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Bankers Meet for Las Vegas Convention; Women May Soon Outnumber Men in Workplace; Compromise Reached on Economic Stimulus Bill; Mother of Octuplets Speaks Out

Aired February 6, 2009 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news on Capitol Hill, where senators say they have reached agreement on a stimulus bill.

Now, the details are still sketchy, but the tentative deal is said to be smaller than the more than $800 billion plan the House passed last week. Senators are debating the revised bill right now, as we speak.

Tonight's apparent breakthrough caps a day of intense drama in the Senate. In a moment, Dana Bash is going to bring us up to speed on all the developments there, most importantly what was tossed out of the revised bill and what was left in.

Also, President Obama kept up his tough talk today, scolding Congress from the East Room of the White House for taking so long to pass the stimulus bill. We will find out if the president got what he wanted and, after all the politics are put aside, how fast Mr. Obama can get this thing put into practice, so you and your family can maybe see some benefits.

Ed Henry will have the latest from the White House on that.

And the backdrop for all of this, the worst monthly jobs report in a generation. We learned today nearly that 600,000 jobs vanished last month.

Chief business correspondent Ali Velshi also joins us ahead.

But let's begin on Capitol Hill, Dana Bash and the Senate -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Senate is still debating, even as we speak, Anderson, after a dramatic, dramatic day.

And, you know, they had hoped to reach a climax, an actual vote, tonight. That doesn't look like it's going to happen. It's more likely going to be on Sunday. But what I can tell you is that they do believe, after a very tough negotiation all day long, that they have the 60 votes -- or maybe even they will 61 votes -- to squeak by, to have just enough votes to stop a Republican filibuster and pass the president's economic stimulus bill and this compromise they worked out today. COOPER: Senators wanted a lot cut out of this bill, Republicans especially. What -- I mean, how did they reach a compromise? What's in? What's out?

BASH: You know, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the process ugly. And it definitely was intense.

Let me give you some examples. You know, we have been talking about the fact that, for example, education is -- was one of the points of contention, things that were in -- that are now in, Pell Grants, college grants for low-income students. That was, at the beginning of the day, out of this compromise bill.

Well, Democrats were able to put that back in -- $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican negotiator on this, she told me just a few minutes ago that she had totally cut this -- well, the Democrats convinced her to put about the money back -- there you see -- $3.5 billion back in.

And then $7.5 billion in education grants, these are things that school districts can apply for, things like projects. So, those are things that are in.

In terms of things that are out, let's take a look at that -- $25 billion, general funds for education, things that, you know, critics said that this would be a slush fund, but this was kept in -- excuse me -- taken out -- $16 billion for school construction, critics said, you know what, this didn't belong in here, because it is not the federal government's role to build schools.

One more thing that was taken out -- a good example -- $122 million for Coast Guard cutter. So, those are just some examples of -- of the very tough negotiating on really program by program, dollar by dollar, that was going on about what creates jobs, what's stimulus, and what's not.

COOPER: All right, Dana, thanks.

As we said, President Obama kept the pressure on Congress today, taking lawmakers to task for taking so long to pass the stimulus.

Ed Henry is at the White House -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that's right.

This came after more pressure from the president. He started the day by unveiling a new presidential recovery advisory board, as he's calling it. Former Fed Chairman Volcker is going to be the chair of that. Other CEOs and economists are going to be on it -- the point there being the president trying to bring in some old hands who have helped America, guide America through various other economic crises.

But, also, the president was working the phones today. He had his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, on the Hill, part of some frantic activity. And I can tell you, just in the last couple of moments, Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, has finally given us some on- the-record reaction to the developments on the Hill.

Quote: "On the day when we learned 3.6 million people have lost their jobs since this recession began, we are pleased the process is moving forward and we are closer to getting Americans a plan to create millions of jobs, and get people back to work."

That's the key here. The president has been promising that this will create or save three to four million jobs. The reason why Robert Gibbs is being cautious in that statement is, the White House wants to make sure this holds. They want to make sure, as Dana was reporting, can this really get 60, 61 votes before they start celebrating, dancing in the end zone, if you will?

What is in this for the American people? While there have been those changes that Dana mentioned, there's a core to this bill that still has the president's fingerprints on it, for example, tax cuts, any household under $200,000, making under $200,000 a year, a $500 tax cuts for individuals, $1,000 for families. That's something that the president campaigned on last year. It's now something that's getting at least closer to a reality.

She mentioned that it appears that money for making federal buildings more energy-efficient is being taken out, but, at least in the early stages, it appears that money is staying in for updating the electric grid, for example, other renewable energy projects. That's been a big initiative of this president, the so-called green jobs, also trying to make the country more energy-efficient.

So, at least for now, it appears to be a partial victory for what the president has been pushing for, but he realizes there's more stages to this process. It still has to get kicked back eventually to the House of Representatives, for example. And that's why the president isn't taking anything for granted.

We're learning today that he's going to be going on Monday to Indiana, Tuesday to Florida, to do some town hall meetings, his first real domestic trips as -- as president doing the sort of campaign- style events, because he realizes this is not done yet -- Anderson.

COOPER: Not done by a long shot.

Ed, thanks.

While the Senate debates, the economy continues its slide. Today, as we said, we saw the worst monthly jobs report in a generation.

Let's talk to chief business correspondent Ali Velshi.

This thing cannot come a moment too soon, according to the Obama administration.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And there was some pressure on them to get this done, particularly today. While it was not entirely unexpected, the jobs report today was very serious. The best way to show you this is with some pictures. Let's take a look at how we have seen job losses through the course of the year -- not even the course of the year. We're not going to go that far. Let's go back halfway. Right before the crisis really started, we were already into a recession.

Look at that, 127,000 jobs shed in August, and, then, after that, 403,000 in September, 423,000 in October. And that was after the credit crisis really set -- set in, 597,000 October, 577,000 -- I'm sorry -- November -- 577,000 in December. And, then, today, just short of 600,000 jobs were lost in the month of January.

This is very serious. If you add up all of the job losses since the beginning of this recession, we are now down 3.6 million jobs since the beginning of last year. That's how long this recession has been going on.

Now, here's something interesting, Anderson, when you put this into perspective. What is 600,000 jobs in a month? Well, here's a list of the worst monthly job losses since we have been recording job losses. You will notice that number one and number two were in September 1945, which is right after the -- the -- World War II ended, and all of the industrial jobs that were related to that were shut down, then 1956, 629,000, December 1974, in a recession, 602,000, and now this.

So, it's the fourth worst performance in a month of any month that we have had on record. That's what is serious about this. The monthly unemployment number has jumped from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent. So, you can see, Anderson, the pressure really was on the government to do something about this, because this is serious.

These are people -- and not just people, individuals -- families -- now without an income.

COOPER: How do we anticipate Wall Street is going to react to this?

VELSHI: Very surprisingly, we had a very, very strong day on Wall Street. In fact, the Dow was up almost 3 percent, nothing to do with the jobs numbers. The jobs numbers are lagging indicators. It's stuff that's already happened.

We have something that is positive. And you can see we got news of that in the beginning of the day, and the Dow was all the way up. That is, on Monday, we are expecting Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to announce what the second half of the TARP will be spent on, the bailout. There's still $350 billion to go. And we're expecting that to come out on Monday.

Obviously, we're thinking some of that money will go to banks, so bank stocks did very well. But, generally speaking, if they apply this money properly, it will get through to individuals. And, hopefully, we will start to see credit flowing to individuals and small businesses again, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, that's the hope anyway.

Ali, thanks.


COOPER: More details on what made the cut, what didn't on our Web site at

Joe Johns has been working his sources on Capitol Hill, has a breakdown on the Senate bill. What do you think should absolutely be part of the stimulus bill, and what -- what do you think should be tossed out? Join the live chat happening now at And, also, check out our Webcasts during the commercial breaks.

Just ahead tonight, we're going to hear from our panel, David Gergen, Candy Crowley, Amy Holmes, and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

Also ahead: bankers that bellied up for a government bailout now heading to Vegas for a conference. Bad business or nobody's business? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And the mother of the California octuplets speaking out about how she got pregnant and why she wanted so many kids all at once. Meanwhile, the California medical board, they are investigating her fertility doctor.

We will be right back.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Mr. President, if this legislation is passed, it will be a very bad day for America.


COOPER: Senator John McCain on the Senate floor today.

He's been pushing for more tax cuts to be added to the plan. Tonight, the Senate is debating a compromise bill they agreed on late tonight.

Today, a lot of angles to this breaking story.

Let's bring in our panel, senior political analyst David Gergen, CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley, Republican strategist and contributor Amy Holmes, and the former Democratic Mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown.

David, let's talk -- I want to start process, but let's start, though, with results. Will this bill actually stimulate the economy?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Almost all economists would agree that, yes, it would stimulate the economy. They would disagree about how much, how effective it will be, how efficient it will be. One thing, again, they would agree on is, without this bill, we wouldn't get this stimulus and we would be heading toward a catastrophe. So, they may or may not -- they may -- some of them may hold their noses at the bill, but almost all economists would say this is better than nothing.

COOPER: Mayor Brown, in terms of content, 14 billion for Pell Grants is in, $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings, $7.5 billion for education grants.

You're in California, which is in dire financial straits. If this passes, is this going to be what your state needs?

WILLIE BROWN (D), FORMER MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO: No, not all -- everything we need. We need everything contained in this package, including all the week that can come from the infrastructure. It is a job-creating package. And that's what it needs to be for California.

COOPER: But, you know, Mayor Brown, a lot of these infrastructure projects, which have been kind of much-vaunted and talked about, there's a lot of criticism of some of them, just basically saying they are kind of antiquated; they're the things that have been approved, but are kind of just on the books and have been laying around. No one has really been motivated to do that.

They are not really the -- the innovation, the infrastructure- building for this -- for the next century.

BROWN: Well, I disagree with that.

When you think in terms of the high-speed rail in California, which we just approved with the voters out here, that's a new project. That's a project that doesn't exist anywhere in America. And it's clearly designed, for the next 50 years, to move people back and forth. That is the kind of infrastructure project that this -- I think this bill will help.

COOPER: Amy, there's money for this, updating the electric grid, a couple billion, but the -- when you actually look at the studies about how much a real new electric grid will need, we're talking a huge amount that is not even coming close in this bill.

AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Anderson, you point out a good point here.

And "Popular Mechanics" -- this is not a partisan publication -- it just had an article about shovel-ready. Shovel-ready, what does that mean? What project can you really get going when you have a 90- day deadline? And this is something, it's a bit of a chimera, that it's not really there; it doesn't really exist.

I think of my own home -- hometown of Seattle and the light-rail system there. When you look at how much that costs, compared to what is going to be set aside in infrastructure, I mean, it's -- it's gargantuan, $22 billion to build the Seattle light-rail. That's for one city. So, what will this bill really be building? I think there's a big question mark.

COOPER: Candy, the way this has all played out, what has President Obama learned about dealing with Congress, both -- both Democrats and -- and Republicans?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, he learns what I suspect he learned after two years in the Senate, before he ran for the presidency. And that is the Senate is unpredictable. The Senate takes much more negotiating than the House does.

The House is sort of set up to be the rebels. They are sort of the hot heads, whether it's Republicans or Democrats. You get over to the Senate, and it becomes much more complicated, requires many more phone calls and a lot of hand-holding, but there is always, always, whether you're Republican or Democrat, somebody to pick off on the other side to get you to where you need to go.

And, as a consequence, you tend to come out with a more moderate bill in the Senate than you would in the House, which is what's going to make this committee, the conference committee, so interesting to watch.

COOPER: Mayor Brown, what do you make of this process thus far? How do you think the president has handled the -- you know, there was so much talk about bipartisanship. Is that just kind of dead now?

BROWN: No, that isn't dead at all.

As a matter of fact, when he extended the opportunity for Republicans to come to the White House to talk to him about this bill while it was spinning in the House, and now that it's in the Senate, he's literally made the calls that should be made. (INAUDIBLE) went up there and spoke to the various members of that House, at the Senate, that was all a part of what President Obama said in his campaign that he would do.

So, I don't think bipartisanship is dead at all. And I hope it's 61 or 62, whatever those numbers are, and I think that dispute will be eliminated.

COOPER: But, you know, it's interesting. David, there had been talk of maybe, you know, 80 at one point. Sixty-one or 62, it's -- it's -- I mean, it's a little bit of bipartisanship, but it's -- it's certainly not a new kind of politics.

GERGEN: Yes, it's just a spoonful of bipartisanship, Anderson. It's not a bucket.

And they're -- we see that, just beneath the surface, there are deep philosophical divides between these parties. And look at the dispute that's now broken out, and how -- how forceful both Barack Obama and John McCain are in the disagreements.

But politics is the art of the possible, as we know. And I think what you saw today in the Senate was a -- was, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, recognized he didn't have the votes to pass anything like what the House bill was. And he set out, with this small group of centrists, very small group, just three Republicans, really, three to four, who worked on this.

And, working closely with the White House, I think Senator Reid helped to forge -- forge this compromise. And I think he's going to get it through. What's going to be very -- and that's a big milestone, but there is a big, big barrier ahead. And that is, how do you reconcile the Senate bill, which is going to barely get through, with the House Democrats and Speaker Pelosi, who's clearly angry, along with several of her top lieutenants, at what's happened in the Senate?

They don't like what's happened. How do you put those two together? That's the challenge next week.

COOPER: Well, and we're going to talk about that.

Coming up more, we're going to have more with Amy Holmes, Mayor Willie Brown, Candy Crowley, and David Gergen.

There's still a long road ahead. We will have more on the battle.

Plus, bank executives who got bailout hobnobbing with government officials at a glitzy Las Vegas conference? Will they be taking gondola rides? Is there anything wrong with this picture? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And a plane with engine trouble forced to make an emergency landing in the water, sound familiar? It has happened again -- all the details ahead.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And these Americans are counting on us, all of us in Washington. We have to remember that we're here to work for them. And, if we drag our feet and fail to act, this crisis could turn into a catastrophe.


COOPER: President Obama today keeping lawmakers' feet to the fire, pressing them to pass the stimulus plan ASAP.

The breaking news tonight: the Senate right now debating a compromise bill they agreed to late today. Throughout the program, we have been showing you a live shot from the floor of the -- the Senate chamber.

Joining me again, David Gergen, Candy Crowley, Amy Holmes, and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

Candy Crowley, you know, a lot of folks don't follow the inner workings of how, you know, a bill gets passed and stuff, and don't remember it from school.


COOPER: So, just a quick primer, without getting too much into the weeds here. What happens now? Once this thing -- if this thing is voted on over the course of the weekend, then it goes where?

CROWLEY: The Senate and House leaders pick people who -- members who they will send to a conference committee. And, in that conference committee, they take the House bill and the Senate bill, and they try to come together on a bill that will then go back to the House and Senate for final passage.

What's going to be interesting to watch in this conference committee will be, this is where you are going to see the real White House input. If you remember, when -- whenever we asked the White House about, do you like this portion of the bill or that portion of the bill, how do you like the mix, they really deferred. They let the Senate and the House work this out.

It is in the conference committee where you will feel the biggest influence of the White House.

COOPER: It's interesting, Amy, because the White House has come under some criticism, you know, from -- from folks on all sides, for a variety of reasons. But one of them was kind of allowing House Democrats, early on, to basically write this thing and -- and put in what some termed, you know, to be excessive agenda projects -- projects, as opposed to immediate stimulus or immediate job-creation projects.

How much do you think the White House is now going to really get involved sort of behind closed doors?

HOLMES: Well, I think that they will be deeply involved, because we also know that Obama has very publicly owned this bill, all aspects of it. He wrote that op-ed for "The Washington Post," and urging our lawmakers to pass this bill.

You know, one of the criticisms about Obama this week is that, tactically, he had an opportunity to really position himself as a centrist, and to tell, you know, the House, the speaker, and Harry Reid, for that matter, that they needed to kind of work with these moderate -- moderate Democrats and Republicans.

But, one thing, we shouldn't fool ourselves that the House is, by nature, going to be more extreme. I worked for the then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist for three years. And I saw, with the Katrina emergency spending bill, that, actually, the House spent less money than the Senate. The Senate loaded it up with all this pork and all these special interest projects.

So, one of the things my former chief of staff told me is, when you think about the Senate, think about them as a roving band, this tribe of all these different allegiances. And it's a lot more complicated, because it doesn't go straight down the party line. But it's not necessarily the case that the Senate is a more moderate -- moderate and sort of cooling saucer of legislation.

COOPER: Mayor Brown, as we look at 14 billion in Pell Grants that's back into this thing now, how does that create jobs? How does that create stimulus?

BROWN: Well, I think, almost instantly, you will know that the students who will be the beneficiaries of that effort will obviously stay in school. Otherwise, they would be part of that wandering group of people who are unemployed out there.

In addition thereto, all of the people who do the teaching, particularly at the community college level, will now be able to hold on to their jobs, and be able to teach these young people. And, in some cases, skill sets will come as a result of these Pell Grants. It's really important, frankly, as part of the stimulus package, that you reach people. And this is one of the ways to do that.

COOPER: So, David Gergen, is that why we have heard the president kind of shifting the numbers in terms of jobs created? They now say jobs created and jobs saved. I suppose this -- if you hear Mayor Brown's argument, this is -- these are jobs saved.

GERGEN: Exactly, Anderson. That's exactly right.

And this is why economists disagree so much about the real impact of what we now have -- it's not one bill, but we have two bills that have now merged, one in the House, one in the Senate. And I think there's going to be a fairly forceful clash next week. After all, the House Democrats voted unanimously for their bill.

In the Senate tonight, when Harry Reid presented it to the Democratic senators in caucus, at the end of his presentation, they stood up and applauded him. So, you have got these two sides.

And I think what you're going to see in the negotiations is a very unusual negotiation, in which the White House is going to play a much more direct role right in the middle of those negotiations to try to bring this thing and to reconcile it, because they need to get -- as Candy said, ultimately, they need to get the House to vote again in favor and the Senate to vote again in favor.

And with two sides, you know, with pretty big differences, you -- the White House has got to play a very forceful role of negotiations to get this done. And time is short.

COOPER: Candy, as an observer, is this a new kind of politics? Is there something new here, or is this kind of politics as usual?

CROWLEY: This pretty much looked a lot like politics as usual, with a White House cherry-picking members from the other side to kind of bring them along, so they can get the number needed.

So -- but it doesn't mean that, down the line, some of these efforts that President Obama has made won't pay off at some point. He is not always going to have party-line and straight Democratic support. And he may need to go back to people like John McCain, to people like John Boehner on the other side, and ask for help then.

So, there -- there was a degree of, yes, he's willing to listen to us. Now, they are angry about what's going on now, because Republicans don't think they were listened to. But there -- there has been contact, and the White House is looking down the line, thinking maybe it can be useful.

But this was a pretty classic down-the-line partisan event.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.

Mayor Willie Brown, it was good to have you on the program for the first time. We would love to have you back.

BROWN: Thank you.

COOPER: Amy Holmes, Candy Crowley, David Gergen, as well, thanks.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

A reminder: You can see an extremely detailed breakdown from Joe Johns on what made the cut in the Senate and what didn't on our Web site,

Coming up: President Obama has vowed to limit lobbying, so why are bailed-out bankers heading to Vegas for a conference with government officials? Does that sound like a good idea? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And the final chapter in actor Christian Bale's profanity-laced outburst -- the actor apologizes. Hear for yourself how he describes what happened.

And nearly two weeks after giving birth to octuplets, the new mom explains how she wound up with eight newborns. And find out why her fertility doctor is now under investigation.



HENRY PAULSON, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: The actions of the Treasury, the Fed, and the FDIC have stabilized our financial system.

The authorities in the TARP have been used to strengthen our financial system and to prevent the harm to our economy and financial system from the failure of a systemically important institution.


COOPER: That's Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson back in November defending the bank bailout paid by you and me and all taxpayers.

On Monday, the Obama administration is going to unveil plans to spend more of our money to save the banking industry. Once again, we're talking about possibly several hundred billion dollars more.

So, what are the banks doing with some of that money? Well, some are heading to Vegas.

Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They'll huddle here at the five-star Venetian on the Vegas Strip, where gondolas float beneath $300-a-night rooms, hobnobbing with government officials, doing business deals, trying to plug leaks in an industry that's been kept afloat by government bailouts.

It is a who's who of the financial world, and for all those bankers who got that TARP money you and I, taxpayers across America, are doling out. Nearly 4,000 are expected, and why will they come?

The executive director of the conference told us it's all business, a golden "opportunity to interact and have dialogue with policy makers." To you and I that's known as lobbying, something the Obama administration has vowed to limit.

And "Keeping Them Honest" the opportunity to hang out with government officials doesn't come cheap. Association members pay $1,700 just to get in, plus hotel and travel, though credit issuers get in free.

If you want to be a lead sponsor, like big TARP recipients Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, it costs $35,000.

So what other financial firms who got taxpayer money are attending? Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, JPMorgan Chase and GMAC. That group alone took over 200 billion in taxpayer funds, and there are dozens more represented.

University of Maryland professor Peter Morici has been studying banks and the bailout.

PETER MORICI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: It's wholly inappropriate for securities companies, banks and other recipients of TARP funds to be meeting in a five-star hotel, especially in Las Vegas. The optics are terrible, but it's also a terrible waste of government money.

GRIFF: Insurance giant AIG defended its decision to send three people, saying it would help "sustain earnings power to help us pay back the taxpayer."

JPMorgan chase first backed out, then reversed course, citing "the number of our clients attending and the strong agenda of speakers." Just today the strongest of those speakers may have gotten weak- kneed about going. Banking's top regulator, Sheila Bair, the head of the FDIC since 2006, was to be the featured speaker.

Her office originally told us Bair would push the industry to modify mortgages, to keep more people in their homes. Friday morning her office said she's staying home to work on the mortgage crisis and the stimulus bill.

MORICI: Oh, I think that Sheila Bair looked around and realized there was a real potential here for a public relations disaster.

GRIFFIN: The conference executive director says the group is "very sensitive" to perceptions but promises the conference will be "very serious and substantive."


GRIFFIN: At least one member of Congress disagrees. Congressman Elijah Cummings tells CNN by phone, "When the American public sees their taxpayer dollars being used for these kinds of trips, they get furious." The congressman ads just one night stay at the Venetian is about the third of the monthly mortgage payment in his hometown of Baltimore.


COOPER: Drew, certainly, a lot of businesses in Vegas welcome them, because it helps the local economy there in Vegas.

GRIFFIN: Yes, you know. Vegas has been hit hard, Anderson, and the convention and visitors bureau says this convention alone will bring in about $5 million there, so that is a positive. I'm not sure that's what Congress had in mind when they sent this TARP money to Wall Street, though.

COOPER: Probably not. Drew, thanks.

Still to come, guess who's losing the most jobs, men or women? We're going to have the surprising answer, and what it may mean for your family in these tough times.

Also, the mom everyone seems to have an opinion on, the mother of the octuplets, speaks out. What drove her and why she thinks, even though she has no clear source of income, no home of her own and 14 kids, why she thinks she's a great mom.

And actor Christian Bale backpedals from his on-set tirade. Hear his explanation of what fueled the explosion.

Plus, these pictures just in of the date night for the first couple. President Obama and the first lady spent some quality time out on the town. We'll tell you where.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Date night at the White House. Well, not at the White House. The Obamas took in a ballet at the Kennedy Center tonight, their first in the president's box. More ahead tonight, but first, Erica Hill joins us now with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, in California, state workers hitting the streets today to protest their first unpaid day off. Those forced furloughs, which work out to about a 9 percent pay cut, are part of efforts to ease the state's budget crisis. The hope here is that the cuts will save California $1.3 trillion through 2010.

Miracle in the Pacific. An Australian pilot landing a company plane in the ocean off the city of Darwin today, and like U.S. Airways Flight 1549, the twin-engine plane went down shortly after takeoff.

Now, the pilot and all five passengers walked ashore, soggy but safe. Australian media have already dubbed the pilot Sully Lite. The cause of that crash still unknown.

In Antarctica a ship carrying anti-whaling activists collided with a Japanese vessel as it tried to haul a dead whale on board. The activists insist the coalition was an accident -- the collision, rather, was an accident, though clashes with whalers are common. No injuries, though, were reported.

And first there was the rant. Then the various dance remixes and now the Christian Bale apology. Appearing on KROC radio in Los Angeles, the actor admitted his tantrum on the set of his upcoming film, "Termination Salvation," was inexcusable. Here's what else he had to say.


CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: There's things that I really want to stress is I have no confusion whatsoever. I was out of order beyond belief. I was way out of order. I acted like a punk. I regret that, and there is nobody that has heard that tape that is hit harder by it than me.


HILL: There you have it.

COOPER: And just in case you don't know what he's talking about, this probably the last time I'll be able to play this tape. Let's just listen for a moment.


BALE: I want to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) your (EXPLETIVE DELETED). If you don't shut up for a second, all right. I'm going to -- you want me to go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) trash your lights. Do you want me to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) trash them? Then why are you trashing my scene? You are trashing my scene! You do it one more (EXPLETIVE DELETED) time and I ain't walking on this set if you're still hired. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Let me clarify. He wasn't saying that into the microphones. That was the audio.

COOPER: That's right.

HILL: We just put some video over it.

COOPER: Yes. Exactly.

We told you at the top of the hour how many jobs were being shed every month. But coming up, why men are losing more jobs than women. How that is shifting the gender balance in the workplace and what it means for all our bottom lines.

And she shocked the world when she had eight babies through in vitro fertilization. Now she's out of the hospital and talking. Why she did it, how she did it, and answers -- she also answers the critics who are calling her selfish and, well, even worse.

And earlier this week I sat down with the president in the -- with the president in the Oval Office and asked him about his smoking.


COOPER: Have you had a cigarette since you've been to the White House?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I haven't had one on these grounds, and I -- you know, sometimes it's hard, but, you know, I'm sticking to -- sticking to it.

COOPER: You said on these grounds.


COOPER: But apparently, there was something we missed in his answer. We did, but someone else found it. That's our "Shot of the Day," coming up.



OBAMA: We've lost 3.6 million jobs since this recession began. That's 3.6 million Americans who wake up every day wondering how they are going to pay their bills, stay in their homes and provide for their children. That's 3.6 million Americans who need our help.


COOPER: The president today.

We all know job losses are wreaking havoc in American homes, but do you know that more than 80 percent of the recent job losses have been among men? And that's creating a seismic shift, and women may soon dominate the U.S. work force.

Tonight we're trying to see what kind of impact on all of that that's going to have. Tom Foreman tonight is "Uncovering America."


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Women may soon outnumber men in the workplace. For the first time in American history about 68 million women are on the job, just under half of the work force.


FOREMAN: Women like Janet Borgeson as this Minneapolis hospital, who says many families can't even consider Mom staying home like she once did.

BORGESON: It has become less of an option. Everyone I know feels like they have to keep their jobs and are working very hard to do that.

FOREMAN: In addition, women are catching up because male- dominated industries, such as manufacturing and construction, are being hit very hard in this recession.

Men have lost more than 3 million jobs in the past year. That's 74 percent of all jobs lost. That means more families are relying on women to be the primary bread winners, and that's difficult.

HEATHER BOUSHEY, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: In the typical married couple family where both spouses work, he brings home about two-thirds of the family's income. So if he loses his job, the family has lost that big chunk of income and are living on one-third of what they had before.

FOREMAN (on camera): Tough?

BOUSHEY: It's super tough.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The shift has been a long time coming. In the early 1940s as World War II began, women made up less than a quarter of the labor force, but as millions of men went to fight, the female share of the job market started growing, bringing new opportunities, new aspirations. It's never really stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm better off than my mom was at this age.

FOREMAN: But neither has the soul-searching by men and women over precisely what this means to our views about gender, at home and on the job.


COOPER: So is this inevitable? I mean, is this inevitable, that women will have more jobs than men, or is it just a short-term thing? Do we know? FOREMAN: Well, it could be short term, Anderson, and it may not happen. It's very close to the line right now.

But interestingly enough, the stimulus bill may play a role, because one of the places where women are already more than 50 percent on the job force is in state and local government all over the country.

So if the stimulus bill doesn't do enough to help those agencies and they cut back, it will offset the cuts and construction and in manufacturing, and the women may, in fact, not catch up.

But if they do, many people think it will cause workplaces to look a little more closely at this question of are we really ready at this point, finally, to treat men and women equally in the workplace -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Tom Foreman tonight. Thanks very much, Tom.

Up next, the mother of the octuplets telling her side of the story. And today the California medical board revealed it is investigating her fertility doctor. We'll have the latest.

Also tonight, I asked President Obama this week if he's been smoking, but was there something we all missed in his answer? The video evidence in tonight's "Shot."

And at the top of the hour, breaking news from Capitol Hill. A deal brokered on the Senate stimulus bill, but does it have enough votes to pass? We'll break down the changes and what it means for you when 360 continues.


COOPER: Tonight new developments in the octuplet story as the mother of 14, including the eight newborns, steps into the spotlight. Her doctor might now face charges.

Single mom Nadya Suleman claims her fertility specialist provided in vitro fertilization for all of her children, the same doctor. While the Medical Board of California investigates the unnamed specialist, Miss Suleman is speaking out about what she says is her lifelong dream for a larger-than-life family.

Gary Tuchman has an up-close look.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What does a woman look like less than two weeks after giving birth to octuplets? She looks like this.

NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: I'm providing myself to my children. I'm loving them unconditionally, accepting them unconditionally. TUCHMAN: Nadya Suleman was interviewed on NBC's "Today Show" while her eight tiny children remain in a Southern California hospital and her six other children are at this modest home that she shares with her parents. She is now a single mother of 14 who doesn't currently have a job.

ANN CURRY, NBC'S "THE TODAY SHOW": People feel, you know, this woman is being completely irresponsible and selfish to bring these children in the world...

SULEMAN: All I have to say...

CURRY: ... without a clear source of income and enough help to raise them.

SULEMAN: I know I'll be able to afford them when I'm done with my schooling. If I were just sitting down, watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and have a better -- provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered to a certain degree selfish.

TUCHMAN: The 33-year-old mother is planning to go back to college to get a master's degree in counseling.

CURRY: Did you use the same fertility specialist for all of your pregnancies?


CURRY: So your fertility specialist knew that you already had six children?

SULEMAN: Yes, mm-hmm.

TUCHMAN: Suleman says six embryos were transferred to her uterus with two of them apparently dividing. The Medical Board of California is investigating whether any medical standards were violated because the U.S. fertility industry has guidelines suggesting no more than two embryos generally be transferred for women under 35.

CURRY: You didn't want just one or two embryos?

SULEMAN: Of course not. I wanted them all transferred. Those are my -- those are my children, and that's what was available and I used them. So I took a risk. It's a gamble. It always is.

And a lot of couples -- usually it's couples -- do undergo this procedure, you know. And it's not as controversial, because they're couples so it's more acceptable to society.

For me I feel as though I've been under the microscope because I've chosen this unconventional kind of life. And I didn't intend on it being unconventional. It just turned out to be. All I wanted was children. I wanted to be a mom. That's all I ever wanted in my life. I love my children. TUCHMAN: The hospital says all the children continue to gain weight and grow stronger and are being monitored 24/7. Suleman told NBC that all 14 children come from one sperm donor who is a friend. She was married for 12 years but was divorced last year.

The Associated Press reports she received $165,000 in disability payments over the last six years after being injured during a riot at a state mental health facility where she worked.

SULEMAN: Everything I do, I'll stop my life for them and be present with them and hold them and be with them. And how many parents do that? I'm sure there are many that do but many don't and that's unfortunate, and that's selfish.

TUCHMAN: Suleman says she has always dreamed of having a huge family. That dream has certainly come true.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: It's fascinating to watch that interview. What I still don't understand, though, is why she was like, "yes, of course, I" -- why she had to have them all implanted at once.

HILL: I thought that was interesting. I also thought it was interesting that she said she felt that a lot of people were judging her because she was a single woman deciding to do this and that normally it was couples.

And she thought that that was part of the reason, where it seems at least in a number of the people that we've spoken with at CNN and also a lot of the articles you read, it seems that people are questioning more anybody's ability, whether there are two parents or one parent, to raise 14 children at one time.

COOPER: It's not the procedure that people are questioning.

HILL: Not the procedure. No.

COOPER: The sheer number of the embryos that were implanted.

HILL: Exactly.

COOPER: All right. Anyway, fascinating interview.

Up next, the new buzz surrounding my interview with President Obama earlier this week. It is tonight's "Shot."

And at the top of the hour, breaking news, a compromise in the Senate over the stimulus plan, the price tag lowered slightly. Will enough Republicans vote for it though? Take a look.


COOPER: All right. Time now for our "Beat 360" winners, our daily challenge for viewers to come up with a caption better than the one that we can come up with for the photo that we put on our blog every day.

So tonight's picture is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill as he listens to a debate on the economic stimulus package.

Our staff winner tonight is Kirk McDonald. His caption: "God grant Republicans the serenity to accept the things they cannot change, courage to change the things they can and wisdom to know that if the stimulus package doesn't pass they'll never get invited to another White House Super Bowl party ever again."

HILL: You know, Kirk's was one of the first entries to come in. Fantastic. I love it.

COOPER: It is very good. It's also, I think, the longest one we've ever had.

HILL: It might be.

COOPER: And our viewer winner is Ryan from Bevlin (ph), South Carolina. His caption: "I'm pretending to pray so I can get my picture on 'Beat 360'."

HILL: Your dream has come true.

COOPER: Congratulations. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.

All right. Time for "The Shot." There's been a lot of talk about my interview with President Obama in the Oval Office on Tuesday, not as much as, say, the octuplet mom. But hey, what are you going to do?

I asked the president about smoking since becoming president, but clearly, I missed something in his answer. Jimmy Kimmel, however, discovered it. Take a look at the video.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC'S "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": President Obama has been doing quite a few TV interviews this week, and one of the subjects of discussion has been his smoking. The president has been trying to quit smoking and made a promise to himself that he would not smoke on the White House grounds.

Anderson Cooper last night asked him about that and a bunch of other things.

COOPER: Final question, just a quick lightning round, just a couple of fun questions. What's the latest on the dog search?

OBAMA: We are going to get it in the spring. I think the theory was that the girls might be less inclined to do the walking when it was cold outside.

COOPER: Have you had a cigarette since you've been to the White House?

OBAMA: No, I haven't had one on these grounds and, I -- you know, I -- sometimes it's hard, but, you know, I'm sticking to it.



COOPER: There you go. You can see all the most recent "Shots" on our Web site at I don't know how I missed them.

Coming up at the top of the hour, more breaking news. The latest from Capitol Hill where the Senate has reached a compromise on the stimulus plan. They're debating it right now on the floor still. All the developments next.