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Doping Charges Force Armstrong Ban; Obama, Romney In Ohio At Same Time; Obama's Dinner With Sarah Jessica Parker; Baseball Sized Hail Pummels Dallas; A Tank Made Of Cupcakes; Sandusky Trial Prosecutors Might Finish Friday; Wallenda's Niagara Stunt Ready; Farm Bill Could Cost Or Save Taxpayers Money; Feeling Successful With Low Pay; Interview with Paul Stanley; Giants' Cain Tosses Perfect Game
Aired June 14, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: How would you actually prove it? They're going to watch the video over and over and over again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little differently, I don't know. I don't want to take up too much time. One time a guy had something under his hat. It went flying and someone caught it and what's that over there. We'll see if Valverde gets caught or not.
COSTELLO: What do you mean gets caught?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Innocent until proven guilty.
COSTELLO: Thank you very much. Next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
Good morning to you. I'm Carol Costello. Just ahead in the NEWSROOM. That is hail pounding parts of Texas causing some to run for cover. This morning's storm victims are surveying the damage.
This country's most decorated cyclist could be stripped of all seven of his Tour De France victories. Lance Armstrong facing even more doping allegations. He's already been suspended from an upcoming event.
It's the birthday bash for the United States Army today. What better way to celebrate than with this? We'll take you live to the Pentagon for an up-close look at this cupcake tank.
But we start with this. He's an iconic rocker who's been in the musical spotlight for almost 40 years. OK, so we're not starting with this. We're teasing this.
How does Paul Stanley explains Kiss' success and what's next for the legendary rock 'n' roll band? He's coming up live in the NEWSROOM to answer all of our questions.
We'll start with this story this morning, at one time, Lance Armstrong towered over the cycling world the way Babe Ruth is adored by baseball fans.
Today, Armstrong may be better compared to Barry Bonds, controversial, polarizing, and tainted by doping allegations. The new charges filed by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency could strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France victories.
And already it's forcing him to the sidelines of his new love, competing in Iron Man triathlons. Casey Wian is following these latest developments from Los Angeles. How serious are these charges?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're very serious, Carol. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says that Lance Armstrong and several others, including some of his doctors, engaged in a conspiracy over 13 years to actually use performance-enhancing drugs and to traffic in performance-enhancing drugs.
The allegations also detail the efforts to which they -- some people claim that Lance Armstrong was able to cover up his use of performance-enhancing drugs while he was winning seven Tour De France championships.
Now, Armstrong released a statement in response to these allegations, and here's what he had to say, "Unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests, and never failed one.
That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness, and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."
Now, Carol, we should point out that according to the USADA letter that was sent to Lance Armstrong's attorneys and others involved in these allegations, these accusers of Lance Armstrong actually cooperated in this investigation.
Talked about their history of doping, talked about doping in cycling, but Lance Armstrong actually refused to cooperate, would not talk to the organization.
So that's why he appears to be facing these charges and these other self-admitted performance-enhancing drug users in the cycling world are not -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Casey Wian reporting for us this morning.
On to politics now, President Obama and Mitt Romney will be courting votes in the same state today. That would be the battleground state of Ohio.
President Obama will be in Cleveland, while Mitt Romney campaigns in Cincinnati. Both will be talking about the economy and roughly the same time. You can bet each knows just how important Ohio is to becoming the next president.
The winner gets 18 electoral votes, but more importantly Ohio has been the measuring stick of the nation. Case in point, the winner of Ohio has gone on to win the last 12 presidential elections.
Jim Acosta is in Cincinnati this morning. So I would assume the economy will be the focus today.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Carol. And, you know, these two candidates are going to be going right at each other. We've already seen a preview of that in the last 24 hours with the president and Mitt Romney really taking it to each other on this issue of the economy.
You can see just behind me over my shoulder Mitt Romney has a couple of banners up that read "putting jobs first." He is, as they like to say in campaign politics -- they are bracketing each other as we speak trying to sort of get the jump on the other in the hours and days before this event. That is happening here in Cincinnati later on this afternoon.
The president's event up in Cleveland as you mentioned. And already the Romney campaign has an ad out trying to once again exploit what the president said last Friday when he said the private sector is doing fine.
It's part of the Romney economic message. He's saying he's going to get the economy going again. Here's a taste of that ad that the Romney campaign put out earlier this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The private sector is doing fine. The private sector is doing fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: You can bet, Carol, they're going to be running those six words from the president from here on out. That is definitely part of the Romney campaign strategy.
I will tell you, though, that Mitt Romney was in Washington yesterday, where he met with some of the nation's top CEOs at the business roundtable where he started to lay out his economic vision should he be elected president.
He's talking about some pretty dramatic cuts when it comes to the federal government. He wants to get federal worker pay in line with pay that is out in the private sector he says.
He once again went after the president's health care law saying he will start repealing that on day one of his administration.
And he said yesterday that he can get the budget balanced in next 8 to 10 years if he's elected president, of course gets a second term.
So Mitt Romney is starting to lay that out. The president, as you know, has been doing this the last couple days, as well, taking it to the Republicans.
Just the other night at a fundraiser in Baltimore going after the Republicans saying, wait a minute, there was a Republican president who was in the White House before me running up the deficit. He's accusing the Republicans of running up the dinner tab and then trying to bole the check. I assume that the president will be going back to that message up in Cleveland later today. It will be interesting to watch these two go head to head right around the same time, 1:45 or so this afternoon -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, we'll be listening. Jim Acosta live in Cincinnati. You heard Jim mention it. While Obama is in Cleveland, he'll be fighting Romney's economic plan and outlining a plan of his own.
Mr. Obama's expected talking points according to a campaign official, the president will say the economy grows from the middle class up, not from the top down.
He wants to focus on education, energy, and infrastructure, and that the president will head to New York City for a fundraiser dinner co- hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintor, the editor of "Vogue." It's $40,000 per person to attend the dinner at Parker's home.
Also later tonight, Obama goes to another Manhattan fundraiser where Mariah Carey will sing. This one is co-hosted by Newark Mayor Corey Booker.
One reason the president is doing so many celebrity fundraisers, he's trying to compete with GOP "Super PACs" that have been outraising him.
Severe weather is pretty common this time of year, but have you ever seen anything like this? That's hail shredding trees, shattering windows across Dallas yesterday. Three waves of storms dumped massive amounts of hail, some the size of baseballs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It went for at least 20 minutes. It just pummelled. It was unbelievable. And the rain, there was so much rain. It was like -- it was like being in a disaster movie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like the house was exploding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Literally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just -- just over and over and over again. I mean, you can look at roof and see a thousand explosions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Wow. Today people are tallying the damage and counting their blessings, too. Last hour, I talked to Dallas meteorologist Jeff Ray. He's with CNN affiliate, KTVT.
JEFF RAY, KTVT METEOROLOGIST: The most expensive hailstorm in the history of America happened in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1995. And then in 2003, there was a hailstorm that was just a little under a billion dollars, and that one happens, you know, about five or six years ago.
And now we have this one last night. So what happened, the overview there, we had three storm cells move over Dallas County and the surrounding area, and they were moving really slow.
I'm standing in Lakewood, which is about three miles from downtown Dallas. This is a shopping area and every parking space around 6:30 was full. So after ten minutes of hail falling, and, again, like some of the size of softballs even, everybody walked out onto the ice to find their cars looking like this.
And all the cars were damaged like this. Now, this car isn't totalled. It's maybe $10,000, $15,000 worth of damage and this is just the one square mile where every car looks like this. We're talking about several square miles across Dallas County were just pummelled.
It's not just cars. It's roofs, it's skylights, signs. There's so much damage around there. That costliest storm ever, that was $1.1 billion, and we won't know for months how much this storm cost, but I suspect it's going to be in that category.
It's going to be a lot of cleanup work around here, Carol, and it's going to take months.
COSTELLO: I bet.
It is one of the oldest branches of the U.S. military, so what better way for the Army to celebrate its 237th anniversary than with a life- sized tank made of cupcakes?
Barbara Starr, you just don't think of Army, cupcakes. It's weird. Cute. Weird.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Cute but weird, I'm not sure that's what the Army had in mind, but it actually works today. Let me get it out of the way. I've covered a lot of military operations in my time, but this one takes the cake.
Let me just get that out of the way. This is, in fact, the Army's 237th birthday, and a company here in Washington called Georgetown Cupcake has made this tank in celebration and donated it to the Army.
You're looking at 5,000 cupcakes, 200 pounds of camouflage frosting, about $10,000 worth of cupcakes being donated to the U.S. Army. This is Georgetown Cupcake, and as you know they have that TV show "D.C. Cupcake" on the TLC Channel.
It's a company that has donated a lot to the troops overseas. We've been there in Afghanistan when their cupcakes have arrived. So today, this is a bit of a lighter note in celebration of the Army's 237th birthday.
But a note of realism, you can see it will gunner is going to get in a little while, and into the turn, and I kid you not, Carol, they are going to fire cupcakes out the top of this thing. They've already testified a few, cute but weird.
But, you know, it's been a long decade-plus for the U.S. Army and for the U.S. military. So I don't think anybody really begrudges them having a bit of a smile today.
And it's another opportunity, genuinely, for everyone to say thank you to all the troops and their families who serve -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Absolutely. So do the cupcakes come out intact? I mean, can you catch them and then just eat them?
STARR: Well, I think we have at least one fall off here already. There's going to be about another -- this is 5,000 cupcakes. There's going to be about another 1,500 that are going to show up that they'll pass out to the many people already gathered here.
And you might want to know, what are the flavors? Salted caramel, red velvet, peanut butter fudge, lava fudge, and vanilla butter cream. So I figure about two hours from now the entire Pentagon is going to be on a sugar high -- Carol.
COSTELLO: So hyperactive. Barbara Starr, thanks so much for sharing and making us smile this morning.
STARR: You bet.
COSTELLO: Many Americans are fed up with Congress for not working together. Maybe they can use that tank and fire up some cupcakes at them.
Anyway, some Democrats and Republicans have finally found some common ground on a farm bill. We'll tell you why.
COSTELLO: Checking our top stories now at 16 minutes past the hour, retired cycling legend Lance Armstrong now sidelined from his new passion, Ironman triathlons.
The group overseeing those competitions banned him while he's under investigation for doping. The charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency could strip Armstrong of his seven Tour De France victories.
The judge in the Jerry Sandusky trial says the prosecution could wrap up its case by tomorrow, noting that things are moving along more quickly than anticipated.
That news comes as jurors heard another round of graphic testimony from three alleged victims and a Penn State janitor. Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to 52 counts of sex abuse.
In money news, a new report by Realtytrac says foreclosures in the United States went up 9 percent last month. That's more than 200,000 properties. Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and California had the highest foreclosure rates.
Final preps are in place for tomorrow's death-defying high-wire walk across Niagara Falls. Nik Wallenda will be the first daredevil in more than 100 years to attempt the feat. He is the seventh generation of the flying Wallendas.
You know, a lot of people are fed up with Congress for not working together to get the country's fiscal House in order. Well, senators are working together on something -- a farm bill, one that might possibly save you some money. Dana Bash has more.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hans Schmidt is a third-generation farmer, and ever since he can remember he's gotten cash payments from the federal government to help manage the risk of farming. How much?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About $35,000 a year.
BASH: That's right. He gets $35,000 a year even in good times when he doesn't need it. But for Schmidt and over a million farmers across the country that could come to a screeching halt.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to our home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
BASH: These two senators want to end those payments to farmers in place since the great depression. The Democrat and Republican sat at this committee table and made the decision together.
SENATOR PAT ROBERTS (R), KANSAS: All the time, any state. Why can't you folks get along back there and do something instead of spinning your wheels and pointing fingers?
BASH: Bipartisanship we rarely see these days. Their farm bill cuts $23.6 billion in spending.
ROBERTS: Almost $24 billion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
ROBERTS: It's $23.6 billion to the deficit.
BASH: A significant savings for taxpayers, but watchdog groups warn the savings may not last. Why? Most of the spending cuts come from eliminating direct cash payments.
SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: We're not going to pay for subsidies if you don't need them, but farming is the most risky business in the world.
BASH: In place of checks from the government, there are new federal insurance, and some worry in bad crop years, the cost to taxpayers could explode. STABENOW: These are real cults. Crop insurance makes sense. It's like any other insurance. It's there when you have a loss.
BASH: At the farm, Schmidt says he's OK with losing checks from Uncle Sam he doesn't always need.
HANS SCHMIDT, THIRD GENERATION FARMER: I'd be happy to give up those subsidies if it's going to help to get our country's fiscal responsibilities back in order.
BASH: But he calls new government subsidies for crop insurance critical since farming is so unpredictable even now, a good year, problems. This idle combine was supposed to be cutting wheat when we visited.
SCHMIDT: We were hoping we'd be combine today, but the moisture on the grain is too high.
BASH: Another criticism of the farm bill -- pork in the form of popcorn. Popcorn growers slipped in a provision making sure they, too, get government help with crop insurance. Here, no apologies.
STABENOW: I love popcorn, actually.
ROBERTS: I guess, I would call it a specialty crop, and there is demand for it. Just go to the movies or go anyplace at home.
BASH: Some ask why farmers with high profits these days need government help at all. The weather did allow us to bale hay with Hans Schmidt. He gave us an answer -- farmers need a safety net.
SCHMIDT: We all have to eat. The consumers want safe, nutritious and affordable food.
BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Maryland.
COSTELLO: But there's more from Dana Bash. She's live in Washington. You know, this bill has sparked controversy. I know among some Democrats because some of this farm bill cuts come from food stamps. Tell us about that.
BASH: That's right, $4.5 billion comes -- of cuts come out of the food stamp program, and some Democrats especially Keirsten Gillibrand of New York has made passionate speeches on the Senate floor saying you have to restore those cuts.
Now I've asked both senators, but particularly the Democrat, Debbie Stabenow, about that, and she said, look, obviously from her perspective she's from Michigan. The last thing she wants to take money out of the hands of people who need it most from a state that is really, really suffering like Michigan.
She insists that what they have cut is basically waste, fraud, and abuse, and in this particular case it's effectively in a form abuse of what these food stamps are supposed to be doing. She insists it is not going to take food, I should say, out of the hands of people who really need it.
COSTELLO: Dana Bash live in Washington for us.
COSTELLO: In Sweden, the country, Sweden, every day -- an everyday citizen becomes the Twitter voice for national tourism. But you will not believe some of the things she's tweeting. We'll take a closer look of some her less embarrassing tweets. We can't even show you on television.
COSTELLO: There's a new survey out that shows most Americans say they do not need to make a lot of money to feel successful. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange, really?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Carol. You know that six-figure salary you were going to offer me? Keep it. I don't need it. Don't worry about it.
COSTELLO: I wish I had that power.
KOSIK: Me, too. So there's this new survey from Career Builder that finds that 75 percent of American workers say, no, they don't need to earn six figures to feel successful.
And almost a quarter said they feel successful earning less than $50,000 a year, maybe more surprising in this survey most of those in the survey say they're happy with how much pay they're getting right now.
I'll tell you what, that's a good thing because salaries aren't going up very quickly. Half of workers say they haven't had a raise since 2010, a quarter haven't had a raise since 2008 -- Carol.
COSTELLO: I want to know their secret.
KOSIK: Me, too. You know what --
COSTELLO: I'd like to get my nominal raise each year.
KOSIK: I know, 1 percent, 2 percent, but you know what Career Builder found? They found out by either looking at these sort of feelings of success by industry, so not such a huge surprise.
People who worked in financial services, sales, information technology, they were the most likely to say, yes, we need to earn six figures to feel successful.
Go to the flip side, people who work in retail and hospitality and manufacturing say they would feel successful earning less than $50,000 a year.
You know what it is, it's all about that work/life balance and how much you love your job, right? In some of these occupations, Career Builder says success means earning a paycheck that's big enough to support your family and your life outside of the office -- Carol.
COSTELLO: I'll buy that. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful, because I am.
KOSIK: Me, too. We're just having fun.
COSTELLO: We are. Thanks, Alison.
President Bush is popping up in a very unlikely place these days. A hit TV show and it's not pretty. Now the show's producers are issuing an apology. It involves a head on a stick. That story is coming up in our "Political Buzz."
COSTELLO: Just about 30 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now, the death of a U.S. combat Marine in Southern Afghanistan has ushered in a grim milestone. Corporal Taylor Jay Bond of Andover, Minnesota is the 2,000th American to die in operation enduring freedom.
The prosecution expected to call more witnesses today in the substance abuse case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Jurors on Wednesday heard graphic testimony from three alleged victims. Prosecutors could wrap up their case by Friday.
And look at this nasty hailstorm that -- oh, God, it absolutely destroyed cars in the Dallas area. If you couldn't see it, you could certainly hear it. Some of this hail the size of baseballs, shattered people's windshields, left big dents in cars. People said the hail was so loud when it hit the roof it sounded like an explosion.
"Political Buzz" is your rapid-fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three questions smart answers. Playing today John Avlon, CNN contributor and senior political columnist for "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast". He's an Independent. And a representative from the left, Sirius XM political host and comedian Pete Dominick. Welcome to both of you.
PETE DOMINICK, SIRIUS XM POLITICAL HOST & COMEDIAN: Hello, Carol. I love those glasses.
COSTELLO: I'm trying to look studious.
DOMINICK: It's very nice. I got to try that. Somebody has got to help me.
COSTELLO: Yes, maybe you should.
JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Big enough (ph) for or you, Pete.
DOMINICK: I'll try it.
COSTELLO: Ok onto the first question.
President Obama and Mitt Romney placing big bets on Ohio and not just in today's economic speech showdown. This will be the President's ninth trip to Ohio since announcing his re-election bid.
But Mitt Romney is not to be outdone. He's taking his bus tour to three towns in Ohio this weekend and -- and he's dropping $838,000 on ads as part of his biggest ad buy of the campaign and it takes place in Ohio.
So the first question, are voters already fatigued in Ohio -- John.
AVLON: If they're tired, they're going to get a lot more tired because there's a lot more of this coming down the pike. You know, Carol, there's an old rule of Republican politics no Republican candidate wins the White House unless they win Ohio.
So the focus there is going to be laser-like. Both campaigns think they've got a good chance of winning it. It's high stakes and folks like your family and mine from Ohio they are going to be getting a lot of ads, while those of us in New York and California are going to be getting none.
COSTELLO: My Aunt Nancy says she's already getting phone calls. Pete?
DOMINICK: Yes I just wonder what it's like to be courted. I mean, living in New York, I mean no one ever begs me for my vote. You know I think at the end of this campaign President Obama and Mitt Romney are going to know almost every quote, "Undecided voter's first and last names".
Maybe Mitt Romney knows somebody that owns a college football team in Ohio to help him out, because that's a -- that really means a lot to Ohioans and especially in Columbus, right, the Buckeyes.
I can't imagine what it's like to be there, but like John said, they're going to be very tired by the end of this. They're going to want to move to Idaho to get away from it.
COSTELLO: All right. On to the second question.
Mitt Romney's campaign is getting a big financial boost from a man who wanted to destroy him in the Republican primary. Remember this guy? Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. And he kept Newt Gingrich's White House dream alive, but now he's kicking in $10 million to a Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney.
It's reviving concerns among some about the role of big money in politics. "Washington Post" columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in part, quote, "Here's a modest proposal -- a small group of billionaires aided perhaps by a few super millionaires should form an alliance to offset the spending of other billionaires and super millionaires. They might call themselves "Billionaires against Billionaire" politics." And you know President Obama is in New York with that fund-raiser, $40,000 bucks a ticket. Oh ok, I'm finally getting to the question. Politics, we know it's becoming a playground for the wealthy. But is there a way out -- Pete.
DOMINICK: Yes, there's a way out. We have to strike at the root. We have to strike at the system. Americans have to understand that the system is rigged for the wealthiest by the wealthiest. I mean, Sheldon Adelson is a really interesting story. The guy literally bankrolled Newt Gingrich by himself and what's more interesting to me all this money, Carol, in casinos.
DOMINICK: Owning casinos here, in China and everywhere. And what's ironic is no religion it's my understanding sees -- likes you know gambling. And it's certainly against the Mormon religion.
So Mitt Romney is going to take $10 million from a guy who made all his money on casinos and gambling. It's a little hypocritical. So Mitt Romney must really care a lot about Israel, because that's Sheldon Adelson's top priority.
COSTELLO: Oh John.
AVLON: Well, you know what blew my mind is once Newt Gingrich kicked the sugar daddy habit, and Sheldon Adelson went elsewhere. Newt took to the airwaves to say the system is frankly rigged on behalf of the rich. No kidding. And he should know better than anybody else.
We do have a problem with too much money in politics. Politicians spend a disordinate (ph) amount of time trying to get money from big donors. And you have dinners where people are giving them all almost what the average family of four makes in America.
This undercuts the idea of one man, one vote, it disgraces the idea of the widows' might, where what really matters is how much a person can give and it distracts from the real point, which is appealing with a sense of reason and creating a level of playing field where all citizens are treated the same by their elected leaders.
COSTELLO: On to the third question. Your "Buzzer-Beater", 20 seconds each. "Game of Thrones," the hit show that's no stranger to being in the headlines but today for a very different reason. Here's why. Take a look.
COSTELLO: Not at her. It's coming up. There it is. Did you miss it? Take a closer look at that head on a stick. Some people say this is the severed head of former President George W. Bush. The show's creators are defending its use saying it was not a political statement, that the head they had to use was whatever head was lying around at the time.
HBO just released a statement about this saying "We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful, and in very bad taste. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production."
So with the TV show featuring the severed head of a former president and death threat issues for the current president, here's the question? And I know what the answer is going to be. Have we crossed the line of decency in politics? Pete?
DOMINICK: Yes absolutely. I mean, I think President Bush was the worst President perhaps in the history of this country, but, you know, this is -- this is too far. What makes me mad as a comedian is they missed an amazing opportunity to put the head on the stick of someone that everybody hates. They could have put, listen, they could have put Charlie Sheen or Donald Trump on that stick. It would have been way funnier. This is just divisive for people I think.
AVLON: I think Pete's offering a suggestion that we'll soon take on. I love the problem of just having whatever head is lying around. But look, I mean, in all seriousness, somebody obviously thought this was funny on set.
Here is the problem -- folks who think this is just a joke, imagine if someone did that to an effigy of President Obama. They'd be singing a different tune. So what's right is right, what's wrong is wrong, and of course this is ugly. It shouldn't have been done in the first place.
Have we hit a new low in politics? We crossed that river kind of a long time ago.
COSTELLO: Yes I know sadly that is true. John Avlon, Pete Dominick, thanks for playing today.
DOMINICK: Thank you, Carol.
AVLON: Thanks, Carol.
COSTELLO: Get out your makeup.
Kiss, going back on the road; we're talking to lead singer and guitarist Paul Stanley about the tour, the band and the fans. That's next.
COSTELLO: Kiss, the legendary band, is about to hit the road again. If you just can't get enough, this is video from the group last time on the road in 2010. Their new tour is called "The Tour". Along for the ride, Motley Crue.
But let's talk Kiss. This is a band that's been around since the early '70s and it's still so very popular. Paul Stanley is part of Kiss' secret sauce. He's the chief songwriter for Kiss, the guitarist, the singer, and so much more. Welcome, Paul.
PAUL STANLEY, MEMBER, KISS: Carol, it's great to be speaking with you. I love the glasses. I'd love to see you take them off and shake the hair and, you know -- very feisty.
COSTELLO: Oh, that made me laugh. Ok, so I'll give you my first question. What is the secret sauce? How is it that after so many years in the band, the band is still popular?
STANLEY: I think we sing about universal truths. I think we sing about things that are timeless. We sing about celebrating life. We sing about freedom. And most importantly, probably, especially in these times of economic turmoil and tension, we give bang for the buck.
When you come to see us, you know you're going to see something spectacular. And this show will be no exception. It will be the biggest thing we've done.
COSTELLO: What do you mean the biggest thing you've done? How big will it be? And what makes it so big?
STANLEY: Well, we're not known for subtlety, and this time we're pulling out all stops. So I'd have to say it will probably be a no- fly zone above the amphitheaters we're playing. We'll have incredible pyro, incredible lights.
You know, when you come to see us, you leave pummeled, and that's the way it should be. You want bad news, you can listen to CNN or any other news outlet or, you know, or read the newspaper. But everybody needs a break. So we're giving a one-night vacation in the town of your choice.
COSTELLO: Ok. So in a typical concert, I'm curious about this, as you look out into the audience, how many fans are long timers, say ten years or greater, versus relative newbies, let's say, become fans within the last ten years?
STANLEY: Well, at this point it's so multigenerational that we find that we have parents or grandparents bringing kids along to the show to kind of go through a rite of passage to experience what they did. It's really something much more of a tribal event than a rock 'n' roll concert.
In concerts, you always have this very demographic specific situation where if you're there you don't want your little brother there, your neighbor there, but with kids, it's almost a big cult. You look across, if you see your father, if you see your neighbor, it's thumbs up because you're all part of this very special group.
And I might want to add that on this tour, like on the last one, we give a dollar from every ticket to the Wounded Warrior Care Project, which is an amazing organization that rehabilitates and helps veterans get back into society after serving overseas.
COSTELLO: Yes. That's terrific.
I also wondered about this. You've clearly accomplished extraordinary things, not just with Kiss but with your artwork. It seems when most people think of Kiss, they think of Gene Simmons with his tongue out and his persistent presence in the media. Are you comfortable with that given the centrality and your contributions to the band?
STANLEY: Well, you know, it's an interesting question. We are partners, and part of the dynamics of a special partnership is knowing its limitations. Look, Gene enjoyed being out there, saying me, me, my, I, I, I, when most of time it was actually we, we, we. And I don't mean French. It's actually -- it's a partnership for better or worse. We split things 50/50.
COSTELLO: Is it a friendship, though? You guys best buds?
STANLEY: I'd say we're family, which is more important, because friends come and go. As I've very often said before, Gene lives about five minutes from me. He lives right down the road, and I can see his ego from my house.
COSTELLO: I have to ask you about politics because Gene certainly is not shy when it comes to expressing his political opinions. Are you?
STANLEY: I think there's nothing more embarrassing than seeing people who have become famous in one field such as film or music suddenly feeling that they're in a position to have qualified opinions about anything other than music. And I'm stunned when people will actually take them seriously. And that's not a slight to anybody who's close to me.
That's really my astonishment at what I see on television, people being interviewed or asked who they're going to endorse. Does it really matter what somebody who has a hit record thinks of the political scene? It's absurd to me. So I --
COSTELLO: You won't be campaigning for either candidate and you'll -- are you going to keep it to yourself?
STANLEY: Absolutely. You know, I'm very good at what I do, and I certainly have my own opinions. But to stand up and think that I have some sort of transfusion of knowledge about subjects that I'm really not that -- really not that familiar with, it's embarrassing. And it's astonishing to see people given media coverage who don't deserve it.
COSTELLO: Paul Stanley, it's been great talking with you. And I can't wait till the tour starts.
STANLEY: Come on. Take the glasses off and shake the hair.
COSTELLO: I'll just take the glasses off. That's it. That's all I can muster.
Paul Stanley, thank you so much for being with us.
STANLEY: My pleasure.
COSTELLO: I'm blushing.
Let's talk baseball now. San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain isn't the only one going into the record books after last night's perfect game. Umpire Ted Barrett gets a page all by himself. We'll explain.
COSTELLO: 49 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories.
Egypt state TV reporting a stunning bit of news. The country's interim military leaders say they have full legislative control after the nation's highest court declares the parliament unconstitutional. The court says parliament should be dissolved. Egypt has struggled since the Mubarak regime was overthrown in the Arab uprising.
A retired Texas firefighter who used the "stand your ground" defense in a deadly shooting has been found guilty of murder. Raul Rodriguez claimed he called police about a loud party and then he grabbed his gun to confront his neighbor. Rodriguez says he was defending himself when he shot his neighbor and two other people. The prosecutors argue he was trigger happy. He faces life in prison.
He's a Ponzi schemer like Bernie Madoff but Allen Stanford may actually surpass Madoff when it comes to jail time. Stanford is scheduled to be sentenced today in a Texas court for his role in his own multi-billion-dollar fraud. He faces up to 230 years in prison, about 80 more years than Madoff.
A moving truck did not stop a group of thieves in Romania from trying to rob it. As you can see, two guys pulled up behind that truck, then they jumped out, they jumped out of their sunroof and pried open the truck's back door. But apparently the would-be thieves did not like what was inside because after opening that door they closed it and they got back into their vehicle. And drove away.
COSTELLO: It was an electrifying night in San Francisco.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect game. Perfect game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS DIAZ, HLN SPORTS: You can fit anything to that chant by the way, you know.
COSTELLO: I know. But that was the truly electrifying part. The San Francisco Giants' pitcher Matt Cain threw a perfect game, first time in the team's history. Carlos Diaz is here to share the magic.
DIAZ: Carol, I'm going to put you on the spot.
COSTELLO: Ok. I'm ready.
DIAZ: Tell ne the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game.
COSTELLO: No-hitter and a perfect. There's no walks in one of them? DIAZ: Very good. A perfect game is literally perfect. There are no runs, no hits, no walks, no errors. It's just 27 up and 27 down. That's exactly what happened last night with Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants. They used to be the New York Giants back in the day.
But basically, in the 128-year history of this franchise, they have never had a perfect game until last night's gem of a performance. And it was saved in the seventh inning as we showed you before when Jordan Schafer went deep into the right center field gap, which you can see right here, and Gregor Blanco went back and made an amazing catch.
I mean, that's the kind of stuff that movies are made of right there. Likely call it one of the best catches of his career. It saved the perfect game. And then from there it was all Matt Cain, and he retired 27 batters in a row.
In the amazing history of baseball, only 22 pitchers have ever thrown perfect games. So it's a great night and a great time for San Francisco because you've got this great crowd from all over the world in town to see the U.S. Open so there are almost 43,000 people there at the ballpark last night to see this game. They got a treat.
COSTELLO: The umpire made history, too, right?
DIAZ: Even the umpire. I love it. Ted Barrett is the only umpire now in the history of Major League Baseball to call two perfect games. He called David Cohen's perfect game back in 1999. He said at that time David Cohen had a great breaking ball. He said the difference was last night, Matt Cain could basically put the pitch wherever he wanted it. So you've got -- even the umpire is part of history.
COSTELLO: So if I'm a pitcher in the big-league game, I want him by the plate.
DIAZ: I'm just impressed that you know sports.
COSTELLO: I love baseball, baby.
DIAZ: And you know rock 'n' roll, apparently, as well. Take the glasses off again.
COSTELLO: It's so embarrassing. We'll go to break.
COSTELLO: In today's "Daily Dose", one thing you can do to stay younger is learn a new language. A survey by scientists at the University of California in San Diego say by doing it will increase your brain's daily activity. You will also help your brain fight off conditions like Alzheimer's.
That does it for me. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us.
"CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Don Lemon.