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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Battle Over Bush Tax Cuts; Obama: Extend Bush Era Tax Cuts; "Internet Doomsday" Arrives; High Winds, Hail Tornado Threat; Six U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan; Ernest Borgnine 1917-2012; Congress Back To Work; Egypt's President Calls Back Parliament; Syria's "Days Are Numbered"; Assad Fires Back; Obama: Extend Bush-Era Tax Cuts;
Aired July 9, 2012 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, President Obama just hours away from making a major announcement about extending some of the Bush era tax cuts.
ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: Internet doomsday, tens of thousands of people could wake up without internet service this morning. So doesn't mean you didn't know it was going to happen, so you probably deserve it.
BANFIELD: Pointing the fingers, Syria's President Bashar Al- Assad blames the U.S. for what's going on in his country. That's a stretch.
VELSHI: That is a stretch.
BANFIELD: Jeepers creepers. We're going to have the low down on that in a moment, but good morning, everyone. It's nice to have you with us. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield and look who's here.
VELSHI: I'm Ali Velshi in for Zoraida Sambolin. She is off, well, she's not really off today. Zoraida is in Cairo.
BANFIELD: She's off, but she'll be on.
VELSHI: She'll be about 40 minutes.
Well, up first, President Obama ready to escalate the battle over the Bush era tax cuts. The president is going to be surrounded by working class Americans when he speaks in the White House Rose Garden later today.
He's going to be calling for an extension of the Bush era tax cuts, which are supposed to expire at the end of the year, but only for families earning $250,000 a year or less.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, CNN'S "STATE OF THE UNION": So the president is totally committed to getting rid of the tax cut for those making 250,000 and above?
ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Let's make some progress on spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don't need them. Tax cuts that haven't worked and have them pay their fair share.
CROWLEY: So is that a yes or no? The president is completely committed to this, won't allow it to happen?
GIBBS: He is 100 percent committed to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Dan Lothian is live at the White House. Dan, this is going to be a pretty high priority for the Obama campaign, I understand.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It really is. You know, the president out there on the campaign trail always talks about helping the middle class and not only those who are in the middle class, but as he said last week during his bus tour, those who are trying to get into the middle class.
And this has been a message that the president has been able to use to show that he is pushing to help those who need most of the help out there as opposed to the GOP and his opponent, Mitt Romney, who are helping the wealthy.
And so that is what they will be pushing in this message this week and going forward, they'll be hitting especially these battleground states of Nevada, Florida, Colorado, you'll hear from local officials.
You'll hear from local folks in the middle class in these key battleground states with that message. This will be a very important theme for the president and for his campaign.
VELSHI: All right, this is part of the fiscal cliff that Congress has to deal with, the expiration of some tax cuts, some benefits going away and all of this happening on January 1st or at least in January of next year.
Bottom line, Dan, it's not the president's to change one way or the other. This is up to Congress.
LOTHIAN: It really is up to Congress, the change. But the thing is that it sort of gives him an immediate message. He has been talking so much about job creation.
The job numbers have been negative of late. They've playing up the private sector gains. But when he talks about job creation, it really is about something that will take time.
It's a long term solution as he likes to say, there is no quick fixes. But this is something that is immediate, saying he is standing up for the middle class. The GOP is standing up for the wealthy and allows him to draw a distinction contrast.
VELSHI: Dan, thank you very much for that. Dan Lothian at the White House and he'll be covering the announcement from the president.
Republicans, by the way, want the tax cut extended for all Americans, even the wealthiest. At 7:00 Eastern on STARTING POINT, we'll talk about that position with Tennessee Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn along with Democratic Congresswoman Marsy Kaptur of Ohio.
BANFIELD: It's 3 minutes now past 6. There have been plenty of warnings, but now the time has come and hundreds of thousands of you could be waking up without the internet this morning.
As of 12:01 this morning, the FBI was set to turn off the servers, servers that were keeping an estimated 300,000 computers safe from the internet doomsday virus.
So now if your computer is infected, you're on your own. Dan Simon is live from San Francisco. No sense in sweating about the past and how this all happened.
I think the big question for a lot of people waking up is what to do if you are dark on the computer. Dan, what's the advice for people this morning?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the best advice is contact your local computer store, you know, the computer repair store. They may be able to help you out here.
Call your local service provider. You know, what happened here really goes back to 2007. This isn't just some virus that just kind of popped up.
It goes back a few years ago when cyber criminals from Europe were able to get 4 million machines infected with some malicious software and that software redirected users to some malicious websites and exposed them to malicious advertising.
The FBI, they discovered this and broke up the ring, but what they discovered is they took down these bad servers. It would just shut people down from the internet.
They did something unprecedented. They took down the bad servers and put up good clean servers. People were still directed to this bad place, but they have the clean servers so their internet usage was OK.
Well, now this band-aid if you will is coming off after being up for several months. That's what the heart of the problem is. They are taking down this band-aid. You'll be cut off if you didn't get this fixed ahead of time -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Not fun and certainly a lot more work if you didn't do the quick fix before midnight. If you're infected now, you got a lot more work on your hands. Dan Simon live for us. Thanks very much. VELSHI: Well, a severe storm threat, high wind, hail and maybe even tornadoes to start the week in the mid-Atlantic. The storm tearing through Fredericksburg, Virginia last night, a trail of damaged buildings, including a gym where cheerleading practice was going on.
Authorities say seven young girls were injured. All expected to recover. Let's go to Alexandra Steele. Alexandra Steele who's looking at what's going on. Good morning.
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning to you, Ali. Well, here's a look at that storms that moved through. Just take a look at where the red is, that's where the strongest winds where between 4:00 and 6:00 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
It's about 50 miles south of Washington, D.C. on I-95. This was 102 yesterday straight air temperature in Washington. So warm, moist unstable air, factor in the match that is that cold front and we've got the severe storms yesterday.
Have them as well again today. Here's a look at lines of storms around Washington and through the Delmarva this morning. Nothing severe at this point, but the potential is certainly there in Virginia and in North Carolina.
So damaging winds and hail the greatest threat for today, but some cool relief, we're getting this cool relief at the price and the price, of course, coming.
The front dropping south and that lifting mechanism is what's firing off these storms again today. So 99 is what we saw. It got higher than that, 102 yesterday in Washington.
Today's forecast in the 80s in Washington and New York and then that cool heat relief comes only 90 in Lexington, 89 in Charlotte.
And we continue with cooler temperatures. So certainly heat relief on the way, but coming at a price again today in North Carolina and Virginia, really keep an eye out for some strong winds.
VELSHI: All right, Alexandra, thanks very much. We'll check in with you a while later.
BANFIELD: It's now 7 minutes past 6:00 on the east coast and six U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Officials say that the six Americans were victims of a roadside bomb in Eastern Afghanistan where the fighting has really been on the rise. In all, 29 people were killed just on Sunday in Afghan violence.
VELSHI: Hollywood has lost one of its great character actors, Ernest Borgnine died Sunday in Los Angeles perhaps known or best known for his role as the "Skipper," the 60s TV sitcom "McHail's Navy."
He won an Oscar for his lead role in the 1955 film "Marty." Ernest Borgnine's career began on the big and small screen. It's been more than half century. He was 95 years old and he will be missed.
BANFIELD: It is back to work for Congress this morning following the Fourth of July recess and the first thing House Republicans plan to do is call for a vote to repeal the president's health care plan, Obamacare.
It's really just political posturing though because any effort to repeal it is probably going to die in the Senate because the Senate is Democratic controlled. The vote is expected to take place on Wednesday.
VELSHI: Egypt's newly elected president is now squarely at odds with his country's military leadership. Mohammed Morsi is calling Egyptian lawmakers back into session, calling parliament back, overriding a military edict that dissolved the parliament.
It's not clear when parliament may reconvene. Egypt's military leaders are now calling an emergency meeting to discuss the president's move and its repercussions.
BANFIELD: Several hundred miles north of there, Syria's president is defiant as ever with a twist. Bashar Al-Assad is now going as far as to say, guess who is responsible for all that violence and bloodshed in his country? You guessed it. It's us, the United States. We'll explain this one coming up.
BANFIELD: There are some news coming out of Syria this morning. All of this, as Hillary Clinton has been turning up the heat on that country and its supporters and certainly its president.
On the right of your screen, Bashar Al-Assad, and on the left of your screen is our secretary of state warning him that the demise of his regime is inevitable.
And she is also sending a strong message to Syria's biggest backers, Russia and China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The future to me should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime. The days are numbered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: And not only that, more news and our Arwa Damon is standing by on this. But Kofi Annan who is the special joint envoy now for a peace plan in Damascus is making some news saying that there may be a stalemate.
The stalemate may be broken in some way, not giving the details, Arwa, but calling it an approach that he's been able to reach with Bashar Al-Assad with how to sort of bring this violence to an end. Can you extrapolate? Can give me a little bit more on what this means?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this statement comes following a meeting between Kofi Annan and the Syrian president and it comes after that agreement that the Security Council signed onto on the 30th of June.
That is basically Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan plus the formation of this Transitional National Unity government. Now Kofi Annan has called these talks candid and constructive.
The Syrian president has allegedly agreed to this approach that Kofi Annan is then going to be taking to the opposition. We don't have the details of it, but there is quite a bit of deja vu to all of this.
We've seen these types of talks between these two men before that have been resulted in effectively nothing that has changed the situation on the ground.
We have to also remember that the Syrian president already believes that he has a national unity government in place. And the opposition is going to require that the Syrian president step aside before it even enters into negotiations. So at this point in time it really doesn't seem as if anything is going to change.
BANFIELD: I think the last we heard from the opposition, they had absolutely no interest whatsoever in having any member of Bashar al Assad's administration in any kind of transitional government. So, who knows if there's a provision in this approach that will accommodate for that.
But in the meantime, one of the things that I think is really resonating here in the U.S. Arwa is this claim from Bashar al Assad somehow that the United States is to blame for this 60 months of hell and death and destruction in his country.
Can you explain this in?
DAMON: Well, Ashleigh, this has been the Syrian position, pretty much since the onset of the violence, it has called the opposition foreign-backed terrorist and that has pointed the finger of blame repeatedly at the United States and other European nations and also at some Arab countries as well. But in this interview with German television, the Syrian president, once again, remained defiant and once again effectively was saying the violence in his country is not his fault but America's.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: It's part of the conflict. They gave -- they offered umbrella and political support to those gangs to create destability or destabilize Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: He also went on to say that countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar were arming the opposition, although he did say there was no concrete evidence of that.
The issue, of course, is, Ashleigh, that as long as the Syrian government does not at least take on a certain measure of responsibility, does not at least appear willing to even begin to end the bloodshed, this country's only going to further spiral out of control. And as we keep reporting day in and day out, it is the civilians that are always paying the ultimate price.
BANFIELD: Yes. And, you know, we are seeing the perhaps the beginning of what could be a domino effect with some of his deputies leaving and defecting and getting out of there possibly while the getting is good.
Arwa Damon in neighboring Beirut, Lebanon -- thanks very much.
VELSHI: OK. Seventeen minutes after the hour.
Let's get you up to date on some of the things going on.
President Obama is holding a big event at the White House Rose Garden later today to escalate the battle over the Bush tax cuts. He'll be surrounded by working class Americans while he calls on Congress to extend the tax cuts for everyone making $250,000 a year or less -- families making $250,000 a year or less.
Republicans want the tax cuts extended for everybody, including the wealthy.
BANFIELD: A crippling Internet virus infecting hundreds of thousands of computers all around the world is now leaving people with no access to Web sites and e-mail and Internet this morning. The FBI has shut down a whole bunch of servers that up until now have been protecting you and your PC from that awful virus, the doomsday virus. Some Macs and some iPads even, some routers as well, also infected with this thing.
Online security firms, Facebook, as well as the FBI are all offering free diagnostic checks for users whose computers are affected, by now finding out means you're trying to get online and it does not work.
VELSHI: Today is a national day of mourning in Russia, following flash floods that killed 171 people. Most of the deaths happened in one town near the Black Sea. One witness said a wall of water, more than 20 feet high swept through in the middle of the night early Saturday. Russian President Vladimir Putin surveyed the damaged. There were at least 5,000 homes damaged or destroyed. That is quite a flood.
BANFIELD: A very tall order for a group of very brave workers in Chicago. See at the top of that tower, there's people up there, folks.
BANFIELD: A helicopter helping the folks working at the top of this to remove that TV antenna from the top of the nation's tallest building. It's called the Willis Tower. But you may remember it as the Sears Tower in Chicago. First before the helicopter could lay that tower down on the flatbed, they had to loosen up the bolts, 1,700 feet in the air before the chopper could send the cable to them and get the two ton antenna down to the truck below.
So, imagine what your day at the office was like compared --
VELSHI: Stop explaining.
BANFIELD: Compared to guys 1,700 feet in the air. Looks like it went off without a hitch. So, kudos to them.
So, you can turn a toy to something that saves the life of a child in a poor country. A tech designer at MIT using toy parts to create an inexpensive medical device for developing countries. I'm not kidding. Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE LOPEZ MARQUEZ, TECH DESIGNER: My name is Jose Lopez Marquez. And I use toys to make affordable medical devices.
When you're using toys, it demystified as the process of medical technology. Often, we look at these medical devices and we think that they are a black box, and you need an expert to even take a screwdriver at it.
You may not have the courage to hack $1,000 device, but you have the courage to hack something that's $5 and of you've got a little ingenuity, it becomes something as powerful as a $1,000 medical device.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: All you need to do for more on that is tune into "THE NEXT LIST". It's on CNN, on Sundays at 2:00 p.m., every Sunday, 2:00 Eastern. Remarkable folks story and you know what? It's Sanjay Gupta. Tune in -- that alone --
VELSHI: That alone is enough reason to watch.
VELSHI: It just tells you about people who are just doing really neat innovative things.
All right. Just a few months ago, farmers were looking forward to a record corn crop. Now, it's just the opposite. And that change is going to cost you money at the grocery store, not just corn.
BANFIELD: Seriously? This is green acres, the theme song?
VELSHI: It is.
VELSHI: Minding your business this morning, U.S. stock futures are -- surprise, surprise -- trading lower. This is actually Friday's show you're watching. It's been recorded.
BANFIELD: Ali Velshi. Hey, what are you doing?
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You mean I'm not really here?
VELSHI: No, you're here.
Markets are down actually not just our futures, markets are down worldwide after that disappointing jobs report on Friday.
BANFIELD: That jobs report by the way did this -- all red downward arrows which is basically a bummer when you start the week. Who know if things could change because now we're going to talk about debt crisis in Europe, which is also a lot of fun. Corporate earnings though could change the story.
Felicia Taylor her to fill in for Christine Romans and maybe give us -- could there be good news with these corporate earnings?
TAYLOR: Possibly. I mean, we begin the season today with Alcoa. That's sort of like a general overlook at the American manufacturing economy and how things stand. The problem is that a lot of estimates for these companies have been lowered due to the eurozone crisis, the slowing down of the United States, the slowdown in China.
So, a lot of the estimates are below what we had expected and if they get -- or announced better than expected, then the stock is likely to run up. So, we could see some surprises but also we've got JPMorgan this week, which is, of course, one of the biggest financial stocks out there and we'll find out a little bit more about that derivatives trade that could be up to $5 billion in losses for JPMorgan Chase. So we got an idea.
BANFIELD: I think that number seems to move all the time. Two, five, nine -- I mean --
TAYLOR: It does, because they don't really know. That's the problem. We don't know how big that trading loss is yet. They haven't been able to settle the trade. That's still ongoing.
BANFIELD: Weren't we a month out?
VELSHI: Right. So they still -- see, it's like if you have Facebook stock and it drops on the market. Until you get out of that stock, you can't book the whole loss. So, you're sitting around thinking, hey, maybe I'll do better, so maybe the stock could go up.
So, yes, it could be a $9 billion loss, could be $2 billion, could be somewhere in the middle.
TAYLOR: They make money between now and then.
BANFIELD: And what a lot of our viewers are concerned about, is like a tweets about it, is my money safe if I bank with Chase?
TAYLOR: Absolutely. There's no danger of that bank going under. JPMorgan is absolutely a safe bank. We should never ever allude to anything other than that.
TAYLOR: The other thing we're talking about is corn is king. You have no idea. The problem, though, is there's a drought right now in the Midwest -- I was about to say the Middle East. In the Midwest.
VELSHI: If you're on the west coast it's the Middle East.
TAYLOR: It's not funny though, prices have surged about 37 percent since June 5th.
What this means, though, if you take a look at what corn is in, it's unreal. It affects frozen pizza and the reason is because it's used to prevent the crust from getting soggy. Who knew?
BANFIELD: Who knew?
TAYLOR: Right. Wall paper adhesive, you need corn to stick the paper on the wall.
VELSHI: I have been licking that stuff for years.
TAYLOR: You shouldn't, stop that.
The yellow is the yolk in egg is enhanced with the fact that feed is given to chickens and the chicken skin is yellow because of corn. And bread obviously, it helps the shelf life stay lower. It also helps fruit, vegetables, the shelf life of those stay longer.
It's responsible for the crunch in snack foods. It's in charcoal briquettes. It's everywhere.
VELSHI: And they feed it to chickens.
TAYLOR: Guess how many pounds of beef McDonald's bought last year?
VELSHI: I don't know.
TAYLOR: Eight hundred million. And that's just tells you how pervasive corn is. It's on everything.
BANFIELD: Wait, 800 million pounds of feed?
TAYLOR: Of beef.
BANFIELD: But they are corn fed.
TAYLOR: The cows eat corn fed and so do the chickens and so on and so forth.
TAYLOR: This affects industries like McDonald's, Pepsi-Cola and General Mills, because of cereal. So, eventually, usually it's not affected consumers six to 12 months. But eventually, the consumers and this is what you need to earn back your money, you may be paying more than you are right now obviously for certain items like Coca-Cola or McDonald's.
BANFIELD: High fructose corn syrup.
VELSHI: That's why it's Coca-Cola.
BANFIELD: Everywhere. Yes.
VELSHI: I feel judged by you the whole licking the wall paper adhesive.
BANFIELD: Judged by me?
BANFIELD: How about judged by everybody for licking the wall paper?
TAYLOR: I'm not going there.
VELSHI: Felicia, thank you. Good to see you. We'll move on to another story.
Was there a second gunman in Robert F. Kennedy's assassination? Coming up, there is a witness who is prepared to tell all in court. This is going to surprise you.
Stay with us. It's 28 minutes after the hour.
VELSHI: Breaking news this morning: President Obama just hours away from making a big announcement about the Bush tax cuts.
BANFIELD: Mitt Romney with a risky fundraiser just as a new poll shows which candidate has the upper hand in some key swing states.
VELSHI: And finally some relief from the heat. A cold front breaks the heat wave but it brings damaging storms along with it.
Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Ali Velshi, in for Zoraida today.
BANFIELD: Nice to have you with us, everyone. It's 31 minutes past the hour. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
Nice to have you here as well.
VELSHI: Nice to be back with you.
BANFIELD: The news from A to A.
VELSHI: That's it.
BANFIELD: Are we going to cover anything? Man oh man!
VELSHI: That's it. Very short news this morning.
BANFIELD: Let's start with this, shall we? The president is ready to resurrect the battle over the Bush era tax cut.
resident is going to be surrounded by working class Americans when he speaks in the White House Rose Garden later on today. He's going to be calling for an extension of those Bush tax cuts but -- and it's a big but -- only for families who earn $250,000 a year or less.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": So the president is totally committed to getting rid of the tax cut for those making $250,000 or above?
ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Let's make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people that quite frankly don't need them, tax cuts that haven't worked and have them pay their fair share.
CROWLEY: So is that a yes or no? The president is completely committed to this, won't allow it to happen.
GIBBS: He is 100 percent committed to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Well, that sounds pretty definitive, doesn't it?
Dan Lothian is live at the White House for us this morning.
This sounds very official and it sounds like it's really a good thing to do in a middle of a campaign because it looks like you're really giving something to the middle class and that's where most of the voters are.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The Obama campaign certainly thinks that this is a good thing.
You heard the message from the president out there on the campaign trail as recently as last week in the key battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, talking about helping the middle class, not only those who are in the middle class but also those who are trying to get into the middle class.
And so, the president will be out there not only pushing this theme but also surrogates for the president and the campaign will also be out there pushing this theme. The reason for this is because they see this as a winning issue. That they can say, look, we are fighting for the middle class and the other guy, Mitt Romney, is fighting for the wealthy.
So, this week the big push will be in the key battleground states of New Hampshire and also in Colorado and Florida and Nevada. You'll hear from families in the middle class, from businesses, from city, local and state officials pushing this message, but there will be resistance from Republicans who don't think this is something that should be done in this environment, this economic environment.
And in addition to that, there's some resistance from some Democrats including Nancy Pelosi who thinks that threshold should be $250,000, but rather those making more than $1 million. So, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. But a big theme, a big message not only for the White House but for the president's campaign this week.
BANFIELD: So, Dan, my spidey sense has also tingled when I hear about something in the campaign and big announcement in the Rose Garden comes in. And here's what I'm thinking, Friday we had a real crappy day when it came to the jobs numbers, and then today the House is planning to hold this really symbolic anti-Obama care vote to try to repeal Obamacare.
Was the Rose Garden announcement today something scheduled long in advance or is this an effort to do an old switcheroo on what is a bad narrative for them to do?
LOTHIAN: Well, it was not on the official schedule as of last week when they put out the week ahead schedule, it was not on there. Some people would think -- much like you have described, that this is just playing into their campaign, it's all political, and it comes in the wake of those negative job numbers.
The president has been pushing very hard the last week about job creation, about moving jobs back from overseas, providing incentives for company that do that. He also realizes there are those bad jobs numbers and that it will take a long time to turn the economy around.
And this is something that has some immediate action. The president can draw contrast between his message and between the message that he says his opponent is providing and that is help for the wealthy.
BANFIELD: Dan Lothian, live at the White House for us this morning -- thank you, sir.
VELSHI: All right. Coming up, a bold move by Egypt's brand-new president. He is confronting that country's very powerful military head on. We'll tell you what's going on in Egypt right after this. Zoraida is actually there for us.
You're watching EARLY START. It's 35 minutes after the hour.
VELSHI: OK. I want to bring you some news from Egypt.
He's been in office for less than two weeks but Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi, has said he's going to reconvene parliament against the wishes of that country's all powerful military.
Here's the news we're just getting in. According to the state news agency and a spokesman for the Freedom and Justice Party, the Egyptian parliament will reconvene tomorrow, Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. local time. That will be early in the morning our time. This is again against the wishes of the country's military.
Egypt's generals have called an emergency meeting to discuss the move and its repercussions.
CNN's Zoraida Sambolin, whom I'm sitting in for, is in Cairo. She's been getting reaction from Egyptians, although not to the last piece of news.
So, a number of people that you've spoken to, Zoraida, won't even have heard this news yet.
She's on the phone from Luxor Egypt right now.
What are you hearing?
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, I was in Luxor and I was Cairo yesterday.
And I have to tell you, the people here, unanimously, everyone that I have spoken to is very upset about this decision because they said even though we're looking at this as a military move, this was something that was done by the Supreme Court. And it had originally said that the parliamentary elections were unconstitutional and that they made that mandate. And now that Morsi has taken office and he has decided to basically rescind that and reconvene the parliament, he is really making a decision that is not within his purview. It is not something he should be doing.
And so, the folks who were excited about finally having a democracy are saying, this isn't what we bought into. This is not necessarily the man that we wanted elected, but we were willing to give it a shot and see what he was going to do.
So, they said even though this is not the person they wanted in office, they were willing to give him that chance and opportunity. But based on what he did, they say you cannot go against the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court makes a decision, you need to follow through and you need to go through the proper steps in order to try to rescind that decision, that he did not follow proper protocol.
So, they're calling that, his decision, unconstitutional.
VELSHI: All right. Zoraida, beyond the politics of figuring whether the military is running things or Morsi is or the Supreme Court is, below all of this, there are some basic problems that made Egyptians take to the streets to get rid of Mubarak and his government in the first place.
What are the issues beyond who's in charge?
SAMBOLIN: What I found interesting, Ali, a lot of issues are a lot of our same issues. Number one, everybody said, is the economy. There are about 85 million people in Egypt. They have close to a 20 percent unemployment rate. You have people here who are graduating with four-year college degrees and making 440 Egyptian pounds a month. That is the equivalent to $80 of U.S. money.
So, they said those are the types of things they would like to see resolved -- the unemployment rate, the economy. They have a very high illiteracy rate in this country as well and their schools are overcrowded.
So, they're saying, you know, we need to get beyond what's happening with government in order to be able to solve issues for the people of this country. They are very concerned about tourism in this country. This is, you know, their bread and butter.
SAMBOLIN: And so, at the end of the day, they would like to know that something is being done so that tourists feel confident and safe when they come to visit Egypt.
VELSHI: Right. As in Egypt, like the other country's that experience sort of an Arab spring uprising, a lot was driven by youth. And many countries, youth unemployment is higher than general unemployment. As you said, there's some sense there's not enough opportunity even if people get an education.
What's the -- where does the youth uprising stand now?
SAMBOLIN: You know, it's really funny because when I arrived, the first person I spoke to was a young person who is very excited and very involved. Then fell off the face of the earth.
A lot of elders are saying, what happened to our youth? What happened to the ones protesting and marching? Why aren't they a part of parliament? Why aren't they running for office? This is their future as well.
So, they've dissipated and created a conflict among the people here.
VELSHI: Zoraida Sambolin is in Luxor for us. Zoraida, stay safe there and we'll see you when you get back.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Ali.
BANFIELD: It's now 42 minutes past 6:00 and Soledad O'Brien is on assignment today -- Christine Romans filling in and doing the old "STARTING POINT."
Got a lot on the menu?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDETN: Yes, happy Monday. A lot going on, especially from the White House this morning.
We're following breaking news from there. CNN has learned the president is restarting this fight over the so-called Bush tax cuts this morning. As a fragile economy threatens re-election chances, what it means for jobs, your job, his job and race for the White House.
We've got the best minds in the business all over this breaking news. CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Republican Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas all joining us live this morning.
Also ahead, the showdown over Texas's voter ID law hits the courtroom today. This is a law that requires voters in Texas to show an ID at the polls. But is this fight about race, about political power?
Texas Republicans insist the law will stop voter fraud. Texas Democrats say, no, it denies the rights of thousands of poor elderly and minority voters. We're going to break it all down.
And the world watched as Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee last year. Now her former defense attorney, Jose Baez, is telling all. He's got a book. Mr. Baez is here, joining us live -- sitting on our panel all morning.
Don't forget, you can watch CNN live on your computer or your mobile phone while at work, head to CNN.com/TV.
BANFIELD: Sounds good. I sat in that courtroom every single day of that.
ROMANS: As much as was written and said, I have a thousand questions still.
BANFIELD: Well, guess what? I think America has a thousand questions about that girl.
ROMANS: I think so.
BANFIELD: Rightfully so. All right. Christine, thank you.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
BANFIELD: Here today, gone tomorrow, coming up, the CEO canned after just a couple of hours, just a few hours for a lot of millions. Why you are not supposed to grieve for the man who lost a job so fast.
BANFIELD: CNN has learned that President Obama will renew the fight over the so-called Bush tax cuts today. The president will be surrounded by working-class Americans in the White House Rose Garden today when he calls for an extension of the Bush era tax cuts, but an extension only for the middle class.
A spokesperson for the president says he is 100 percent committed to not extending those cuts for anyone making over $250,000 a year.
VELSHI: A crippling Internet virus may be infecting hundreds of thousands of computers, leaving people with no access to Web sites and some email this morning. The virus was said to go into effect at 12:01 am Eastern.
This is after the FBI had kept servers operating that would prevent your computer from being affected. They finally decided they were shutting those viruses off. If your computer is now working this morning, if you didn't take action to deal with this before 12:01 am Eastern, it might be too late for you. You're going to have to call your Internet service provider then get them to deal with it.
Here's an interesting story. The Robert Kennedy shooting, there is a woman who claims to have seen the shooting, who said that she is going to testify in -- on behalf of Sirhan Sirhan, who claims that there was another shooter involved.
The woman says that she told the FBI back in 1968 that she heard as many as 13 or 14 shots were fired. The gun that Sirhan Sirhan used could only hold a maximum of eight bullets. So she said she is going to testify in court today in Sirhan Sirhan's defense, that there may have been another shooter in that.
BANFIELD: Well, this is one of those jobs you just with you could get. Forty-four million dollars for just one day's work. Not a joke, for just a few hours this week, William Johnson was the CEO of Duke Energy.
The former CEO of Progress Energy signed a three-year contract to head Duke when the two companies merged. And he assumed the position on July 2nd. The next day, by mutual agreement, he was out.
BANFIELD: Oh, canned and replaced by Duke's former chief executive. So he walks out with a severance package and that severance package is reportedly $44 million. You kind of wonder why they couldn't figure that one out before they signed the contract.
BANFIELD: Holy cow.
BANFIELD: Hey, shareholders.
BANFIELD: Will they be angry?
VELSHI: Well, we -- I got to read this a little bit more and find out what the $44 million bucks. But it was for a few hours' work, then (inaudible) --
BANFIELD: (Inaudible). Have a nice summer.
VELSHI: All right. Check this out: a spectacular light show from Mother Nature. It's a time-lapse video of the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, shot a little before midnight, just north of St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Northern Lights danced across the sky for about half an hour.
Do you remember seeing this when you were a kid?
BANFIELD: You know, I see it every summer, because I go to Canada and see my family every summer.
BANFIELD: And this is a normal thing for me to see.
VELSHI: Yes. And yet it's amazing. It just -- that really is incredible.
BANFIELD: You know, it almost looks fake --
VELSHI: But it's not.
VELSHI: When you're staring at the northern lights, you think to yourself, this cannot be real. This is like a movie projected onto the sky.
BANFIELD: It also changes dramatically. Sometimes it looks like vertical crystals dancing in the sky.
BANFIELD: Sometimes it's just an array of rainbow colors and clouds moving. I can only imagine what the native American Indians and the native Canadians used to think hundreds and hundreds of years ago when they had no idea. They probably thought it was the gods smiling at them.
OK. So here you go, Democrats demanding that Mitt Romney explain his offshore bank accounts and release more of his tax returns and the timing is no mistake. It is all politicking. The presumptive GOP nominee was busy picking up millions of dollars in campaign contributions this weekend from the very rich and powerful in New York's Hamptons. Boy, they dress well there.
A brand-new "USA Today" poll is showing that Mr. Romney is virtually tied with Mr. Obama in the 12 swing states, but the wider polls give Mr. Obama a 4-point advantage if you count all the states, which a lot of people say you shouldn't. This was it's all about the swing states.
Our CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser, is live with us now.
First thinks first, Mr. Steinhauser, I want to say that Mitt Romney is not the only person who goes to the Hamptons for fundraisers. Everybody goes to the Hamptons for fundraisers, Democrat and Republican alike.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: There's a lot of money out there, no doubt about that. And let's talk about campaign cash, Ashleigh, because some brand-new numbers just put out by the Romney campaign, announcing their June fundraising. They say they and the Republican National Committee combined raised $106.1 million in June with $160 million cash on hand.
Now, Last week I confirmed that they had raised over $100 million. But here's the official number they're putting out. And this probably will be the second straight month where the Romney campaign and the RNC have outraised President Barack Obama's reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Romney campaign did it last month in May. And the Obama campaign has said, guess what, we will be outraised again in June. They haven't put their numbers out, but it looks like they will be.
A very different story, Ashleigh, than four years ago when the Obama campaign greatly outraised and outspent Senator John McCain as he was running for office. Romney out there again, as you mentioned, three fundraisers in the Hamptons over the weekend.
So this won't go towards June. This will obviously go towards July. Why does campaign cash matter? Because, hey, it goes towards paying for ads. It goes for get out the vote efforts. A very different feel this time around than four years ago.
As for this one, this is the final fundraiser yesterday -- was at the Koch brothers, David and Charles Koch. It was at David Koch's house in South Hampton. And there were some protests there.
Why? These liberal protesters were upset because the Koch brothers, David and Charles, have put a lot of money into the conservative movement over the years, and lately they've been bankrolling a lot of people in the Tea Party movement and group called Americans for Prosperity, which has gone up with a ton of ads against President Obama. So some protests out there, Ashleigh.
And you know, you were mentioning earlier with our Dan Lothian about the middle class tax cut.
BANFIELD: Ah, yes, in the Rose Garden today -- make it quick, because we've got a couple other things.
BANFIELD: What's the deal? Fast.
STEINHAUSER: Yes, listen, we saw this fight two years ago, a very different philosophy between Democrat and Republicans on this. The Republicans want the tax breaks extended for everybody. But as Dan Lothian was talking about, there's a campaign component to this. It's to emphasize that Barack Obama is with the middle class and that Mitt Romney isn't. That is the Democratic take, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Like a campaign event in the Rose Garden. Paul Steinhauser, methinks you're going to have a busy day. Thank you, Sir.
VELSHI: Methinks he's going to have several busy months.
BANFIELD: Yes, I think so.
VELSHI: All right. Coming up, today's best advice from Tiger Woods' niece.
BANFIELD: She is a heck of a golfer.
VELSHI: She is a heck of a golfer.
VELSHI: We're going to find out what she's got to say when we come back.