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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Investors Prepare for Facebook IPO; House Republicans Promise Hardline on Debt Ceiling Again; New Sexual Harassment Accusations Surface Against John Travolta; Mystery In the Sky Over Denver

Aired May 17, 2012 - 06:59   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN GUEST HOST: Good morning. Happy Thursday to all of you. I'm Brooke Baldwin sitting in for Soledad O'Brien. Again, this morning, good to see you. Our "Starting Point" here, this Facebook frenzy. I know they've been talking about it the last two hours here.

We're about to find out really how much it will cost to own a piece, a slice, if you will, of the social network when it goes public. Is it really worth the hype? We're going to talk to Christine and Ali about that.

Plus, heading for another economic cliff. Washington bracing for a debt ceiling showdown again. This time, it's different. This time, we're in an election year. Details of the rare emergency meeting at the White House. That's coming up this morning.

Also, how old is she? The Friar's Club roast of Miss Betty White.

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JEFFERY ROSS, COMEDIAN: She's our woman of the hour, which is also her life expectancy.

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BALDWIN: It is Thursday, May 17th. "Starting Point" begins right now.

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(MUSIC PLAYING)

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BALDWIN: She's got legs. Are we talking about your legs, Will Cain?

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: We're going to go there later this morning. You want to stick around. It's going to be interesting. Is that an appropriate adjective? Interesting?

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: At the very least.

BALDWIN: At the very least. Ladies and gentlemen, Will Cain, columnist at theBlaze.com, Margaret Hoover, worked at the Bush White House and author of "American Individualism," and Mr. Marc Lamont Hill, nice to see you this morning, professor at Columbia University and host of "Our World with Black Enterprise." Shall we get going? Let's.

Our STARTING POINT this morning, the frenzy over the Facebook IPO. Today is the day we'll find out exactly how much it will cost to get a piece of the social network when it goes public on the NASDAQ tomorrow. It is expected to create 1,000 new millionaires. Really? And maybe a bunch of billionaires as well. But what many people are asking is to buy or not to buy? That is the question today. Ali Velshi and Christine Romans have very, very different opinions on whether you should buy in or not. I'm curious. Do you buy? I'm on Facebook. Love Facebook. Is this going to be Apple or not?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Remember, Apple went sideways for a long time and almost went out of business first, right? It's more like Google maybe. Google went up.

ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: Both were game changers.

ROMANS: That's right.

VELSHI: This is going to be history one way or the other. The way I see it, this is the second transformation of the Internet. The reason I say that, remember, Brooke -- you're probably too young to remember. When we used to get all those disks for AOL, they would mail them to you. You get them at the supermarket and you get this portal? The Internet was about portals where you got weather, traffic, business, sports, all these things you didn't know where to get anywhere else.

Google -- Yahoo! but then Google changed that into search. The Internet became all about search. The paradigm has shifted. The future of the internet is going to be about you choosing your friends and the people you like and subscribe to, and they are going to inform you about the world around you, and that is going to be more important than search. I put my name next to the reason that you should get into this is because it is transformation.

ROMANS: I agree it's transformational, you guys. Also, IPOs are risky. The reason why anybody can't go to a lottery ticket counter and say I want to buy a ticket of Facebook, it's because this is an investment that is risky. We don't know what the track record, really, of this company. We'll learn a lot more about it. Not just anybody can buy an IPO for that reason. You have to be a qualified, successful investor to do that. There are a lot of big concerns about what this company will do. Mobile, for example. A lot of people are accessing Facebook via mobile. How are they going to make sales on ads? G.M. this week said they're not going to pay $10 million a year anymore for -- there he goes. VELSHI: Put you next to that one.

ROMANS: People click on the ads all the time? We're not really buying things. G.M. said people weren't clicking on the ads and buying cars.

VELSHI: Forget about Facebook, General Motors, DuPont. There is only one reason to buy a stock. That is that for one day you will sell it for more than you paid for t the bottom line is that you have some guess, educated guess as to where Facebook is going to go. Many people say it will double or triple in the next few years, all you concern yourself is with is that stock going to be worth more than you paid for it?

BALDWIN: Hang on. Do we know how much it will cost to get in?

ROMANS: It could be like $38 for an IPO. That's not going to us. the insiders get it at that. If you jump in at $100 a share, other people are getting out who got it at $38.

BALDWIN: When can we jump in?

VELSHI: At 9:00 A.M. tomorrow morning.

ROMANS: You won't get $38 a share.

HILL: I think this Internet is totally a fad.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Apparently I was born after the internet started, so --

CAIN: I'm going to have to, in my expert opinion, give round one to Christine. Ali, don't you have to --

BALDWIN: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

CAIN: While you say this is transformational, in the same way there were kids in dorm room that put MySpace out of business, there's kids somewhere in a garage that --

VELSHI: You know what, will? It's possible. It's also possible I might grow hair someday.

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: You're saying it's highly improbable?

VELSHI: Anybody who says this is -- Will, you're a smart guy. This is not MySpace. MySpace was for angry, frustrated musicians to list their stuff. This is about contacting the rest of the world and storing your photographs. Facebook is not MySpace.

HILL: I get how the format itself will not go out of style but why do we not think that there is something bigger and better --

VELSHI: Because 900 million people are wrong.

ROMANS: They're basically making money on our privacy. The company becomes public. You take a look at this as an investment in a month, three months or six months, because you have to see what are shareholders going to demand from Mark Zuckerberg? He's still in charge of the game here.

CAIN: So on Ali's side you've 900 million kids who like to post pictures. On Christine's side, she's got Warren Buffett that this is priced exactly right today.

VELSHI: He has nothing to do with the rest of us at all. He has the luxury of saying I'm not getting involved in this stuff because he was born with more money than I'll ever have. The rest of us have to find creative ways to make money.

CAIN: All right.

ROMANS: If I could get the stock at the IPO price --

VELSHI: But you can't.

ROMANS: -- go for it. But I can't. If you work for JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs --

(CROSSTALK)

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What we know about Facebook is that's it's $3.7 billion in profits last year. It's going to be valued at over $100 billion. What we know about the value of Facebook is yet to be seen. We don't know exactly, are they going to be an ad company, personal data company? We don't know how it's going to materialize. One quick tidbit -- Mark Zuckerberg could be worth $18 billion once this IPO goes --

BALDWIN: He just turned 28 on Monday.

HOOVER: That's 50 times more than Bill Gates was worth when Microsoft went public.

CAIN: The story yesterday on "Wall Street Journal" was G.M. found Facebook ads --

BALDWIN: They're not selling cars on Facebook. They pulled out. Facebook says that's pocket change.

HILL: You can be cool and a business.

BALDWIN: Does it lose the luster? Do you think Facebook loses luster?

HILL: By putting out new technology, that was cool.

BALDWIN: Speaking of apple, can I just out you? This is Marc Lamont Hill's iPhone, totally shattered.

HILL: This is iPhone number three for the year. I've decided --

HOOVER: You need cases.

BALDWIN: We're going to talk cases.

HILL: I may need an iPhone case. I'm convinced now, after the third iPhone.

BALDWIN: Who am I to talk? Anyhow, Christine romans, I know you've got some news for us.

ROMANS: I do. I'm following a bunch of headlines for you, Brooke.

An autopsy on Mary Kennedy is scheduled to begin in about two hours. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was found dead in her home in Bedford, New York, yesterday. The Westchester County medical examiner is expected to announce a cause of death later today. Mary Kennedy struggled very publicly after her husband announced he was filing for divorce in 2010. She was arrested twice for DUI that year, once for alcohol, once for prescription drugs. And Mary Kennedy leaves behind four children. She was 52 years old.

A second reported case of a woman being infected with a rare flesh-eating bacteria. Lana Kirkendahl was diagnosed days after giving birth to twins earlier this month. It appears to be less severe than Annie Copeland. Copeland is a 24-year-old grad student who continues to fight for her life in a Georgia hospital. She had her leg amputated and is expected to lose fingers due to her flesh eating bacteria infection.

Closing argument get started this morning in the corruption trial of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. The jury is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow. The defense rested yesterday, calling only seven of the 65 people on their witness list. Edwards and his daughter, Cate, were not called. Neither was Rielle Hunter, Edwards' former mistress. The former presidential candidate could get 30 years behind bars for allegedly using millions of dollars to cover up an extra marital affair with Hunter.

A new study finds coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes than non-coffee drinkers are. The 14-year study found men who drank at least six cups a day had a 10 percent lower risk of death. For women, it was 15 percent lower. Researchers say it may not be the caffeine. People who drank decaf had similar health results, suggesting there's some other component in coffee, not the caffeine, that plays a role in protecting one's health.

And the six cups of coffee a day got my attention, Brooke. It makes me jittery thinking about it.

BALDWIN: Cheers, friend. Cheers.

(LAUGHTER) BALDWIN: And break out the age-related material here, because the Friars Club, perhaps she's drinking a lot of coffee, roasted 90- year-old Betty White last night. She is used to slinging the insults,now her turn to be on the receiving end. CNN was there of course, on the red carpet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my lord. We'll find out if Betty has thick skin under all those wrinkles. She has a new movie coming out "Weekend at Betty's." She's our woman of the hour, which is also her life expectancy. Her transcript is written in Sanskrit. That's how old she is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first show I did with Betty White was, I think "Hollywood Squares" and I only got that because I had sex with her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there one thing you haven't done that you want to do?

BETTY WHITE, COMEDIAN: I usually answer that question with Robert Redford.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I mean, he is a handsome man, you know what I'm saying? So, 90 years young.

HILL: This is so awesome. First of all, Betty White jokes are always funny. They just are. There's something special about watching Betty White becoming this reenergized figure. She was great in "Golden Girls." I was a fan.

BALDWIN: Me, too.

HILL: It was all like Saturday night live coming back, so many people got behind her. It's crazy. It's edgy, funny.

BALDWIN: She can take the jokes, handle being on the receiving end and tossing them as well.

CAIN: One of the few things, Marc Lamont Hill either lied about being a "golden girls" fan in the '80s or --

HILL: Perhaps the greatest show ever made.

HOOVER: You're a sensitive guy.

BALDWIN: Handsome man, I've got a question for you -- Robert Redford in his prime or Brad Pitt in his prime?

BALDWIN: Robert Redford all the way.

HOOVER: Brad Pitt. Generational.

BALDWIN: Easy one?

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: The man who shot and killed John Lennon on the move. No one will say why.

Plus, it pushed the country to the edge of default, led to its first-ever credit downgrade. Standard and Poor's no longer that stellar AAA. Are we headed for another debt ceiling showdown? We ask this question again. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, ranking member of the budget committee, will join us, live.

And from my playlist, '83, "Midnight City." You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: I saw the national opening a couple of years ago. They're awesome. Our entire commercial break, we have been talking about "Golden Girls." So a little preview for Mr. Marc later on.

HILL: I feel like I'm being judged.

CAIN: You are.

HILL: Not at all.

HOOVER: You are being respected.

HILL: By you. Not anyone else.

BALDWIN: Hang tight. We're talking "Golden Girls" later. This is debt ceiling, debt debacle, whatever you want to call it. This is really deja vu. Who could forget last year's showdown that led to the first-ever downgraded rating of Standard and Poor's. And now we are on the verge of a repeat. It was the main issue at a meeting by the president and four top Senate and House leaders just yesterday. The president wanted to discuss his economic to-do list. Five items on that list which, among others, includes eliminating tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, making it easier for homeowners to refinance, investing in clean energy, and helping military veterans find employment.

But all of that was overshadowed by paying down the deficit. Democratic congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, a ranking member of the budget committee, good morning.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND: Good morning, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Dare I say it? I keep thinking, here we go again, pointing fingers back and forth, both parties guilty. Are we really in for this fight one more time?

VAN HOLLEN: Brooke, I don't know why the speaker of the House wants to replay this movie. It did not have a good ending the last time around and probably won't have a good ending this time if he insists on drawing the lines in the sand.

As you said, the president invited the speaker and others down to the White House to talk about ways we could help the economy, boost job growth. The speaker put this idea on the table again that will drag down the economy. He should not be threatening the credit worthiness of the United States. That is not a good thing for the leader of the House of Representatives to be doing.

BALDWIN: I know you say you don't want a repeat of the same movie here. But someone, a very prominent someone within your own party is saying something has to get done, that being President Bill Clinton. Here is what he just said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Interest rates will go up so fast, you won't be able to catch your breath, and everybody will say, why didn't we do this earlier? So we should have a considered plan now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So what's the plan now?

VAN HOLLEN: There's no doubt that we need a plan. In fact, the president's put a plan on the table which takes the framework of bipartisan groups, like Simpson-Bowles, which President Clinton praised during that speech. Simpson-Bowles said let's reduce our deficit with two tracks. One, we've got to make some tough cuts. We already made $1 trillion in cuts last year. We need to do more of that. We also need to cut some of these special interest tax breaks. You have 98 percent of our Republican colleagues in the House that have signed this pledge saying that not one penny can go to deficit reduction by closing these loopholes. And so we should be focused on solving that problem, not laying down the kind of threats that the speaker put out the other day. That's counterproductive.

BALDWIN: I think Americans like the word "solution." That Simpson-Bowles plan, we were talking about that two Januarys ago. You have the House speaker, John Boehner, you mentioned him. He's basically saying any increase in the debt ceiling has to come with spending cuts of greater value, and he's saying no to tax increases. And I quote him, "When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see, continues to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance." So how do you compromise on this one?

VAN HOLLEN: You have to compromise. And what the speaker has said is that he's not going to compromise. He refuses to even look at the idea of closing some of these special tax interest loopholes. We've said yes, you've got to make some cuts or reforms. But you also need to reduce the deficits by asking folks at the very top to pay more.

I should also point out that the House Republican budget, the budget that the speaker supports, would require that we increase the debt ceiling by $5.2 trillion over the next 10 years. So his own budget violates the very rule he laid out there, which is why we should put all of that nonsense aside and focus on the real issue, which is what you said, which is to find a way to reduce the deficit. There's no argument about the need to do that. The argument is over how to do that. And you certainly shouldn't be saying that the United States is not going to pay its bills and debts until we get it done the way we, the Republicans, want it.

BALDWIN: I think we have a but coming on here. Will Cain, jump in.

CAIN: I'm glad he brought up budgets. I understand you serve in the House of Representatives. Can you explain to me why it is that the Senate Democrats have gone three years without passing a budget? What is the legitimate reason for waiting three years and never fulfilling that duty?

VAN HOLLEN: Let me make a couple points. Number one, the president submitted a budget. The House Democrats have a budget and what we enacted in the Senate is very much a part of this, because it's now a law, the budget control act. It does, in fact, create these caps. One of those caps is the sequester that will take effect next year.

CAIN: Are you saying you're doing that in lieu of passing a budget?

VAN HOLLEN: The budget control act. A budget, as you know, doesn't enforce of law.

CAIN: So they're not important?

VAN HOLLEN: No, I didn't say they're not important. I said that for right now we have in place for two years the budget control act. And, in fact, one of the problems we're having is that our Republican colleagues in the House have already violated the terms in the budget control act. So that is the governing document signed by the president. It's more than just a resolution, and it does put on these budget caps. And that is something that we need to get done this year.

BALDWIN: I see Margaret. Go ahead. Go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: Congressman Van Hollen, there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency to confront the entitlements, the mandatory spending that will eat way at the budget. By 2020 interest payments on the debts will be bigger than discretionary spending. It seems only the Republicans are trying to put forth plans that are scored by CBO to actually confront the spending problems into the future. Where is the urgency on behalf of Democrats to confront mandatory spending problems?

VAN HOLLEN: Actually, in fact, just last week in the House, the Democrats put forward an alternative plan to the Republicans on deficit reduction that included cuts. We eliminated a lot of direct payments to businesses. These are payments that are just unjustifiable. We have put on the table proposals to modernize incentive payments within Medicare. Instead of continuing on a fee for service basis, which runs up the bills, we proposed to change the incentives to reward the value of care rather than the volume of care. In fact we expect significant savings to be achieved overtime.

We do not believe we should simply transfer all the costs and risks on to seniors on Medicare, which is what the Republican voucher plan does. They give you a voucher that declines in value over time compared to health care costs. We don't think we should offload all those costs onto seniors. We think we should reduce the costs to the system. And we have already started to move toward things like the accountable care and other payment methods that do it without putting seniors on the hook.

BALDWIN: Congressman Chris Van Hollen, we appreciate it. Obviously there are two sides to every story.

We want to remind our viewers, coming up next hour, Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling has the Republican side to this debate.

Ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, what caught our eyes in the papers this morning everyone has been thumbing through, including a shocking new claim about John Travolta's relationship with one of his co-stars in "Grease."

Quick reminder for you, you can watch CNN on your desktop or mobile phone. Go to CNN.com/TV. STARTING POINT rolls on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT on this Thursday. Checking out the papers, we've been talking about this throughout the break. Why don't you begin? You've been all excited about this.

CAIN: I've been told I'm too heavy, Brooke. I've been focusing on the collapse of the eurozone.

BALDWIN: Why not turn it around the other way and talk about John Travolta?

CAIN: "The New York Daily News" suggests there's a fourth accuser coming out against John Travolta, another masseur, who says he's a great kisser and a great lover. But that is not the most salacious thing I have to tell you. Apparently John Travolta's former co-star in "Grease" Jeff Conway.

HILL: You have trouble in "Grease."

CAIN: This story is about "Grease."

HILL: Couldn't resist.

CAIN: Jeff Conway, in a failed attempt to take his life, John Travolta had woken him up in his bed giving him unsolicited oral sex.

BALDWIN: And the Travolta camp is saying --

CAIN: I have no comment from the Travolta camp right now. Back to you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Come on. Due diligence, Cain.

HOOVER: Is this really light?

BALDWIN: Right.

HOOVER: Light is Skechers. If you walk around in them, they're your full workout routine. They've had to settle $40 million with the Federal Trade Commission.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: I don't think they should have to pay anything. Anyone dumb enough to think they can get a workout wearing shoes deserves to be burnt.

BALDWIN: Quickly, Marc.

HILL: Phone face, a new element characterized by sagging jowls and drooping jaw line, which comes from looking down to look at your cell phone.

HOOVER: It's responsible for your double chin.

BALDWIN: Maybe you need the Skechers to work on the double chin.

Ahead on STARTING POINT this morning, a respected prosecutor denied a judgeship because he is gay? We're going to be joined live by one of the Republican delegates who led the charge against him, voted against him.

And are you mansome? Are you mansome is the question. Millions of American men stepping up their grooming. Morgan Spurlock is here. He took a very close, very personal look in this new documentary. He is here to explain this man-tastic phenomenon. Marc Lamont Hill's playlist. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Welcome back. Half past the hour on this Thursday morning. Christine Romans, what do you have?

ROMANS: Good morning again. This is what I got. I got - wow. A wildfire that's doubled in size and only a mile from more homes. It's the gladiator fire in the Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona still burning out of control, Brooke, this morning. The fire devouring nine square miles and it's only five percent contained. Three homes have been destroyed. Fire officials warn that several more homes could burn in the next few days. A New York Times investigation reveals missteps by Sanford, Florida, police in their initial investigation of the Trayvon Martin shooting. They took just one photo of George Zimmerman's injuries. Zimmerman's vehicle wasn't secured as part of the crime scene. They didn't protect the crime scene, and critical blood evidence may have been washed away by rain. Zimmerman wasn't tested for drug or alcohol use, either.

Zimmerman's charged with second-degree murder. He claims he shot Martin in self-defense. The teen's family alleges their son was profiled by Zimmerman and the shooting was racially motivated.

John Lennon's killer has been moved to another prison. But officials are not saying why. Mark David Chapman is now at a correctional facility in Erie County, New York, after spending 30 years in Attica. Officials says Chapman has a very good disciplinary history and inmates facing long sentences are often moved. Chapman is serving a 20-year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder. His next parole hearing is scheduled for August.

Researchers believe they may have come up with an early warning indicator for autism in infants. A new study says babies with head leg, or developmental delays in their head and neck muscle control may be at an increased risk for autism. Researchers say the findings are still preliminary and shouldn't be used to diagnosis autism.

The number of minority babies born in this country now outnumbers Caucasian births. That's according to the Census Bureau. Births involving Hispanic, black, Asian and mixed-race babies make up 50.4 percent of all deliveries. White babies are now 49.6 percent of births.

With the economy still on shaky ground, a new report says the federal government paid at least $439 million in employee bonuses last year. The investigation by the Asbury Park Press found the largest bonuses went to senior executives in Washington. Oh, yes, and air traffic controllers. The highest award, more than $62,000, was given to 15 workers from agriculture to NASA. Brooke?

BALDWIN: Christine, thank you.

Talk Virginia here, because a key swing state dives into hot- button political debate after Virginia's Republican-controlled house voted to block the judicial nomination of a gay prosecutor earlier this week. Opponents argue that Tracey Thorn Beglan's past indicates he would try to force an activist agenda from the bench. He's a former Navy pilot, disclosed his sexuality on TV just about 20 years ago, really in an effort to fight the military's ban on homosexuals. He later sued the military for violating his rights to free speech with don't ask, don't tell.

And joining me now to talk about all of this, one of the lawmakers that led the charge against Thorn Beglan is Republican Virginia delegate Robert Marshall. Delegate Marshall, good morning.

ROBERT MARSHALL, REPUBLICAN VIRGINIA DELEGATE MARSHALL: Brooke, hi.

BALDWIN: I know the vote in the wee hours of the morning, 31-33, voting against. You were one of the nays. Why vote against him?

MARSHALL: He displayed a pattern of behavior that was inconsistent with what we have come to expect in Virginia judges. We never appoint -- I've been there 21 years. We've never appointed an activist of any kind along these lines, much less somebody who has a long history of this.

For example, he had to misstate his background in order to be received into the military in the late 1980s. There was a specific question. Are you a homosexual? He had to say no. He took an oath of office, which he had to defy. There were regulations he defied on going on television, there were superior orders of officers, there's a uniform code of military justice. In 2004 in Richland Magazine, he made a blanket statement condemning the entire judiciary, the commonwealth of Virginia, as being overtly hostile to homosexuals and lesbians -

BALDWIN: Sir, let me just jump in because -

MARSHALL: Yes.

BALDWIN: Let me just jump in because two points. We now know that "don't ask, don't tell" it's been repealed. Obviously, you know, blacks used to have to sit in the back of the bus. They don't have to anymore. There was discriminate -- women used to not be able to vote. They can vote now. Times have changed. Do you not - do you not agree he should be given a chance?

MARSHALL: Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks never took an oath of office that they broke. Sodomy is not a civil right. It's not the same as a civil rights movement. You have to look at the past.

And in fact, look -- in late 2011, he was critical of the "don't ask, don't tell." He criticized our attorney general simply for explaining what the law of Virginia is with respect to certain protected classes -

BALDWIN: Sir -

MARSHALL: So, he has gone beyond that. He can be a prosecutor, if he wants to. But we don't want advocates as judges.

BALDWIN: You bring up - you bring up sodomy. Is the reason why you voted against him because he's gay, pure and simple?

MARSHALL: No. I -- sorry, you're mischaracterizing that. I said sodomy is not a civil right, and there's an effort by homosexual lobbyists to equate the two. That's wrong. It's a pattern of behavior. When you can blanket condemn the entire commonwealth of Virginia, I think you're setting yourself up to be outside the realm of consideration. MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Actually, sir -- Margaret Hoover here. I just wanted to mention -- I'm sure you're familiar with the case that was reviewed by the Supreme Court, Texas v. Lawrence, where actually sodomy laws were overruled. So, to say sodomy is not a civil right is sort of an absurd, it seems to me, argument.

But it seems that what you're saying in terms of his activism and the political -- pattern of behavior, all you can point to are things that relate to his sexuality. Can you point to any other set of activities that relate to advocacy that you are worried about with this individual becoming a judge in Virginia?

MARSHALL: An oath of office -- when you take an oath to obey your superiors to abide by the regulations of the military, to accept the code of military justice - look, there are, I'm sure, homosexuals who obeyed that. There are heterosexuals who obeyed that despite the commands of their superior officers. I commend them all for doing that. The military needs discipline.

When you decide to step outside that - and remember, he received training that cost the taxpayers a million dollars -- he basically threw that away and did not fulfill his six-year contract because he decided to come out in 1992 --

BALDWIN: Mr. Marshall, let me also just point this out. Because from what I understand, this would have been a misdemeanor court. He would have been sitting on the bench for essentially this criminal misdemeanor court (ph). In fact, one of your own Republican colleagues there in the house sponsoring his nomination, sponsoring Thorn Beglan's nomination said this, quote, "It is without question that Thorn Beglan is extremely qualified. The type of issues, social issues that would touch upon someone's constitutional interpretation, these things do not even come up in district court." Still, you feel that he would be unqualified to sit on that bench?

MARSHALL: Not just myself. The speaker of the house said he thought he would be unqualified in an e-mail to a friend of mine. He made statements, he made actions that are just incompatible.

And, again, this is subject to a vote. We don't accept everybody who is nominated. Moreover, he would preside -- he could preside as a district judge for a marriage of two guys if he wanted to, in violation of the law. Remember, it was a single judge in California who was in a same-sex relationship who invalidated seven million voters out there. Moreover, if you have a bar-room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual, I'm concerned about possible bias. When we went --

BALDWIN: What about a judge recusing himself or herself if he or she feels that they cannot take on a case because of bias?

MARSHALL: Yes, Elena Kagan said she would recuse herself and she was the solicitor general and did not in this Obamacare case. You have to have -- the public has to be assured before they step into that courtroom that they will receive impartial justice. And under these circumstances, I don't think it was the case. It's not just my view.

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Why would a homosexual - why would a gay person be more likely to be biased in the bar room example than say, you would? I mean, to be quite frank, I would be more concerned you would be biased against the gay or lesbian person in that case. I mean, why are we putting that pressure or that kind of (INAUDIBLE) on a gay person as opposed to a straight person?

MARSHALL: I wouldn't apply to be a judge. I am an advocate. The people know that I am an advocate --

BALDWIN: But you are writing law.

MARSHALL: When I was -- that's my job. When I was in public school, we all went through a ritual. I know you may find it strange, that said keep us from temptation. This was because we said the Lord's Prayer. Nobody - nobody should go where they'll be tempted. That includes me, that includes you, that includes a prospective judge.

BALDWIN: The governor of your state from your own party. Quote, "The governor believes candidates for judicial vacancies must be considered based solely on their merit, record, aptitude and skill. No other factors should ever be considered, and the governor has long made clear that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not acceptable in state government."

Do you think, sir, there will ever be room for a gay judge in your state?

MARSHALL: I said we probably have appointed homosexuals in the past.

HILL: An out gay judge?

BALDWIN: An out gay judge.

MARSHALL: I haven't had to face that in 21 years. And again, it's going to depend on your behavior. If you say that you're married and the constitution says you can't be married, that's a conflict between your oath of office and the supreme law of the state of Virginia, as approved by the voters of Virginia.

BALDWIN: Got to leave it there. Delegate Robert Marshall, Republican, Virginia. Thank you.

MARSHALL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Ahead here on STARTINGN POINT, plucking, shaving, moisturizing, exfoliating. It is hard work being a dude these days. Let's bring in the king dude, Morgan Spurlock, who's new documentary "Mansome" about the growing pressure, apparently, on men to look good. Hello, friend.

MORGAN SPURLOCK, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: How are you?

BALDWIN: Good to see you. We're going to roll out with Will Cain's -- this is "Father of Mine." You're watching STARTING POINT.

SPURLOCK: And Will is looking good, too.

BALDWIN: Really? You like that? You approve?

(CROSSTALK & LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: I like the scruff.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think works best with my face? Because this has not been going well for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hood or (INAUDIBLE) will be great for your face. Big sunglasses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe just a trim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Jason Bateman doesn't need to cover his face - seemed to believe, apparently. That is a clip from "Mansome," the new documentary all about male grooming.

Market research, we're doing some homework for the segment. Market research firm, NPD Group, reports that one in four men now use some sort of facial skin care product like face wash moisturizer. Maybe you're listening to us from the bathroom, moisturizing your own face.

Last year, department stores sold $84.7 million worth of male skin care. And Morgan Spurlock knows, I guess, a little bit about this, directing "Mansome." Great to see you. Good morning.

MORGAN SPURLOCK, PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR, "MANSOME": Great to see you. Good morning.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You're an expert, right?

BALDWIN: You're an expert. You've been rocking the mustache.

SPURLOCK: I am like the working man-icorn.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: The trick today if you give (ph) all the man words we can come up with. So, how did you -- is this something that sort is -- I don't know, subculture, that guys aren't talking about how they're shaving, moisturizing? SPURLOCK: Well, there's a great line in the film where one of our experts says, you know, guys should go out looking like, you know, looking like $100 million but he shouldn't look like it took you anytime to get there, you know? So, it's one of these things where guys were taking all this time, but, you know, that we want to go out and we want to, you know, look this scruff. It looks good.

BALDWIN: This scruff took hours.

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: No. I'm glad we have your expertise, because you're exactly right. This is something men don't talk about --

BALDWIN: Oh, wow! We have a before and after, Will.

(CROSSTALK)

MARC LAMONT HILL, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Look at this. Look at this.

BALDWIN: I haven't seen this. Go back to the graphic.

HILL: So much better with the scruff.

CAIN: OK. So, here's the internal debate, Morgan, we've had. On the beard, the neckline, do you go with a bright line or do you fade it out or do you embrace the neck?

SPURLOCK: You got to cut it off. Otherwise, suddenly -- otherwise you start to have that hair sweater that goes down into your neck.

(CROSSTALK)

SPURLOCK: Yes. You got to get rid of it.

CAIN: Which brings us to the next place. What about chest hair? Men -- look, "Mansome" has got to be about hair. It's about hair --

SPURLOCK: My grooming stops like right here. Like literally, like there's nothing happens below my neckline.

(CROSSTALK)

SPURLOCK: There's enough hair to make me feel like a man. I'm not like Robin Williams. I'm not like a gorilla.

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: When does it come back? We're deep in the Mark Wahlberg look.

SPURLOCK: Yes.

CAIN: We're deep in the -- SPURLOCK: When is it going to be great for men to like still have hair on their chest again, Tom Selleck (ph), you know?

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Let's throw up the picture. As we can see the -- let's throw the picture up as we're going through your twit picks last night. There's this great picture of you. You're getting what the clean shave for your premiere of "Mansome."

SPURLOCK: Right. I was getting a proper straight-edge shave. This was at the Art Shaving in Los Angeles where I was getting straight-edge shave coming.

BALDWIN: Here we go.

SPURLOCK: Yes.

BALDWIN: You have to kind of turn your head.

SPURLOCK: You have to turn your head a little bit for that. If you look at it on this angle, it's really nice. But no, it's like -- but there's nothing quite like getting put in a chair and someone giving you a straight razor shave.

BALDWIN: Is that little me time, Morgan Spurlock?

SPURLOCK: That is like some good me time. You do feel a little special when that's happening or there somebody's going to come in and slit (ph) your throat like the godfather.

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: The unsaid thing. We do this all for you. We do this because we feel like --

BALDWIN: Oh, whatever.

CAIN: What we need is the --

BALDWIN: Whatever.

SPURLOCK: There was a time when, you know, men could be like sloppy and manly, and it was fine. Now, there's this like image of men, which is the Brad Pitt, it's the George Clooney, it's this idea of male perfection that now men have to live up to, which women have had to live up to for years.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: Apricot scrub on his face.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: We got another clip. Let's roll it.

(LAUGHTER)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More and more guys have begun to groom. And women have a mixed reaction. There are some types of grooming that they're OK with and even want, and there's some where it crosses a line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Like I was saying, crosses a line.

HILL: Right here. Right there.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Part of the women's movement was about getting women beyond this notion of perfect, that they had to be perfect all the time. And so, I'm not so sure if this is a good idea for men to be obsessing over what is perfect for women. Look, isn't it about being comfortable, being attractive but not obsessively so.

SPURLOCK: But the whole problem is media. It's television. It's magazines like magazine covers now which are now targeting men the same way they targeted women forever. You're fat. You're unattractive, lose 10 pounds.

BALDWIN: This isn't media. This is you just want to look good.

SPURLOCK: I want to look good, but it takes a lot of work.

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: It's not a problem. What would we talk about? What would we be talking about right now?

SPURLOCK: Right now, there's got to be something much less important than man-scaping in the world.

BALDWIN: I like it. Take a little time, not too much.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Morgan Spurlock, thank you.

SPURLOCK: Thank you.

BALDWIN: "Mansome," go see it.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, George Lucas strikes back. Is he getting revenge on some of his rich neighbors in Marin County, California, by trying to build low-income housing in this posh neighborhood?

Also, a mystery in the sky. Have you heard about this? It's unidentified flying object almost crashes over Denver. Imagine being the pilot seeing this out your window. You're watching STARTING POINT. Twenty minutes. Done.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: I'm a little creeped out by the flashing lights in the studio. Could it be a UFO almost crashing over Denver? Dan-da-da.

Corporate jet pilot says he almost crashed into a large remote controlled aircraft some 8,000 feet in the sky earlier this week. But strangely, the object did not show up on any radar, and radio transmissions did capture this conversation. Listen to this. This is between the cockpit and air traffic control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't know if it's a remote controlled aircraft or what. Something just went by the other way. About 20 to 30 seconds ago. And it was like a large remote controlled aircraft.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, the FAA trying to figure out what the heck that was. Was it an unidentified aircraft, possibly? Earlier this morning, former FAA official, Steven Wallace, told us he doesn't think it was a drone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVEN WALLACE, AVIATION SAFETY CONSULTANT AND ACTIVE COMMERCIAL PILOT: Yes, they're up there. They're very, very carefully controlled. So, I'd be surprised if in the approach control airspace into Denver, there was a drone. I understand there are ten-foot wing span pelicans in that area at that altitude.

So, I'm not dismissing what the pilot said, and FAA certainly isn't either. But again, I'd be surprised if, at the end of the day, it turns out to have been a remotely piloted aircraft.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, it's obviously very serious. This could have been catastrophic, but you're kind of laughing because you're from Denver.

HOOVER: I am the Denver girl here. I have never seen a ten-foot wing span pelican flying over Denver.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: What I will tell you is NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, is in just south of Denver in Colorado Springs. You also have Air Force Academy just south of Denver and north of Colorado Springs. There are all sorts of military stuff going on.

CAIN: You poured cold water on UFOs.

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: UFO lobby has been doing this for years. Covering the truth. The truth is --

BALDWIN: Do you believe in aliens? Is this where that conversation is going now? Aliens.

HILL: Undocumented.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: There's' been huge collaboration (ph) of drone in United States from local --

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: -- private business drones and Obama administration asked the FAA to set rules and guidelines in to place for how to handle all these drones.

(CROSSTALK)

CAIN: Is it a drone? Well, seems likely. Possible.

BALDWIN: We have Sully Sullenberger (ph). So, we'll see. He knows about birds landing in the Hudson River. Yikes.

Coming up though, we're going to talk on STARTING POINT, IPO. Depends on whether the price for a piece of Facebook, perhaps, is right for you.

Also, family tragedy strikes the Kennedy family once again. Another sudden death. What happened to RFK, Jr.'s wife, Mary? Those in the (ph) top of the hour. You are watching STARTING POINT.

BALDWIN: Welcome back. Our "Starting Point" this morning, the Facebook frenzy. All this talk about the IPO creating a thousand new millionaires, perhaps, you could be one. Perhaps. We're about to find out exactly how much this is going to cost you to own a piece of the social network and whether you really want in or not.

Also, revenge of the Jedi. Is George Lucas is getting revenge on his wealthy neighbors who thumbed their noses at his plan to build mega movie studio?

And he piloted the miracle on the Hudson and instantly became a national hero. He's Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. He's going to join us live here at the table with a message for Washington. Yes, he's talking politics. He says straighten up and fly right.

It is Thursday, May 17th. Good morning to you. STARTING POINT begins right now.