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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Sweating Out the 4th; Interview with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin; Higgs Boson Breakthrough; Going to be a Dogfight; Olympic Forfeit Fallout

Aired July 4, 2012 - 08:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Happy Fourth of July to you. I'm Brooke Baldwin, sitting in for Soledad here.

And our STARTING POINT: sweating it out on this holiday. More than 1 million people are waking up again without air conditioning here, just when they really need it the most. And now, dangers of neighborhoods running out of food.

These are pictures, live pictures, from West Virginia governor's mansion where food and supplies as you can see right now are being distributed to people all across that state. People certainly in need here.

We're going to talk to the governor of West Virginia, Earl Ray Tomblin, in just a moment.

Also, as firefighters there are working around the clock to get these Colorado wildfires under control, they are making heartbreaking decisions about what to save and what to let go. Incredible, incredible video here of entire neighborhoods just up in flames. That's ahead.

Plus, students take a challenge from a professor, and hack -- they are actually hijacking this unmanned civilian drone with less than 1,000 bucks of equipment. We're going to ask them how they pulled it off, because they did, and whether we should be worried.

Also, what an interview we have coming up for you. An Olympic hopeful -- you've seen this picture. She gives up her dream of competing in the 100-meter dash after a photo finish. We're going to Jeneba Tarmoh why she said thanks, but no thanks to that runoff race.

It is Wednesday. It is the Fourth of July. And STARTING POINT begins right now.

(MUSIC)

BALDWIN: A little patriotic music here this on this Fourth of July. I thought we'd hear something from the playlist. But we'll save that for later.

Hey. Welcome. Welcome our panelists this morning: Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent at "The New Yorker". Also, Margaret Hoover, author of "American Individualism" and she worked in the Bush White House. And Richard Socarides, former adviser to President Clinton and writer at NewYorker.com.

Guys --

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning.

BALDWIN: Welcome again.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Happy Fourth.

So let's talk about the Fourth of July, because that's our STARTING POINT this morning, but not exactly what you think because typically we would be sitting here talking about fireworks and barbecues. But because of the weather recently, others will not be doing those things today. Very much so less fortunate today, really less about celebration and more about patience for Americans facing another day of no power and intense heat.

At least 20 people have died since Thursday when deadly storms slammed the East and Midwest. And take a look at the map. You have just about 1 million people that are waiting for their electricity to come back on in these different states. Power companies say they are out there, say they are working to repair the damaged transmitters and the lines really as fast as they can.

But I know a lot of you, you're going to have to wait until the weekend, possibly the end of the weekend, to get the power back on, and with little help to beat the heat here.

Fourteen states under heat advisory on this holiday.

Brian Todd is in one of those states. He is in the capital of West Virginia, in Charleston -- where the temperature, Brian Todd, I'm hearing is 95 degrees and more than 300,000 customers without power. Good morning.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brooke. Good morning. Yes, the temperature is heating up. That's one big obstacle.

But here is another big obstacle. You talk about the wait people are enduring before they get their power back, and this is really the reason why. This scene just repeated throughout the state. This tree came down on this road in Charleston.

Again, part of the problem, these roads are closed because these trees are coming down. Here is the double yellow line. So this thing is completely shut off. They've got -- when they come upon a scene like this, these power crews have to clear all these debris, the small stuff, and chop up the big stuff.

And then over here, here is a sense of what they have to go through as far as just the dangers they face. This tree came down, snapped in half, took down this power line. And what we just were told by a power company official was if this line -- they are supposed to automatically trip off and be de-energized. But if it doesn't hit the ground, it may not be. It could be if I touch it now, something bad could happen.

So, if it's not hitting the ground, these crews have to be very, very careful. So, this is what they are up against, and this scene repeated throughout the state.

They are also rebuilding infrastructure, Brooke. We have a picture of a downed transmission tower. At least three of these towers came down in West Virginia in the past few days. These are these kind of big lattice metal towers you see in rural areas carrying power lines a long way.

And three of these came down. They have since replaced them with temporary structures. But also almost 100 lines from these towers were damaged in the storm. So infrastructure rebuilding, a big part of the problem.

This has also triggered a food shortage in West Virginia. They are starting a food drive because some pantries of extra nonperishable food that they distribute to people in need, they have two large pantries in the state. Those were pretty much bare as of yesterday afternoon, so they are starting a food drive in West Virginia today.

Also water pressure is a big problem. People are being advised to boil water because these pumps that pressure your water in your sink and your shower are not working.

So lots of infrastructure problems here, Brooke. Power outages. Heat. It's just a lot of natural cruelty all around.

BALDWIN: I know. Not a lot to celebrate for a lot of people in West Virginia, between the power issues, the food issues, the heat. Brian Todd, stay cool, you and your crew.

Staying in West Virginia. We will talk to the governor, Earl Tomblin, and his wife, Joanne. They are live with us this morning in Charleston, at the governor's mansion where food supplies are being distributed actually while we speak.

So welcome and good morning to both of you. I see the sign thank you for your donation.

Both of you first just talk to me about this food donation drive. I know it was you, Governor, and also the National Guard, correct? So how successful was it?

GOV. EARL RAY TOMBLIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Absolutely. We've had so many people coming out, a great outpouring of support. As you mentioned, the food banks were basically depleted.

We were here until after 7:00 last night. We filled up several trucks and vans with food. This will be -- this food will be going out across the state probably later today. But it's just once again West Virginians helping West Virginians.

BALDWIN: You know, the director of the development of the Huntington area food bank, I was reading that "Charleston Gazette" this morning, said the storm couldn't have hit during a worse time. Summer is the time when food banks don't have a lot of food in stock. People think the only time you should donate is during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

To either of you, just if you can, really hammer home to me how dire the situation is for folks in your state.

GOV. TOMBLIN: Well, what has happened, you know, the first couple of days, people had the food in the freezers, the refrigerators and so forth, without power for more than about 48 hours, and that food starts to go bad. So we've had mass dumpings of food that has spoiled.

And a lot of places, the grocery stores, are still not open because of the lack of electricity. So we are doing is sending in meals, sending in about 40 big truck loads of water around the state each day. Plus what people can buy.

So, you know, the food is at a shortage right now. But we have made a lot of progress since Friday night when the storm hit.

JOANNE TOMBLIN, GOV. TOMBLIN'S WIFE: We want to say a lot about the West Virginia people too. You know, they are so used to having natural disasters and emergencies. And they have come to the table, and there are people lined up here this morning bringing in their donations.

And even people with power are saying, you know, we feel so guilty we have power. We want to do something to help.

BALDWIN: I lived in West Virginia. I remember covering floods in Logan County, and someone lost their home and they offered me their last can of Pepsi, you know? So I know about West Virginia spirit, certainly. I know it. I know it.

I do want to play a little sound. This is from a woman who we talked to in West Virginia. And she said there really doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANNE CAMPBELL, LEWISBURG, WV RESIDENT WITHOUT POWER: We cleaned out the refrigerators and restocked them. And now we may lose the second batch of food. And you just have to live with no water. It's an inconvenience. But we're making it, you know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I just want to bring in some members of our panel who also have questions.

Ryan Lizza, go for it.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Governor, I'm curious about the federal response. You know, in recent years, when we've had natural disasters in various places, there's been a lot of conflict between the states and Washington. How has the Obama administration responded to what's going on in West Virginia?

GOV. TOMBLIN: FEMA has responded fantastically. We about 3:30 on Saturday morning, after the storm had hit, we contacted FEMA, asked for generators for water, for ice. And by 1:00 in the afternoon, they had approved our request. They have feet on the ground here now working with our emergency officials, going door-to-door, making sure people are OK. Explaining what FEMA can offer.

This crisis has been a little bit different than the typical floods or storms we normally have. So, you don't see a lot of property damage in homes or automobile. It's more of the infrastructure type damage.

BALDWIN: Richard, go ahead.

RICHARD SOCARIDES, NEWYORKER.COM: Governor, it's Richard Socarides. I think that's great. And the food drive is great.

But do the power companies say why it's taking so long to restore the power? I mean, it seems like it's really a crisis now.

GOV. TOMBLIN: Well, it is. We started out with nearly 700,000 homes without power. We are down to about 300,000 now. The biggest problem we have is a lot of the transmission lines, those huge lines that you see crossing from mountaintop to mountaintop. A lot of those towers were destroyed.

So, you know, these are on the sides of mountains. They are difficult to get to. Both of the majority electricity suppliers of the state have brought in help.

We usually can bring them in from next door states, but now they are bringing them in from Texas and other far away states because our sister states were hit also. But the biggest problem is getting those transmission lines back up and going again.

We've had other pop-up storms almost every evening. So a lot of people have been knocked out again.

But we are making progress, and we will continue to work around the clock until we get the electricity back on to everyone.

BALDWIN: All right, Governor Tomblin and Joanne -- thank you so much. Enjoy the fireworks over the Kanawha River tonight. We appreciate it.

For information on how you can help, if you're wondering, you certainly can. Just go to CNN.com/impact.

And now to Poppy Harlow for the rest of the day's top stories.

Poppy, good morning.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Brooke. Good morning, everyone.

Well, incredible, new, and pretty heartbreaking video of an entire neighborhood going up in flames in Colorado Springs. You see sparks and flames jumping from one roof to the next. Firefighters forced to make the nearly impossible decision about which homes to save and which will have to burn. High winds keeping those firefighters on their toes. That Waldo Canyon fire is now 70 percent contained, but it has destroyed more than 350 homes, the damage topping $110 million.

A family Fourth of July celebration takes an awful turn in New Hampshire. Seven people were hurt, including several children, when a pile of fireworks exploded on the back porch of a home in Pelham, setting the back of the house on fire. Several of those victims, children, had to be airlifted to the hospital. They are expected to survive. Neighbors say that homeowner was known for his annual fireworks display.

And security will be very tight later today at Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, D.C., and New York. But law enforcement officials say there is no evidence that terrorists are plotting any attacks. However, a primary concern continues to be the ever-present possibility of a lone wolf attack.

And turning to the president now, President Obama returns to the White House from camp David this morning just in time to celebrate America's 236th birthday. He'll join members of the military at a naturalization ceremony before country superstar Brad Paisley performs for about 200 troops tonight.

There will also be a barbecue and fireworks before the president leaves tomorrow morning for the campaign trail. He'll be making stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Just a little respite before campaigning for the election.

BALDWIN: No rest for the weary. I know the president is busy, busy.

HARLOW: Yes.

BALDWIN: As is Mitt Romney, a little vacation today back out in the trail tomorrow.

Poppy, thank you.

HARLOW: Sure.

BALDWIN: Ahead on STARTING POINT: Nerds -- Ryan Lizza, I'm looking at you -- nerds, rejoice. Scientists say they have captured the so-called "God particle".

LIZZA: Margaret is the biggest nerd.

BALDWIN: She is. She's a total closeted nerd. I love it.

We're going to ask one of the lead minds in the project what this actually means. Got a good question, yes, yes, yes.

Students also prove you can hack civilian drones -- drones that may soon be flying over your homes. We're going to ask these student hackers exactly how they did it. By the way, the Department of Homeland security asked them to.

Plus, today's "Tough Call."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOICE: Hey, there, big guy. Having a few drinks? Then listen up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Hey, there, big guy. You're not that drunk. The hockey puck in the urinal is really talking to you. Is the effort to stop drunk driving a little too crude?

You're watching STARTING POINT. Did you guys hear about this?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: This is one of my favorite, favorite all-time albums. Buena Vista Social Club. This is off of my play list this morning. "Candela." Love, love this.

Welcome back to STARTING POINT. It is being called the biggest scientific breakthrough in decades. It could change, really, our entire understanding of the universe. Scientists, this morning, announced they are almost certain they have discovered what's being called The god particle. And scientists have been working at the large Hadron Collider in Switzerland say stunning new evidence shows the subatomic particle. It's the Higgs boson may actually exist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very, very preliminary result, but we think it's very strong. It's very solid. Otherwise, we wouldn't present it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: This particle has seen as the key to how matter formed after the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago. Joining me now from Geneva is Rolf Heuer, general -- director general of CERN, the European organization from nuclear research which built this collider and made the announcement this morning. And he's calling this a milestone in our understanding of nature. Mr. Heuer, can you just explain this to me? What exactly it is you found?

ROLF HEUER, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CERN: Well, we found a new particle. A new particle which is neither a meta particle nor a false particle. So, it's a particle which is completely different to the particles we know up to now. And we have strong indications that it could be really the Higgs boson, the expose of which is long sought for many decades.

And this is fantastic. To see for the first time such a new particle which could explain how elementary particles, fundamental particles, get their mass. It's a breakthrough. It's a fantastic news.

BALDWIN: Let me jump in, because I don't have my Ph.D. in science. I don't know about the rest of the panel here. But explain to me -- when you talk about particles, we really just -- why is this discovery significant? Why should I care?

HEUER: You should care if you want to understand a little bit how nature is built of and how the building blocks of nature are done. And you should care if you want to understand a little bit more about the building of the universe, how the universe started, yes, how all this developed in the first moment of the universe, then you should care.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's incredible, doctor, is that over 10,000 physicists have worked on this project from over 100 countries. It cost upwards of $8 billion to $10 billion. It's a collaborative project that has caused this breakthrough that many say is as important as Copernicus recognizing that the universe didn't rotate around the earth.

Can you tell us how this will impact how we continue to think about the building of the universe? How is this a paradigm shift?

HEUER: Well, it is a paradigm shift that, for the first time, I think we are close of understanding, as I said, how the fundamental particles acquire mass, and we know that all particles have mass, and therefore, we have to understand this. But this has happened in the early universe. And so, we get now a glimpse on what has happened in the early universe in order to give these particles a mass.

And further more, since this particle is a special one, it's one which doesn't know any preferred direction. It has the same behavior in all directions. That means it could also give some glimpse on the fact why the universe is accelerating in its expansion. So, we could learn something about the accelerated expansion of the universe.

BALDWIN: I love hearing the excitement. I love the excitement. Rolf Heuer, thank you so much. Congratulations --

RICHARD SOCARIDES, NEWYORKER.COM: And congratulations.

BALDWIN: Yes. I mean, this is truly, truly --

SOCARIDES: Margaret really knows a lot about this. And I'm very, very impressed.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: I am really impressed.

SOCARIDES: You know a lot about many things. You always impressed me. But, I wonder why do they call it the God particle? Why is it sometimes --

HOOVER: Doctor, can you tell us why we call it the God particle?

HEUER: Why is it called the God particle? I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

HEUER: I mean, I think it's come --

BALDWIN: He doesn't know.

HEUER: I think it comes from Leon Ladderman (ph) who wanted to publish a book, and he needed a striking title. And I think --

BALDWIN: And that was it. And it's gotten everyone around the world asking about it.

SOCARIDES: -- branding.

BALDWIN: Yes. Nice.

HEUER: Exactly.

BALDWIN: There you go --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Thank you so much. We appreciate it. And there you have it. They don't even know. Even the scientists, himself, at CERN doesn't know. But he knows exactly why this is significant. Pretty cool, too.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, on today's "Tough Call," advice from the porcelain gods. Urinal cakes, little deodorizer things in the urinals. They're apparently talking to you, trying to get drunk guys, hey, call a cab.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow with a quick look at the headlines.

Well, anti-abortion activists suffered (ph) setback in Ohio. They failed to get the minimum number of signatures required to get the so-called "personhood initiative" on to save ballots in November. Now, this measure to find a human life beginning at fertilization, which would, in effect, ban abortions in that state.

A warning for the U.S. from the International Monetary Fund. It says boost the economy now and worry about budget deficits later or we're in danger of another recession. The IMF says our government needs to spend more on infrastructure, train workers, extend unemployment benefits, and fix the housing market. Brooke, back to you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

It is time for today's "Tough Call." This is something we've been talking about all through the commercial break waiting (ph) into the segment. A urinal cake, like the little hockey puck thing that apparently is in urinals, talking to potential drunk drivers. And, boy, does it have a potty mouth. Take a listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't drive drunk. If you do and you get arrested, the next urinal you pea in will be in jail with a hairy guy named Bubba standing behind asking you to pick up the soap and to be his (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's outrageous.

BALDWIN: Wow! I wasn't expecting that coming.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: OK. Hang on. Let me give you a little context. This is Michigan's office of Highway Safety Planning. They distributed 400 of these cakes to curb drunk driving for today, for the Fourth of July. They cost 21 bucks. They were paid for with a federal grant, which made the fact that they have a potty mouth pretty surprising. Would you want to be talking --

LIZZA: I'm pretty sure there are other public health campaigns to limit drunk driving without making prison rape jokes.

SOCARIDES: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: It's a little inappropriate.

SOCARIDES: Obviously, drunk driving is a huge and very serious problem in this country. And that -- that thing is not only gross, but it's like sexist and homophobic. And -- and -- and just gross.

BALDWIN: On the sexist note, take a listen to this. This is also what she says to you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, there, big guy. Having a few drinks? But listen up. Make the smart choice tonight. Don't drink and drive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Like, why does it have to be a female voice?

LIZZA: Female voice. And first of all, what do they have in the women's room, right? I mean --

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: Most people who are pulled over in drunk driving crashes maybe are men, but the question too is, this -- I mean, you go -- this was paid for by a federal grant. These cakes are $21. They cost --

SOCARIDES: What state?

HOOVER: Michigan. They're $21.

(CROSSTALK)

SOCARIDES: The governor of Michigan signed on for this?

HOOVER: It's a federal grant, by a federal -- your taxpayer dollars.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: I' mean, I'm going to be in Michigan next weekend, so maybe I'll benefit from this.

(CROSSTALK)

SOCARIDES: but this is -- I mean, seriously, this is bad news.

HOOVER: This is a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars.

LIZZA: I've never seen a state-sanctioned prison rape joke before. I think that's --

BALDWIN: I think we're bearing (ph) the lead that that really is sort of the whole issue of this woman talking to you. I didn't quite catch that, and it's kind of unreal. We'll see if it keeps going. Send John (ph) in the bathroom and let us know if they change it.

HOOVER: Will report back.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT, college students teaching the Department of Homeland Security a thing or two about the dangers of drones, showing that they can be hacked by virtually anyone. Margaret Hoover's playlist. A Little Death Cab, "Marching Bands in Manhattan." How appropriate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We're getting all special on you, special in the nation on this Fourth of July.

Poppy Harlow, happy Fourth to you. Take it away.

HARLOW: Happy Fourth to you as well.

It is going to be an extremely hot Independence Day. You know that already. Patience and food are running out. More than 1 million people waking up again this morning with no air conditioning when they need it most. Temperatures expected to be in the mid- to high 90s with even more stifling humidity from St. Louis to Philadelphia.

At least 20 people have died since Thursday when deadly storms slammed the East and the Midwest.

And turning to France, police in France raiding the home and offices of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It is part of an ongoing investigation to determine whether or not he received illegal campaign contributions.

Sarkozy was vacationing in Canada when the raids took place. The focus of the probe is on L'Oreal cosmetics heiress Liliane Bettencourt and her staff. They are suspected of illegally helping Sarkozy during the 2007 presidential campaign.

And the runner-up in Sunday's presidential election in Mexico is demanding a recount. Leftist party leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador insists the vote was, quote, "plagued by irregularities. Enrique Pena Nieto is Mexico's presumed president-elect. Mexico's Federal Election Institute begins the process of verifying individual poll results today.

And the first over-the-counter in-home HIV test has been approved by the FDA. Users of the OraQuick test squab their gums with a test tab, then place it in a vial of solution. It works sort of like a pregnancy test. You get one line for a negative result, two lines for a positive result, it only takes about 20 minutes to get a reading. It's supposed to be in stores by October. And it costs just about 20 bucks.

I find that fascinating, Brooke, just how much we have advanced in the science of all of that.

BALDWIN: We have. We have, Poppy. Thank you.

Hey, quick note. Yesterday, right around this time, we reported that Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, wanted to produce a children's version of the drug. However, the company tells us that's not the case. Purdue Pharma confirms to CNN that clinical tests in children between the ages of 6 and 17 are, indeed, currently underway.

A spokesman tells CNN, quote, "These trials are not intended to promote the use of OxyContin in pediatric patients," unquote. Instead, the trial is designed to give doctors more information about how children react to OxyContin, which is not approved for children, but can be prescribed off label once a drug is, in fact, FDA approved. Doctors can prescribe it for alternate reasons or to other patients. According to the FDA, about 50 percent of drugs prescribed to kids have no information about how pediatric patients react to them, which is why the FDA has requested companies conduct clinical trials in children.

If pharmaceutical companies complete studies and return the results to the agency, then they could be eligible for a six-month extension of their patent.

Turning to this next story, it might have you raising in eyebrows, unmanned drones will be allowed in U.S. airspace by the year 2015, raising all kinds of questions about our national security. So University of Texas researchers, they set out to prove it doesn't actually take much to hack them.

With just 1,000 bucks' worth of software, this group successfully hijacked a civilian drone. Dr. Todd Humphreys and his team of students first experimented with this at the University of Texas/Austin, and then the team was asked to demonstrate the process for the Department of Homeland Security.

So Dr. Humphreys joins me, along with his star student here, grad student Dan Shepard, who led this effort.

Gentlemen, good morning to you.

ASST. PROF. TODD HUMPHREYS, AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Good morning.

DANIEL SHEPHERD, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Good morning.

BALDWIN: All right, Professor. So let's just kick this off with the Department of Homeland Security come to you and say, hey, we want to see if your students can hack a drone. Is that basically how it went down?

HUMPHREYS: Well, they didn't come to us with that proposal in mind. They came to us to see if we could offer them something for a civilian test that they had planned. And it was actually Daniel and I that proposed to them, would you like us to hack a drone? And they came back and said, yes.

BALDWIN: Sure. They said sure.

Daniel, how -- you pulled it off. How easy was it?

SHEPARD: It was definitely not an easy effort. On top of the already four years of development into our sweefing (ph) technology, we had about two months where we were burning the midnight oil, trying to pull this off, leading up to the test.

BALDWIN: OK. But you pulled it off. And I just want to let everyone know, most recently we found that a number of people are applying for permits for these civilian drones. A couple of them, North Little Rock, Arkansas, Police Department going to be using them -- they're hoping to be using one Ogden, Utah, Police Department; University of North Dakota, I mean, the list kind of goes on.

What kind of danger -- I mean, do you all know a little bit of more about drones. What kind of danger does this pose in terms of, I don't know, people getting into ATM machines and cell phone towers? Should we be nervous?

HUMPHREYS: Well, you're right, that this is a bigger problem than just drones. The fact is that the civilian GPS signals that we all rely on are insecure. They don't have any authentication. It's almost like a dollar bill without any watermark.

And so it turns out that there are ways that you can hack into GPS units that are in our communications systems, in our Internet systems. Now, none of these have the sort of dramatic effects that bringing down a drone does. But there are concerns broadly for applications of GPS.

SHEPARD: Yes, GPS usage has expanded well beyond the original intents. And, because of that, they didn't foresee this type of usage. Therefore, they didn't think there was a need to actually go and encrypt the signal.

MARGARET HOOVER: So, Professor, how easy is it for civilian drones to be encrypted in order to protect them? And we all know military drones, of course, are encrypted, but civilian drones aren't. Can they be encrypted to protect them from smart enterprising guys like you, who -- ?

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Or those with nefarious intentions?

HUMPHREYS: That's right. They can be encrypted. This problem could be fixed. The trouble is that the plans that are on the table, including some plans generated by our University of Texas radio navigation lab, these take some funds to get in place.

What we'd really like to do is to change the satellite signals broadcast by the GPS satellites, and our idea is the Department of Homeland Security probably ought to fund this; the Department of Defense would implement it. But it would take a couple of million dollars to bring this about.

HOOVER: Just a couple million dollars?

HUMPHREYS: It sounds like a lot of money to me.

HOOVER: Well, look, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money. But in Washington-speak, a million or two is -- actually seems like a pretty reasonable cost for protecting civilian drones.

BALDWIN: Professor Humphreys, here is my question. HUMPHREYS: That's what our hope is. We believe that it's good value, ought to be implemented. And we're hoping that what we did can shed some light on the problem and perhaps persuade people in Washington to go through with it.

BALDWIN: Yes, I know you have been called to testify in a couple of weeks in front of members of Congress and a committee. So perhaps you can offer some solutions here to some of the issues you brought up.

But you have been a little reluctant to talk about this. DHS isn't even releasing the video. Why were you nervous about talking about this in the first place?

HUMPHREYS: Well, I think that there's a certain fascination the public has with drones. On the one hand, we're looking forward to a time when we can get takeout food delivered to our doorstep or --

BALDWIN: Get pizza by drone.

HUMPHREYS: -- drones in the park and -- that's right.

SHEPARD: Yes.

HUMPHREYS: On the other hand, there are some --

SHEPARD: (Inaudible) Jetson.

HUMPHREYS: -- privacy concerns and security concerns. So I think what you see is the public trying to grapple with the promise of drones and the perils involved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know. It's a very serious point, unrelated to what they did, but at the White House, when they talk about their drone policy and they talk about -- one of the things they worry about is proliferation.

Eventually, White House national security advisers have told me before, other countries, other groups, are going to get the same kind of drones that we now use for military purposes, and that's something that the U.S. is starting to look at. How do you sort of dial this back? We're not going to be the only ones eventually that can zap someone from the sky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But when they talk about drones, they talk attack drones, right? Things that can be --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: -- drones, they're talking about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which are encrypted, right? They are encrypted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are encrypted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

BALDWIN: Very, very --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the technology eventually will be everywhere.

BALDWIN: Yes. Todd Humphreys and Daniel Shepard, we appreciate it -- we appreciate you very much, UT Austin.

HUMPHREYS: Thanks for having us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).

BALDWIN: Still ahead on STARTING POINT, get ready to -- get ready to scarf. We are live on Coney Island. She is all atwitter, talking about this, Alison Kosik here. She's counting down to the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Will someone eat 70 dogs and buns today? We're going to talk to Alison, who is in Coney Island.

Also, U.S. track star Jeneba Tarmoh, she's going to join. She gave up. She was one of these two ladies in this really photo-finish race here, 100 meter. She said, nope, she is not going to do the runoff. We have a lot of questions, including why.

Richard Socarides' playlist, Ne-Yo, "When You're Mad."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).

BALDWIN: (Inaudible). You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BALDWIN: Someone eating hot dogs today, hoping to go the distance at Coney Island. This is Cake, "The Distance," courtesy of Ryan Lizza.

Yes, he's going to consume more calories in 10 minutes that we all will all week long.

Joey Chestnut, the man who currently holds the official world record --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God.

BALDWIN: -- the bobbing, I don't get it, the bobbing of the head -- up for eating 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, hoping to get his sixth straight win this year at the super bowl of competitive eating.

I know, it makes your stomach kind of turn over your Wheaties here.

The Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Alison Kosik is in the thick of things on Coney Island.

Alison, take it away.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's getting started. Can you hear how loud it is? All right, the introductions are starting for the women. You can see on the stage there, that's where they're going to be scarfing down their hot dogs there. We got a big hot dog there. The women are being introduced.

We've got three hours to go before the competition actually starts. And you talked about Joey Chestnut there at the beginning, Brooke. Yes, it's about him and Sonia Thomas. She is actually the other contender on the women's side, actually. She downed 41 hot dogs last year. He downed 68. They're going to try and hold that or -- and at least hold it and maybe even beat it. Joey Chestnut says he's ready for the rumble.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOEY "JAWS" CHESTNUT, CHAMPION HOT DOG EATER: I feel pretty good. I'm loose. Empty. I haven't eaten solid food in about three days, and I'm going to -- I feel really good. Hopefully, it's not too hot. I'll be sweating like a madman. But as long as I can find my rhythm early on, it's --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: And you talked about Joey Chestnut there at the beginning, Brooke. Yes it's about him and Sonia Thomas. She is actually the other contender on the women's side, actually. She -- she downed 41 hot dogs last year. And he downed 68. They're going to try and hold that or at least hold it and maybe even beat it. Joey Chestnut says he's ready for the rumble.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOEY CHESTNUT, NATHAN'S HOT DOG EATING CHAMPION (2007-2011): I feel pretty good. I'm loose. Empty. I haven't eaten solid food in about three days, and I'm going to -- I feel really good. And hopefully it's not too hot. I'll be sweating like a madman. But as long as I find my rhythm early on --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Ok. So we've got the hot dogs here. I'm going to go ahead and show you, Brooke, how they go ahead and down so many hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Christine is going to hold my mike. I've got a hot dog here. What they do is they take the hot dog out, they split it, and they eat it this way and then they take the bun and dip it in the water and then they scarf this down after dipping it in the water. It makes it softer.

And I don't even think they chew it Brooke, I don't think they chew the food. I think they just -- they don't chew it they just eat it like a snake, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I am so glad you did not show us. I was so afraid you were going to be shoving hot dogs way too early here on this Wednesday morning. Are you feeling sick over this?

RYAN LIZZA, "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": Well, a little bit. But my -- my analysis of this is that nobody can catch up to Joey Chestnut.

BALDWIN: Nobody can ketchup. Let's relish in the moment. Margaret, go.

MARGARET HOOVER, AUTHOR, "AMERICAN INDIVIDUALISM": Well, allow me to be frank about it. If I were to be frank about it, I would say this is really going to be --

RICHARD SOCARIDES, WRITER, NEWYORKER.COM: Oh, no, you didn't say that.

HOOVER: I did you know what, I actually -- I punked Mayor Bloomberg's joke. That was actually so bad. Mayor Bloomberg couldn't even deliver it.

But can you believe it, they have this technique down. I mean, there's no chewing; 68 hot dogs.

BALDWIN: Alison, what's the prize? Is there a prize for this? There has to be a huge one. Do we still have her? Oh, we lost her.

HOOVER: The prize is the championship, the title. The pride.

BALDWIN: Knowing that you're the man, or woman.

SOCARIDES: But -- but you know it looks -- it looks kind of horrible. And right -- and now we have all this information now about you are what you eat. Right, you're supposed to eat healthy and you know.

HOOVER: Did you see those people? They look thin, they are fit.

BALDWIN: They are tinny tiny.

HOOVER: That woman looks like she weighs 100 pounds.

BALDWIN: He hasn't eaten in three days.

SOCARIDES: I know but still it's always about --

LIZZA: Yes every year you (inaudible) on coverage's it's always the thinnest people that are the best at this.

BALDWIN: If you can have the bragging rights, who would try it if you knew you could win?

SOCARIDES: No, never. Never.

LIZZA: No. SOCARIDES: Would you try, would you try?

BALDWIN: No, no, no way.

HOOVER: There's many things I strive for in life, but --

BALDWIN: Ice cream eating contest I could handle that. But hot dogs, not so much.

Moving on, coming up next, Jeneba Tarmoh she gave up her Olympics spot in the 100-meter race rather than take part in a runoff after this photo finish. But why would she walk away? We're going to ask her. She is going to join me live, next.

You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Good morning everyone, welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Poppy Harlow with a few quick headlines.

First off, the District Attorney's office in Los Angeles has decided not to charge former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson for two automobile collisions last month. Bryson has since resigned. He had been on medical leave after those two accidents and says they were caused by seizures.

Another sign that the TomKat era is over; Katie Holmes has fired the security team that Tom Cruise had hired to protect her. Cruise spent Tuesday, his 50th birthday, flying home to California from Iceland where he was filming a movie. Holmes is in New York with their daughter, Suri.

But on a positive note, I guess, for Tom Cruise, he is officially the highest paid actor in the world. "Forbes" magazine says Cruise made $75 million over the last year. That is more than double the next two on the list, Adam Sandler and Leonardo DiCaprio. They each brought home $37 million. Duane "The Rock" Johnson and Ben Stiller round out the top five, not a bad payday -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Poppy thank you.

I want to let you know, we just got some news. We're a little disappointed to hear that Jeneba Tarmoh, the woman who will be a first time Olympian, she will racing with 400 meter relay in London in the Olympics a little later. You've seen the photo finish. Here is the picture. She is the woman, who decided to opt of the runoff.

Remember so had this race, she actually was the one who initially was -- declared the victor, did the victory lap, did the press afterwards, sort of relishing in really realizing her dream and then hours basically the folks come back to her and say, sorry, this was in fact a dead heat. It was a statistical tie.

And so you're seeing the pictures of the woman who was racing with her, Allyson Felix, who is a pretty marquee, two-time Olympian. And so they were supposed to this runoff. And we just found out literally sixty seconds ago I just found out in my ear that she cancelled.

So it's unfortunate, Jeneba. We would have loved to talk to you and to really hear her story just to find out kind of why. There's been a lot of talk about this.

LIZZA: She's going to be in the Olympics anyway.

BALDWIN: She's going to be in the Olympics.

LIZZA: She's going to be in the relay, yes.

BALDWIN: But not an individual -- not an individual race.

SOCARIDES: She said what?

HOOVER: Well I mean there is speculation that perhaps she could get injured and why risk an injury and not be able to then compete in the Olympic Games just in order to have the runoff for this 100 meter spot?

We had Kerry Strugg on yesterday, Kerry Strugg the Olympic champion.

BALDWIN: Right.

HOOVER: The gymnast who said as a former Olympian, as a competitor, we train so long for this it's hard to imagine someone not embracing the spirit of competition --

LIZZA: Yes.

HOOVER: -- and doing that race again.

LIZZA: Well, I think she was also disappointed they didn't have a procedure in place to deal with a tie.

BALDWIN: It happens so rarely. It happens so, so rarely.

LIZZA: When everything is a photo finish and you can usually tell. But the Olympics are going to be great. I think the Olympics is going to be great. I'm really excited.

BALDWIN: Let me read this because it is interesting. She has the same coach as this woman who is going on to race. She was willing to race, we should point Allyson Felix raced. The coach's wife, Jackie Joyner Kersee -- gold medalist, you know, really sort of legendary. And I think there are a lot of people are saying that had she raced and had we seen this runoff, it really would have brought attention to a sport that really kind of hasn't seen it in quite a while.

LIZZA: They were going to do it in primetime.

BALDWIN: And they were going to do it on primetime. It would be huge, huge hit. I just want to read because Jackie Joyner Kersee herself has reacted. Let me read her quote.

She says, "This could have been something exciting for the sport. Something new, something different. It would bring people in that don't ordinarily watch. Reality at its best. This is reality. You've got everything. Emotion, drama but you don't have a cast."

So some people you know, critical that she -- and I think Jeneba -- you know, I was reading certainly her tweet last night and reading part of an interview she did do last night. She doesn't see it as though she gave up. She doesn't look at it that way. You don't put the word "quitter" next to her. She'll be in the Olympics, you know. But I sure would have liked to ask her myself.

HOOVER: She is at peace with her decision, but it sure could have been great for the sport. It could have been great for getting us excited. And we're starting to really focus on --

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: Imagine the emotional roller coaster of going through that race, preparing for that race, thinking you won, and then realizing there's a bureaucratic process to decide this thing. And then you have to on national television run in this tiebreaker. Imagine the pressure on her.

The pressure on an Olympic athlete anyway is just immense.

BALDWIN: I can't imagine.

LIZZA: So I don't second guess her decision.

BALDWIN: So Jeneba, we do wish you the best. We wish you absolutely the best and Allyson and the rest of Team U.S.A. as well, upcoming in London. Go kill it for us.

And the "End Point" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Lady liberty on this fourth of July. Such a pretty picture. This is fireworks. Who is excited about fireworks tonight?

HOOVER: I am. Definitely I am. Love fireworks.

LIZZA: If it's not raining here.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: You're such a spoiler.

BALDWIN: Still, the show must go on. So in the last two minutes we have, this is the "End Point", who wants to start?

SOCARIDES: I wanted to give a little shout-out to our colleague and friend Anderson Cooper who came out earlier this week in a very classy way. I think he is an important role model for people. I think no matter who you are there are challenges coming out. You know, I had my own challenges. But I think he's a great role model. And I think he did it in a very classy way. And I think we're all proud of him. And he's going to help a lot of people, don't you think?

HOOVER: 100 percent. 100 percent. And I'm so glad you said that.

I'm going to go on a lighter note. It's 4th of July. So folks who are on the road out there, we had this Travelocity representative on at the beginning. She told us about these fantastic apps that you could use for the 4th of July. But she missed one.

BALDWIN: I know. She ran out of time.

(CROSSTALK)

HOOVER: I told her we'd do it. It's called "Sit or Squat".

BALDWIN: This is awesome.

HOOVER: It is an app to tell you where the cleanest restrooms are in your area. So you can decide whether to pull over to that gas station for the rest room or not.

BALDWIN: If it's a tidy bathroom or not. Sit or squat.

LIZZA: So it's 4th of July. And someone who covers politics for a living, and watches as the two parties and two ideologies in this country can't seem to agree on much, it's a nice time to remember that it was always that way.

And, you know, we can't agree on the meaning of the Declaration of Independence as the Supreme Court decision reminded us recently. We can't agree on everything the meaning of the constitution. And to me, as someone who covers politics and is very cynical sometimes, it's a nice day to celebrate our differences. It's a nice day to celebrate that that's what makes the country great.

BALDWIN: I totally agree. And it's funny I thought you were about to say they couldn't even agree whether it was July 2 or July 4.

LIZZA: Exactly.

BALDWIN: Right? That was something Richard and I were talking about earlier. It was like --

LIZZA: The declaration signing was July 2.

(CROSSTALK)

SOCARIDES: But the signing of the document was the 4th. Although there is some dispute as to whether or not the document was actually even signed on the 4th.

LIZZA: That's right.

BALDWIN: There you go. And to your point, the dispute, goes back a few centuries.

Coming up tomorrow on STARTING POINT, 17-year-old Lia Neal joins us live. She is only the second African-American woman to make the U.S. Olympic swim team; also Ben LaBolt, President Obama's campaign press secretary; and former super lobbyist Jack Abramoff who spent more than three years in federal prison for congressional corruption scandal. Should be a lot going on. A lot of books for us --

SOCARIDES: They're not appearing all together?

BALDWIN: Should that be? Should we do that?

SOCARIDES: It could be very interesting.

BALDWIN: No, no.

Thanks so much for joining us. Have a wonderful 4th of July. I'm Brooke Baldwin in New York.

We're going to go to Carol Costello in "CNN NEWSROOM." Carol, good morning.