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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Roger Clemens Found Not Guilty of Perjury; Countries Meet to End Violence in Syria; Clemens Hall Of Fame Bound?; Caught In The Act; Gastric Bypass Linked To Alcohol Abuse; Study: People More Stressed Than Ever; Europe Threatens U.S. Recovery; Asian Americans Fastest Growing Race; "Share My Lesson"

Aired June 19, 2012 - 07:00   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, the government swings and misses on Roger Clemens. The rocket is found not guilty on all counts. We're going to talk this morning to ESPN's to Mike and Mike and Clemens famed Texas attorney, Rusty Hardin, about the day in court.

New this morning, calls for Iran to join the conversation on Syria that as a Russian ship loaded with munitions heads towards Syria, and President Obama presses Vladimit Putin to get on board for regime change.

The tablet war is on. Microsoft is trying to take a bite out of Apple with a new surface tablet that might have everything that iPad doesn't.

And a big "Get Real" to Louis Vuitton over the movie, "Hangover 2." We'll tell you why one sue (ph) the others.

It's Tuesday, June 19th, and "Starting Point" begins right now.

Our "Starting Point" this morning, baseball great, Roger Clemens, celebrating his freedom but preparing for another jury, the hall of fame voters. Yesterday, the pitching legend was found not guilty of all charges in a perjury and obstruction case resulting from his testimony in front of Congress. Outside court, a normally tough Clemens got choked up. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER CLEMENS, FORMER MLB PLAYER: And really, all of you media guys that know me and followed my career --

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: The trial dragged on for 10 weeks but the case actually dates back to 2008, which is when Congress claimed Clemens lied under only about using steroids. Clemens was never charged with taking performance enhancing drugs. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, hosts of the most popular morning show around, ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," thanks for being with me. MIKE GREENBERG, ESPN'S "MIKE AND MIKE IN THE MORNING": Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Why do you think the jury did not convict him? Why not?

GREENBERG: Ultimately I think the only real witness that mattered in all of this was Brian McNamee, and in the annals of unimpressive witnesses he may go right to the very top. This is something Mike Golic, who is one of the least intelligent men you will ever come across could have torn apart on the witness stand.

MIKE GOLIC, ESPN'S "MIKE AND MIKE IN THE MORNING": It worked out well for Roger Clemens that way.

O'BRIEN: He's not guilty, but his reputation is permanently damaged, don't you think?

GREENBERG: There's no doubt about it. It is the court of public opinion, I don't think is going to change much on him as far as their thoughts of him using performance enhancing drugs, and the ultimate test will be the hall of fame. These writers have kind of made the decision if you're touched with PEDs, even if you haven't been proved to use them, you're not getting into the hall of fame.

I completely disagree with that train of thought. If you have numbers to be in the hall of fame, you should be in the hall of fame. If you want another way to talk about that that's fine, but the writers have seemed to make their decision about that.

O'BRIEN: He's one of baseball's greats as you know. You do you think he don't gets in this January, or forever?

GOLIC: I don't think he ever gets in. Mark Maguire and Rafael Palmeiro clearly have numbers could get in on the hall of fame. They are not on Clemens level. He and Barry Bonds are at the top of that level, but neither has gotten even close. I don't think Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds will ever get into the hall of fame and zero chance they'll get in on first try.

GREENBERG: I think in time they may. Some of the greatest of the greats will in time get in but in the near future, I don't think there's any shot at all and I think that's wrong. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic host of the most popular show on TV in the morning next to mine.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENBERG: Thanks, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Coming up, we'll speak to famed Texas attorney, Rusty Hardin, Roger Clemens' lawyer. But first Zoraida Sambolin has a look at today's top stories. Hey, Z.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Soledad. President Obama will go face to face today with China's president Hu Jintao. Yesterday the president met with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Syria. The G-20 meeting wraps up today. And here's a meeting not to miss, Attorney General Eric Holder talking late this morning with California Congressman Darrell Issa who is threatening to hold him in contempt of congress. From the botched anti-gun running operation and in exchange he wants Issa to postpone the contempt vote.

Jailhouse recordings prove that George Zimmerman and his wife knew they weren't broke. In the six calls they say he and his wife Shelley spoke in code. He gave her instructions on how to change pass words and security questions and move money around. Prosecutors say he talked about peter pan, which they say was code for PayPal. Prosecutors also say the Zimmermans refer to 10 and 20, instead of saying 10,000 or $20,000.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take $10 out today, another $10 and less than $10 and put it in her box there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: All 151 jailhouse recordings were going to be released but that was cut down to six after Zimmerman's defense complained. In the recordings, there was no direct mention of Trayvon Martin or Zimmerman's charges.

More homes reduced to ash because of that stubborn high park fire. The fire has been burning west of Fort Collins, Colorado for ten days now. Fire officials confirming eight more homes were lost, bringing the total to 190 homes destroyed. Crews had to fight the fire in record heat yesterday though a calmer wind gave them a reprieve there. The fire is only 50 percent contained.

Wildfires are burning throughout the western United States. California, Nevada, and Utah have all reported wild fires. Fires are also burning in Wyoming and in Nebraska.

Tonight in South Beach LeBron James can take a giant step towards his first NBA championship. LeBron's Miami heat take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the pivotal fourth game of the NBA finals. The Heat lead two games to one, hoping to gain a commanding lead.

Miss Soledad, back to you.

O'BRIEN: Come on, Miami Heat. Appreciate it, Z.

Turning to our top story, Roger Clemens now acquitted of perjury charges but not completely in the clear. Next week a civil suit will begin in a Brooklyn courtroom, McNamee is suing the rocket for defamation, in 2008 Clemens sued McNamee and that suit was tossed out. Rusty Hardin is Roger Clemens' attorney. It was an emotional day to watch roger Clemens come out with his family and sons around him. Obviously something going on for many years now. How is he feeling today?

RUSTY HARDIN, ROGER CLEMENS' ATTORNEY: He's feeling great today. He went home last night with his family. We had a celebratory dinner and gathered up his wife and four children and three sisters and friends and headed home. He's back in Houston now.

O'BRIEN: How damaged do you think his career and his life has been?

HARDIN: Well, his life has been tremendously damaged but probably the most upbeat person. He an amazing ability to keep moving forward, four and a half years heard nothing but bad things about him. I heard Mike and Mike's comments a few moments ago and I hope they are wrong. I understand why they are saying what they are, they may be right. People don't seem to want to consider the fact when you're found not guilty, it doesn't always mean it was just a technical thing. Here this jury, we've talked to several of them, not all of them yet, are firmly convinced he didn't do. They didn't find him not guilty because of some technicality or lawyers. They are convinced he did not use performance enhancing drugs at any time in his career. I hope people look to that ultimately when they assess them.

This guy had 13 years of hall of fame career before anybody ever suggested anything. So you look at a 24-year career, there's a three- year period where a guy claimed he did stuff that a jury totally rejected, didn't believe anything of the allegations against him.

O'BRIEN: He has a new civil trial. Are you going to be representing him in this trial?

HARDIN: We will. Keep in mind, this is a silly thing. This guy is suing roger claiming his reputation was harmed by Roger denying the guy gave him dope. He's complaining -- wants to say he was a dope dealer and roger said he wasn't. I don't think it has much future.

O'BRIEN: He called him a liar, said he had a mental disorder. What do you think the chance is he'll be able to be victorious in this and will that be a step forward in clearing his name and reputation which could have an impact eventually on hall of fame?

HARDIN: You know, the hall of fame thing, that's always been other's people's concern. Roger has made clear that wouldn't have driven him. Roger wanted to be considered the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball. If you look at the evidence in this case, it was unbelievable the people that came forward to talk about what kind of guy and pitcher he was.

If he's judged in history by people in baseball to have been a great pitcher, that's good enough for him. If the writers decide to put him in the hall of fame, that's fine. If they don't, that's their call. This guy is one of the best people who happen to be also a great pitcher that I've ever known.

O'BRIEN: Rusty Hardin is Roger Clemens' attorney. Thanks for talking to me.

HARDIN: Take care.

O'BRIEN: Ahead on STARTING POINT, Iran has been repeatedly sanctioned by the United Nations. So why would the U.N. secretary general want Iran included in talks to try to end the conflict in Syria? We're going to talk to the former director of national intelligence John Negroponte straight ahead.

And Microsoft has a new product that they say has absolutely everything your iPad doesn't. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Felicia Taylor, in minding your business, the war between Microsoft and mac is on again. Microsoft has launched a direct challenge to the iPad with its Surface, but keeping a tight lid on the tablet, giving us just a peek. It has many key features of the iPad but it's thinner, weighs a tiny bit more, and has a larger screen and a kick stand, and a very key distinction in my opinion, a keyboard. No word on price points, yet it will be competitive. Can it stand up or even outdo the success of the iPad? The co-founder of Reddit.com has a review at 8:00 on starting point.

Here's a quick check of the markets. U.S. stock futures are trading high this morning. All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve as it kicks off its big meeting today. Investors are hoping the Fed will announce another round of economic stimulus, and that's already giving markets a slight boost today.

And JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is back on Capitol Hill facing a second round of questioning about his bank's multibillion dollar trading loss. The House committee will also hear from the regulators about what he may have done in terms of risk trading before billions were lost. Soledad, back to you.

O'BRIEN: Thank you very much, appreciate that.

The United Nations is pressing the U.S. to accept Iran into the talks about the violence in Syria. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon believes Iran should be part of the broad discussion about the country and fate of the President Bashar al Assad. Iran is a country that has been sanctioned by the United Nations. His comments came after president Obama and Russian president Putin came down in tense fashion talking about the Syrian conflict. Russia has blocked the U.N. Security Council resolutions against Assad's regime. Two leaders insist progress was made during the talk and they agreed to work with all quote, "interested parties."

All that brings us right to John Negroponte, the former ambassador to Iraq and former director of national intelligence. Thanks for being with us. Do you think in fact it's a good idea this pressing by the U.N. to accept Iran as sort of a critical partner in the conversations about Syria?

JOHN NEGROPONTE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: I would wonder about that. I'm not sure what they could bring to a -- I would have to ask the secretary general what he thinks Iran could really do to bring about a solution. They are Syria's closest ally, clearly supportive of Bashar al Assad. Unless they had a great change of heart, I'm not sure I know what benefit their participation would bring.

O'BRIEN: We know there was a cargo ship that was trying to get into Syria, Russian cargo ship. It had choppers and munitions on it and stopped off the coast of Scotland and the insurance had been canceled, the insurance was carried by a British company. Do you think this is at this point the best strategy or maybe the only strategy in trying to thwart that weaponry getting into Syria?

NEGROPONTE: I think there's a whole number of different ways, but it isn't easy. If a friend of Syria, like Russia, wants to get weapons into that country, I think they are likely to be able to find a way to do it. So we have to keep working on their cooperation. But meanwhile, that's just another reason why the opposition will continue its resistance. And it seems to be growing stronger every day. I think they are going to continue to do that.

O'BRIEN: The opposition seems to be growing stronger at the same time the government doesn't seem to be backing down with more and more I guess and stronger support from Russia. You look at the president having this meeting with the Russian president and the -- after their long statement, the final line in the statement is "We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future." It doesn't say a whole heck of a lot, does it?

NEGROPONTE: The difficulty with that statement and with Mr. Annan's plan as good as they might be, they don't go far enough in terms of laying out a roadmap for political change in Syria. What that country needs is political change. And no one yet has laid out a path towards achieving that change. Where do you start and where do you end up?

O'BRIEN: Why not? Is it just too complicated? Is it that Russia is thwarting everybody at every turn, including China? What is it?

NEGROPONTE: There's a couple of things. First of all, the positions have to be sharpened up so they are more precise and lead towards a more definitive outcome. And secondly, there has to be greater collaboration at the highest international level between ourselves and Russians and Chinese, at least the Russians shouldn't stand in the way of political change in Syria. At the moment what they are doing is buying time for the Assad regime. And I think that's the real problem. They are sorting flying cover for Assad. And this is what's causing -- what's so problematic for us and what is so -- is so harmful to finding an ultimate solution to the problem there.

O'BRIEN: Because Syria buys Russian weapons because Syria is an ally in the Middle East. If they lose that ally, they lose support in the Middle East. Here is what John McCain was saying yesterday. He was talking at the American enterprise institute. Let me play that for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: When it comes to the administration's policy towards Syria, to say they are leading from behind is too generous. That suggests they are leading. They are just behind. (END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Do you think that's true, that some of the blame for failing to lead here is squarely goes to the administration?

NEGROPONTE: Well, I think we're certainly not out in front. I wouldn't suggest that we have to be in the forefront of providing lethal assistance to the opposition, but I do think we have to be more proactive in trying to shape a longer term solution. If we're frustrated at the United Nations we need to work with a group of interested countries, some of the neighbors of Syria, Turkey, the Arab group of countries, to try to shape some better political outcome for Syria. But I do think it's time for more proactive diplomacy not only with Russia but with friends and allies in the Middle East region itself.

O'BRIEN: John Negroponte, thanks for joining us.

NEGROPONTE: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT, Michael Jackson's former doctor, Conrad Murray, is now complaining about the conditions in his jail cell. He says what's happening there is literally killing him. We'll tell you what's going on.

Plus normally big brands love the exposure in a movie. But this scene in the "Hangover 2" led to a lawsuit. It's our "Get Real" and that means we have to bring in our STARTING POINT team. We have Margaret Hoover and Mark Lamont Hill. This is Margaret's playlist, "Ring Ring," to start your morning. We're back after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin with some of today's other top stories.

Southern Baptists kicking off their annual convention today with a groundbreaking change to the leadership. The group is expected to elect its first black president in its entire 167-year history. Tough for me to say that, right, New Orleans pastor Fred Luter Jr. is running unopposed. Leaders hope he will attract more members of color and help distance the church from what they call its racist past.

A six-year-old girl is being held by immigration officials this morning. She was found inside a van with 15 other people. Group taken into custody by Joe Arpaio's office after a vehicle was stopped last Friday. Arpaio, known for his tough stance on illegal immigration, says she appears to be from El Salvador and no one in the group knows her.

The doctor convicted of Michael Jackson's death is having a rough go of it behind bars. Conrad Murray feels like a prisoner of war. He insists his moldy, fly infested, five-by-seven cell is making him sick and fears he may not make it out alive. He still has 16 months left on his sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Soledad, back to you. O'BRIEN: Zoraida, thank you very much. Our team this morning, Margaret Hoover, author of "American Individualism, Mark Lamont Hill is professor at Columbia University and the host of "Our World with Black Enterprise," and Will Cain is a columnist for TheBlaze.com. good morning.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Our get real this morning involves the luxury label Louis Vuitton. There might be feeling a legal hangover "the hangover part 2", fine film, a knockoff bag made by a company was used in a 25- second scene, the real Louis Vuitton was not having it. Take a look at the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Careful that's a Louis Vuitton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: The fashion house was claiming that the scene harmed the brand's identity and that customers would be confused. So they sued warner brothers last year for unspecified damages, although apparently it was millions of dollars. They also wanted an injunction to stop distribution of the movie and edit the scene out.

The judge though, dismissed the case and said the suit doesn't hold up against First Amendment rights and also defended the use of the bag as funny. I should mention Warner Brothers is a corporate cousin because we're all owned by Time Warner.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This isn't the only accusation of knockoff originality regarding "Hangover 2." Do you remember Ed Helms character got a Mike Tyson tattoo and was sued by the tattoo artist. The case was settled quietly.

They also altered the DVD release so you didn't see it in the same way which makes you think --

CAIN: "Hangover 2" ought to be sued by "Hangover 1" for knocking it off completely.

O'BRIEN: That's what I thought you were going actually.

CAIN: The fake Louis Vuitton also in hangover 1?

O'BRIEN: No.

MARGARET HOOVER, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN INDIVIDUALISM": I think you can't continue to propagate make images and you have respect property rights. They have designed this bag and don't want it to be knocked off.

O'BRIEN: They are making a joke about a fake bag.

CAIN: They should be used because the movie was terrible. Honestly, the movie sucked.

O'BRIEN: There are places you can walk into back rooms and find knockoff bags.

CAIN: The one brand they don't have, Louis Vuitton, because they will come after you.

O'BRIEN: I have a little story about that in the commercial break that I'll share. Still ahead on "starting point", the result is drastic weight loss but a new study says it could have more drastic side effects.

And a vandal spray painting a priceless art of work. Why?

And President Obama sits down with China's leader today talking about the economy. We're talking to one of the president's former economic advisers about that. We've got to take a break. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everybody, lots going on this morning, including the last day of the G-20 Summit.

In just a few minutes, I'm going to be talking to Matthew Goodman. He is President Obama's former economic adviser on summits about today's talks with China.

First though, let's get right to Zoraida. She's got a look at the day's headlines. Hi, Z. Good morning.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Soledad. The government spending millions and still weeping against Roger Clemens. The jury finding him not guilty in all charges in his perjury trial related to alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.

The Rocket's first year of eligibility for the baseball hall of fame is next year. His lawyer, famous Texas attorney Rusty Hardin told us he should be a lock.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSTY HARDIN, ROGER CLEMENS ATTORNEY: This guy had 13 years of a hall of fame career before anything even suggested anything. So if you look at the 24-year career, there's a three-year period where a guy claimed he did stuff that a jury totally rejected, told us they didn't believe anything of the allegations against him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: This is the second time Clemens faced trial. The first one ended in a mistrial.

A Picasso vandal caught in the act. This cell phone video taken at the Houston Art Museum is making rounds on the web. You see a man walk up to a 1929 Picasso called "Conquer the Beast" and spray paint the word "conquista," which is Spanish for conquer.

The man who shot the video said, he confronted the vandal afterwards. The vandal reportedly told him, he's an up and coming artist who did it to honor Picasso's work.

In this morning's "House Call," a can be a life saving procedures, but gastric bypass surgery can also have an unintended side effect, alcoholism.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say patients faced a higher risk of alcohol dependency in the second year after the operation. For some, the increased risk is as high as 50 percent. The reason, with the stomach size reduced, the body absorbs alcohol more rapidly and as a result can be become more addictive.

A new study appears to confirm what many of us already know that we are more stressed out than ever. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon found a 10 to 30 percent jump in self-reported stress levels.

That was between 1983 and 2009. So who's the most stressed, young women, people with lower incomes and less education. Men are more susceptible to financial stress. There may be a silver lining though. The study says as you age, your stress levels go down -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Well, that's some good news. The good news is your stress level is going down. The bad news is you're closer to death because you're getting old. All right, Z, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: You're welcome.

O'BRIEN: The G-20 Summit this afternoon. President Obama is going to meet with China's President Hu Jintao. They are expected to talk about Iran's nuclear program and of course, the most pressing issue, the economic crisis.

The president has been pressing European leaders to take action and create more stability. But so far, the 17 eurozone nations seem unwilling or unable to do enough to stop the crisis from spreading.

Let's get right to Matthew Goodman. He is a former Obama White House adviser on economic summits. He is also a political economist for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

It's nice to see you. Thanks for being with us. Tell me how tough this conversation is going to be when you think about how much debt that China holds for the U.S.

The market slowdown that's happening in China and obviously is going to affect the United States and is affecting the United States, how ugly potentially could this conversation be?

MATTHEW GOODMAN, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR ON ECONOMIC SUMMITS: Well, I think both President Obama and President Hu share a concern about global growth in each of our countries there are challenges in that regard. But the biggest risk at the global growth is right now the eurozone crisis and I think that is going to be the overwhelming topic of conversation between them.

O'BRIEN: Crisis averted for the moment, but when we talked to Ken Rogoff yesterday, here's a little bit of what he said sort of for the long haul. Let's play that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN ROGOFF, PROFESSOR, ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC POLICY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: They haven't really figured out how to solve the deeper problems in the euro where me share a checking account, but they are not married. And they just haven't figured out how to allocate the losses from the problems they have across the banking sector in Europe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: He describes it in a very calm way, right? But they're not figuring it out is sort of the $64,000 problem. If they cannot figure it out, that could send everything off a cliff.

GOODMAN: I think that's right. I think that the long term challenges remain and it is not clear yet whether the Europeans have the political desire to really move forward towards greater union, which seems to be the inevitable path that they are going to have to take.

The alternative is to try to break up these unions and the short term consequences of that could be disastrous. So it seems as though they have to make a commitment to greater union, but that's a very difficult political choice because each member country is going to have to give up sovereignty.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Matthew, Margaret Hoover here. Question, you know, sure the Greek crisis is impending and the euro is in question.

But to what extent at the G-20 meetings is there a reflection on the United States, it's been 300 days almost since we've lost our AAA rating.

What about our own impending fiscal cliff and are the Europeans looking at the United States saying you have your own problems just around the corner?

GOODMAN: Well, I'm sure that the U.S. situation will be a topic of conversation as well. We are still the world's largest economy and what happens here really does affect everyone else as well.

I think that everyone acknowledges though that in the short term, the real risks are in Europe and I think there's going to be a shared desire to talk about what the Europeans are doing to fix that problem.

But no doubt President Obama will be asked to explain how we're going to get through what you as you say, is called the fiscal cliff later this year. And so I think it will be a conversation about all of that, but with a particular focus on the euro issues.

MARC LAMONT HILL, HOST, "OUR WORLD WITH BLACK ENTERPRISE": Could you give us a little insight though on what that may look like? We've been hearing a lot of talk about not just cutting, but also creating spending and increasing consumer confidence. How do you do that in the current market condition?

GOODMAN: You mean, here in the United States?

HILL: Here in the United States, yes.

GOODMAN: Well, I mean, I think that's the challenge. I think that there clearly is a need for greater growth. The Obama administration has been arguing that we need to ensure that growth is sustained through possibly a new stimulus, but through actions by the Federal Reserve.

But at the same time, in the medium term, we clearly have to deal with our fiscal problems and get our budget deficits and debt down. And getting that balance right is very challenging.

O'BRIEN: Matthew Goodman is a former Obama White House adviser on those economic summits. It's nice to see you, sir. Thanks for your insight this morning. We appreciate it.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I want to turn something Matthew said and I want to try to see if we can frame this. He talked about what Ken Rogoff said that we can't have a monetary union without a political union.

We can't have a joint bank account without being married talking about Germany and Greece and Spain and Italy and France. I want to offer you this. I'm not sure that's even a solution, short term or long term.

And of course, those are relative terms, long term and short. But that requires us to accept a really idealistic version of the world in which the Germans are really concerned about the Greek's lifestyle and how they work.

And the Greeks in turn expect the Germans to subsidize. That negate thousands of years of different cultures and languages and tradition. And I'm not sure you can just say, let's have a political union and do away with that.

O'BRIEN: I think that marriage metaphor kind of works, right? Because what he said was you have to decide at this juncture, do we commit like really commit because the challenges, if you don't commit to the marriage, which is deciding. I care about the Spanish care about the Greeks. The Greeks care about the Italians. If you don't do that, at the same time, you have political problems at home --

CAIN: To extend that metaphor, I would suggest this is a couple that has shown no desire to get along, why should they get married?

O'BRIEN: But the only option is they have to stay married at this moment.

HOOVER: Were you (inaudible) to the EU in the first place?

CAIN: I was young --

O'BRIEN: Back when he was 7, yes.

CAIN: I think the EU is ill fated and always will be.

O'BRIEN: All right, still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, the fastest growing race in the United States is not Latinos anymore. We'll tell you what group it is and what it could mean demographically.

Plus this morning, from Chastity to Chaz, Chaz Bono is going to talk us about his transition to the person he always felt he was. He's going to join us right here in the studio. You're watching STARTING POINT. Got to take a break, we're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: It's "The Roots," we haven't had "The Roots" on in a little while. "Break You Off" that's off Marc Lamont Hill's playlist.

HILL: They are from Philly. I want to add that.

O'BRIEN: They are from Philly. He just wants to add that. You can see our entire playlist every morning on our web site, cnn.com/starting point. You could follow me on Twitter @soledad_o'brien.

New wave to talk about, Asian-Americans now the fastest growing race in the United States that's according to the Pew Research Center.

Asians overtook Hispanics between 2002 and 2010 when it comes to the percentage of people immigrating to the country. Pew survey also found that Asian-Americans are the highest earners and the best educated citizens this country.

The numbers were 430,000 Asian immigrants came to the United States in 2010, making up 36 percent of all immigrants to this country.

HOOVER: They are also the most satisfied of any Americans. There are 82 percent of satisfied with the American culture, American politics, the country, their economic -- as opposed to any other --

O'BRIEN: I'm sure that's correlated to the make more money --

CAIN: They are not just growing at a faster rate. They are actually growing higher in number. Like in other words, of all immigrants that arrived since 2009, the majority were Asian-American versus Latinos.

I think we assumed the greatest number of immigrants is Latinos. This is, of course, counting legal immigrants. But I think it's interesting so -- where we have high education, high skill jobs that are needed. Asian immigrants are flowing in and we have low skill, depressed economy, the illegal immigrant population has declined.

O'BRIEN: Well, I think, one that many from Mexico are going back over the border, right, that's one thing. But also I believe this study looks at both because they say 13 percent to 15 percent over the past decade were undocumented.

CAIN: Only more fascinating that they are outpacing Latinos.

O'BRIEN: Where undocumented were 45 percent were Hispanic immigrants. So when we have fewer undocumented people coming across the border then those numbers would make some sense.

HILL: This will change the discourse on immigration because right now when we say immigrants people think Latino and they also illegal and they have all of these negative stereo types.

But because Asians are often model the model minority where people see them as positive contributions to the country maybe the immigration conversation changes and maybe the immigration policy changes.

O'BRIEN: It would be nice to have the face of immigration not necessarily be Latino all the time. Every conversation is a Latino talking about immigration. Wouldn't it be nice to have somebody Irish be the face -- my dad is Australian. He immigrated to this country.

CAIN: It's interesting what you're pointing to is essentially a sloppiness in our language. We use the word immigrant as a proxy for another word. I would add to that Asian-American is sloppiness. There are tons of sub-immigrant groups ranging from India to Japan.

O'BRIEN: Let's not name anybody anything.

CAIN: You threw me there.

HILL: Asian is a particularly dangerous one.

CAIN: It's a broad swath.

O'BRIEN: And Latino too, you shouldn't name anybody anything, but we still do.

HOOVER: But the United States is a story that woven out of the fabric of many, many different countries and this continues to be the case, positive infusion I think of immigrants into the U.S. societies.

HILL: I like to hear somebody pro immigration, pro immigrant.

HOOVER: I'm always pro-immigration.

HILL: I know that's why I like you. They are pro-electric fence across the border, come on.

O'BRIEN: Only took 3 minutes to get into politics, 3 minutes.

HILL: Trying to get warm and fuzz in a moment when electronic fences --

O'BRIEN: Ahead on STARTING POINT, caught on tape. A reporter roughed up. Wait until you hear about the story he was covering.

Connecting millions of teachers and their lesson plans online. STARTING POINT first, details of a new social network that could help any child in any school in any neighborhood. You're watching STARTING POINT. We've got to take a short break.

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SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. Some quick headlines. New this morning, the autopsy for Rodney King is now complete, but results won't be released until a toxicology test is done. That is not expected to happen for another six to eight weeks.

Meantime, police say King's next door neighbor told them on Sunday she heard a man sobbing in King's backyard and then she heard a splash. King was found dead in his swimming pool just minutes later.

Chicago is fast becoming one of the deadliest cities in America, even more dangerous than Afghanistan. A 144 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2012.

Compare that to a staggering 228 Chicago residents who have been slain this year. That's a 35 percent increase over last year and quadruple the homicide rate of New York.

A Maine man has been arrested after he choked a reporter and it was all caught on camera. WGME reporter, Steve Roldan, was working on a story about a racially inflammatory sign about President Obama.

But he became the subject of his own story when the owner, David Houston, grabbed him by the neck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of my face!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Houston was later arrested and charged with assault. The sign called the president the "N" word and urged people to join the Ku Klux Klan. It has reportedly been taken down and it has been replaced -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: So many bad things on that sign -- should be down. Thanks, Zoraida. Appreciate it.

In this tight economy, many teachers feel like they have to do more with less. And an effort to help the American Federation of Teachers is teaming with TSL Education to announce a new program, which is called "Share My Lesson."

It's a free online network that lets teachers swap their ideas, their lesson plans and other resources. The web site is going to have its official launch at the AFT Convention, which happens next month.

Once it goes live, it's expected more than 100,000 teachers will register. Randi Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teachers. Louise Rogers is the CEO of TSL Education.

Good morning to both of you. Randi, why don't you start with me and explain why you think this is so critical for teachers and how it came about?

RANDI WEINGARTEN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: So first off, thank you for having us on today, Soledad. So any teacher will tell you that we are constantly waking up in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to freshen up our lesson plans.

What we're going to teach the next day, how we're going to help a struggling student. We're always looking for ideas. And so what we've tried to do here is to have an online resource bank where teachers can share with each other.

They can share lessons with each other and videos with each other, best practices with each other, and we never had the advantage or the opportunity to create this technology and to, you know, you see my friend over here, Louise Rogers, they have. They have done this.

And so we've teamed up to try to make this an American product for American teachers to ensure they can share with each other online resources.

And finally, to make sure that they can actually be prepared for the common cord this new academic standard for the 21st Century, which with all the budget cuts people are not getting the resources they need to prepare for this.

O'BRIEN: So, Louise, let me ask you a question. Why the $10 million price tag? Where does that come into play? Explain that to me.

LOUISE ROGERS, CEO, TSL EDUCATION: Well, what we are launching is a really complicated and complex technology. But it does a really simple job. So essentially, it's a big digital open and free filing cabinet, where all the teachers of the U.S. can share their own resources and have access to everybody else's resources.

And that means it has to work incredibly well. It has to be very easy to navigate and you have to know it's there. And the money that we are putting in is really about driving both the technology and in showing that the content is absolutely what the teachers need every single day to make their lessons the best they possibly can be.

HILL: You know, what -- go ahead. I'm sorry.

WEINGARTEN: So what's happening is that what TSL has figured out is how to make this big digital filing cabinet easy to use, accessible, and ultimately have teachers at the center of this because there will be peer reviewing content.

And they will be hopefully trusting it enough so that they will be sharing with each other. The global site has teachers from 197 countries on it. There are 2 million teachers on the global site.

We want to make sure this is the go-to platform for teachers in America. They deserve much more than this, but we want to make sure they have a place where they can share with each other.

HILL: You know, Randi, every major study in education shows that what affects education is less about curriculum and more about pedagogy, more about actually teaching. Do you worry that a resource like this might overstate the value of curriculum and not focus on what we really need, which is more effective teaching techniques?

WEINGARTEN: Actually, we need both. Because if you are a teacher who wants to as most are who really wants to affect our children, we need to actually perfect our lessons.

We are like musicians, where we need to actually practice, practice, practice, in a way where we get instruction. Over and over, teachers are basically told just to do it. They are thrown lessons or curriculum and they say just do it. So this is both.

ROGERS: I think this is also about teachers teaching each other to be very, very good at what they do, and they only get that by interacting with each other.

On the site, they are placing their lesson plans up there but also saying this is the very best way to use it, this is how you get the best result.

And hundreds of other thousands of teachers have commented and said I have used it this way, it works that way. So teachers are learning from themselves. So it is about teaching.

O'BRIEN: Louise Rogers and Randi Weingarten, thank you for giving us a little walk-through of what it's about. It's called "Share My Lesson." I appreciate it.

WEINGARTEN: Thank you so much.

O'BRIEN: You bet. We have to take a short break. Ditching the dream, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is shelving his plan to introduce an alternative to the Dream Act. We're going to talk to his fellow GOP senator this morning, Wyoming's John Brasso.

And Adidas to have a new sneaker, did you see this, the new shackle sneaker?

Come on, it's our new tough call segment this morning and it's starring in that segment. Here is Will's play list. John Anderson, "Straight Tequila Nights." You're watching STARTING POINT.

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