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tv   State of the Union With John King  CNN  December 14, 2009 1:00am-2:00am EST

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our thoughts go out to tyler perry, recent guest on this show. we hope you find comfort in the fact that you did your mama fact that you did your mama very, very proud. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening everyone, we start with breaking news tonight on the health care legislation being labored over in washington. a roadblock for democrats who thought they could count on senator joe lieberman for the hard-fought compromise bill, but today, the senator dashed all hopes of the democrats securing the 60 votes they need to pass the bill, which includes a public option. >> i agree with senator nelson, we don't know the details of the so-called medicare buy-in, but from what we know about it, i would have is a real hard time supporting it, because it has some of the same problems the public option had. it runs the risk of adding to the national debt, of raising
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taxes. it is not necessary, because the underlying bill here creates a wonderful new program of subsidies for people between the ages of 55 and 65 to buy insurance, so i think that what this medicare buy-in is frankly another way to get to a single payer government-controlled health care system. i and senator nelson think it would be bad for our country, and for the people of our country. >> cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash confirming tonight that lieb lieberman informed senate leader harry reid about it friday, but lieberman went public today. >> reporter: that is right. we are told by two sources that senat senator lieberman went into the senate office and they were working in the senate today and reaffirmed the opposition to this idea of medicare buy-in for people ages 55 to 64. why does this matter?
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well, it is important and democrats are worried and upset in the senate, because look, the whole bottom line is that they need 60 votes in order to pass health care in the senate. he is one of the 60, and they were relying on lieberman to be one of the votes, and what this whole issue is about is the fact that these democrats were in meetings all last week and they made a tentative agreement to drop the public option from this senate health care bill. part of the reason they dropped it is because of the opposition from people like senator lieberman, so they had to find a sweet spot, don, and find something to make liberal democrats who are demanding a public option happy. how do they do it? the medicare buy-in program, because you heard senator lieberman say he is worried that this could lead to single payor government-control and guess what, this is the reason that liberals seem to not be that up set about losing the public
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option if they had the concept of allowing people to buy into medicare starting at age 55. so the reason that democrat leaders are so upset tonight is because they think that the sweet spot they found may not be there if they don't have senator lieberman, and another senator they thought they would pull along republican olympia snowe is not on board with it either. >> thank you, dana bash. our question is, is there more to come? >> we have lynn sweet, and mark with us. is there going to be a bill for the president to look at by christmas as wanted? >> well, as dana has been reporting, don, democrats were caught by surprise today, certainly about how strident senator lieberman was in the opposition to what dana is calling the sweet spot and this buy-in provision instead of the opt-in. speaking to a senate leadership aide tonight, they acknowledge
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that this is a difficult position to be put in, and they may have to look for the 60th vote elsewhere and the 60 votes exist in the republican side, so democrats may have to reach across the aisle to senator snowe or susan collins from maine, the moderate republicans to pass this. >> so is it back to the drawing board or what? >> absolutely. it is not back to the drawing board. the democrat leadership should have known that senator lieberman said he has a position and always been his position about the medicare situation. they have the alternative of going for 50 votes called reconciliation which won't, you know, which will be a bit of a public relations hit, but they can use a parliamentary maneuver where they have only need 50 votes. so there is some kind of a bill. the white house wants this. they want to get it done, and the senators want to get this
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done, and another technique that they could do is to try then and get the house to agree to exact senate version they will pass, and i am predicting this, soon. if they just get the house to vote on the senate bill, and in a sense a prenegotiated settlement. >> well, it seems like a lot of wrangling and turning of the ship if they indeed try to get it on the president's desk by christmas. so we will see. >> well, i would say don't be focused on the christmas deadline, but the white house wants to get it done and they are not tied into the artificial deadlines anymore, but sooner rather than later. >> thank you. and stick around, because we have more to talk about. $1.1 trillion in spending passed by congress and it is drawing big criticism and will the president sign or bow to public pressure? also. tiger woods dropped by one of his sponsors because of the infidelities and is it the first to cut ties with the world's biggest golfer?
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and a man goes after italy's prime minister. silvio berlusconi hospitalized after being hit. and the national guard needs your help or they may not be home for the holidays. plus, we need your feedback. okay, class, our special guest is here -- ellen page. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ] when i was a kid, we -- we would just go to the -- the farm. [ cow moos ] [ laughter ] no, seriously, where are you guys going? ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! [ female announcer ] the new classroom.
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see it. live it. share it. on the human network. cisco. and i'm joni. we've been best friends since we were two. we've always been alike. we even both have osteoporosis. but we're active, especially when we vacation. so when i heard about reclast, the only once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment, i called joni. my doctor said reclast helps re-strengthen our bones to help make them resistant to fracture and reclast is approved to help protect from fracture in more places: hips, spine, even other bones. (announcer) you should not take reclast if you're on zometa, have low blood calcium, kidney problems. or you're pregnant, plan to become pregnant or nursing. take calcium and vitamin d daily. tell your doctor if you develop severe muscle, bone or joint pain or if you have dental problems, as rarely, jaw problems have been reported. the most common side effects include flu-like symptoms, fever, muscle or joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. nothing strengthens you like an old friendship. but when it comes to our bones, we both look to reclast. you've gotta ask your doctor!
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or call 866-51 reclast. year-long protection for on-the-go women. now to tiger woods. it was our breaking news earlier this evening on cnn. a shock wave through the sports world today. word that woods' admitted infidelity scandal has cost him a long-time major sponsor, accenture. >> go on. be a tiger. >> accenture's the company behind that tv commercial. today dropped the golfer from its advertising. the question now, is accenture just the first of many companies and corporations who have lost faith in the world's premier golfer? there have been hints for days that sponsors may begin quietly dropping woods after revelations of infidelity emerged over the thanksgiving holiday. but accenture's abrupt decision is nothing less than a public repudiation of woods' personal life. the company released this blunt statement on its website. it says, "for the past six years
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accenture and tiger woods have had a very successful sponsorship arrangement and his achievements on the golf course have been a powerful metaphor for business success in accenture's advertising. however, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising." accenture said that it wishes only the best for tiger woods and his family. we want to go now to christine brennan. she is with "usa today." she joins us now by telephone to talk about this. christine, many people have said, have been wondering if this is the first of many more to come when it comes to tiger woods and advertisers. what do you think? you have covered him for what, 12 or 13 years now? >> that's correct, don. i have. it certainly would look like this might be the beginning of a trend, which of course is not a good trend for tiger but it's understandable considering the news of the last 16 or so days. but yeah, i think that accenture is one of those crossover companies that are not
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sports-related, and i think if you look at at&t, his golf bag has at&t on it, you think of some of these other companies that are more mainstream, i think we may see -- gillette, of course, said it's taking a time out if tiger's take a time out. we may see more of this. >> here's the interesting thing. how do you get at -- if you're been covering him for a long time now, how are you getting at it in the sports world in this story when it's really radio silence from him with just a few notes released on his website? >> well, that's a great question. and from my perspective writing columns for "usa today" or commenting on shows like yours, it's trying to put this in perspective. and as you know, this is extraordinary. the news is breaking and it just keeps coming, and it is so sad on so many levels. self-induced, but nonetheless, so sad. so i think putting it in perspective for people, saying, for example, that it's what i believe is the greatest fall from grace in the history of
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sports. i know it sounds like a lot. but i think bigger than o.j., bigger than kobe bryant, bigger than pete rose. i've been doing that. as far as the reporting, you know, this is a story that's been driven, as you well know, by the internet and by the tabloids. that doesn't necessarily please those of us who don't pay for stories. you don't. i don't. who don't, you know, just run wild rumors and gossip. but it's the reality of this story, that it is being driven by something other than the mainstream media. >> yeah. and i talked with a sports business analyst earlier and a sports attorney, and trying to put this into perspective. and the way that the story's being approached by most media, not by tabloids, is it's the same as reporting on aig. he is a multibillion-dollar business, or at least a billion-dollar business. and there is a ripple effect if there is no earning potential there. >> oh, you're absolutely right. look at golf. the sport of golf, we know when he was gone, when tiger woods was injured and out for half of
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2008 and came back in '09, we know that when he was gone tv ratings dropped 50%. we know that the economy's taken a toll on many sports, including golf. there are some tournaments that do not have title sponsors. and there's no doubt, don, that people will lose their jobs because of tiger's decision. that golf becomes basically a niche sport again. it almost goes dark. if tiger's gone, many, many people think, well, why watch golf? and that ripple effect, absolutely. it's going to be a big deal for golf as long as tiger is gone. >> christine brennan with "usa today" sports, thank you so much. and i want to tell our viewers to please stick around because coming up in a little bit we're going to talk to someone who has been in the boardroom making those kinds of decisions that accenture and other sponsors may have to make. just a little bit here on cnn. meantime, today president obama called the nation's big bankers fat cats. tomorrow he'll ask them to be cash cows. can he say the right words to get them to open their vaults? and start lending? and the hits keep coming.
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one car after another after another. look at that. slipping and sliding across pennsylvania roads today. when can these guys catch a break? jacqui jeras will tell us.
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let's talk now about the state of our nation. senators were back on the job today in washington for the second sunday in a row. and they were in a spending mood. they passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill by a vote of 57-35. the bill features $650 billion in mandatory spending for federal benefit programs like medicare and social security. it also includes more than 5,000 earmarks, though questionable pet projects, for the folks back home that legislators will put
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in to try to get votes from back home. mark preston and lynn sweet are back now. mark, a lot of criticism over this. will the president sign off on this? that's the question. >> yeah, i think he will. the fact is this is spending that i believe this administration is going to say will create jobs. this is spending certainly on capitol hill that these lawmakers want to see put into action. these are all those little pet projects, whether it's a bridge or a bike trail or whatever it is, back home. so one person's pork really is another person's pet project. >> all right. so lynn, tomorrow the president meets with banking ceos and presidents, and he wants them to do more to help consumers and small businesses. will they listen to him? >> well, i think they have to. he has a powerful bully pulpit. he'll use it. right now the small lending practices of the banks are the target of the white house. the mortgage mitigation program that the white house had been behind, which is to help people renegotiate their mortgages who were in big trouble. well, it's hardly gone anywhere. so the focus tomorrow is going to be on freeing up credit and
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getting money going to people who need it the most. small business people -- or among those who need it the most. small business people. and try to loosen up money in the mortgage market. >> but lynn there, was some talk about dipping into the t.a.r.p. money. so the political risk for the president if he dips into leftover t.a.r.p. money, the money given to banks to help prevent a collapse. >> now, that's different, though. the t.a.r.p. money was being talked to as a way for job creation, and the t.a.r.p. money was used to keep -- i mean, all this is related, but you don't want me to take the time to do this, i know. the point of tomorrow is just to free up money that could be used right away for small lending, for small business lending, and to help homeowners who are in trouble. this issue of using this money, the t.a.r.p. money that was used to bail out the banks is also the moral issue saying we helped rescue wall street and the banks, the president could say, therefore you have an obligation to help who we say needs help
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right now. people might know what you're also mentioning, which was the use of some of this bank bailout money just as a job creation fund, too. >> and the political risks of possibly doing this, mark? >> look, we're already in this big political quagmire anyway. the fact is unemployment's at 10%. we saw larry summers out today saying that every bill moving forward is going to be a jobs bill. there needs to be job creation. the fact is we're heading into a midterm election. you have a lot of democrats who are on the fence who could potentially lose their seats. but more importantly, you have a lot of people out of work. so the fact is the obama administration feels that the way that they're spending money is going to bring back job growth. the fact is republicans don't think it is. so we'll have to see what happens. >> we shall see. mark preston, lynn sweet, thanks as always. >> thank you. missing on a snowy mountainside, three hikers vanish on mt. hood in oregon. one has been found dead. but search crews are holding out hope the other two may still be alive. and we all know birds of a feather flock together, right? that's the saying. but we've never seen anything like this before.
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if having a plan matters, chase what matters. create your own blueprint at chase.com/blueprint. it's a needle in a haystack search mission on a frigid mt. hood. that's how one sheriff's deputy is describing the hunt for two climbers who vanished friday on oregon's tallest mountain. it's too late for the third member of that climbing team, found dead saturday on a glacier at 9,000 feet. equipment was scattered around the body of 26-year-old luke
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gullberg, including a camera with snapshots from the hike. but rescuers couldn't track that path from the ground today. the foot search was suspended because of avalanche concerns. so crews scoured the mountainside from the air. we turn now to our jacqui jeras to tell us about the weather not only there but across the country. but what a sad story, jacqui. and the conditions are getting worse. so they need to get at them as soon as possible. >> yeah. you know, there's going to be a small window i think tomorrow afternoon where they may have the opportunity to get the choppers back up once again. right now we're getting some snow showers in the area. temperatures tonight are going to be down there into the teens. but you can see here in the pacific a big storm is approaching from the west, and this is going to be arriving by monday night. let's go ahead and show you the watches and warnings which are already in place. we've got a winter storm warning, which is in effect right now across the mt. hood area. if we could switch sources, sgr-127 i need behind me, please. and we'll show you the advisories we have in place there. and we also have some avalanche
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watches which continue to be posted for monday night as well as into tuesday. winds could be gusting here as much as 60 to 70 miles per hour. so we'll be looking for that window from noon 3:00 or so tomorrow afternoon. now, we've got some other big weather stories taking place today, and we've been watching conditions across parts of the northeast. we've got pictures to show you now as well out of the pittsburgh area. some freezing rain all across the state of pennsylvania coated the roadways. ooh, and look at that accident. numerous accidents reported statewide and at least one person was killed in those accidents today. we also have pictures to show you of the state troopers trying to help people out. you can't even get from car to car. just slipping and sliding away. the rain and freezing rain is clearing out of this area now. however, as those temperatures hoover down below the freezing mark tonight, be aware on that
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trip out tomorrow morning, because there are likely going to be some patches out there once again. there you can see our storm system pulling out. so we'll watch for some better conditions now as we head into the overnight hours. okay. that's a look at the nation's weather. foggy conditions, by the way, too. i wanted to mention. across the southeast. you're going to wake up everywhere, really d.c., atlanta, also over toward new orleans, you're expected to see those delays. here's the video i've been looking forward to showing you all day long, don lemon. look at this. >> wow. it looks like the movie "the birds." right? or it looks computer generated. >> alfred hitchcock, look out. this was in sacramento. >> my guess is -- >> i'm sorry, what? >> no, that was someone speaking on the video, i think. it wasn't me. that was just the sound from the video. >> that th was taken sacramento area on friday. they're estimating there were some 500,000 starlings flying through the sky. nobody seems to know why. i don't know if it's migration or maybe there were a whole bunch of mosquitos hopefully they were eating in the area. but what an amazing sight. >> it's beautiful to look at. it's like art, moving, flying art.
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>> you took the words right out of my mouth, my friend. look at that. and they don't hit each other. how do they do that? our producer tom faust says i don't know, how do they do that and not hit each other but yet they hit my living room window? >> well, they're birds. that's how they do it. how do we walk without walking into each other? thank you very much, jacqui. impressive video. neil diamond and mary j. blige sang christmas carols with the first couple tonight. the annual christmas in washington event taped tonight at the national building museum. and the event benefits the children's national medical center. the president took time to speak on the importance of helping those in need and supporting our troops, especially during this season. the concert will air december 20th on our sister network, tnt. december 20th on tnt. who can afford to lose a multimillion-dollar endorsement? even for tiger woods it's got to hurt. a discussion is just ahead on what it means when a big sponsor pulls the plug. and national guardsmen preparing to serve their country in iraq. a few thousand dollars might
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we want to give you your top stories. this is a very busy news night here. a new hurdle tonight for democrats working to get their health care bill through the senate. independent joe lieberman says he cannot vote for the bill in its current form. that is a surprise to party leaders who thought lieberman was on board with the
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hard-fought compromise. democrats need all 60 votes in their caucus including lieberman to pass health care reform. what's flying out of north korea? one plane that took off from there was busted carrying 35 tons of war weapons, missiles, grenades, rockets, and more, all uncovered when the plane made a fuel stop in thailand. its final destination still a mystery. five crew members will be in court tomorrow on charges related to illegal weapons smuggling. long-time sponsor accenture today dropped tiger woods. this is a youtube video of one of its well-known tv ads with the golfer. accenture is the first company to end its endorsement outright. a statement on the company's website directly tied its decision to woods's infidelity scandal. tiger woods is much, much more than a gifted golfer. he's a brand worth more than $90 million a year in endorsements. john wortheim is a writer with "sports illustrated." he joins us from indianapolis tonight. good to see you, sir.
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so you think the companies, other companies may have been waiting for a first and so now it's okay to be a second, a third, and a fourth? >> well, clearly there was some unease. we saw companies sort of readjusting their relationship with woods. but accenture really sort of pulled the plug. and i think it's significant for a number of reasons. especially, this is not a company that's selling razors or sports drink. this is a company that's selling relationships, basically. and for them to say we're done with you, tiger woods, even though we pride ourselves on loyalty in relationships, we need to look elsewhere, i think that sends a pretty strong message. this also was a very significant deal. we said 90 million a year. but i would estimate roughly 10% of that came from accenture. so this was 7, $8 million deal. so pretty significant move tonight. >> so it's a significant move. and accenture, as we said, and one of the biggest sponsors and you said roughly 10% of that? >> my sources told me $8 million
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a year. but this was a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal. >> listen, as you are working for "sports illustrated," and i asked another sports columnist earlier about this, how do you get at this story when there is -- there's so much silence around it? >> well, i think frankly that's part of tiger's problem, that there's this vacuum and it's being filled by speculation, by the gossip media, and i think the business component is interesting. i mean, "sports illustrated" and me personally sort of stayed away from the tawdry aspect, but i do think sort of as a social story, as a fallen icon, and certainly as a business story it is significant. but everybody, whether it's sponsors, fans, media, everybody's sort of waiting for tiger to weigh in. >> waiting for tiger to weigh in. and we have someone who says, an attorney who says maybe he has not been in public because he did get facial lacerations as reported by police there. he may not want to be in front of the cameras there. in your estimation as a sports business columnist or a sports columnist, do you think that he should get out in front of the media anyway, even if he does? he may not be presentable as he might think so? >> well, i don't know about the facial lacerations.
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it's a real catch 22 because anything he says or does is going to be parsed. there are obviously going to be a lot of questions. but at the same time when he's just dropping these statements on his website, the vacuum is being filled by voices that frankly are often adverse to his interests. so he's really in a tough situation. i mean, fortunately for him golf sort of goes off the radar a little bit but back when the tournaments start up again in late january, february, i'm sure tiger's going to be back on the radar. >> but you don't want those pictures out there, those lasting pictures of him with bandages or bruises or cuts or what have you. that would not be good for -- >> no, that would not be good. >> john wertheim, thank you so much. appreciate it. earlier tonight sports business analyst rick horrow and sports attorney david coreo joins me to talk about the financial impact of tiger woods, inc. >> rick, what i found here interesting no, longer the right representative for its advertising. >> tell you what's interesting about that is that when gillette says we're stepping away it's a mutually agreed on hiatus because they want to respect his privacy.
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at&t is reevaluating. the pga tour says, well, we're going to give him some privacy. this is we're not fit to have a relationship together, and it may cascade into a lot of the rest of his $93 million of annual income. >> that's a lot of that. but is this one in a succession of sponsors or advertisers? do we know? or endorsement deals. >> look, as we speak, you know, ea sports is out there. pepsi. we've got upper deck. they're all evaluating. gatorade cut their brand off. they said before the incident was found out about. and so we've got a lot of international things. it's very clear tiger is a worldwide celebrity. the reach of this is not to be known, and it's this age that we've got to deal with. >> david cornwell, you have been in the board room and you've had to make these types of decisions about what you do with an endorsement or sponsorship, and you have represented athletes who get into trouble. and this is not illegal, but you know both sides. so talk to us about what's happening in the boardrooms now, especially in accenture and then so on.
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>> i think accenture, what they -- i think it might be a little bit of piling on, frankly. if their contract was expiring anyway, all they did was not renew tiger woods. so they got a little bit of pr pop for themselves and kind of kicking him when he's down and moving on. for those who still have a relationship with tiger that hasn't expired yet, i don't think that they're going to terminate the relationship. but even if they're thinking about it, the leaders of those companies are saying we make good money off of tiger woods. if you're telling me i have to terminate him, tell me how i'm going to make that money doing something else. and those are hard questions to answer for, you know, marketing, sales, and legal folks in the boardroom. >> for the people who don't understand, we showed rick talked about all the sponsors, and we put up the graphic with all the sponsors. but how much this affects even just the economy and the trickle-down effect. someone asked me how many people are going to lose their jobs
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possibly if tiger woods is no longer in the pga or no longer endorses these products or what have you. is there even a way to gauge that? >> we can just give you an example. nike pays tiger 50 to 70 million dollars a year, that generates $600 million in sales a year. so $600 million goes away from nike. that doesn't talk about the people who distribute the product. it doesn't talk about the retailer who sells the product. so the impact -- tiger is an industry. he's not just a celebrity golfer. i mean, he generates revenue right down the line. >> two other examples, professor lemon. the first one is that the economic impact of a tournament during the week-long pga tour, 30 to 50 million dollars. if that's halved or less, you can do the math. second, which is really important, is that you have $10 million and 100 charities for these kids with the tiger woods foundation in $5,000 increments. that is a very significant issue. >> what is next for tiger? what do you suggest? he's doing the right thing by not speaking right now?
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>> no. i'm curious as to why. the only explanation i can come up with, i don't know, is his face must not have healed yet. you know, he has good advisers, and they're competent, but i can't imagine given all that we dealt with why we haven't seen tiger woods yet, speaking the words that he's putting up on his website. gay rights activists are cheering one of america's biggest cities tonight. houston elects an openly gay leader. we'll hear from mayor-elect annise parker in just moments. and italian prime minister silvio berlusconi bloodied by an attacker. but tonight his face and his reputation are hurting.
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politics can be brutal, but today things got downright bloody. italian prime minister silvio berlusconi was whacked in the face by an attacker in milan. doctors are treating him for a broken nose, a split lip, and a couple of busted teeth. that's according to the hospital. but as cnn's mohammed janjoun reports, berlusconi's injuries may heal faster than his reputation. >> reporter: at a political rally in milan silvio berlusconi shaking hands and talking to supporters. then out of the blue a strike that leaves the prime minister bloodied and his country in shock. the alleged attacker is quickly surrounded. his upper lip bleeding profusely, berlusconi is put into a car by his aides while police try to restore order. the prime minister waves to the crowd, visibly stunned. he's rushed from the scene and taken to a local hospital, where he undergoes a cat scan. he'll stay there overnight for medical observation. milan police have identified the suspect as massimo tartaglia.
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police describe him as a mentally unstable man in his early 40s who had been undergoing psychological treatment for some time. milan police said berlusconi's attacker hit him with a small metal object but it's still not clear whether the man swung at the prime minister with the object in his hand or threw it at him. berlusconi's spokesman placed some blame for the attack on the prime minister's critics, telling cnn there's been a build-up of hatred toward the premier and he wasn't surprised by what had happened. the conservative media mogul turned politician has seen his fortunes take a considerable turn for the worse in recent months. he's been dogged by allegations of corruption and is in the middle of a messy divorce from his second wife. politically the three-term prime minister is facing trial on tax fraud charges after italy's top court struck down an immunity law that shielded him from prosecution. berlusconi has denied the charges, calling them politically motivated. personally, berlusconi's wife of 19 years filed for divorce in may after allegations of inappropriate relationships. berlusconi has denied those charges as well.
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despite his setbacks, the always colorful berlusconi remains popular among the italian public with his approval ratings remaining well above 50%. what's yet to be determined? whether this incident will leave berlusconi with political bruises to match his physical ones. cnn, atlanta. >> the prime minister's bloody face comes on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the famous or infamous iraqi shoe-throwing incident. as you may recall, an iraqi journalist fired a couple of pieces of footwear at then president george bush during a news conference with iraqi prime minister nouri al maliki. now, mr. bush ducked both shoes and was unhurt. the journalist spent nine months in jail. and by the way, he had a shoe thrown at him just a few weeks ago in paris. the mayor-elect of houston, texas told reporters today about her plans for running the nation's fourth largest city. annise parker says she is also proud of her history-making role. houston is the largest city to have an openly gay mayor. she defeated a fellow democrat yesterday in a runoff with more than 53% of the vote.
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earlier on cnn parker said she's looking forward to being mayor for everyone. >> i understand that for many people i'm a symbol, but the things that make me a good role model for my community are also what make me a good representative for the city of houston. and i have had now 12 years of on-the-job training to prepare me to take over the reins in america's fourth largest city. i'm ready to lead the city. and houstonians are all in this together. so a good bit of my speech last night was about acknowledging history but focusing on the future. >> parker began her career as a gay rights activist, later serving as a member of the houston city council and as city controller. down on their luck but ready for their christmas close-up. how free portraits are lifting holiday spirits in a flash. there's a factory giving old industries new life.
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and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, 69,000 people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers.
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family photos during the holidays, they make you feel good.
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but if you're down on your luck, taking one is probably a very low priority. one young man from nashville wants to help change that. he got hundreds of photographers to gift their talent. here's cnn's susan candiotti. >> look here. two, one. awesome. >> reporter: they are moms and dads trying hard to make ends meet. >> give me a little smile. >> reporter: they are mother and son, trying to get a troubled life back on track. >> all right, guys, here we go. >> reporter: they're a family worrying whether their son will live to sit for another portrait. >> everybody smile. >> reporter: bringing them all together on a single day is nashville photographer jeremy cowert. he calls it "help portrait." >> we just want to show people that they are beautiful and they are valued. and it's really, really happening so far. >> reporter: and it was happening for amanda, who's disabled and raising three kids alone. volunteers did her hair and makeup for the shoot.
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>> i always wanted professional makeup. >> what was it like? >> it's like being queen for a day. >> that's great. >> oh, my god! >> that's fun. >> reporter: jeremy cowart came up with the idea over the summer, and before you know it word spread, mainly over the internet, to more than 50 countries. including the netherlands and italy. more than 6,000 pros volunteering their time and talent. and in nearly every state photos, first-class photos. >> cheese. >> reporter: taken and printed for free. >> this is just something special for them. and that makes me happy, when i can give something, something as simple as smiling in a picture to someone else. >> reporter: in tennessee the carter family wanted a portrait to include barrett, who's recovering from cancer. >> we're thankful for each picture that we have taken. you never know when it's going to be the last. >> reporter: in new york 18-year-old hansel morata, on probation for drug charges, is in a rehab program. he's trying to turn his life
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around and wants his mom to have a photo to show her he means it. >> it's going to make me feel positive. you know? looking at myself. smiling. and my mother's smiling. i haven't seen her smile like that in a long time. >> reporter: nor these young people in a program battling low self-esteem. >> it's really awesome to see them smile. especially some of the girls that don't really like smiling anyway. >> all right. look at that. >> it's a reminder to me that photography is a very special gift. it's not something we should take for granted. >> reporter: from the looks of it, no one this day took it for granted. in about 30,000 portraits and at least that many smiles. >> thank you so much. >> you're welcome. >> i appreciate it. >> reporter: susan candiotti, cnn, new york. >> very nice. from a global icon to global joke. of course "snl" didn't miss an opportunity to jab at tiger woods. we'll show you that. and tackle a very difficult facet of this story that many
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have not discussed. and that's whether race plays a role in how the tiger story is being covered. because you are... ...clown, yes? female valve: come, you hit me again and i break you. male valve: oh, you messed with wrong pipe now, car. ha, ha trust me...i have to live with her. announcer:accidents are bad. but geico's good with guaranteed repairs through auto repair express.
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well, the folks at "snl," they hardly miss an opportunity to get one in. so watch this. >> and now a message from the pga tour. >> hi there. i'm tim finchum, commissioner of the pga tour. yesterday we got some interesting news. tiger woods announced that he was taking an indefinite break from golf. indefinite. and that's okay. you know, we're going to be fine. people don't just watch golf because of him. we've still got plenty of other
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superstars. you know, exciting household names like geoff ogilvy. boo-yah. trevor immelman -- >> so that's a joke. but you know what, there are some things that are no joking matters. and i want to bring dr. -- i should say boyce watkins, professor boyce watkins in from syracuse university. he's a social commentator and a blogger. and he joins us now. professor watkins, you saw the "snl" clip, and we all expected that part, right? but let's talk about what people are talking about in the blogosphere, what you're writing about, even a "wall street journal" article about this quoting you. race in this story playing a factor, but not everyone is talking about it. especially in the mainstream media. >> yeah. well, i do a lot of work with aol black voices and also the griot, where black people congregate to talk about these issues. and i'll tell you what, there are a lot of conversations. but the thing is you can't point to any homogeneous theme in these conversations.
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a lot of the conversation was sparked, actually, on a cnn show where a guest actually said by behaving this way tiger is acting like a black athlete now. well, that offended a lot of people. because when he was the perfect pure superhuman flawless disciplined, focused guy he was coblinasian but suddenly he starts to misbehave and he's a black athlete again? that's incredibly offensive and somewhat narrow-minded. i think that the conversation is strong. to some extent it is muted, but it is all over the wall. there are lots of black women, for example, that i've seen who are absolutely infuriated with tiger. they feel that if tiger were to jump off the side of a building it wouldn't make a difference in the world because when they look at this list of women that he desires, his objects of beauty and affection they don't see anybody that looks like them. and they also see that he does remind them of some of the other athletes who have completely ignored black women. so there is a lot of conversation and there is a
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racial element to this story. >> it's interesting to me. you know, trust me, i think i get it at some level. but why would they care? that's my thing. if someone doesn't want me, then i definitely don't want them. i wouldn't care less. >> well, because tiger is -- whether he likes it or not, you know, i don't think tiger really wants to be in the middle of this racial controversy, but we live in a country where race is part of the very -- >> i think you're right. as you talked -- you talked about the caublanasian thing. i think people see him as a man of color, as away black man. but he doesn't necessarily see himself that way. >> right. i don't think tiger ever saw himself as fitting into anybody's racial box. to some extent he was the original barack obama. he was the person who gave tremendous amounts of hope to everyone in the world because everybody could connect and identify with him and he was able to sort of climb out of that and accomplish amazing things. so there are a lot of people that are proud to see, you know,
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a black face walking down the 18th fairway of tournaments, you know, dominating the best golfers in the world. i think that this scandal, though, is bringing in a whole new element of the situation because it's not inconceivable that, you know, there are some out there who actually consider tiger to be guilty of one of the worst crimes a black man could commit, which is to hurt a beautiful white woman. remember, notice that this woman is -- allegedly chased him out in the middle of the night with a deadly object trying to hurt him, something that could kill him. but yet we haven't had one conversation about the fact that that's domestic violence -- >> well, i think -- >> if this were -- >> here's the thing. according to police reports, that she went to save him. and that is the reporting from the police. we haven't heard otherwise. we don't know if she went out to chase him. i know you're laughing because most people think that. so then you mentioned o.j. simpson. and there was a very interesting quote by you, i believe, about o.j. simpson. did you say something about he may end up being worse or -- what did you say? what was your quote about that?
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>> well, you've got to remember that before nicole brown simpson o.j. was america's favorite white man. i mean, everyone loved o.j. black people had forgotten about o.j. but after o.j. allegedly did what he did, he was suddenly relegated to that ugly place that they put black male athletes when they feel that they have done something that's morally reprehensible. you go back to michael vick and the way people cast all these value judgments on vick. randy moss, ron artest, latrell sprewell. every year there's some black male athlete who is hoisted to america as public enemy number one. so whether or not tiger will end up in that position, i don't know. but anything's possible at this point. >> you know, i get your point. but you ran off a list of people who, you know, were not exactly role models in the world. when you mention all of those people. and who have been demonized because of mistakes that they made. i get your point on that as well. thank you so much, boyce watkins. we really appreciate it. >> thank you. an army national guard unit might not make it home for the holidays because there's not yet enough money to hire a bus
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company. find out how you can help, next. and i'm joni. we've been best friends since we were two. we've always been alike. we even both have osteoporosis. but we're active, especially when we vacation. so when i heard about reclast, the only once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment, i called joni. my doctor said reclast helps re-strengthen our bones to help make them resistant to fracture and reclast is approved to help protect from fracture in more places: hips, spine, even other bones. (announcer) you should not take reclast if you're on zometa, have low blood calcium, kidney problems. or you're pregnant, plan to become pregnant or nursing.
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take calcium and vitamin d daily. tell your doctor if you develop severe muscle, bone or joint pain or if you have dental problems, as rarely, jaw problems have been reported. the most common side effects include flu-like symptoms, fever, muscle or joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. nothing strengthens you like an old friendship. but when it comes to our bones, we both look to reclast. you've gotta ask your doctor! or call 866-51 reclast. year-long protection for on-the-go women.
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a squadron of tennessee national guard is preparing to deploy to iraq early next week. well, right now they are training in mississippi. they are eligible to come home for the holidays, except there's a $9,000 snag. the bus company wants its money up front before it will agree to bring the troops home to tennessee from mississippi. and right now there are not enough funds to bring the troops home. if you would like to help out, find out how you could he help those troops get home for the holidays, the squadron has a facebook page. just go to facebook and search 1/278 acr, tennessee army
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national guard. hey, real quickly here for some of your feedback. this says, i am a black woman and i am mad at tiger woods because of infidelity and nothing else. the concept of race says michelle lomita, concept of race as viewed in the united states is scientifically faulty. some families rul different colors. no race. yep, the only pro golfer caught up in a sex scandal, is black. all the escorts are white. what's race got to do with it? thank you for your comments. we appreciate it. one more. why is race being brought into this? i agree he is paying too high of a price. but it is his decision to retire. it is personal. and there was one more back on my home page that i want to -- for some reason it didn't take over. got you, tom. 30 seconds left. we'll make it work hopefully. someone says -- this is something else. you're an anchor. you're extremely talented. i don't want to read that one. i wanted to read the one that said all the people he named committed cr

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