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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 16, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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they found. 14 people were hiding in the trunk. watch them pop up now under that piece of plywood. yep. three were in the extended cab. the truck driver owner is now arrested and faces charges of human smuggling. and felony flight. the things you find if you just look. thanks so much for being with us. now to the man who has his own segment on rick's list called "the wolfpack." wolf blitzer. thanks very much, rick. happening now, breaking news. a top administration official predicts osama bin laden will never be caught alive. this hour, the attorney general's surprising remark and what it says about the hunt for america's most wanted terrorist. plus house democrats dig deep into their rule book to come up with a way to pass health care reform and trying to protect their members on
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election day. this hour, a reality check on the strategy and whether it will backfire. and tiger woods makes his comeback official. we'll look at his master plan to play at the masters and whether the timing is right. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn, breaking news. let's get to the breaks news right now. the long and fruitless search for osama bin laden. the attorney general of the united states has just made an eye-popping new prediction about the way bin laden's years as a fugitive will end. let's go straight to our homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. she has the details. surprising tough comments from the attorney general. >> yeah, wolf, to put it in context, as is so often the case when the attorney general has lately appeared on capitol hill, there was animated debate about whether guantanamo detainees should be tried in civilian courts or military commissions. although some only want to see
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military xhigs used, the attorney general wants leeway to use both venues. he insists detainees would not be coddled in civilian court. he testified today that they would be treated not like an innocent citizen, but like a mass murderer, like charles manson. and that let to some more colorful language when texas republican john culverson said that would be a profound disconnect with the american people. >> granting osama bin laden the right to appear in a u.s. courtroom, you are clothing osama bin laden with the protections of the u.s. constitution. that's unavoidable. and something that you've skipped right past. >> let's deal with reality. >> giving constitutional rights to enemy soldiers that's the po found problem. >> you talk about a hypothetical that will never occur. the reality is that we'll be reading miranda rights to the corpse of osama bin laden. >> he did not elaborate. it is not clear if he believes that bin laden will die in battle or kill himself rather than face the prospect of being captured. >> that ends the debate over
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this whole notion of military commissions? >> absolutely not. the attorney general started questioning culbertson. here's a bit of that exchange. >> in those military commissions those people are given constitutional rights, are they not? >> they are in a military commission not clothed with all of the protections of the u.s. constitution. they are treated by the military as enemy combatants captured at time of war. and the question is -- >> but they're not put up -- they have the ability to confront those who accuse them, they have the rights to lawyers, they have many of the same constitutional rights. >> severely restricted rights in military tribunal is the problem, we're at war. >> no meeting of the minds. the attorney general said today that there's been no new decision on where to try self-professed 9/11 mastermind khalid shaikh mohammed. the attorney general said to expect that in the next couple of weeks. >> to recap, the attorney general of the united states made it clear to congress today that under no circumstances would bin laden ever be captured alive, he would die one way or
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another? >> that's what he said, wolf. we'll see if he'll revise and extend those remarks. >> jeanne meserve with that, thank you. we'll have much more on the hunt for bin laden, the terror trials in the united states. later james carville is ready to square off with eric erickson. stand by for that. the final big push for health care reform. teaching all of us about the unusual ways a bill can become a law, stuff kids never learned on "schoolhouse rock." right now, watch this. >> you sure got to climb a lot of steps to get to this capitol building here in washington. but i wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is? ♪ i'm just a bill ♪ yes i'm only a bill ♪ and i'm sitting here on capitol hill ♪ >> we want to explain exactly what the house democrats may -- repeat may do to get this legislation passed in the coming days as simply as we possibly
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can. our national correspondent jessica yellin is here with us. jessica, "schoolhouse rock," even some members are talking about this today. >> they are. everybody loves "schoolhouse rock." wasn't that the best? we're trying to putting this in schoolhouse rock. he's just a bill trying to become a law. now, this is still waiting action by the house. democrats, some of them in the house, really don't like what's in that senate version of the bill. and they're worried that if they vote for it, they will pay a big price on election day. so democrats in both the house and senate are drafting a series of changes or fixes to the bill under the suddenly famous process now called reconciliation. and those are the fixes. and in the house, leaders are considering sort of two for one deal to get it all done. that two for one deal is called a self-executing rule. it would just deem the senate bill passed once the fixes are approved by the house. >> so how does that help
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democrats? >> okay. so here's the bottom line. under this plan, that rule -- house democrats would never have to take a direct vote on the senate bill. again, they'll never have to vote on the bill they don't like. now, that bill is unpopular with some of them, so these house democrats could go home and stel constituent, i voted for the rule, not for the bill, and they hope that this would give them some political cover. but as you probably guessed, some republicans are not buying it. they say the whole thing is shady and it's just not the way major legislation should be passed. >> i guess what i would call it is nancy pelosi is trying to come up with an immaculate conception. somehow she's going to try to claim that they didn't vote on the senate health care bill when, in fact, that's necessary under the constitution before it can be signed into law and then the reconciliation process move forward. >> news flash, people in the real world don't care about self-executing rules or
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reconciliation and don't even know what it is. what they do care about process is the process of the insurance companies, the process of refusing a child who has asthma, the process of raising prices 39%, 50%, 60% for your insurance policy. >> and news flash, wolf, both republicans and democrats have used this very procedure before. >> and they may, repeat, may use it again this week if they have to. stand by, jessica. i want to bring in our senior congressional correspondent dana bash. dana, republicans are criticizing it, democrats are defending it. what are you hearing on the hill? >> well, jessica's absolutely right when it comes to republicans, they have used it before. both parties have used this process before for one reason and that's to try to protect their members from tough political votes. republican, for example, when they were in charge, they used this self-executing rule on everything from immigration, which, of course, is a big
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political wedge issue for them, and the line-item veto. so it is absolutely correct despite republicans screaming, which we've heard all day today, they used it when they were in charge also. >> you spoke with the chair of the house rules committee, congresswoman louise slaughter, what does she say? >> she is very much defending this idea, it was hers. she was pretty can kid in explaining why democrats are doing it. that is, from her perspective, to protect house members from voting for the senate bill specifically for voting on something that they don't like. that is that nebraska deal, medicaid subsidies for specifically for nebraska that is something that they don't like substantively and don't like politically. she said that's one main reason why they're doing this. >> it's used often. it's been used by both parties. and there's nothing unconstitutional about it. it's perfectly legitimate. and legal procedure.
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>> why not take a vote on it? >> because we don't want to have to take a vote on mr. nelson's projects and other things. unnecessary to do that when we have this procedure at hand. >> wolf, i spent a lot of time today talking to rank and file democrats, some of those the leadership is trying to protect. most said that it doesn't really matter if they vote on a rule or if they vote on the actual bill, they know that if it's politically dicey for them, they are going to get hit by the republican opponents no matter what the technical thing that they vote for is. >> i know you've been speaking with a lot of democrats. they need 216 votes in the house to get it passed. they clearly don't have 216 votes today. that's why it's not coming up for a vote yet. but you've been speaking to some members who are still on the fence. >> that's right. i spoke to one in particular who is one of those who was at ground zero of the fight that democratic leaders are having to get those votes. it is john bocceri.
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he voted no last time. a freshman from ohio. he's in one of those swing districts. he says that he is actually considering voting yes, so he's under a lot of pressure. he's an undecided. >> the decision i'm faced with is voting on an imperfect bill or doing nothing. and we just had calls from constituent, my chief of staff, his wife works for a small business and understanding that they just had an increase in premiums. i'm not afraid to stand up and take a tough vote and even if it means taking on, you know, our leadership. and it was a very difficult decision to come to. you know, on the first version. our office is under siege right now. we're getting calls from not only in the district you but all over the country. >> look at this. the phones have not stopped ringing. >> you should see the district office. i answer my calls from time to time and hear what folks have to say. this is congressman bocceri?
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we can agree on this, the system does need to be reformed. and we can do it in a way that allows folks to have better choices. would you agree? >> you're a fresh mman, this cod be a make it or break it vote, decide whether you come back or not. >> whether i serve two terms or 20, we want to make the right decision for the people of our district and for the state of ohio. >> you saw the phones ringing off the hook there. the house administrator said today that the system is overloaded because of health care call. we know that rush limbaugh told his listeners to call in, but this was happening before he made that call. >> these are the crisis days right now. we'll check back with you. prius owners aren't first to complain about cars careening out of control. we're digging deeper into gas pedal problems. were officials too quick to blame drivers instead of carmakers. and is the white house leaning too hard on a staunch
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white house ally? james carville and eric erickson are standing by. as station... anncr vo: emergency services... anncr vo: ...collect accident information. anncr vo: or just watch some fun videos. anncvo: it's so easy, a caveman can do it. caveman: unbelievable... caveman: where's my coat? it was suede with the fringe. vo: download the glovebox app free at [ female announcer ] sometimes you need tomorrow
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to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's new motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. new motrin pm. jack cafferty. >> just when you think you've seen it all in washington, along comes something like this. nancy pelosi may try to pass the health care reform bill without making members vote on it. simply unbelievable. pelosi says she might use a procedural tactic where the house will vote on the package
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of fixes to the senate bill and then that vote would signify that lawmakers, quote, deem the health care bill to be passed. politically speaking, this is beyond sleazy. it is meant to protect house democrats who are all running for re-election in november from having to make a tough vote up or down on health care reform. pelosi says of this process, quote, i like it because people don't have to vote on the senate bill, unquote. in nancy pelosi's world accountability is a dirty word. the senate bill contains many provisions that are unpopular among some house democrats, including language on abortion funding and taxes on high cost so-called cadillac insurance plans. this tactic has been used in the past but never, never for something as big and important as the $900 billion health care reform bill. never. republicans are jumping all over this, rightfully so. they're painting it as a way for democrats to avoid taking responsibility, which is exactly what it is.
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some even suggest it's unconstitutional. meanwhile, president obama's campaigning recentlessly calling on lawmakers to pass health care reform. quote, i want some courage. i want us to do the right thing, unquote. well the irony here is if nancy pelosi gets her way, it won't take much courage at all on the part of our so-called representatives, will it? here's the question. should nancy pelosi be allowed to push health care reform through the house without a vote? go to, post a comment on my blog. wolf. >> learning a lot about reconciliation, about deeming, bills passed into law. we're getting a little civics lesson out there. >> we're learning a lot more about lack of political guts. >> yeah, but you and i know that's been around for a while. >> not quite in this obnoxious form or noxious form. this reeks. >> jack cafferty telling it the way it is. honda is recalling vehicles
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for potential brake problem. odyssey minivans and element small truck model years 2007 and 2008 may have defective brake pedals that could make stopping the vehicle much harder. it's just the late nest a series of auto recalls including more than 8 million toyotas flagged for potential accelerator problems. but toyota is by no means first automaker to deal with this issue. that's triggering accusations government regulators are asleep at the wheel. brian todd has been investigating. pretty eye opening. >> it is. what they're saying is that the regulators are overwhelmed in this instance. fresh concern today that the federal agency charged with ensuring the safety of our cars, that agency that's holding toyota's feet to the fire is overwhelmed in dealing with those problems of unintended acceleration. the national highway traffic safety administration, nhtsa. an investigation by the bloomberg news agency found that
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unintended acceleration is not a new problem, that nhtsa has been tracking this for years and found more deaths in vex made by ford, chrysler and other companies combined than in toyotas over the past decade. nhtsa sent us figures that back that up. a total of 59 fatalities due to unintended acceleration in vehicles over the past ten years. ford with 19, chrysler with 12, they still pale in comparison to toyota that had over 50 deaths. nhtsa has spent decades trying to get a handle on this problem. >> what do the automakers say? >> ford says it hasn't identified any major defects in its vehicles. chrysler told us that the problem was identified as driver error. safety advocates say that's the major problem. nhtsa has been too willing to close the book on this and blame driver error.
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141 investigations into unintended acceleration and closed 112 of them without any action. i spoke to joan claybrook who is now professor emeritus of the safety watchdog, public citizen. >> they found an easy out in my view on this by just blaming the driver. but any driver who puts their foot on the accelerator by mistake will take their foot off the accelerator rather than jamming it on the floor and keeping it there till they have a crash. that's just not reasonable. >> we contacted nhtsa about this charge. a spokeswoman there issued a statement saying, quote, safety is our top priority and we're committed to getting to the bottom of these unintended acceleration issues. that's why we're undertaking a new comprehensive revoo that will look at a wide range of possible causes of unintended acceleration including potential electronics problems and that is at the heart of toyota's issues which toyota denies that it's a widespread electronics problem. >> there's a longstanding issue
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involving nhtsa's own resources. >> joan claybrook says that it's been grossly underfunded. the defects investigation department does not have enough engineers and investigators. the administrator david strickland was asked about that at a congressional hearing this month. he didn't come out and openly complain they don't have enough resources but he did say that they've been given the resources to hire about 60 more people in some of those key departments. but here's a figure for you. 57 people working for their office of defects investigation, and they investigate 30,000 consumer complaints a year. that's not many people. a budget of $856 million. you compare that to the faa, 17 billion. you could make an argument that they are grossly underfunded and they have a huge task, to monitor the safety of every american vehicle on the road. >> that's a big job. brian todd reporting. any safety concerns could have a devastating impact on auto sales even if there are no
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defects in the cars. a fact that audi knows too well. back in the 1980s, the german automaker faced charges of unintended acceleration that linked to hundreds of crashes and six deaths. the national highway traffic safety administration concluded that people were hitting the gas instead of the brake, but it led audi to install the automated shift lock which forces drivers to put their foot on the brake before the vehicle can be shifted into drive or reverse. the feature that's in every automatic car today. audi's actions didn't stop the scare. sales plunged more than 80% between 1985 and 1991 and audi didn't regain its market share until 2000 after a 15-year slump. some towns are pulling out all the stops to keep young workers from leaving for bigger cities. we'll tell you why and what they're willing to shell out in order to entice those workers to stay put. and thieves set their sights on a drug company warehouse.
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some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. what's going on? >> this sounds like something from a movie. thieves in connecticut have made off with $75 million in prescription drugs. authorities say the sophisticated heist appears well planned. the thieves scaled the side of an eli lilly drug warehouse, cut a hole in the roof, rappelled inside, then deactivated the alarm. this took place around midnight early sunday during a rain storm. and february's extreme winter weather puts the deep freeze on home building. the commerce department reports new housing construction fell by 5.9% last month, slightly higher than expected. it's considerably lower than january's very strong showing. home builders are trying to dig out from the severe housing slump. rebound that's seen as crucial
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for overall economic recovery. a magnitude 4.4 earthquake shook los angeles during the predawn hours today. it rippled just east of the city jolting people awake and snarling the early morning commute. a ten-foot stretch of concrete on crowded interstate 5 buckled, backing up traffic for miles. it's unclear if the quake caused that damage. crews repatched the roadway and it opened an hour later. i much prefer waking up to an alarm clock. >> i'm with you. deb, stand by. in the run-up to the midyear elections, there's a powerful california democrat, barbara boxer, on shaky ground right now. what's happening in california? antonio villaraigosa is walking in right now. we'll assess what's going on in the world of politics right after this.
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republicans are promising to hang health care reform around the democrats necks in the
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upcoming elections. their warnings are being heard a long way from washington. time for our america votes 2010 segment. joining us here in the situation room, the mayor of los angeles, democrat antonio villaraigosa. and joining us in the questi questioning gloria borger and david gergen. welcome to washington. >> good to be here. >> barbara boxer, she's the incumbent. up for re-election. can the republicans do in california what they did in massachusetts and get a republican elected to the senate? >> i don't think so. i can tell you i've been supporting barbara boxer since the early 1990s. she's a tough campaigner. she works hard for california. she's working hard for los angeles as we speak on a 30/10 plan to create jobs. i suspect she'll have a tough campaign but she'll ultimately prevail. >> hi. can you sort of fill in the blank for me since you're here in washington and we're all in the middle of this health reform debate. if the democrats don't get
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health care reform, blank? >> it's unacceptable. it just is. >> how much damage would that cause? >> i think it's going to cause a lot of damage to the country. in california one out of four californians don't have health care. that number is higher in los angeles. the fact is there are 50 million people without health care. time is now. >> politically, if the democrats don't get health care reform then -- >> we'll have wasted an opportunity. and that's why i'm hoping that both the liberal and conservative members of the democratic party will come together and support president obama in this overhaul of health care. >> david gergen has a question. go ahead, david. >> well, i'm just curious, do you think california's different from the country with regard to its popularity of health care? some polls i've seen show that 55% of californians actually favor the democratic health care plan that's emerging. and in most parts of the country
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it seems much lower. i wonder if that works in barbara boxer's favor? >> i think it does. and i do think that californians understand how important health care is. i authored the healthy families act which about 950,000 kids have health care in california as a result. and there's still too many children and families that go without health care in california. and i think that's why a majority of californians do support this plan. >> do you -- there's a lot of talk today in washington about this unorthodox procedure democrats are thinking of using to get health care reform passed. is it okay with you if they do it any way? >> i used to be speaker of the california state assembly and i certainly understand that rules are sometimes used in a way to move legislation. i hope that whatever happens that there will be a vote. i think it is important that people stand up and say that health care's a right, not a privilege, that we can disagree on the details but that we ought to pass this health care issue.
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>> let me ask david gergen because he's been around for a while. how much of an issue is this, this maneuvering around rules? the democrats in the house, they don't want to vote for the senate approved legislation, so they've got this new concoction to go around that. in all your years watching this, have you ever seen something like this before? >> i haven't, wolf. not that i can recall. i recall fierce debate, but i must say i think this right now is a washington story, but it's rapidly going out into the country. there is a very serious danger here for democrats. after all the dealmaking that went on to get this deal patsed in the senate with the cornhusker and all of this, which did help to elect scott brown, then they went to reconciliation on top of that, now they may go to this new dodgy procedure in the house, they run a real risk of the public saying, hey, wait a minute, guys, we want an up or down vote. let's have a clean vote, not a
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dirty vote. i want to come back to mayor, but how close tom campbell, one of the three republicans, a former congressman, how close he's come to her in some of the polls. former republican congressman, very popular, widely respected. does he have a real chance of pulling off an upset there? >> he's actually a friend of mine. i served in the legislature with him. >> he's a friend of mine, too. >> i don't believe that he can beat barbara boxer. i think she represents the values, the issues, the priorities of our state in a much better way. she's been a great senator for the state of california. i think the people will re-elect her. >> you have to make some tough choices as the mayor of los angeles. the budget is in trouble. the whole budget in california is supposedly near bankruptcy right now. as you try and make these choices, education, the notion of, you know, four-day school
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days, the notion of kids not getting the education they need, is that your priority number one? >> it has to be our priority. i went to public schools in california when they were the envy of the nation. now we're close to the bottom per people spending, we're cutting teachers, cutting classrooms and class size. >> how bad is the situation in california? >> i think it's very, very bad. it's hurting our city. it's hurting every part of the state. >> because, as you know, a lot of people look at california and say what happens in california is eventually going to happen in the rest of the country. is that possible? >> well, we're seeing that this is happening all across the country, that these kinds of massive cuts in education and the safety net and the basic services that cities, counties and states have to provide. >> you're an incumbent. and lots of folks are also saying this is an anti-incumbent year. you see that in california? >> without question. anybody in public service today is not doing as well as they might have last year or the year before just because so many people are out of work, and
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they're losing confidence in our government. >> we always like to touch base with you, mr. mayor, when you're in town. thank you very much for joining us. david and gloria as well. top obama administrators gave israeli leaders an earful. james carville is ready to sound off on that. and we traced the guns used in two high profile shootings. how did they get from the hands of authorities to the hands of criminals? and california teachers, speaking of a bellwether state, they're drowning in pink slips. with 4g from sprint, i can download files up to 10x faster than 3g... outside. i can stream the movie "airplane" to my cell phone... at the airport. i can have a crystal-clear videoconference with my clients... ...muffin basket or something... ...while working offsite,
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12 counts in connection with the attacks in mumbai and also plotting against a danish cartoonist. so we don't know the specifics, except that he did plead not guilty to all charges in his initial court appearance. it is clear he's going to plead guilty to some of those if indeed this plea change hearing goes forward. but we don't know if he's going to plead guilty to one or all or something in between. >> jeanne, thank you. we'll stay on of the of that story. would osama bin laden ever face trial in the united states? the attorney general of the united states eric holder today says no, and bin laden will never be captured alive. on other ways to get energy. we should be looking closer to home. we have oil on our shores. natural gas can be a part of the solution. i think we need to work on wind resources. they ought to be carefully mapping every conceivable alternative. there is an endless opportunity right here.
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♪ let freedom ring let's get right to our strategy session. joining us two cnn political contributors. the democratic strategist james carville and the conservative editor of, eric erickson, the newest member of the best political team on television. >> thanks for having me. >> let's talk about israel and the united states, james. anthony wiener, the democratic congressman from new york, he says this fight has gone on way too long already. he says this, the appropriate response was a shake of the head, not a temper tantrum. israel is a sovereign nation and
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an ally, not a punching bag. enough already. anthony wiener, a big democrat, a major supporter of the president, but he's telling the obama administration calm down. >> right. and of course you have tom friedman who is hardly anti-israel in "the new york times" saying that the vice president should have left. but the truth of the matter is we're having a spat with an ally. a little bit like my daddy's fighting with my uncle here. you know, understand that. but the united states is not happy with what happened in terms of these settlements. you got people like general petraeus who is probably putting pressure on them, the military is putting pressure on them to distance themselves from this also saying this has an adverse effect on what's going on in afghanistan and iraq. the administration is under a lot of competing pressures here. i hope they can get this resolved at some course. but right now seems like pretty raw between israel and the united states. >> quite tense. eric. john mccain, a key member of the
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armed services committee in the senate, he says it's not just the tensions between the obama administration and the government of prime minister netanyahu that he sees as a problem, but he also blames the administration for other issues in the middle east. listen to this. >> i'm concerned that we are heading toward a situation in the broader middle east where our friends don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us. because both doubt our staying power, our determination and our resolve. >> what do you make of this tension? >> you know, by and large, i think john mccain tends to be right on these issues, and there is some concern. jewish voters that the faith of the obama administration puts into the alliance with israel. there's concern that maybe we don't recognize who our real friends are and our enemies are in the middle east. it's a difficult no-win situation for any american president. but because of missteps made coming into the white house, the obama administration will have a tough time with this. going into the november
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elections in places like florida and new york you have swing voters who happen to be jewish and israel is a big/for them, it won't hurt them internationally but political here as well. >> james would you say that a lot of jewish american voters tend to agree with biden and obamaed a as opposed to netanyahu, when biden arrived in israel and they made that announcement about 1600 new housing units in east jerusalem, that was a slap in the face? >> right. and there's some concern in israel. i made some phone calls this morning. obviously it's a big/in israel. you know, and the jewish community in the united states and certainly as you and i well know, israel is hardly united on anything. any number of different opinions here. i know a lot of people, myself included hope that we can get better relations, but that was the head over there and the secretary of state is not very happy about this, neither was the vice president. it's sort of understandable. and we need to re-establish the
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ambassador that israel has here to the united states is a smart guy. and they need to work on this thing more. but right now, the feelings are raw and they're kind of understandably so. >> let me move on to this other big story today, eric. the eric holder comments before congress and his testimony saying that bin laden is never going to face trial in the united states if captured. listen to what he said. >> the reality is that we will be reading miranda rights to the corpse of osama bin laden. he will never appear in an american courtroom. >> music to your ears? >> yeah, you know, in other breaking news, the sub rises in the east and sets in the west. i mean, this seems to me to about a no-brainer and i hope no republicans in congress were shocked by this. good for him to take the position. i hope it comes to be and i hope it comes to be quickly. >> james? >> well, i forgot -- let me also welcome eric, welcome and we can agree that welcome to the cnn family. now we can go back to arguing. yeah, i think bin laden has said
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himself that he would never be taken, that he would commit suicide and has instructed his body guards to kill him and everything. i probably don't have a popular on this, civilian courts is the way to go. they're criminals. again, i think they should be treated as criminals. when israelis talking about them, when they captured adolf eichmann they took him back to israel and gave him a trial and a lawyer and let him testify on his own behalf. i are ultimate confidence that our federal courts are able to prosecute these criminals because i have to rely on our courts because i step out on the streets all the time. >> we'll continue this conversation on another occasion. guys, thanks very much. >> thank you. republican senator lindsey graham is standing by to join us live. we'll talk about an important change in the way u.s. troops can hold terror detainees and why he fought for it. the gun used in a shooting
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near the pentagon came from a very surprising place.
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right back to jack for "the cafferty file." jack? >> the question this hour is should nancy pelosi be allowed to push health care reform through the house without a vote? dan says, this is what we've come to expect from pelosi and her ilk, it explains the shocking january revolt in massachusetts, and hints at a possible democratic slaughter in november of 2010, if they use
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such a tactic. i suppose saying no to such an unaffordable monstrosity doesn't qualify as being courageous in obama's world. so typical. tom in las vegas writes, i voted for reid and obama, but i can tell you i was sadly mistaken. i was taken in, like so many others, but i will reflect my anger in november and again in 2012 against obama. people i talked to consider nancy pelosi to be an idiot. how she got where she is mystifies us. our government's acting just as the communists do, and they have forgotten that they all work for the american people. michael writes, i'm not exactly a humongous fan of the bill, but this is a standard procedure used extensively by both political parties. pam in tennessee writes, okay, what do we have representatives for? to vote in our interests? speak the will and desires of the people? if the health bill has so many issues, should not someone stand up and say, hey, maybe we need to go back to the drawing board?
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maybe we need solutions proposed not bri lawyers but by educated, caring, american physicians and people that actually work in the trenches of health care who know what the real problems are. anything at this point that gets this thing passed is a good thing. this bill will save a lot of lives and a lot of money, and the sooner we can get to doing those two things, the better. and bill writes, i couldn't agree with you more. the president says he wants an up-or-down vote on health care and for people to show some courage. i guess pelosi didn't get the memo. if you want to read more on this subject, we got, i think, 3,000 letters in the last 40 minutes or so on this subject, go to my blog, >> 3,000 e-mails just like that, huh? >> in, like, 40, 45 minutes, yeah. >> and most of them pretty angry? >> well, there's some on each side. but this is generally perceived as being a little sleight of hand, a little three-card monty, which shell is the pea really
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under? none of them. >> i suspect there are a few more maneuvers coming our way. >> you want to put on a gas mask. >> thanks. stand by. tiger woods formally announces his comeback today, we'll take a closer look at how much he and his corporate sponsors stand to win or lose now that he's returning to golf in the coming weeks. and we'll travel to alabama to see how companies are building up america one young worker at a time.
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building up america by holding on to young talent in the workplace. it's certainly a goal with an economic payoff. especially for smaller cities and towns, that often see younger workers leave in droves for bigger job markets. cnn's tom foreman is joining us now from montgomery, alabama, where they're working on this problem. tom, what are you finding out? >> reporter: and they really are, wolf. this is a town that appreciates its history as both the kradele of the confederacy and the civil rights movement all starting right here. but right now the focus is on the future, and that means keeping younger workers to help them build up. take a look. on a highway north of montgomery, in a building you'd hardly notice, jerry monroe is growing a heck of a business.
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>> every day, you've got to make something happen. you see opportunities, and because, you know, we develop everything ourselves, we just, you know, we start hammering on those ideas. >> reporter: how important do you think that is in a difficult time in the economy? >> oh, it's critical. >> reporter: his company, the online commerce group, specializes in internet sales of custom-made cushion covers, drapes, pillows, but what it's really doing is fulfilling a dream jerry has had since college, of succeeding in his home state of alabama. is this good business? >> it is an absolute blast. >> reporter: keeping young talent from running away to the big cities is a serious matter, especially in hard times. chamber of commerce formed this group called emerge to foster leadership, success, and community among young professionals, whom they know have different needs and wants from older workers. >> well, i think excitement,
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activities, nightlife, especially nightlife. >> another issue that a lot of people don't normally think about is education and things for kids. >> i want to be able to just really know that i -- my voice is heard. ♪ >> reporter: so, the city is expanding its entertainment venues, offering more activities, improving schools, and mayor todd strange said it's all to keep young talent around. >> all of those things taken together really do offer the opportunities. but we have just begun to fight. >> reporter: this is not all about the future. jerry monroe has found immediate rewards. >> we've got young people that don't have a lot of experience with business, but they have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the internet, about technology, and they've lived it. >> reporter: and about that community. how people communicate. >> exactly. >> reporter: by tapping that knowledge, he's more than doubled his business almost
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every year since it started six years ago, creating 30 jobs, along with a reason, and a way, for that talent to stay. simple equation, wolf, that can work anywhere like they're trying to make it work here. keep the young people around. they're keeping building blocks for the future. wolf? >> tom foreman in alabama for us. thank you, tom. and to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening now -- osama bin laden will never appear in a united states courtroom because he won't be captured alive. those startling comments today from the united states attorney general. i'll get reaction from republican senator lindsey graham. he's standing by live. rock versus rubber bullets in east jerusalem as tensions rise between palestinians and israelis, are u.s./israeli ties also in crisis mode? we're going to hear the latest from the secretary of state, hillary clinton.
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and a messy scandal sent him into seclusion and rehab, now tiger woods announces his return to golf for the biggest tournament of all. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- even as the top u.s. military commander warns the war in afghanistan is about to get tougher, a major change in u.s. detention policy there may ease one burden for american troops. they used to have 96 hours or 4 days to detain suspects or they would have to release them. now, troops will be able to hold suspects for 14 days and sometimes even longer. a dramatic change in u.s. policy. and this comes just one month after a cnn investigation exposed flaws with that 96-hour rule. let's go live to our special investigations correspondent, abbie boudreau, she broke this story for us about a month ago. this is a major change, abbie,
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tell our viewers what's going on. >> wolf, you're right. it is a major change that's going to relieve a lot of frustration for troops on the ground in afghanistan. we spoke to many soldiers who say the old policy put them at risk, because they only had four days to question detainees before, you know, turning them over to afghans or releasing them. now, they'll get two weeks. general david petraeus announced the change today at a u.s. senate armed services committee hearing. in january, we asked general petraeus about the policy, and why so many soldiers were saying it was not working. he told us it was a personal concern of his, and this is what he told senator lindsey graham today at the committee hearing -- >> the secretary of defense has approved, in a sense, a u.s. caveat, if you will, that goes along with our transitioning of authority of u.s. forces to nato control, and it includes up to
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14 days for interrogation, for analysis, and then in some cases, for those who need longer detention, that is also available as well. >> well, i want to thank you for leading that charge, because i think our war fighters will appreciate that, particularly the marines down south. and has that been well received by the force? >> it has, sir. and, again, as you know, if you want to live your values, you have to set conditions in which our troopers can do just that. >> well, thank you. thank you, yes. i'm glad you've been given some relief, because the old rule just didn't make a whole lot of sense, and i think the new way forward does make sense. >> all right. let's go back to abbie. abbie, have you heard from any troops? because you did a major investigation on this, and a lot of them weren't happy with the four-day rule. >> right. wolf, earlier today i reached out to roger hill. now, he's the former army
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captain who was part of our original story on the 96-hour rule. now, in his case he had 12 suspected taliban spies on his base that he was detaining and, of course, he did not want to release them, but he was running out of time to hold on to them. so at the 80th hour he came up with a plan to scare some of the suspects into confessing, which ultimately got him kicked out of the army. today i called him to get his reaction about the new rule, and he said even though he was -- he should be excited and he does think it's good for the troops, he said the timing of it all makes him upset. it makes him feel bad, actually. i mean, he said that if he would have had 14 days, he would never have found himself in this situation. and, wolf, he does plan to appeal his general discharge from the army. wolf? >> and so we'll follow-up to see what happens on that front, as far as his case is concerned, because he had a very compelling story involving that soldier, just about a month or so ago. abbie boudreau, thank you very much for that report. good reporting. by the way, senator graham
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is here in "the situation room." i'll speak with him live. i'll ask him more about the rules governing suspects in afghanistan. we'll also talk about the startling comments by the attorney general, eric holder, who said bin laden won't be captured alive. i'll ask him what is going on in u.s./israeli relations. our interview with senator lindsey graham, that's coming up. stand by. meanwhile, in east jerusalem today, hundreds of palestinians threw rock at israeli police. the protests were aimed at a reopening of a synagogue blown up by arab forces in the 1948 war. but tensions have been flaring since israel last week announced plans for a new housing development in the disputed part of jerusalem. that move during the visit of the vice president, joe biden, also put israel and the u.s. at odds. let's go to our foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty, who's working the story for us. jill, the israeli ambassador, michael ornith, conceded this is a crisis in u.s./israeli
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relations, and the secretary of state told you on friday that what the israelis did insulted the united states. what's happening today? >> well, now she's downplaying that, wolf, and actually it's quite striking, because it was pretty strong, undiplomatic rhetoric last friday. and today at the state department she was trying to downplay that and smooth it over. so, here's how she did it -- >> oh, i don't buy that. i've been around, not that long, but a long time. we have a -- an absolute commitment to israel's security. we have a close, unshakeable bond between the united states and israel and between the american/israeli people. >> yeah, so that's what the secretary was saying. but here at the briefing at the state department, there was another thing going on, and that was the confirmation that special envoy of george mitchell to the mideast is off, at least
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for now. he was going to be facilitating indirect talks between the palestinians and the israelis, and there was an amazing to-and fro at the beef with p.j. crowley in which he kept insisting that this was a schedule problem, wolf? >> is there something brewing underneath the surface in all your reporting, jill, are you sensing something that we don't know about is going on? >> well, i think what you're seeing is that this one incident is turning out to have implications that go far beyond that, and you heard it very strongly today, from senator john mccain, saying that the political resolve of the united states is under question. here is what he said -- >> i'm concerned that we're heading toward a situation in the broader middle east where our friends don't trust us and our enemies don't fear us. because both doubt our staying power, our determination, and our resolve.
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>> and also up on capitol hill, you had general david petraeus, you know, who oversees military operations in the mideast, and he seemed to be agreeing. he said, the mideast conflict foments anti-american sentiment. >> jill. you know, that very tense phone conversation, 45 minutes on friday, between secretary clinton and the israeli prime minister, netanyahu, she apparently read a series of demands of what the israeli government must do now in order to ease this crisis with the united states. are there any indications that netanyahu is backing down and accepting these demands? >> well, that -- netanyahu said that the settlements will go forward, at least these settlements. he apologized for the timing of the announcement. but the real question, wolf, and that's the next chapter here, is benjamin netanyahu is supposed to return the call, or at least get back to secretary clinton,
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with the answer to some those demands. she wants steps that show that israel is committed to the peace process. they also are saying that they want signs from the palestinians. but it's really a message to israel. so, we are awaiting that. and it could come very soon. >> we'll see what happens. we invited, by the way, the israeli ambassador to the united states, michael ornith to join us here in the "situation room" tonight, and he declined our invitation, but maybe he'll come later in the week. we've got some good questions we'd love to ask him. jill dougherty doing some good work for us, as usual, at the state department. thank you. will osama bin laden ever appear in a u.s. courtroom? no, according to the attorney general, eric holder. he suggests bin laden will never be taken alive. i'll ask republican senator, lindsey graham, what he thinks about that. he's standing by live. and tiger woods announces a return to golf, and it's not just any tournament, but the most prestigious event of them all. across america, people with diabetes have...
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benedict xvi's native germany, to ireland, austria, switzerland, and the netherlands, and this time the claims may hit a little too close to home for the pope. the archdiocese of munich revealed it allowed an abusive priest to keep working there in the early 1980s at the time when benedict was the archbishop there. the vatican was quick to respond with the number two official at the time claiming full responsibility, which is fine, except that benedict was the archbishop. what did truman say, the buck stops where? the scandal keeps growing. in germany alone there are new claims nearly every day, hundreds of alleged victims have come forward claiming either sexual abuse or physical violence at the hands of priests. in ireland, the floodgates have opened. 15,000 complaints in a country that has just 4 million people. 3 government-ordered reports have shocked and disgusted that nation. as more and more victims come forward with their stories, some are wondering now if it's not just a matter of time before
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some european dioceses will be forced to declare bankruptcy much like some did here in the united states. experts say the pope is not likely to resign, of course, not, that would be tantamount to an admission of guilt, wouldn't it? but the scandal could do enormous damage to his papacy, his moral credibility and his reputation, fit hasn't already. here's the question, how should the catholic church deal with the child abuse claims that are sweeping across europe, go to, and post a comment on my blog. thank you. here's a question, will u.s. authorities ever have to decide whether to read osama bin laden his rights? some startling comments about that today from the united states attorney general, eric holder. let's talk about that, and more, with republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina. key member of the armed services committee. senator graham, good to have you here in "the situation room." >> thank you, wolf. >> listen to this exchange that eric holder had today on the house side with congressman john culberson, republican of
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texas -- >> granting osama bin laden the right to appear in a u.s. courtroom, you are clothing osama bin laden with the protections of the u.s. constitution. that's unavoidable and something you've skipped right past and it's giving constitutional rights to enemy soldiers that is the profound problem, sir. >> you are talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. the reality is that we will be reading miranda rights to the court corpse of osama bin laden. he will never appear in an american courtroom. >> but it is -- >> that's a reality. that's a reality. >> all right. strong words from eric holder. were you surprised, senator graham, to hear those? >> well, not really. he's probably right. i never thought we would catch saddam hussein, yet we did. what i'm trying to do is create a system that deals with the hard cases and the idea of reading an enemy combatant their miranda warnings. the christmas day bomber showed
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us that's not the best way to go. treat the captured prisoners and enemy prisoner not a common criminal, and the point about bin laden just highlights the dilemma. i think most americans would object if he were reside his rights, and eric culberson is probably right, we'll never capture him alive, but we are going to capture other people, and i want to make sense that they are not common criminals. >> he said that so-called 96-hour rule -- >> yes. >> -- has now all of a sudden become 14 days. it's gone from 4 days to 14 days, maybe even longer. >> right. >> that's how long u.s. military personnel can detain suspected insurgents or terrorists without letting them go. i know you worked hard to get that change and you were pleased. >> oh, man, and let me tell you, i don't want to, you know, violate etiquette here and give you a compliment, but cnn reporting on the 96-hour rule was the best in the business, and this is a good day for service members and their families and the afghan people. the 96-hour rule was a disaster.
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it became a catch-and-release program. it wasn't enough time to gather evidence and to determine if the insurgent was truly dangerous. this two-week period is a lot better for the troops on the ground. it protects the afghan people better, and it can be longer, if necessary, so this is a welcome change, and cnn's reporting, i think, did a really good job exposing how bad the 96-hour rule was. >> yeah, abbie boudreau did an outstanding job with the cnn investigation. >> she surely did. >> the one soldier, though, who she highlighted that got a general discharge, because he had only 4 days, 96 hours, and he had to take decisive action to try to protect his troops. >> yeah. >> what should happen? should they reopen that case? >> i hope so. the rules are the rules, you may not like them, but in the military you have to follow them. i'd like to look at that case anew and see if we can take a second look at that. but here's the good news, because of what was said and reported about the 96-hour rule, it has been changed, and i want
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to congratulate general petraeus of giving a caveat so our american forces don't live under that rule. yeah, that would be a good chase to look into, and i would suggest that we do that. >> very briefly, senator, what do you make of the tension or crisis between the obama administration and the israeli government of prime minister netanyahu? >> it plays into the hands of those who don't want peace. it empowers those not to come to the table, to give the reason not to come to the table to the people who are really on the -- on the fence, and those who want to destroy the peace process, it gives them a talking point they didn't have. i think overall it's been a mistake. >> so, what should -- what should the president do? >> make sure that we understand it's more than a settlement, that has to be resolved and put pressure on the palestinians and other parties to be more responsive and not just pick on israel and the settlements, it's a much bigger problem than that, and reset the debate. >> senator graham, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. tiger woods announces a c e
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comeback and he picks the most prestigious tournament of all. plus, thousands and thousands of pink slips why america's second largest school district is being forced to make some very tough choices. stay with us.
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the war in after gan will get harder before it gets easier, that warning today from general david petraeus, the head of the u.s. military central command, and what kind of life lies ahead for the people of the region? especially the women. let's bring in our national security contributor, fran townsend, she was homeland security adviser to president bush, worked earlier in the justice department during the clinton administration. fran, you just attended a conference dealing with the women of afternoon gghanistan a pakistan. what did you learn? >> it was fascinating, wolf, secretary clinton went, as well as valerie jarrett, diane von
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furstenberg, it's an a-list of the powerful, successful women in the united states who came together to try to help the women of afghanistan. empowering women in afghanistan is not only part of the solution over the long term, to the situation in afghanistan, but it's actually a national security issue. these are not separate issues, and they were impassioned pleas by women from afghanistan who are helping other women who are helping children and who are fighting for the legal rights of women in afghanistan, who said, look, you've got -- america's got to get away from the way they were initially, that is projects that -- that sort of empowered women, projects that were financed to support women's issues, they've got to incorporate women now. women need to be at the national security table talking about national security issues that affect them. and one woman, who has voices of women in afghanistan, an organization that fights for legal rights, said, you know, when you're talking about issues like the reconciliation with the
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taliban, we want a seat at that table bus we're going to be affected by the outcome of that policy decision. >> because we all remember what the lives of women, what they endured during the rule of the taliban before 9/11, before the u.s. went in, remember that documentary "under the veil" it was a brutal, brutal life. it's improved, but there's still a long way to go, and it's very different than the women -- the condition of women in pakistan. remember, benazir bhutto was a former prime minister of pakistan. >> although, interesting, wolf, i modder rated a panel, and her -- benazir bhutto's niece was on that panel. and she said, you know, while there are laws on the books and even president musharraf is some of the restrictive laws about women's lives -- >> in pakistan. >> -- in pakistan, they're not sufficiently implemented there either. and this was a group of women talking collegially, she made the very bold statement that united states has to be careful not to support governments, and she named karzai and the government of pakistan, karzai
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in afghanistan and the government of pakistan, as being corrupt and not serving the needs of their people. it was sort of a very bold statement to have made publicly, but she was va clear that we've got -- we've got to hold those governments we help accountable. >> never easy. fran, thanks for coming in. >> sure. two guns used in two separate shootings have one thing in common, police in the memphis area, we'll follow the trail from there. and california's budget crisis is taking a serious toll on the state's schools. we're looking at the challenges facing the los angeles district. and getting the message across. how opponents to health care reform are making sure congress hears them. [ female announcer ] pure cane sugar and the stevia plant. two of nature's sweetest wonders growing together under the same sun. and now for the first time in new sun crystals, the only 100% natural sweetener made with pure cane sugar and stevia. ♪ finally, all the sweetness of nature and just 5 calories a packet.
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to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening now -- under attack, the catholic church is confronting an expanding sex scandal in europe. one vatican figure said he knows what's at work. we're going to hear what the chief exorrist has to say. taking terrorism to the next level. how close is al qaeda to acquiring nuclear weapons? we'll talk to the president for the institute for science and international security, david albright, he's out with a new
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book. and battling over health care reform. tea party activists make their voices heard on capitol hill. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." news is going from bad to worse for school employees in california. districts initially sent out nearly 22,000 pink slips to teachers and school employees yesterday, but that number has now jumped to more than 23,000. not all the cuts will be carried out pending the final budget. cnn's ted rowlands is following up with the los angeles school district to see how officials there are coping. >> good morning. >> reporter: 77-year-old ramon cortinez starts another day as l.a.'s superintendent of schools. as you'll see, he moves at a dizzying pace trying to fix the nation's second largest school district. >> they want you to come downstairs anytime before 6:00 a.m. >> reporter: news crews are outside. today's headline, the federal
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government says some l.a. schools are so bad they're likely violating students' civil rights. >> it's the federal government saying that we're letting these students down. >> in three pages, i would do it in -- >> reporter: next up as the sun rises, what to do with three elementary schoolteachers that came up with o.j. simpson as a role model for black history month. >> and i'd like to scatter them all over the district. okay? if you disagree with that, i need to know. >> no. don't disagree at all. >> reporter: another problem. there's a rumor that a teacher's aide has tb and parents at the school are worried. >> it is not true. i want dr. uada to go to that school this morning. i want her to issue something in writing. >> reporter: if there's a symbol of failure in the l.a. school district, it's probably fremont high school. the plan is to make all teachers reapply for their jobs, and bring in new ones. >> last week we had about 45,
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now we have over 120 of the fact skullty. >> hell, yeah. i believe that education in our major cities in america make a statement about the quality of life in our city. more than anything. more than public libraries -- >> reporter: and what's the statement now in l.a.? isn't it pretty bleak? >> i think it may be bleak, but i think people know that i'm trying to change it. it's nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> i came in the attendance office. who has responsibility here? >> reporter: 9:15 a.m., cortines makes two surprise school visits, something he says he tries to do every day, at the second school an unexpected challenge from a principal who says she's out of money. >> when you have less money and you're down to the core to begin with, how you spend it, you're still cutting valuable services, i don't care how you slice the pie. >> i don't know how -- i don't know how to keep the district solvent. i -- and i think we need to live
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with some of my budget cuts. and i'll tell you why, because it is going to be worse next year. >> reporter: after another meeting and another press conference, it's on to the budget. >> we may need to use the strategy we used last year, and, remember, it got to the summer, and then it -- it got very soft and iffy, and i wouldn't give. >> as long as all parties are agreeable. >> then i would say let's do that. >> not all parties are agreeable. just say no. >> reporter: he's been on the job just over a year. he's let go thousands of employees, including about 50% of the administrative staff. how long can you do this? >> oh, jesus, i don't know. i have a couple more years. this is hard work. you guys were with me. this is -- this is a typical day. sorry. i apologize.
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>> reporter: the day ends with a taping of a superintendent's public television show. cortines is the host. >> thank you, and thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> reporter: ted rowlands, cnn, los angeles. last may californians voted down 5 of 6 budget propositions designed to reduce the state deficit. among other things, they rejected propositions included increasing the state's reserve fund, redistributing money made from the lottery, and increasing the personal income tax on people making more than $1 million a year. many people point to the passage of proposition 13 back in 1978 as a major reason for california's current budget issues, prop 13 put a cap on property taxes and made it a requirement for state tax hikes to receive a two-thirds majority vote from both california legislative houses. putting the pressure on congress, opponents of health care reform are pulling out all the stops today to make sure lawmakers get the message.
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is there still time to make a difference? and a police chase in arizona ends with much more than traffic violations. you'll see what the police found on board.
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deborah feyerick is monitoring the other top stories from around the world. what is going on? >> hi, wolf. another rocky night in chile, a
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6.7 magnitude aftershock struck last night off the shore of consenn shown. concepcion. and understandably nerves there were still frayed following last month's deadly 8.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. well, a police chase in west phoenix ended with a surprise when officers lifted up a sheet of plywood in the back of this pickup, as you see. they found nine undocumented immigrants underneath, three more in the truck's suspended cap and two up front. authorities say the pickup arrived into the u.s. from mexico. this morning all 14 people were taken into custody, two, the truck's owner and driver, are charged with human smuggling. and it looks like they cut it pretty close. but the cranes on this barge actually still had about ten feet of clearance when they passed under the golden gate bridge in san francisco today. the 253-foot cranes are on the way from shanghai, china, to the port of oakland. they also had to pass under the bay bridge which was reportedly
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an even tighter squeeze. and cleaning your dog's coat just got as easy as cleaning your clothes, at least in japan. no more wrestling with old rex to get him into the tub, shampooed and dried. for the equivalent of $10 you can place your pooch into the automatic dog wash, and the owner vouches for its comfort and safety. he said he's climbed inside. large lab dors and chow chows will have to wait. for right now, the machine can only accommodate small breeds. what will you do after you clean up after the dog's bath? >> do you have a dog? >> i used to have a dog. and, boy, that was a lot of fun. >> all right, the dogs are cute. thanks very much for that. we're tracing the connection between two guns used in two different shootings. how the guns got from the police lockup in the memphis area into the wrong hands. and tiger woods announces his comeback to the professional golf world. it will be the grand zaddy of them all, of the masters.
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anncr vo: can get help with a flat tire... anncr vo: ...find a nearby tow truck or gas station... anncr vo: emergency services... anncr vo: ...collect accident information. anncr vo: or just watch some fun videos. anncvo: it's so easy, a caveman can do it. caveman: unbelievable... caveman: where's my coat? it was suede with the fringe. vo: download the glovebox app free at a messy scandal sent him into seclusion and rehab, now tiger woods announces his return to the world of golf. and what a choice for a comeback, he'll play in the masters tournament next month, that's goff's premier event. mary snow is working this story for us. mary, the tv networks, they must be crazed right now thinking about the ratings.
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>> yeah. and they're certainly welcoming back, tiger woods' comeback has many seeing dollar signs. woods made it official today announcing he'll play in the masters in early april. this comes nearly four weeks after woods made a public apology for selfish behavior that included affairs. at the time he said he'd return to golf but didn't know when. in a statement today, woods said i have undergone nearly two months of inpatient therapy and i'm continuing my treatment. although i'm returning to competition, i still have a lot more to do in my personal private life. they told the winners who stand to gain big bucks from tiger woods' comeback. >> certainly nike, you know, they've built an entire golf division around him, $650 million in sales. ea sports, they've got a new video game coming out this summer featuring tiger woods. now they can move forward and advertise with him, and it's not
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so uncomfortable, and certainly the pga tour, they're the biggest winners in this. >> there are a lot of organizations, mary, that are pretty excited about this. >> as you heard, ea is at the top of the list. having woods return should help the pga get sponsors, they've had trouble lining them up. speaking of ratings, espn and cbs are celebrating the return. the president of cbs told "sports illustrated" that he expected tiger woods' first tournament to the biggest media event in the past 10 to 15 years other than the obama inauguration. after woods' popularity dropped, he counted 6.5 million people tuning in to his public apology last month and that was just on cable channels. >> thank you. two separate shootings one at the pentagon the other at a las vegas courthouse. two guns, but before falling into the wrong hands, they were
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both in the hands of police in tennessee. what's going on? we asked brian todd to take a closer look at this story. what did you find out, brian? >> wolf, both the weapons were in the hands of actually the same department. confiscated by the memphis police in routine cases, but it's how the guns got out of the hands of police and found their way to the shooters that has the police now on the defensive. >> reporter: a man with a history of mental illness shoots and injures two pentagon police officers. a convicted felon kills a security officer and wounds a deputy at a las vegas courthouse. cnn has learned guns in both recent shootings had been kept in the vaults of law enforcement agencies in the memphis, tennessee, area, and traded by them to gun dealers. memphis' mayor promises an investigation. >> i just don't want our city of having any role in getting the confiscated gun back on the streets. >> reporter: the story was first reported by the associated press.
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a law enforcement official helped cnn follow the trail of the nine millimeter handgun used by alleged pentagon shooter john patrick bedell. it had been confiscated by memphis police in 2005, traded by police to a georgia gun distributor three years later, then to a gun dealer in pennsylvania. then sold to a store in las vegas last year and later sold at a gun show. it's not clear how bedell got it after that. a similar story with the shotgun used in the las vegas shooting. memphis police confiscated it in 1998, turned it over to the nearby shelby county sheriff's office, which later traded it, along with thousands of other guns, to a dealer in massachusetts for better weapons. experts say these cases highlight a divide among law enforce the agencies. some destroy confiscated guns, but others sell or trade them, a practice that former philadelphia and miami police chief john timoney says has to end. >> i think it's unseemly that police departments would be in the business of selling guns
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that could -- that eventually could get into the hands of criminals. >> reporter: contacted by cnn, officials with the memphis police department and the shelby county sheriff's office defended the practice. they say they only trade guns to licensed, rhett putable dealers and that these days, with many law enforcement agencies forced to cut their budgets, trades are an efficient way to upgrade their own weapons and save taxpayers money. we pressed the issue with gun advocate larry pratt. why is it not a problem for a law enforcement agency to trade a weapon away that eventually winds up in the hands of, you know, of a repeat offender and someone with a history of mental illness? >> it's no different for a law enforcement agency to sell its guns than it is for a private dealer to sell its guns. they're both going to be going into the private market, and a gun ban or any kind of restriction that might otherwise be placed on these guns doesn't make any difference in crime. we know that. >> still, a spokesman for the shelby county sheriff's office
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says, in recent years his agencies adopted a policy of no longer trading confiscated guns to dealers. he says those weapons are destroyed, but they still do trade discarded service weapons to dealers, wolf? >> i take it in tennessee, correct me if i'm wrong, brian, some other agencies are going to be doing more trading and selling of these guns, these confiscated guns? what do we know about this? >> probably all of them will, including the shelby county sheriff, who we just mentioned. the governor of tennessee just signed a new law. before the law enforcement agencies had the option of destroying the guns, understand the new law, they can only sell them if they are unsafe or inoperable. they have to sell or trade the rest of them. you will see a lot of confiscated guns, at least in tennessee, being sold to gun dealers. >> thank you, brian. they're bringing the tea party to capitol hill, the many unusual ways of opponents of health care reform are letting congress know how they feel. jack cafferty will be back with your thoughts on how the
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catholic church should address the latest sex scandal in europe.
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let's get right back to jack for "the cafferty file." jack? >> the question this hour, is how should the catholic hitch address the child abuse claims that are currently sweeping across europe? kathleen in oak park, illinois, writes, addressing child abuse claims will be futile until the catholic church admits that celibacy is at the root of this terrible problem. i've given up hope it ever will,
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and that's just one of the myriad reasons that i, a lifelong catholic, after much soul searching have left the fold. susan writes, as a catholic and a parent, i'm befuddled why people would take complaints of sex abuse by priests to the church. instead of, one, filing criminal charges, or even better, two, shooting the bastard, personally, i recommend the latter. the fact that parents and victims come to the church for a cash payoff, not only keeps the predators on the streets but leads to many false claims that years after the alleged encounter can be neither proved nor disproved and adversely affect the credibility of real victims. e. writes, maybe i just don't get it with the catholic church. how does it ostracize some for decisions they make that really have nothing to do with the ten command ants and those who abuse children are shifted from one job to another within the church, suspended but not fired, their actions dismissed and minimized in importance. why is this accepted by catholic
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church members? rich writes, as a victim of clergy sexual abuse, i can assure you this is not a new story. these crimes have been occurring against kids for hundreds of years. it's only because of our advanced technology and communications that we can see that it's now become a worldwide epidemic and it won't end until the church deals with it honestly and with transparency. the ath catholic church is equal to the mafia with its practices of integrity. i think the catholic church should open the windows and doors and let some sunlight and fresh air in, dump over the barrel and sort out all the bad apples once and for all, if not, they soon won't have any congregations to worry about. if you want to read more on this subject, you'll find on it my blog at >> it's causing a huge story in europe. >> 15,000 complaints of sexual abuse in ireland with a population of 4 million people and the story, the scandal,
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detailed in three separate government reports, that country which is 99% catholic, is -- is just in shock. >> yeah. for good reason. all right, jack, thank you. jack cafferty, with "the cafferty file." the pressure is building on the pope, as catholics wait for some comment on that growing sex scandal, involving priests. jack just reported on it. one vatican official offering some answers. we're going to have more on this story coming up. and the strong emotions stirred by health care reform. jeanne moos takes a most unusual look at the "killed bill" movement.
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here's a look at some of the "hot shots" coming in from our friends over at the associated
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press. pictures likely to be in your newspapers tomorrow. in poland britain's prince charles visits a bison preserve. in austria, easter eggs hang from a snow-covered branch days before the official start of spring. in indonesia, a man watches a sunset from the coast of a beach in bali. and in india, check it out, children watch as two turtles return to the sea after laying their eggs on the beach. "hot shots," pictures worth 1,000 words. the crowd estimates may vary widely on today's tea party 7x$jo on capitolí#8 thing is clear, the group's push to be heard on health care reform. jeanne moos has a most unusual look at the kill-the-bill follies. >> reporter: a bunch of homicidal protesters descended on washington. their intended victim? >> kill the bill. kill the bill. >> reporter: unless you are wondering which bill to kim, there's president obama popping
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out of the health care coffin. you can read their minds by reading their signs. angry? you betcha. >> i'm american and i'm mad. >> reporter: russia called, they want their socialism back. can't remember, write it on your hand, stop spending! >> so many wonderful signs, this one back here says "stop being a democrat, start being an american." >> reporter: stop spending money we don't have on things we don't want, pelosi spits in america's face. >> arrogant elitist pigs are going to shove it down our throats! >> reporter: call me pig, you can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. i don't want to play doctor with my uncle, uncle sam we guess. >> my favorite sign that i saw says "grandma isn't shovel ready." >> reporter: some held their signs and wore them. the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. at this kill-the-bill rally, the victims showed up. >> i brought an abortion to show you today.
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>> reporter: since there's talk of democrats resorting to a maneuver in which the bill would be deemed rather than passed -- >> join me in a new cheer, that deems this -- >> reporter: oh, what fun it is to chant about obscure congressional strategies. >> say it with me. self-executing! self-executing! >> reporter: the trick is to be made yourself heard. >> the folks can't hear us up there, sometimes we have to holler with a hearing aid as we seniors used to use. >> reporter: sometimes a megaphone malfunction can function as a met for. for instance, when texas congressman louis gomer tried to speak. >> sunk my battle chip. you sunk my battleship! >> reporter: from that old game -- >> battleship. >> you sank my battleship. >> reporter: like they want to sink health care. but the kill-the-bill folks at the prally were tame compared to
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the ones on youtube who really killed the bill. it was symbolically bludgeoned, flushed, abused, and burned. even backed over. warning, smoking is hazardous to a health care bill's health. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. happening now -- a top administration official predicts osama bin laden will never be caught alive. this hour, the u.s. military strategy for dealing with the al qaeda fugitive, if and when he's found. republicans accuse house democrats of using smoke and mirrors to try to pass health care reform. we'll have a reality check on whether the president's party is playing by the rules. and we'll hear from the vatican's chief exorcist, yes, you heard that right. he's talking about the devil, temptation and the church's sexual abuse scandal. i'm wolf blitzer.
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i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- years after president bush vowed to get osama bin laden dead or alive, a top u.s. official is predicting how the hunt for the al qaeda leader will end. we're talking about the attorney general, eric holder. he said bin laden will never be caught alive, and so he'll never stand trial in the united states. holder's surprise comments today came during questioning by members of congress about trying terror suspects in federal civilian courts. listen to this -- >> granting osama bin laden the right to appear in a u.s. courtroom, you are clothing osama bin laden with the protections of the u.s. constitution, that's unavoidable and something you skipped right past, and it's giving constitutional rights to enemy soldiers that is a profound problem. >> you are talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. the reality is that we'll be reading miranda rights to the
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corpse of osama bin laden. >> let's bring in our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. the u.s. attorney general's comments, barbara, how does that square with the u.s. military strategy in trying to find or capture or kill bin laden? >> well, wolf, i think the attorney general finally is publicly saying what is the worst-kept secret inside the u.s. military and the cia. no one has expected for years to get bin laden alive. think of it this way, wolf, this is the debate over the last 100 yards to osama bin laden. you have delta force outside the door, they're going to kick the door down, they know bin laden's on on the other side, is he going to be taken, absolutely not. the general thinking is either he carries poison or a cyanide pill or weapons on board or the guards who surround him at all times have take an vow to the death to shoot him so he would never be taken alive. that has been the thinking for years now.
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attorney general holder simply saying it out loud, wolf? >> having covered the pentagon myself, i know that there are contingency plans that the u.s. military has for everything. let's say they find, they kill bin laden. then what? >> well, if they have the dead body on their hands, that may not be anything but a new set of problems. they have to have -- they know they have to have a recognizable body to show the world. and, still, many people, in many parts of the world, may not believe it, but they've got to have that recognizable dead body, that dead face of osama bin laden, to show the world that he has been killed once and for all. it may be a very difficult thing for them to achieve, and even if they have it, their biggest concern, of course, is that a dead osama bin laden will simply become a martyr figure for further jihadist movements. and, of course, there's another reality, wolf, osama bin laden
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may well die of the kidney disease that the cia believes he suffers from. he could be buried. they could never find him, wolf. >> barbara starr, reporting. good work, barbara, thanks very much. over on capitol hill here in washington, today plenty of fresh anger over health care reform. members of the tea party movement joined with conserve stiff activists in protesting the democrats' bill. they got a little help on the radio as well from rush limbaugh who urged callers to complain to congress. >> i have given out the capitol hill switchboard number, and i'm urging everybody to call and ramp it up. ratchet up the pressure. on the house floor, republicans took direct aim at the way democratic leaders are hoping to pass reform. they say it preverts the basic rules of congress many americans learned by watching "schoolhouse rock." in a nutshell, house democrats could pass a special rule that would allow them to avoid a direct vote on the senate version of health care reform, a bill so many of them hate.
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>> i guess what i would call it is nancy pelosi's trying to come up with an immaculate conception. somehow she's going to try to claim that they didn't vote on the senate health care bill when, in fact, that's necessary under the constitution before it can be signed into law, and then the reconciliation process moved forward. >> news flash, people in the real world don't care about self-executing rules or reconciliation and don't even know what it is. what they do care about process is the process of the insurance companies, the process of refusing a child who has asthma, the process of raising prices 39%, 50%, 60%, for your insurance policy. all right, let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. dana, you spoke to the chair of the house rules committee, louise slaughter, democratic
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congresswoman, and she made it clear she's got this, i guess we could call it a little convoluted way of getting two passes for the price of one. >> reporter: that's true. it's called a self-executing rule. it deems this senate bill passed by just voting on a -- the rule for it, which is really a procedural vote. and louise slaughter, she not only defended it, she really explained why democratic leaders want to do this, and she was very candid, wolf, she said it's because they want to protect the democrats in the house who don't like the senate bill on its substance and are concerned politically, specifically, about the issue we've heard so much about, the deal to senator ben nelson and his state of nebraska to give money for medicaid, and no other states. listen to what she said -- >> it's used often. it's been used by both parties. and there's nothing unconstitutional about it. it's perfectly legitimate, legal procedure. >> reporter: why not take a vote on it? >> because we don't want to have
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to take a vote on some -- mr. nelson's projects and other things. we see no necessity and no need to do that when we have this procedure at hand. >> reporter: and, wolf, i've spoken to many rank-and-file democrats, some of whom are being protected, or at least they're the people that the house democratic leaders want to protect, because they're in politically dicey situations, and they say, look, going to take a vote on something our subsequent constt like it, we'll do it anyway. >> many point out republicans have used the procedure themselves. >> reporter: they're right, republicans have used it before, we generally don't talk about it, but it's the way both parties when they are in the majority have tried to protect their members. they have done it in years past on issues such as immigration and the line-item veto, so it has been done by both parties.
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>> the magic number in the house is 216 to get this passed. the democrats don't have the number yet, but they're working on so many members to try to convince them, especially those who voted nay the last time to get them to vote aye this time, and you spoke to one of them. >> reporter: they are work can the members hard. we wanted to visited a congressman from ohio, he is somebody who is a freshman, somebody who voted no last time and is considering voting yes this time, and watch the scene of what was going on in his office -- >> the decision i'm faced with is voting on an imperfect bill, or doing nothing. and we just had calls from constituents, my chief of staff, his wife works for a small business and understands that they just had an increase in premiums. i'm not afraid to stand up and take a tough vote, and even if it means taking on, you know, our leadership, and it was a very difficult decision to come to, you know, on the first -- on
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the first version. our office is under siege right now. we're getting calls from not only in the district but all over the country. >> reporter: look at this. i mean, the phones have not stopped ringing. >> you should see our district office. i answer my calls from time to time and hear what folks have to say. this is congressman bocieri, we can agree on this, the system does need to be reformed and we need to do it in a way that allows folks to have better choices. would you agree? >> reporter: you're a freshman. this is a very tough vote. this could be a make it or break it vote, maybe to decide whether you come back or not. >> and, like i said, whether i serve two terms or 20, we want to make the right decision for the people of our district and ohio and the country. >> reporter: now, congressman bocieri, just like many other undecided democrats said they can't really decide until they actually see the legislative language of this bill, and that is specifically how they're going to fix the senate bill. and we won't see that for a while, because we are still waiting for the congressional budget office to tell the
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democratic leaders how much it's going to cost, and more specifically, we're told by democratic sources, what they're working on, is what the deficit reduction will be as a result of this bill. so, they're going back and forth with the congressional budget office. once they get those numbers, we're likely to see what this bill actually looks like, and from there the house is likely to push for a vote pretty fast, they say still possibly by this weekend. >> well, because nancy pelosi has said it will be at least 72 hours that they'll be able to digest the cbo scoring, as it's called, the numbers, right? >> reporter: to digest the numbers and, more specifically, to digest the actual legislation to read the legislation of what they're going to be voting on, right. >> 72 hours from tomorrow will be saturday. we'll see if they can get it done by then. all right, thanks very much for that. a just-released poll, by the way, drives home the politics of health care reform for the president and his democratic party, in the new "wall street journal"/cnn survey, 38% call the plan a bad idea.
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in line with other surveys in recent weeks and months. opposition continues to be a drag on the president's popularity. look at this, the new poll puts the president's approval rating at 48% right now. it's been hovering under the important 50% mark since a steep drop over the summer. it's gone down about 20 points since he's taken office. how close might iran be to an actual nuclear weapon? and is someone helping al qaeda get its hands on a nuclear weapon? i'll ask the world's top expert. and plus long before toyota's problem with sudden acceleration, the problem appeared in american cars as well. where were the government regulators? and the first lady asks the food industry to make healthier things to eat. we'll have details right here in "the situation room." ents... aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food. he recommended citracal. it's different -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food. citracal.
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let's get right to jack for "the cafferty file." jack? >> wolf, when barack obama was elected, there was a hope that he would improve america's standing on the world stage. more than a year later, tensions are rising between the united states and several key nations. in the middle east, u.s./israeli relations are strained, to say the least. isra israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, is defiant when it comes to defending construction in east jerusalem, despite pressure from the united states to stop it. this will probably throw a wrench into the israeli/palestinian peace talks and that ultimately only hurts america's image in the arab countries. israel announced the
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construction during vice president biden's visit to israel and it was a bigtime diplomatic slap in the face. meanwhile, hamas called for a day of rage today, rioting at the reopening of a synagogue in jerusalem. then there's china, some suggest that communist nation is manipulating its currency and trying to take advantage of america's credit crisis. for its part, china accuses the united states of pursuing hegemony in the world and trampling on the sovereignty of the other countries and trespassing on their human rights. isn't that the stuff we used to say about china? things don't sound too good with that relationship either. president obama's been unable to do anything about iran's nuclear program, despite make iing that priority early in his term. and lastly, ahead of president obama's scheduled trip to asia, thousands of people protested in indonesia, the world's most populous muslim country. the followers of a conservative islamic sect said that even though president obama spent his
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childhood in indonesia, as president he's following policies like george w. bush in places like iraq and afghanistan. so, here's the question -- when it comes to foreign policy, how would you rate president obama? go to, and post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> a great question. it's not that easy being president of the united states. i think the president has discovered that over the past year. >> i don't know why anybody in his right mind would want that job, do? >> what a job. >> tough stuff. >> all right, jack, thank you. runaway cars, toyota isn't the only carmaker to deal with sudden acceleration problems. it first surfaced a decade ago with american cars. it has prompted federal investigators toe say the government is asleep at the wheel. brian, what are you finding out? >> the agency that is holding toyota's feet to the fire may be a bit overwhelmed. this is the national highway traffic safety administration, nhtsa, an investigation by the
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bloomberg news agency found that unintended acceleration is certainly not a new problem. that nhtsa has been tracking it for years and it's found more deaths due to that problem in vehicles made by ford, chrysler, and other companies combined than it's found in toyotas over the past decade. nhtsa sent us figures that back that up. a total of 59 fatalities due to unintended acceleration in vehicles other than toyotas over the past ten years. the companies with the most? ford with 19. chrysler, with 12. they still pale in comparison to toyota, which had more than 50 deaths, wolf, but it does illustrate that nhtsa has been struggling with this problem now for years, and really decades. >> i knew you checked with the automakers. what are they saying? >> that's very interesting. ford has said it has not identified any major safety problems in its vehicle. a chrysler spokesman told us in most of its cases the problem was identified as driver error. but safety advocates say that's the major problem here. they say nhtsa over the years has been way too quick to close the doors, close the books on these investigations, and blame
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driver error. nhtsa confirms to us that since 1980, its run 141 investigations in to unintended acceleration, and closed 112 of them without taking any corrective action. i spoke today with joan claybrook, a former nhtsa administrator, who is now president emeritus of the safety watchdog public citizen. >> they found sort of an easy out in my view of this by just blaming the driver, but any driver, who puts their foot on the accelerator by mistake, will take their foot off the accelerator instead of jamming it to the floor and keeping it there until they have a crash. i mean, that's just not reasonable. >> we contacted nhtsa about this charge, a spokeswoman there issued us a statement, quote, safety is our top priority and we are committed to getting to the bottom of these unintended acceleration issues, that's why we're undertaking a new comprehensive review that will look at a wide range of possible causes of possible unintended accelebration, including potential electronics problems. we know that's been the charge
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against toyota, a problem toyota has vehemently denied. >> there's also the question of nhtsa's resources which are limited. >> clayborn said the agency is vastly understaffed and underfunded. and nhtsa's administrator, david strickland, was asked about that recently at a congressional hearing. he didn't come right out and complain about the lack of resources and staffing but he did say the obama administration has given them enough money now to hire about 60 new people for some of the key posts that investigate these problems, but you can make a case that nhtsa has not had the resources that it needs. this issing agency that has 20 basically oversee the safety of all american cars on the road right now. >> but there are some cases of an elderly driver or another driver who inadvertently thinks the gas pedal is the brake and inadvertently pushes the gas pedal down thinking it's the brake. >> absolutely. in many, many of these cases where nhtsa concluded driver error, that's exactly what it was, and what experts will tell
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you is, you can't blame nhtsa for all of these cases. a lot of cases, even the toyota cases, are going to be found to be driver error. >> brian, thanks very much. >> sure. honda is recalling more than 400,000 odyssey minivans, from the 2007/2008 model year. honda said potentially defective brake pedals could make stopping the vehicle much harder. honda will start contacting affected customers at the end of the month. rocks and rubber bullets flying as palestinians clash with israeli police. you'll learn what was behind today's violent confrontation in jerusalem. plus, some wonder if the devil is at work inside the catholic church, playing a role in the child abuse scandal sweeping across europe right now. we're going to hear from the vatican's chief exorcist. as having to decide to go for it? at the hartford, we help businesses of all kinds... feel confident doing what they do best.
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room." what's going on? >> an apparent u.s. missile attack has killed nearly ten people in northwestern pakistan. pakistani officials say the target was a sus sperked militant hideout. since the seven killed cia of employees, the u.s. has stepped up attacks in the tribal region. the u.s. authorities will not discuss the attack which apparently used unmanned drones. thiefs in connecticut have made off with $75 million worth of prescription drugs. authorities say the heist appears well planned. the thiefs scaled the side of an eli lilly drug warehouse, cut a hole in the roof, rappelled inside and deactivated the alarm. it apparently took place early sunday during a rainstorm. and the federal reserve said it will continue to hold interest rates at record lows for what it calls an extended period. it's doing so to help the flagging economy and high unemployment, attempted to bounce back.
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the fed's economic assessment today was a bit more upbeat, it said the job market is stabilizing and business spending on things such as equipment and software has risen significantly. and the first lady is urging the u.s.' largest food companies not to just chew the fad in her campaign against childhood obesity. this is the first time she directly addressed the food industry. she asked for swift and sweeping changes with products and nutritional information and marketing campaigns directed at children. so, it could make a big difference apparently what children eat. >> it could make a huge difference, let's hope it does. deb, thank you. the nuclear trade -- the secret nuclear trade issue, i should call it, how close is iran to getting a nuclear weapon? and is someone helping al qaeda get the capability for mass destruction? i'll ask a leading expert. plus, tiger woods announces a return to golf. it's not just any tournament, but the most prestigious event
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in east jerusalem today, hundreds of palestinians threw rocks at israeli police who answered with tear gas and rubber bullets. the protests were incited by hamas militants over the reopening of a synagogue blown up by arab forces back in the 1948 war. the tensions were already high
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over israel's plans to add housing in a disputed part of the city. here's cnn's paula hancocks. >> reporter: hamas called for a day of rage. it wasn't far off. tires burning in the streets of east jerusalem. palestinian anger over a perceived israeli attempt to make east jerusalem more jewish. there have been five days of clashes in and around jerusalem. this is day five, and this is certainly the most significant clashes that we've seen in the city so far. this is shafat refugee camp, and you can see behind the barricade, at the bottom there are tens of palestinians standing, throwing stones. in return, the israeli military and police there have been firing many rubber bullets. there have been injuries, he understands, and there could just have been an injury because there's another ambulance going in now. close to 100 palestinians were injur
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injured, and close to 50 arrested. more than a dozen israeli police suffered injuries. an israeli member of parliament is worried tensions will remain high. >> the reality here is worse than before the second intefadeh, as you said, it's very tense, and people cannot -- cannot just continue living in this oppressive occupation -- occupation really. >> reporter: the reopening of a synagogue in the old city that was destroyed in 1948 has been accused by some of raising the temperature. but tensions were already high. last week's announcement of 1,600 more units in east jerusalem, which palestinians claim is the capital of their future state, adding to simmering anger here to say nothing of creating a diplomatic spat with the u.s. george mitchell may have postponed his visit to the region, but judging on the violence from the streets on
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tuesday, few were in the mood to talk peace. paula hancocks, cnn, east jerusalem. and joining us now, david albright, he's the author of a brand new book, "pedaling peril" he's been a frequent guest in "the situation room." david, thanks so much for coming in. >> good to be here. >> i want you to listen to this exchange between lindsey graham and general david petraeus up on capitol hill. >> from your point of view how much time is available to the world before iran gets a nuclear weapon, given what they're doing today? >> probably best for a closed session. >> got you. >> but it has thankfully slid to the right a bit. and it is not this calendar year, i don't think. >> all right. so not 2010, but he doesn't think -- and that leaves open 2011. that's not very reassuring, is
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it? >> no, it's not. because really what -- one thing it's saying is that iran probably can muster the capability to make nuclear weapons now, but is probably not going to do so in the immediate future. i mean, they were caught building this secret enrichment plant. it would be hard for them right now to take their material, their low-enriched uranium, that would allow them to produce weapons-grade uranium. >> do you have any doubt that they are attempting to build a nuclear weapon? >> less doubt than ever before. with the discovery of the secret enrichment plant, with more and more information coming out about iran continuing to work on nuclear weapons, the cia established they stopped in 2003, but the evidence increasingly is that they restarted and they just appear determined to rebuff every u.s. initiative to try to settle this problem. >> if they did get a nuclear weapon, do you believe the iranians would share it with a terrorist organization? >> no, i don't.
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but, unfortunately wrack when you look at how countries have gotten nuclear weapons in the last couple decades, often they have actually shared. it may be a renegade element, but it -- but unfortunately the newer -- newer nuclear countries tend to share. >> because the nightmare scenario for the u.s. and the west indeed is that al qaeda or some other terrorist organization gets its hand on some sort of nuclear device. how worried should we be about that possibility? >> well, i think we have to worry about it a great deal. i mean, it's hard for terrorists to get it, but, again, if iran goes nuclear, it's another source of both fissile material, the nuclear explosive materials you need for a bomb and the wherewithal, the knowledge that you need, to make a bomb. >> the father of the pakistani bomb, you write extensively in the book, "pedaling peril" he's a free man right now, right? >> that's right. >> is he under any restrictions what sover? >> no. he's launched a media campaign to say he hasn't done any of
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this. it's outrageous that he's mounting a media campaign to clear his name supposedly, and ironically when he's in court, he actually says he has no contact with western media, so he's trying to have it all ways, and i think it's a travesty in justice. >> because he was involved in helping not only the iranians but the iraqis and libya as well? >> that's right. >> you write extensively about it in the book. and he was under house arrest by the pakistanpakistannies, and n under house arrest. >> and the pakistani government served as questioners for all, including the united states and the international atomic energy agency and other countries. it was very unsatisfactory. >> my nightmare and other experts' nightmare, al qaeda, the bin laden al qaeda, they want to do something even more spectacular against the u.s. the next time, more spectacular than 9/11, and that raises fears of a nuclear device. >> no, that's right. and a nuclear weapon, that it
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would be something that would -- would kill lots of people and have quite an explosive yield. so you have to worry, and you have to worry that if iran gets nuclear weapons, if pakistan's government isn't -- doesn't become more stable, that the controls over the scientists don't remain firm and if kwan goes free, it's a pretty bad sign. in a sense you can get away with it is a sign. and we could be faced with a very dangerous future. >> david albright's book is entitled "pedaling peril." great book. >> thank you. tiger woods is ready to return to the world of golf. we'll tell you when and where he'll be making his big comeback. and the vatican's chief exorcist said the devil is at work inside the church and played a role in the child abuse scandal that's sweeping across europe right now. that fascinating one-on-one
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interview just ahead. and the surprising end to a police chase in arizona. we'll have details right here in "the situation room."
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a messy scandal sent him into seclusion and rehab. now, tiger woods announces his return to golf, and what a choice for a comeback. he'll play in the masters tournament next month. that's golf's premier event. mary snow's been working the story. she's joining us now.
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mary, tv networks getting excited about huge ratings. >> certainly are. and certainly many people are seeing dollar signs. woods made it official today, announcing he'll play in the masters in early april, and it comes nearly four weeks after woods held a press conference making a public apology for what he called irresponsible and selfish behavior that included affairs. now, at the time he said he'd return to golf, but didn't know when. in a statement today woods said, i have undergone almost two months of inpatient therapy and i'm continuing my treatment. although i'm returning to competition, i still have a lot of work to do in my personal life. with that announcement, "fortune" senior editor kurt bodenheiner started tallies the winners who stand to gain big bucks from tiger woods' comeback. >> certainly nike. they've built an entire golf division around him, $650 million in sales. ea sports, they've got a new video game coming out this summer featuring tiger woods. now they can move forward and
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advertise with him and it's not so uncomfortable. and certainly the pga tour, they're the biggest winners in this. >> now, wolf, certainly the pga is one of the organizations showing belief with woods returning. he should help them get sponsors, since it's had difficulty lining them up, besides an obvious boost to ratings. and espn and cbs are no doubt celebrating the return to golf of tiger woods. the head of cbs sports told "sports illustrated" he expected it to be the biggest media event in the past 10 to 15 years other than the obama inauguration. wolf? >> bigger than the super bowl? is that what he's saying as well? >> he's saying other than the inauguration of president obama, he believes it's going to be the biggest media event in the last 10 or 15 years. >> he's not just talking sports, he's talking about the entire media. we'll see how huge. i'm wondering if it's bigger than the super bowl.
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we'll see. >> hard to imagine. >> we'll see. i'm sure people will tune in to see him. the real golfing fans will stay and watch for a long time, but others just want to get a glimpse of tiger back in action. all right, thanks very much, mary, for that. deborah feyerick is monitoring other stories in "the situation room". what's going on? a police chase in west phoenix ends with a big surprise. officers lift up a sheet of plywood in the back of this pickup. they find nine undocumented immigrants underneath, two were in the extended cab, two were up front. it arrived this morning from mexico, and all 14 people were taken into custody, two of thel, the truck's owner and driver, were charged with human smuggling. and it looks like they cut it close. watch this. the cranes on this barge actually still had about ten feet of clearance when they passed under the golden gate bridge in san francisco today. the 253-foot cranes are on the way from shanghai, china, to the port of oakland.
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those rains also had to pass under the bay bridge, which was reportedly an even tighter squeeze, glad they didn't get stuck. well, a heavy-duty helicopter airlifted this mustang off a river sandbar in arizona today. a strong river current stranded the horse there for five days, with little to graze on. to prepare for takeoff, a veterinarian injected the 900-pound animal with a tranq l tranquilizer and covered his eyes up with blinders. who ponied up for the rescue? anonymous donors covered the cost. the new law may not apply to many passengers in new york. a runway closed for repairs at jfk airport now has three carriers asking the department of transportation to be exempted. today american airlines joined jetblue and delta filing for a temporary exemption rather than face $27,000 in fines, per passenger, if a plane exceeds the tarmac time limit.
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just another challenge for fliers coming in and out of new york. wolf? >> i flew from atlanta to washington reagan national today on delta. it was very smooth. very much on time. i can't complain. >> well, there you go. >> a lot of other people can complain -- >> you're the one. >> -- i'm sure there will be other times i will complain, but not today. thanks very much, deb, for that. >> of course. it's nothing less than the battle between good and evil. the vatican's chief exorcist offers his thoughts on the latest sex abuse scandal within the church. if we don't know how big our community is, how do we know how big our hospitals need to be?
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the vatican's chief exorcist has an explanation for the latest sex scandal. he said the devil is in the vatican waging a war and the scandal is just one of the consequences. our morgan neill is in rome and he has the details. morningen? >> reporter: wolf, reverend gabriele amorth made headlines around the world recently when he said the devil was present in the vatican. as the vatican's chief exorcist, amorth says he's performed more than 70,000 exorcisms in his life. we had a chance to sit down with him and ask him about the sex scandals plaguing the church. thank you for taking the time to speak with us. i'd like to begin with something
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that you've said in your book, and that is that the -- the devil is lodging in the vatican. with all of the allegations we've seen recently of sexual abuse involving priests, do you believe that is the devil's work? >> translator: well, yes. the devil tempts everyone. he tempts everyone in every environment. in particular, he tempts those on top. in politics and economics and sports. and naturally, he tempts above all the religious leaders, so you shouldn't be surprised if the devil tempts those in the vatican. that's his job. >> reporter: have you ever performed an exorcism on a priest accused of molesting a child? >> translator: no. it's never happened. now, pedophiles are not possessed by the devil. they are tempted by the devil. they don't need exorcism.
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they need to be converted, to be converted to god. that's what they need. they need to confess. they need true penance, true repentance, that's what they need. they're not possessed. >> reporter: now, you said we shouldn't be surprised that the devil is present in the vatican because the devil is present in all the spheres of life. with all of the scandals we've seen recently, do you think the devil's presence is stronger today? >> translator: i'm not surprised. the world has always been like that. the devil attacks everyone. he also attacks people who are in the vatican. if you look at history, if we know our history, we see how many of those in the hierarchy have been attacked by the devil. it's always been that way. the devil is just doing his job. >> reporter: now, some people in the church when they talk about the devil, when they talk about satan, they use it as a metaphor
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for the weakness of human beings, but you're talking about something very real, aren't you? >> translator: absolutely. very real. i'm saying that if you believe in the gospel, you believe in the existence of the devil. the devil's power to possess people, the power he has to take possession of people. >> reporter: reverend amorth said most of the people coming to him don't need exorcism, just faith and prayer. as for the devil's presence in the vatican, he said that's no surprise. he once had to per from an exorcism on another exorcist, wolf? >> morgan neill, in rome, watching the story, thank you, morgan, fascinating. when it comes to foreign policy, how would you rate president obama? jack cafferty reading your e-mail coming up. and president obama does some judging of his own, predicting who will win the naacp championships. [ woman ] nine iron, it's almost tee-time.
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programing note. jong king usa premiers next monday, 7:00 p.m. eastern, right here on cnn. looking forward to that. let's go to jack once again for the cafferty file. jack? >> it means we get off an hour earlier, it means we can leave at 7:00. >> so let's go, john! hope you have a huge hit on your hands. the question.
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when it comes to foreign policy, how would you rate president obama? steve in canada writes i think it's going the right way. the israel dust-up last week is a proper reaction to that stunt they pulled on your vice president when he was visiting the country. in the middle east, nuance and appearances are everything. and israel gave the united states the finger in front of all. keith writes the president appears to have been overcome by what theologian robert calls the captain america complex. he has been playing to the machismo american image and has not seized the opportunity to normalize relationships with cuba or behave civilly with iran. his refusal to enter into an honest relationship with israel has also hurt his credibility. i still support our president, but i want to see him use some common bridge-building sense. rather than cave into patriotic protectionist american sensibilities. andrew writes i agree president obama has not had the most successful year, but i disagree with the way you presented the information.
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you're setting up the public to go against obama by focusing on his failures we're not able to move on. there is a reason why he won the nobel peace prize. he inspires hope in people. and if we cannot believe that anything good can happen, that's exactly what is going to happen. darryl writes president obama should be applauded for his foreign policy. it's a balm to our souls that we have a leader that is able to see all sides that puts diplomacy above war. mike until nevada writes we all had high hopes for him, but he has done little. i suppose it's hard to hold it against him seeing he has been tied up in the health care imbroglio for months on end. chip writes like every other promise candidate obama made too much talk coupled with too little action equals a red-penned f. and ron writes about two notches below billy carter. that's right, billy carter. the rock makes his brother jimmy carter look like adlai
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stevenson. pathetic. if you want to read more, go to my blog, file. wolf? >> jack cafferty with the cafferty file. caught up in march madness like so many of us. we're getting a sneak peek at his final four picks. for you to start your business, protect your family, and launch your dreams. at, we put the law on your side.
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when it comes to march madness, the commander in chief is just another guy filling out his brackets, like so many of us. yet he revealed his picks on national television. the president is set to reveal his full predictions for the college basketball tournament on espn tomorrow, including his choice to win it all. but we have already learned who has made his final four. check it out. kansas, kansas state, kentucky, and villanova. this year the president is also filling out a bracket for the women's ncaa tournament, putting connecticut, notre dame, stanford, and tennessee in his final four. a republican who just announced his campaign in new york has a link to one of the biggest right now, "american idol." he is former congressman joe di guard di, father of kara dioguardi. he asked her to put her songwriting skills to work. the "idol" j