that's serious, too. >> i think you have to separate these things out. obviously from the string of snowden revelations, the revelations compromise certain intelligence activities has been damaged. we are talking about europe. they are our closest friends. we've struggled at times, we have difference of opinion on lots of things, but europe and the united states look at the world in largely the same way so
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we will recover from this as we have recovered from past periods of time where there have been difficulties, but it will take some time. obviously there's a loss of comfort and potentially trust at the leadership level and that probably will dog the president the remainder of his time in office. >> you were spokesman at the state department and worked at the state department for a long time. how offended -- actually, forget the offended. how surprised would angela merkel be that her phone was listened into by u.s. intelligence? would that be something that wouldn't even occur to her? >> i think in the abstract, people do understand that nations spy on each other and actually, for very good reason. think of it this way. over the past 30 days, where we were going through a government shutdown and the debate, the debt debate, i'm certain that a number of foreign intelligence services were being asked what is obama going to do, what is john boehner going to do, what happens if the americans drive over the cliff. so i'm sure there was some
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intelligence activity here to understand how would this develop, where would it end, because their economies are at stake. so there are very good reasons why you want to use your intelligence assets to understand the world, try to understand what's happening elsewhere that affects us, and they do as well, because what we do affects them. >> even president obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser wrote in her "usa today" op-ed, conceded disclosures have created significant challenges in our relationships and that the programs are under review. what does that mean exactly, under review? is that just a bone to throw to the germans and others saying just like president obama or jay carney saying we do not currently and we will not in the future listen in on angela merkel but not really an acknowledgment that anything happened bad? >> for jay carney to be able to say that, there has been some change and shift in political guidance. okay. but this crosses the line, let's
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pull back from that. so i'm sure there are some adjustments and there will be some adjustments going on. there's not a bright line here. for us, 12 years after 9/11, we're still trying to figure out where is that line between security and privacy, between secrecy and transparency. and that shifts over time based on technology and as well as political need and as well as understanding of the threats that you're facing. so we'll make some adjustments from this. there is some damage that some of the pique is for political purpose, but also, some of this pique is actually a question of trust and that's going to be something that we have to work to restore over time. >> p.j. crowley, thank you so much. we appreciate it. coming up next, a huge earthquake strikes off the coast of japan, not far from the site of the devastating quake and tsunami that demolished the fukushima nuclear site. are the reactors in danger
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again? we will go to japan for a live report, next. plus, the case against a 14-year-old charged with killing his teacher. why did he do it? new information from the prosecutor's office coming up next. orbiting the moon in 1971. afghanistan in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. time for the world lead. a nervous wait and see played out in the wee hours of the morning off the coast of japan not far from where a powerful earthquake hit. tsunami warnings immediately went into effect for several coastal regions following the
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7.1 magnitude quake. that includes the area near the fukushima plant, the scene of a nuclear disaster two years ago as i'm sure you all remember. the site was crippled when a 9.0 magnitude quake triggered a massive tsunami. the tsunami warnings triggered by today's quake were just canceled within the past hour. that's the good news. tepco, tokyo's power company, says so far the plant looks normal. hard to know how much stock to put into that given the company's misleading statements following the 2011 disaster. joining us now by phone is cnn international correspondent paula hancocks. thanks for joining us. have you heard any reports yet of the damage from the quake? >> reporter: well, jake, i'm about 300 miles away in tokyo. this quake was definitely strong enough to wake me up along with many people here. we know there was a small tsunami and i say it was small, maybe around 30 centimeters in some areas. as far as we can tell at this point, there has been no damage.
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you wouldn't expect much damage from a tsunami that small. but remember, this is the exact area that was devastated back in 2011. there was a tsunami advisory all along that northeast coast. it brings back horrifying memories for many people who live along there. and of course, as you say, the worry was about fukushima. tepco says there were no problems. they say there were a couple of employees actually working outside and as soon as this happened, they were evacuated, brought to the quake-proof main building on higher ground, and at this point they say there was no damage. of course, the irony is i'm actually here to cover tropical storm francisco and the worries about the immense amount of rain water that's going to dump on the fukushima plant, will that cause another overflow of toxic water and then you have this earthquake. it really brings home to you just how much mother nature throws at this country. >> paula hancocks, thank you so much. keep us posted, especially when daybreak comes. in national news, plenty of
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questions linger about what motivated a 14-year-old boy described as quiet and friendly to allegedly kill a beloved math teacher on school property earlier this week. but we are learning new information about what happened the day of the murder. investigators say colleen ritzer asked the suspect who has been identified as philip chism to stay behind after class when she noticed him doodling. hours later, police say the student killed ritzer with a box cutter in the girls' bathroom. cnn's don lemon is live in danvers, massachusetts. you just spoke to someone from the district attorney's office. what can you tell us? >> reporter: they said, jake, they're working very hard to try to move this investigation along and that the young suspect now has an attorney so they have to at least use protocol when it comes to speaking with him and go through the attorney. but they're trying to move it along quickly. it is their hope that -- their anticipation they say that he will be tried as an adult in superior court. right now, it's in a district court and once they get all of
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their information together, including the videotape that was mentioned in the court documents, in the police report, and other information that they have, they say that they are going to present it to a grand jury, again, as quickly as possible, and then that case hopefully, the district case will be dropped and then it will become a superior court case and then in a superior court, he must be tried as an adult, and that is their anticipation. but jake, there are also concerns, too, because there are so many media reports out there. of course, this case has garnered national attention. and not from their department but they believe that there are leaks and people are talking, and they're not necessarily giving correct information, and they are giving information that might jeopardize the case. here's what she said to me moments ago. >> i know it's very difficult because a lot of people have a lot of questions. there's a lot of information that's out there that's been attributed maybe to a police report or to a police person
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that the individuals who have given that information were not authorized to do so. >> reporter: again, so they said they want to be very careful about it, because in the initial court appearance, not much information was given, not much information was put into record, so they want to be careful because he is a juvenile, but again, they are seeking to try him as an adult. >> don, there is obviously no excuse or rational explanation for this type of crime, but we hear that investigators are looking into a theory that some recent family issues may, may have allegedly set chism off. what are you hearing about that? >> reporter: sources close to this investigation tell us there is nothing in this young man's past initially that they know of that would indicate that he is capable of this type of behavior. there is nothing to indicate that there was bad grades or anything like that that could have led to this. nothing to indicate the rumors and some of the reporting out there that he may have had a
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crush on her and may have been upset, she may have been upset and he became upset that she didn't, you know, by his advances when she did not go along with his advances. they're saying nothing initially for that. but what they are saying is that they are looking into the possibility because of recent family issues, the mother and the father are separated, the mother and his two siblings moved here recently just a couple months ago from tennessee, the father did not come with them. they're looking into family tensions as a possible motivation, but as you said, jake, i mean, what would cause someone to do this, we may never get an answer to that. >> don lemon in danvers, massachusetts, thank you so much. coming up, after more than three weeks of problems, there is now apparently a plan for how to fix the healthcare.gov website. how long will it take to shake out the bugs? stay with us.
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there's a deep, rich, enduring color for everything. including where you come from. benjamin moore. for everything that matters. welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the politics lead. after more than three weeks of glitches, kinks, bugs, snafus, they say they have a plan. the white house now thinks they
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can get the sprawling list of issues with the healthcare.gov site under control. and have everything operating smoothly by the end of next month. that would give the uninsured about four months to sign up in time for the march 31st deadline and avoid being fined by the irs. four months. oh, i'm sorry, i kind of expected a cnn countdown clock to spontaneously spring up on the screen when i said that, an immaculately conceived graphic. qssi will be headed up the efforts. the to-do list includes tackling the problem of site speed and response team, nuking the pesky bugs that prevent the software from working the way it should and don't forget cleaning up the 834 files, the data that insurance plans are sent when somebody uses healthcare.gov to enroll in one of their programs. should be a busy month. coming up on "the lead" will he or won't he? republican senator rand paul says he's considering holding up the president's nominee for the federal reserve. just how much of a problem is
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. back to our politics lead now, to the white house which has a technical plan to fix the healthcare.gov website or so think say, one they say will have everything running smoothly by next month. time will tell. what's the political fix going to look like? right now it does not look likely to include the resignation of health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius. at least not if she has anything to say about it. >> the majority of people calling for me to resign i would say are people who i don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. >> hm. let's bring in our panel. "washington post" columnist and senior fellow at the center for american progress, matt miller. co-host of cnn's "crossfire," s.e. cupp and emmy award winning political analyst, my friend,
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jeff greenfield. welcome one and all. jeff, i'll start with you. our friend peggy noonan writes about the possible forced resignation of sebelius. she writes quote, yes, a firing would be good democratic form and would acknowledge the idea of accountability, someone or some persons failed on a historic level and were removed, it would take some heat off the white house, look, we're doing something. so it's surprising they haven't done it and odd that republicans are clamoring for it. do you think the white house needs a sacrificial lamb for this or are we in a place in politics where that's not necessary anymore? >> i think we're almost at the point where even casual political observers understand the essentially phony nature of so much which passes for indignation in washington. the last time i can recall, one of the only times i can recall a cabinet member removed for policy failure was when george bush cashiered donald rumsfeld. most of the time this is a contest between mutual indignation. i guess the question you would want to ask is do we think that
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if kathleen sebelius is forced to resign, that's going to make any difference in how quickly if at all this website and structural problems are fixed, and if the issue is accountability, which is a perfectly reasonable way to get rid of cabinet officers say in other countries, how often do cabinet officers get sacked for accountability and how often is this the occasion for whichever party's not in power in the white house to drag a cabinet member or some other poor official up to the congressional committee and ask a series of questions that they have no real interest in having answered because what they want is the political power of blaming somebody. >> s.e., there is a certain kabuki to this all. something happens, people who don't even support the law working to begin with, and certainly, there are lots of states run by governors, republican governors, who have not cooperated with obama care and its implementation, saying oh, this is so horrible that this isn't working. do you think that there actually is a legitimate reason for
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sebelius to go? >> well, to the accountability point, sure. but where peggy is right is that republicans should want her to stick around. republicans don't need to make kathleen sebelius the enemy. the program is the enemy. inefficient government is the enemy. the website's not even the enemy. that's what they need to be talking about. where she's wrong, though, is i'm not sure it's all that surprising that they haven't fired her or asked for her resignation. obama can't replace her. he can't get anyone else confirmed. so there's no -- i mean, it's not even a practical consideration for president obama's point of view. she's staying. >> matt, you've said the republicans are crying crocodile tears. you wrote what conservative officials, pundits and advocates are screaming is closer to the following. how dare you totally screw up something that we think shouldn't exist. do you think they really want sebelius to resign? >> i think they want to do anything they can to make political hay out of this to see if they can't make a dent in
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obama before the program actually gets its act together and gets implemented. when s.e. says the program is the enemy, sorry, s.e., that's spoken like a very well insured person. when you've got 50 million people, most of them workers, poor workers who can't get health coverage, this program's essential for them. >> absolutely. it will cost a lot more than they think because they're not going to get -- >> let me finish. there's no question that once the wrinkles in this are worked out and if it takes a month or two, that's fine. >> wrinkle. okay. >> let's talk in six months. just chill out. if you've got millions of people getting health coverage for the first time, that protects them against financial ruin, republicans won't have a leg to stand on unless they come forward, which they never do, with an actual alternative that would ensure people against financial ruin from illness. we're the only advanced country that doesn't do that. that's the big picture. the sebelius resignation stuff is a total side show. >> i completely agree. sebelius is insignificant. we'll talk in six months.
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you're absolutely right, when the wrinkles get ine out and you think millions of people have successfully signed on to these exchanges that aren't going to collapse under the weight of itself because they haven't gotten enough young healthy people to subscribe. >> they will, though. that's the whole point. again, where's the republican alternative? this was a republican designed plan to get everyone in the insurance pool and republicans, all they do is say we don't want this to happen, but i mean, without an alternative, all you're saying is we don't want millions of poor workers to get health coverage. >> why do you want an alternative? this is the law of the land. >> jeff, one thing that i will say seems to be a real problem for the obama administration, in addition of course to all these problems with the rollout of the website, is ten democratic senators are now on board for a delay of the individual mandate. could that cause the administration some serious problems? >> yes. you are citing as i'm sure you know a greenfield second law of
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politics. i have no idea what the first law is, by the way. but the law is the danger to anyone in power is what we used baseball games i used to play in, we were in a jewish neighborhood, every play ended in an argument and they ended when somebody said your old man says so. that's the biggest danger to almost any political figure is when your own man says so. the obama administration is in a political position where they could not possibly have asked for a delay even if it was substantively justified because it would have given the other guy a break. now you've got, as you point out, ten democratic senators calling for it. it's very hard for the obama white house to say this is all politics because it's their man saying it. and i think as we get down the road, if more senators and more public policy people who support the idea look at this particular program as matt says, a few months down the road, and shake their heads and say you know what, there are serious structural problems here, that sen essentially, i don't want to overstate this, although that is what cable tv is supposed to do,
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this dooms obama's second term. >> i think it's important. remember, the delay the folks have called for in this letter, you got to look at the actual letter they sent. it was very solicitous of kathleen sebelius. it doesn't ask for a time frame on how much it would delay. the administration has already said let's slip the mandate for six weeks so this is not like the one year, two year delay that ted cruz, the well insured goldman sachs spouse, because we know that's where he gets his health coverage, it's not that kind of delay being talked about at all. it's a little bit of a political positioning by democrats who may be a little antsy to see which way the wind blows on this if it ends up being a calamity but i don't believe it's the beginning of some tidal wave of opposition at all. >> matt, i want to ask you because you are a strong supporter of the law. every day i pick up the paper or browse the web and i'm seeing stories about individuals coming home, getting letters from their insurance companies saying that their policies are going to have
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to be canceled because they're not in accordance with obama care. obviously there will be other policies that they then can sign up for. but there is a lot of concern out there that obama care is going to force individuals into policies that they don't want and possibly, you know, a violation of the president's promise if you like your health care, you can keep your health care. >> look, there are fair critiques of the law. i'm not here to defend every, you know, every single item in the law. i say there's a lot of things we could mend in obama care. obviously without ending it. but in things like that, mostly what obama care has done has required people to have more ample coverage than a lot of the skinnier down plans that people have had in the individual market. remember, this whole thing is about 20 million people out of the 300 plus million people in the united states in the individual market. some small subset of them may be asked to have a more robust coverage but that's offset i think by the millions and millions who will have for the
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first time access to affordable health coverage if you look at the big picture. >> you just tell those people to chill out, right? chill out. >> yes. >> i want to give jeff the last word because he has this new book and i want to let him give a plug for it. tell us about, it's a novel that imagines what the two kennedy terms would havelike if he had lived? >> yeah, for some reason they call it nonfiction because it relies on facts on the ground. it's a fascination i've had with how often small twists of fate in our history lead to huge consequences. in this case, it begins with the notion that the rain in dallas, texas on november 22nd doesn't stop, the bubble top stays atop the car. lee harvey oswald wounds but doesn't kill kennedy and i then try to play out if president kennedy remains the president, what do the next five years look like. what happens in vietnam, what happens at home, what happens to the cultural wars of the '60s, what happens to the whole political future of this country. this tiny little twist of fate which i think is the driving notion that so many historians
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won't cope with can lead to huge consequences. >> i was skimming it before the show and it's not a spoiler but i will say, lyndon johnson not the vice president in the second term. >> that's right. >> a little moment of intrigue. i can't wait to read it. thank you so much. best of luck with the book. thanks so much for joining us. we appreciate it. coming up on "the lead" she was fired for admitting to having used the "n" word but was the food network anxious to get rid of paula deen before that? stay tuned.
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welcome back to "the lead." in our money lead, president obama's nominee to head up the federal reserve has yet to get her senate confirmation hearing date but one republican senator is already causing some trouble. senator rand paul of kentucky told cnn that as part of the debate over her confirmation he's insisting on a vote on his bill to audit the federal reserve. a source close to senator paul told cnn that it's too early for him to decide if he'll put a hold or block yellin's nomination. drama. one man who knows the process well is alan greenspan. he chaired the federal reserve from 1987 to 2006 and has written a new book, "the math
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and the territory, risk, human nature and the future of forecasting." he joins me here in washington, d.c. welcome, sir. thanks for being here. so rand paul is threatsening to hold up the nomination unless he gets a vote on this audit the fed bill, detailing everything the federal reserve has done and is doing. i know you oppose it. you thi the fed needs to remain independent. why should people not know what the fed has been doing? >> first, let me just say on the issue of accounting, each of the 12 reserve banks are fully audited, the federal reserve board is fully audited by outside accountants. i've done a lot of accounting over my life. i'm telling you the books are as clean as you can imagine because there's very little that can go wrong there. the one issue that he is raising is auditing the actual deliberations of the federal reserve which is a very bad mistake. >> why? >> basically because what
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history tells us is if you have that sort of audit by the political system which is of course what it is, you will get a bias towards inflationary monetary policy and that's the reason why the original founders of the fed made the terms of governors 14 years, for precisely to avoid that reason. so it is a terrible idea. >> okay. let's talk about your book. i know that's what you want to talk about. i want to get to what's inside in a second but i read a very harsh review of it by the new republic by a liberal progressive writer in the new republic. i want to get your response to it because he reflects a lot of feelings, negative feelings, that many progressives have about your stewardship of the fed. he writes anyone who has paid attention to the economy the past few years knows how ridiculous it is the fed greenspan, the architect of the policies that led to the great recession. he suggests you share the blame
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with jpmorgan chase for duping investors into purchasing mortgage-backed securities that were stuffed with garbage loans because your quote allergy to regulation and unshakeable belief in the virtues of the free market led you to ignore the bubble and its risks, infusing investors and consumers with confidence that the run up in home prices was perfectly normal. how do you respond to that? >> i respond in the book itself. i explain precisely what happened, what led to the global bubble. remember, this is not an american bubble. the housing bubble looks the same whether you're going to canada, australia or any of 20 other countries. we're somewhere in the middle. so the bubble itself is neither an american issue nor something which we were unaware of. the critical question that we all missed is when it would break and one of the things i demonstrate basically in the book is you cannot determine that.
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now, essentially, to say what this individual said, all i can suggest is read the book and determine for yourself what you think. >> well, i don't want to focus entirely on the criticism. i think one of the things, this is an investigation, you go back and look at what you did -- what could have been done differently and one of the things you conclude is that spirits as you call them, exuberance, depression, anxiety, that those things played a bigger role. do you think that they played a bigger role than, say, absence of regulation, sufficient regulation on wall street? >> oh, absolutely. this is basically an endeavor to find out what makes the economy function and how best to understand it. what the issue of spirits is all about is a change in view on my part and i presume a number of the people who are forecasters,
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who make a living at that, is that it's not that we were unaware there was irrational actions that people acted crazily. eyes were opened in the canyons of wall street. so that's not the issue. the issue is fundamentally is it systematic enough to actually model it and be able to use it for forecasting purposes. the general presumption of most everybody was no, not really, because it's random and you can't get a fix on what is going on. the big surprise to me is i began to look at the reasons why we failed to get september 15th, 2008, on time -- >> the crash of wall street. >> the huge -- people just disappeared. and i would say that the major
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issue that confronted us is we hadn't a clue as to why that happened. the purpose of this book is to go back to square one and to see what essentially we did wrong and what it turns out we did wrong is that the fundamental premise that people act in their own rational self-interest all the time of course is wrong. we knew that. but far more importantly, you can model animal spirits and that matters. >> that matters for the future predicting. >> it is a huge issue because you're going from one type of system to look at the economy to a wholly different one. and that is basically what -- that's sort of a detective story in a way, how i proceeded to try to find out why did we all make this terrible mistake. >> it's getting great reviews. we wish you the best of luck with it. "the map and the territory,
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risk, human nature and the future of forecasting." alan greenspan, thank you so much for being here. we really appreciate it. coming up in the sports lead, he's a superstar in the u.s. but in china, there, he's a god. next, we talk to lebron james about his unbelievable popularity a world away from home. max and penny kept our bookstore exciting and would always come to my rescue. but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself. and i knew he'd feel better if he lost a little weight.
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welcome back to "the lead." now for the pop culture lead. you think you're the next rachael ray or bobby flay? if you think you have what it takes to slice and dice in front of a camera, the food network is holding open casting calls for the upcoming tenth season of their hit show, food network star. they'll be in providence, rhode island tomorrow. today's lead read explores the success and scandals of the channel and its stars in "from scratch, inside the food network." earlier i spoke with the author. thanks so much. congratulations on the book. i think a lot of people would be surprised to hear that the food network is 20 years old. you write in detail about how the wife of the first food
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network president called the idea for a 24 hour food channel the worst idea i ever heard. so what was food tv like 20 years ago and how did this network come about? >> well, it's funny because the first president of food network you are talking about is reese shonfeld, who is also the first president of cnn. he was a guy who thought of food network as cnn with stoves. so his idea was to tape many, many new cooking shows every day on an extremely low budget which cnn of course also was in the early days, and it was -- no one was really watching back then. this was -- no one thought this was a good idea. it wasn't just his wife. it took about six or seven years before anybody actually started watching the network. >> so what happened, 9/11 played a role, right, in the company's success? >> people were looking for comfort food, something other than the big story, and what had been built on high end chefs and
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careful cooking technique became something where the network was now looking for personalities who could appeal to people like their comforting next door neighbor, maybe paula deen, back then a sort of wacky grandmother. rachael ray. so the network made a very conscious decision to provide comfort food and something that would soothe you and contribute to the national mood for cocooning. >> you wrote about paula deen's first scandal when she was hiding her diabetes, then signed a deal to shill for a diabetes drug, then admitted she used the "n" word that ended her deal with the food network. why did they support her during the diabetes episode but not now? >> she was still under contract then and they weren't actually supporting her. a lot of journalists, myself included because i was working on the book then, were getting calls from the head of public
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relations at the network who was getting consulted by a crisis management guy. what they were telling reporters was we had nothing to do with this as a network. this was a surprise to us. she's greedy and we don't like it. so when the "n" word controversy came about as a result of the lawsuit deposition that became public, and her contract was up, and the network was no longer getting great ratings for those traditional dump and stir cooking shows, the kind that we know from julia child, it was kind of an imperfect storm for paula and now that the network is a $6 billion to $10 billion business expanding internationally into asia and africa, it's not the kind of company that can be associated in any way with something as troubling as racism. >> we only have time for one more anecdote. i will give you a choice. this way hopefully people who see this will want to hear the other one, will buy your book. rachael ray almost burning down a set or bobby flay having to reinvent himself. tell us whichever you prefer.
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>> well, bobby is the ultimate new york kid survivor who if you asked him what college he went to, he'll say ucla, the university of the corner of lexington avenue. bobby has managed to survive for 20 years at this network and nobody else has, by quietly and coldly figuring out who's in charge, what they want and how he can deliver it. ever since i wrote the book, i started saying to myself at times what would bobby flay do in this situation. he seems to be without neurosis. that rachael story is great, too. please buy the book. >> sounds like bobby flay's a great role model. i need to take that advice. >> you're doing great, jake. don't worry. >> thank you so much. the book is "from scratch, inside the food network." it's a great read. good luck with the book. >> an honor. thank you very much. now it's time for the sports lead. here, he's the king. there, he's the emperor.
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it's like beetle mania without the moe howard haircuts. every year when lebron james makes his annual trip to china, he's there to spread the basketball brand and shill for nike in the fastest growing market in the world. as rachel nichols shows us, he is also there to spread the brand of lbj. >> reporter: for one week a year, every year for nearly a decade, this is lebron james' life. >> all the fans over here. >> when i first came here nine years ago, i was like wow. >> if i told a 10-year-old lebron james that you would end up going to china more often than a place closer to ohio like nebraska and kansas, what would you have thought?
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>> he probably would have told you i'm not leaving akron, ohio. i remember the first time i was known outside of my hometown, when i was 14. i was a freshman, we went to columbus for a state tournament. it's like that's lebron, that's the freshman everyone's talking about. i'm 120 miles away from home. i was like wow, this is pretty cool. 8,000 miles away from home, people love me and are passionate about seeing me. it's very surreal. >> reporter: james is one of the richest and most famous athletes on the planet, but being a global phenomenon doesn't just happen by itself. >> when i became a professional athlete, i became a business as well. so i couldn't just worry about
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the game of basketball 24/7 without understanding the business side of it. >> reporter: how adventurous are you when you travel? as far as trying weird food or anything like that? >> i'm not adventurous at all. i'm not. i have never been. but i do use chopsticks, though. >> joining us is rachel. lebron james, one of the most documented athletes in the world. the u.s. didn't know much about these crazy trips to china until you got all access. how did this travel to china become such a huge part of lebron's life? >> yeah. as he said, there's neighboring places to akron, ohio he hasn't been to nearly as much as china. he can speak a little bit of chinese now. pretty crazy for a kid from the midwest. as he said, it's his business now and it's interesting. we talk about how athletes these days aren't like the larry birds or magics. the game has changed.
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there's this global following, the money is certainly a lot bigger and different. but there is work that's involved in making all that happen. it doesn't happen by itself. now, it's fun work but it still means he's got to go over there. they go city to city, they promote the game, they promote himself and the guys that do that the most and work the hardest at it tend to have the best jersey sale numbers, the best shoe sale numbers. we have seen countries grow basketball and develop in the wake of these visits. lebron james, it may surprise you, has never had the top jersey sale globally until this year. so these trips are paying off. they announced that just after he got back from china. >> your new show, brand new show, "unguarded" premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern. what can we expect to see? >> we will have some great panel discussions. basically looking at sports from a larger perspective. you know, jake, that sports extends so far beyond the playing field. so many ways that it touches our lives. so we're going to be looking at
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those issues, we'll be looking at it from the angle of politics and finance and entertainment and how all of those worlds collide in sports, in the sports that we love. we're looking forward to having everyone. come on over tonight, 10:30 eastern and pacific. >> i'll be watching. thank you so much. best of luck. do not miss the debut tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern on cnn. that is it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, close allies are already upset over reports the u.s. has been monitoring their phone calls but more leaks about u.s. spying may soon make them a lot angrier. also, a stunning new warning. iran could be just a month away from having enough material for a nuclear weapon. and a new move to decriminalize marijuana in a major american city. you won't believe where. i'm wolf blitzer. you are're in "the situation ro"