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Seven Navy SEALs Punished; More Than 740,000 Jeep SUV's Recalled; Iran Fires At U.S. Drone Aircraft; Gas Rationing In New York, New Jersey; "They Said They Were Experts And They Failed"; Growing Fears Over The "Fiscal Cliff"; Negotiating Around The Fiscal Cliff; Samsung has Best-Selling Smartphone; Locker Room Versus Delivery Room; A Dream Home in Shambles; "Skyfall" in Theaters Today; Furious New Yorkers Protest; A Washington Outside the Beltway

Aired November 9, 2012 - 10:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: -- stop acting like children in a sand box. This is from Brent, I'm just glad we have enough gridlock to prevent progress, smiley face. Keep the conversation flowing. The next hour of NEWSROOM starts right now.

Stories we're watching now in the NEWSROOM. SEALs in trouble, seven members of the elite Navy special forces unit caught helping the maker of a video game, that one right there. We'll talk with a Navy SEAL straight ahead.

A plan to cut back on those long lines at the pump seemed to be working. New York begins to ration gas when those lines go away.

Apple who? Samsung takes the reins from the iPhone for the title of the world's best-selling smartphone.

And the locker room or the delivery room, should an NFL player pick his family over his team? NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning, and happy, happy Friday to you. The weekend is finally here. It's been a long week, hasn't it? I'm Carol Costello. Thanks for being with us.

We begin this hour with video games. They should be harmless, but for seven members of the Navy SEAL Team Six, a certain video game could be killing their career. This is that video game. It's called "Medal of Honor War Fighter."

The members of the elite Special Forces unit have been issue reprimands, had their pay docked all because the military says that they were paid consultants for the game without permission. This game is in stores now and producers claim it's different because of the realism.

They needed that help from the Navy SEALs. Christopher Mark Heben is a former member of SEAL Team Eight. He joins us now. Chris, welcome.

CHRISTOPHER MAKR HEBEN, FORMER MEMBER, SEAL TEAM 8: Thank you. Thank you for having me, Carol. COSTELLO: Have you watched this game?

HEBEN: I have. I've played it. It's not very -- it's not extremely authentic. As a matter of fact, I don't even think the game is doing that well right now.

COSTELLO: No, I don't think it is either. So what in there is making the Pentagon angry?

HEBEN: Well, I think it's two-fold. First, they didn't ask for permission. They got paid and they divulged some pieces of information with respect to gear and equipment that we use that could be looked upon as a breach of operational security.

Some of the devices and pieces of equipment that were divulged to the game creators are things that are sensitive. These are very high- price, high continue ticket items that expand our capabilities in a combat environment.

They cannot be obtained and fall under ITAR protocol for the U.S. government. So we don't have to worry about them falling into enemy hands. So I think they're just worried about they divulged anything about the equipment and the fact that they didn't ask for permission and they got paid for it, as well.

COSTELLO: So let me ask you about that part of the equation because I know we don't pay our military enough. And that's just true. That's just true for what they give for their country.

HEBEN: Very true.

COSTELLO: But the Navy SEALs, these are a special unit. I mean, they have a reputation to uphold. So why go out and take this chance?

HEBEN: Well, as SEALs, we would never give any information that would put ours or our comrades at risk, no matter what branch of service they're in. So we know exactly what to say and what not to say.

So I think they wanted to make the game as authentic as possible without giving away the farm. They didn't talk about tactics or techniques or procedures. They just showed some pieces of equipment.

They didn't say how they were used. Maybe they consulted of layouts of, you know, different maps on the game.

COSTELLO: Well, but this is what I'm talking about. I mean, they did this to make money, right? They have this reputation to uphold. And it seems that members of our elite forces are doing that more and more.

There was a book written about it by a Navy SEAL, a lot of controversy about that and now these video games. So does something need to be done?

HEBEN: Well, you know, carol, I think -- I think it's been a knee- jerk reaction from the Department of Defense, specifically the Navy because of the Mark Owen book, "No Easy Day." You've got a very intimate and accurate and personal depiction of Tier 1 SEAL units and what these guys do on a daily basis, very accurate.

So I think they needed to stem the tide of information being released. So they brought the full force of the Department of Justice in the form of the FBI on to SEAL Team 6. Now, as far as I've heard, this has never been done before.

We're not focusing on what's important here. We still have the northeast part of the country ravaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy with no power or water, and now we've got a Benghazi incident that's going to come out and get ugly after the congressional hearings kick back up next week.

So we're focusing on a video game right now, and as far as I know, of all the Taliban and al Qaeda compounds we've taken over in the last ten years, we have never found a first-person shooter video game there. None. We found a lot of porn. No video games.

So this is not going to be used as a tool to aid al Qaeda and the Taliban in their terrorist agendas. It's not a training or a recruiting tool. It's silly. This is a knee jerk reaction.

And ten years ago, the Navy gave full access to David Sears of Soft Studios in North Carolina to all their equipment and men and materials to make a video game. So it seems like they just changed the rules overnight and guys got caught up in that gray change area, and they're paying for it. Patriots are losing careers.

COSTELLO: That's right because some of them will lose their careers because they certainly can't get a promotion after this. Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I appreciate it. Christopher Mark Heben, former member of SEAL Team 8.

All right, this just in to CNN. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Chrysler is recalling more than 700,000 Jeep SUVs because air bags are going off by accident.

Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. This seems to be a serious problem.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It does seem that way. Just so you know, we don't have that number confirmed yet, the 700,000, but here's what we do know.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced the recall of some 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty SUVs and some 2002-2003 and 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees. What these are being recalled for is a faulty component in the air bag that could make the air bag deploy out of nowhere while you're driving the car.

NHTSA is investigating this. It had 87 reports of what it called inadvertent air bag deployment that have caused 50 people to suffer minor injuries mostly burns, cuts and bruises. The administration says Chrysler is going to be notifying owners who are affected. It's going to notify them beginning in January and fix the problem free of charge. If you're an owner of one of these vehicles, you can also contact Chrysler at this number, 1-800-247-9753 -- Carol.

COSTELLO: OK, we'll repeat that number later on, on our show and have it on banners. Go ahead.

KOSIK: I want to add one thing. You're maybe wondering why they're waiting until January to notify everybody. This is a recall. And we called that number up there on the screen and they told us that it takes dealerships six to eight weeks just to get the parts in.

So they're going to wait for parts to come in before owners are notified. It's a recall. It's not such an emergency that you have to rush the dealer right away.

COSTELLO: OK, you can tweet that number out?

KOSIK: I will.

COSTELLO: OK, thanks, Alison. Alison Kosik reporting live for us.

The Iranian military is responding to a story CNN broke first. Iran says it took decisive actions, which include shooting at a U.S. drone aircraft that entered Iranian air space last week. But the Pentagon says that drone was over international waters.


GEORGE LITTLE, ACTING ASSISTANT DEFENSE SECRETARY: We believe this is the first time that an unmanned aircraft has been shot at over international waters in the Arabian Gulf.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that an act of war?

LITTLE: I'm not going to get into legal labels.


COSTELLO: Well, the Iranian military missed. The predator drone was not hit. Barbara Starr has more from the Pentagon.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Carol, this morning Iran is saying it will respond to what it calls any U.S. military aggression inside its waters or its air space.

But according to the Pentagon, the entire incident took place in international air space over the Persian Gulf, 16 miles off the coast of Iran, and, of course, 12 miles is the international limit.

The Pentagon says that two Iranian SU-25 jets fired their guns on a U.S. Air Force drone conducting routine, but classified surveillance over the Persian Gulf. The drone was not hit, it turned back, trying to turn away from Iran, and the Pentagon says the two Iranian jets continued to chase it, circling around it, and tried to continue to fire.

The question now is, this is the first time this has happened. What is Iran really up to? Are they just trying to cause trouble, are they really trying to start a shooting war over the Persian Gulf? This is a question for intelligence analysts to which there is no real answer right now we are told.

But it definitely raises tensions in a very critical part of the world. Those oil shipping lanes, heavy commercial air traffic through that region. This is not a place where anyone wants to see a shooting war erupt -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Barbara Starr reporting from the Pentagon this morning.

New York still digging out this morning after a one-two punch of a superstorm and nor'easter. Both storms complicated by the fact that 282,000 people still don't have any power. And that's got Governor Andrew Cuomo blasting the utility companies.


GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: You pay a person for service. They were specialized in doing this. And we paid them and we gave them a franchise, because they represented themselves as experts at doing this and they failed. And they should be held accountable for their failure.


COSTELLO: But New York is solving at least one of its problems. Those long lines at the gas station, New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposing a solution that worked in New Jersey, gas rationing.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Only 25 percent of our gas stations, we estimate, are open. Drivers are still facing long lines, frustrations are only growing and it now appears that there will be shortages for possibly another couple weeks.

The best way, we think, to cut down the lines and help customers buy gas faster to help gas stations stay open longer, and to reduce the potential for disorder is to alternate the days that drivers can purchase gas.


COSTELLO: So far, as I said, it seems to be working. These are new pictures coming into us from New York. You see? Doesn't seem like any problem with that gas station. But this is a far cry from the long lines we saw last week.

Roger Clark is a reporter for New York 1 in New York City. So Roger, this is the first day of the new plan. Smooth going?

ROGER CLARK, NY1 REPORTER: That's definitely an adventure here, Carol, no doubt about it. Let's check out behind me where McGinnis Boulevard and Green Point Avenue, very busy thoroughfare, connects the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. You can get to the 59th street Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, which has opened today and as you can see, a police officer is standing in front of that line. That left lane over there, or the right lane, if you face the other way, is the gas line heading into the station where I'm standing on the corner now.

So far, it seems to be working. Early on, it went into effect at 6:00 this morning. And there were some people in line who either didn't hear about it or were trying to beat the 6:00 deadline.

Police officers went up and down the line and said, sorry, you're out of luck. Today is an odd day, so you have to have your last -- last number has to be an odd number or else you got the boot off the line.

Also, if you have a letter, you can do it. There are also some exemptions like commercial vehicles, taxis, delivery cabs and if you're a doctor and have an MD plate, you're OK too. So far, people are abiding by the rules.

This line is moving a little slower because the pumps aren't moving as fast. But so far, NYPD doing a great job up here keeping things in order at this gas station and then all over town.

COSTELLO: That's so nice to hear. Roger Clark, thanks for filling us in, of New York 1. We appreciate it.

Peering over the edge of the fiscal cliff. Your wallet at stake. The clock is ticking. Can Washington really muster the political will to compromise?


COSTELLO: It's 15 minutes past the hour. In just a few hours, President Obama will walk you to the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff. That's the doom's day description of budget cuts and tax hikes set to automatically kick in January 1st.

Government bean counters say the economic jolt could send us into a recession unless Washington can find a compromise. But just a few days after a bitter round of elections, is anyone really ready to budge?


REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Raising tax rates is unacceptable and, frankly, it couldn't even pass the House. Putting increased revenues on the table, but through reforming our tax code. And I would do that if the president were serious about solving our spending problem, and trying to secure our entitlement programs.


COSTELLO: Sound familiar? Chief business correspondent Ali Velshi is going to crunch the numbers for us, and White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar is weighing in on the politics side.

So Brianna, the president is due to speak in the White House in just a few hours. What do you expect him to say?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You put that, that he'll walk us to the edge of the fiscal cliff. I think he is going to lay out the consequences what it would mean to go over, which are very dire.

We understand from the Congressional Budget Office that it would mean going into a recession. You would see unemployment tick up about 2 percent. So he's going to do that. He'll urge Congress to act. He'll be talking more in generalities than specifics.

But we do know that his plan for deficit reduction and tax reform and then tackling entitlements back in 2011 included some things like cutting the deficit by $4 trillion, $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue raised, reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending.

So entitlement reform there and reducing corporate tax rates and closing loopholes, the thing, though, is you're kind of -- I imagine wondering, well, John Boehner is saying this, President Obama is saying that. How is there any way for them to meet in the middle?

Well, there may be a way to increase revenue without actually increasing tax rates. If you were to close loopholes and deductions, for instance, this is one way that Republicans will tell you there's a way that you wouldn't actually increase the tax rates.

But you could create more tax dollars. So there may be some common ground. But we're very far from figuring out exactly what that would look like, and certainly it's not something that could be tackled just in a few weeks -- Carol.

COSTELLO: You're probably sadly right about that. Brianna Keilar reporting live from the White House this morning.

Now let's turn to our chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi. Ali, we've heard the dire warnings, but there are a number of options to at least minimize the impact. So please share.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All right, so the first one is to kick the can down the road, as we say. Come up with a temporary fix that doesn't allow us to face all these expirations of deductions and increases in tax, for let's say six months.

And I'm just inventing that number because people like six months. It might be a year or three months. Number two, fall off the cliff, which some people are advocating we do. Guess what will happen then?

Stocks will take a nosedive. We're already seeing rough trading days with stocks. And like the debt limit, like the TARP, that will probably force Congress to act because stocks diving are always tough for people.

Number three is the one that Brianna was just talking about, and that John Boehner was just talking about. What we call the grand bargain. The thing that President Obama and to his credit, John Boehner tried to achieve last time around. Here's the problem. You know this, Carol, there are more than 200 members of Congress who have signed this ridiculous pledge by "Americans for Tax Reform" run by Grover Norquist that says not only can there be no net tax increase in personal or corporate tax rates, but that eliminating deductions counts as a tax increase.

So based on what Grover Norquist has made these congressmen sign, what John Boehner says can't happen. So I'm not sure what John Boehner is going to come up with, and he's going to talk very shortly. I hope it's something substantive.

Because if they break that pledge, the "Americans for Tax Reform," which is funded by crossroads, GPS, Karl Rove, super PAC, amongst others, have pledged to make sure these people don't get re-elected. Remember, President Obama doesn't need to be re-elected now.

COSTELLO: I know. I was just going to say, but Mitt Romney lost, and more than half the country thinks maybe taxes should be raised on the wealthiest Americans and maybe some Republicans should put aside their pledges.

VELSHI: Well, I'm going to be talking to Grover Norquist a little later on today to see if that's the case, but they are sticking to it. The bottom line is between the "Americans for Tax Reform" and that Tea Party element that is still prepared to run candidates in the next election against people who break their pledges.

This is very hard for congressmen and this has become, you know, the way the world works now. It's all about the next campaign. So unfortunately, there are people standing -- let's be clear about this.

There are a lot of people in Washington who are prepared to negotiate. But there are a group of Republicans who cannot compromise, because when you compromise to make a deal, you have got to actually give up something you believe in.

And they have signed a pledge that they will not build -- give this up. So something has got to give, and I tell you, Carol. If they don't compromise, whether it's the markets or the American people, someone will force a decision on them.

COSTELLO: It's just, you know -- it's the same old tired argument. It's just the same old, same old.

VELSHI: It's really exhausting.

COSTELLO: You're right. OK, so we're going to think about happy things because it's Friday. Thanks, Ali, have a great weekend.

VELSHI: See you, Carol.

COSTELLO: Still ahead, a question for you this morning. And it has to be about taxes, right? Should Obama or Republicans blink on taxes? I'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, should Obama or Republicans blink on taxes? Why did we have an election?

It didn't change anything, a Democratic president or a Republican House, a Democratic Senate, bitter, bitter, bitter. OK, it's Friday, I'm going to try to be more upbeat. No, I can't, because the bitterness is over the same old, same old.


BOEHNER: Tax raise is unacceptable. And frankly, it couldn't even pass the House.


COSTELLO: On, Republican Mitch McConnell piled on, quote, "I know some people out there think Tuesday's results think Republicans in Washington are now going to roll over and agree to Democrat demands that we hike tax rates before the end of the year. I'm here to tell them, there is no truth to that notion whatsoever," end quote.

As you well know, President Obama campaigned on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. His favorite line, we must all pay our fair share even though taxing the wealthy will not solve our debt crisis.

What does this mean? We take our cue from "The Price Is Right." That's right. Because of this tired argument, we could fall off the fiscal cliff. So the "Talkback" question for you this morning. Should Obama or Republicans on blink on taxes? Your responses later this hour.

Chicago Bears' quarterback Charles Tillman got pushed back for suggesting he might miss a game if his wife went into labor and had a baby! We'll talk about that.


COSTELLO: It's just about 30 minutes past the hour. Good morning to you. Happy Friday. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you for joining us.

Some relief today for New Yorkers standing for hours in line as they wait for gas, thanks to shortages sparked by superstorm Sandy. Drivers with license plates ending in even numbers can buy gas on even numbered days of the month.

While those whose plates ending in odd numbers will buy on odd- numbered days. The rationing is in response to a gas shortage following the storm.

President Obama will deliver his first post-election public speech on the state of the economy, more specifically the so-called fiscal cliff. It's $7 trillion mix of spending cuts and tax hikes that many believe could throw the U.S. economy into a recession next year. We are expecting his speech to take place at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Former associate head coach of the Syracuse men's basketball team will not face criminal charges. Bernie Fine was accused of molesting underage boys several years ago. Investigators spent a year interviewing witnesses.

But the U.S. attorney's office in Northern New York says there is not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges and, yes, the case is now closed.

Guess what? There is a new number one in the Smartphone market and it's not this one. Samsung's Galaxy S3 taking over the lead from Apple's iPhone making it the world's best-selling Smartphone.

Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. No wonder Apple's stock is going down.

KOSIK: Well, it's part of it. You know, Samsung better enjoy wearing the crown, because it's not going to last long. It's for the moment. So, yes, the Samsung Galaxy S3, wins the top-selling Smartphone award of the third quarter. That's at least according to Strategy Analytics -- that's a market research firm.

The Apple iPhone 4s finished a close second, though. And here's the reason, the back story behind this why the S3 took the top spot, it's because the iPhone 5, it came out late in the third quarter. It took sales away from the 4s and because of that, Samsung's reign is going to be short-lived.

Now the iPhone 5 is expected to overtake the Galaxy S3 this quarter, because as you know everybody rushed out to buy the iPhone 5.

You know but still the reality is, Carol that Apple faces a lot of competition in the Smartphone market. Apple only has about 13 percent of the Smartphone market share. You know, that may sound like a lot, but it's nothing compared to the 50 percent share Apple has in the tablet market -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange. Thanks so much.

Things are going great for Charles Tillman right now. Think about it. The cornerback Chicago Bears' team has a 7-1 record heading into Sunday night's big game with the Texans. That should be an awesome game, right? Tillman and his wife Jackie are also about to celebrate the birth of their child.

But timing is everything. And Tillman told a Chicago radio station that if his wife went into labor, he would miss the game. That prompted a protest from Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk. This is Mike's quote. "This may not be the most popular position in the world, but I fall into this, this is the life we have chosen category."

He goes on to say, "Guys who are overseas don't get to fly home if they have a spouse going into labor, and they get paid a heck of a lot less money." Carlos Diaz is here from HLN. Ooh.

CARLOS DIAZ, HLN CORRESPONDENT: I love -- I love your response. Ooh. Is like what a lot of women are saying about Mike Florio right now. Because what he is doing is he's echoing that old-school football mentality of war. It's war, I get acquaintance to war, they can't come back from war.

So a football player shouldn't do this. That's not the way we are anymore. I mean, we understand that football is a game, ok? This is the birth of your child. And let me point out something that not a lot of people are pointing out, ok?

First off, Charles Tillman is an -- is an amazing family man. And he had a daughter in 2008 who had to have a heart transplant when she was a baby. So obviously, his wife is concerned, you know, with any pregnancy that she has.

And so he's a doting dad to three other children that he has you know with his wife Jackie. And he wants to be there for the birth of his child.

Now, the Bears -- Chicago Bears football is like religion in Chicago, ok.


DIAZ: So when the Bears are, you know, at the top of their division as they are, they have the second-best record in the NFC and they're playing the team with the best record in the AFC, then of course, this is going to be a huge game. And Bears fans are like, your wife is going to go into labor? And? You know, I mean they want -- they want him there.

So a lot of Bears fans are you know -- a lot of unmarried Bears fans are saying he should be there. But of course, the majority of sane- minded people are saying it's a baby. It's the birth of your child, miss the game.

COSTELLO: Well, what are you supposed to do? Like, time-out the pregnancy?

DIAZ: I mean that's -- that's one of the comments that Mike Florio made, where the -- you know he kind of said, basically, you need to time -- you need to time the time that your wife gets pregnant, these nine-month expenditures or something like that, to the time that you're in the off season. You know, you can -- well, ok. That's great. But that's old-school ways of thinking whereas now it's different for football these days.

And no one -- and especially Lovie Smith, who is the coach of the Bears, he is one of the nicest coaches in the NFL, he's the most -- one of the most caring coaches of the NFL, he fully supports Charles Tillman.

COSTELLO: Although -- DIAZ: Yes.

COSTELLO: Although.

DIAZ: Yes.

COSTELLO: And I understand that Tillman tweeted to ESPN radio to "Mike & Mike in the Morning."

DIAZ: Yes.

COSTELLO: And he said, "God, family, football. Baby is coming Monday, don't worry, I'll be there Sunday."

DIAZ: Yes exactly, so -- but I -- but you, but he's also said though if she happens to go -- because you can't -- the labor -- if the labor happens on Sunday, he's going to leave, he'll be there, you know, for the birth of his child. So --


COSTELLO: Well, I love Charles Tillman now.

DIAZ: I got to -- I got a tweet earlier from some guy going, but Carlos, I've got money on the game. So -- so for you, you should have considered the baby factor before you hit up Vegas there.

COSTELLO: Carlos Diaz, thanks as always.

JC Penney stocks taking a dive this morning. Find out what sent them into a tailspin.


COSTELLO: Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories".

The clock is ticking on the fiscal cliff and all of America wondering if Congress and the President can get a deal done in time. Both John Boehner and President Obama will speak publicly on the issue today, with just 53 days to go until the dead line.

In money news: more problems for JC Penney, the retailer is stock under pressure after posting a $203 million loss in the third quarter. JC Penney going through a massive overhaul, including a plan to add boutiques. Its stock trading down almost four percent this morning.

Amazing pictures out of Australia. This big black cloud you see forming over the city of Hobart was recorded by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Forecasters say it was on its way to becoming a tornado, but it didn't quite get there.

Many storm victims here are returning home, but their lives are far from returning to normal. They're finding destruction much worse than they feared.

CNN's Susan Candiotti accompanied one couple on their return home to Pelican Island, New Jersey.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With Sandy's storm clouds gathering Sue Kosakowski evacuated but over her objections husband Bill stayed behind. It was traumatizing.

BILL KOSAKOWSKI, STORM VICTIM: We rode out the storm until Friday morning. Friday morning, I said I couldn't take anymore, because they turned the gas off. When they turned the gas off, that was the end for me. I told my wife, I would walk across the bridge if I had to, but I was getting off.

CANDIOTTI: Armed with a police pass, the retired Bayo, New Jersey fire chief, married to wife Sue for 23 years, joined other residents allowed back on Pelican Island for a few hours to take stock of the devastation.

(on camera): What a sight, huh?

SUE KOSAKOWSKI, STORM VICTIM: Yes, they're broken -- just everything is just broken down, yes.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: It's my boat.

S. KOSAKOWSKI: This is his boat.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Ripped from a lift behind the house, the storm surge swept his boat into the street. Inside the house, the couple gets a look at breathtaking damage. Sue, for the very first time.

S. KOSAKOWSKI: Oh. Oh, my God.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: This house was spotless.

CANDIOTTI: Marks on the ceiling show how high waves got inside.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: When the water was up over my knees, I thought I might be able to save something. So I put the chairs up on the top of the table. It didn't do any good.

CANDIOTTI: As things got even worse, Bill retreated upstairs to the couple's bedroom overlooking the bay, and huddled with his retriever, Blink.

B. KOSAKOWSKI: I've never been so scared in my life.

CANDIOTTI: Their dream retirement home is in shambles, but with all they lost, Sue is grateful she didn't lose Bill.

S. KOSAKOWSKI: The house is stones and bricks and windows and glass. I thought I lost him. And that would have been -- losing him would have -- would have just devastated me. I wouldn't have known how I would have gone on if it I had lost him. B. KOSAKOWSKI: Come down here and expect to live the rest of your life in calm and in peace and in one fell swoop, everything washed away.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Even knowing the danger of riding out a storm, Kosakowski stayed behind with the hope of salvaging something meaningful, something valuable. But as a former fire chief, he recognizes nothing is worth that kind of risk.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Pelican Island, New Jersey.



COSTELLO: I thought we were going to see Daniel Craig. Come on, Mr. Director Scottie, we need to see our Daniel Craig.


DANIEL CRAIG, ACTOR: Why, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You caught me. Now here's your prize. The latest thing from my local toy store. It's called radio.


COSTELLO: As you probably could tell, I really like Daniel Craig. That's the new James Bond flick, "Skyfall" exploding in theatres everywhere today. After much anticipation, people are guaranteed to see some thrilling 007 action scenes.

Nischelle Turner joins us live from Los Angeles. It has a pretty cool villain, too.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes, definitely cool. What's wrong with Scottie, Carol? Teasing a girl like that.

COSTELLO: I know. I'm going to have to talk to him.

TURNER: Exactly, it's Friday. You have got to give a girl what she needs on Friday. All right. You know what; you were talking about this movie, and "Skyfall" actually could be the biggest Bond movie ever. Now experts are saying it could have the biggest opening weekend in the franchise's 50-year history. This new Bond film expected to make $75 million to $85 million this weekend.

Now, there have been some mixed reviews of the movie, but Roger Moore has publicly been calling it the best Bond movie ever. And since he played Bond in seven films, I think he has a right to his opinion, right?

Now, just a few months ago, Roger Moore wrote a book about Bond and he said Sean Connery was his favorite Bond but now after seeing "Skyfall" he's convinced that Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever. Now, there's a lot of people who always say Sean Connery is the best Bond ever, but Daniel Craig is definitely winning people over. Case in point, myself. And it seems to be very true (ph).



COSTELLO: I could just watch it without the sound. But that's a whole another story.

TURNER: Exactly.

COSTELLO: Let's talk about another kind of man, that would be Abraham Lincoln.


COSTELLO: A big movie.

TURNER: You know, that's a switch.

COSTELLO: But I can't wait for this movie to come out either.

TURNER: Yes, well, you're not going to have to wait long. Because it's opening in limited release this weekend. It's going to go in wide release next week. And this is one of the movies out there that is attracting some award buzz, primarily for star Daniel Day-Lewis who plays the president.

Now, I've seen people saying that Lewis' version is the most convincing and authentic Lincoln ever. I'm not really sure how people know that. But anyway, authenticity is very important to people behind the film from director Steven Spielberg, through the entire cast, to the award-winning screen writer, Tony Kushner.

Carol, we were at the film's premier last night, and Joseph Gordon- Levitt who plays Robert Lincoln talked about how Kushner made sure the movie was as accurate as it could be. Let's listen to what he had to say.


JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, ACTOR: I think it was extremely accurate. If -- have you had a chance to talk to Mr. Kushner?


GORDON-LEVITT: Yes, so -- I hope you do. Because I got to sit in with him on some of the press conferences that he did, and just listen to him speak at length about the research that he did. And he learned a lot.

He's a staggeringly intelligent man and writer. And what's amazing is that he's actually not, you know, an academic historian. He's like a playwright who knows how to tell a story. (END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Now, you know, we just talked about the fact that the movie is opening in limited release, Carol. And just in case you're confused, this Lincoln, no vampires in this film. So you don't have to worry about that one.

COSTELLO: Thank goodness. That was a little too much for me. I couldn't see that.

TURNER: Yes, me too.

COSTELLO: But I see every other movie about Abraham Lincoln and I think I've read every book on the man. So I just can't wait. Thanks, Nischelle. You made my morning.

TURNER: Absolutely. Have a good weekend, doll.

COSTELLO: You too.

TURNER: Watch "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT", 11:00 Eastern on HLN.

"Talk Back" question for you this morning. Should Obama or Republicans blink on taxes? Your responses next.


COSTELLO: You know, I just can't describe how many angry people there are on Long Island, New York. New Yorkers are furious, because they still don't have power. They've now gathered outside an Oceanside Elementary School. This is in Nassau County, in Long Island. They gathered outside the school to make sure the utility companies are hearing them. This is what they said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been two weeks without electricity. The electric lines are down and so are the communication lines are down, as well. We are here. Ladies and gentlemen, where is LIPA? Where is LIPA? Where is LIPA? Where is LIPA? Where is LIPA? Where is LIPA?

They are the only ones who can turn on your electricity. The town of Hempstead (ph) can't, the state can't, LIPA is the only entity that can turn on your electricity. Where are they? They won't talk to us. We call them every day. They won't give us one answer.

Last night, I spoke to the head of LIPA and said, do the people south of Meric Road need electrical inspections. Simple question, ladies and gentlemen. Do you need inspections? And the CEO said, I can't give you an answer.


COSTELLO: Ok. So she's not the only one angry. The governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo is also angry. He's telling utility companies, where are you? People are paying for a service that they're not getting. Maybe something ought to be done.

There will be much more about this story in the hours to come on CNN. And throughout the weekend, we'll also have a report on it on Monday here in the NEWSROOM.

All right. The "Talk Back" question today, "Should President Obama or Republicans blink on taxes?" This from Luis, "We Americans need to realize one thing. As long as we have conflicting ideas of what America needs, nothing will ever be solved."

This from Shannon. "The President needs to put his foot down. The Republicans are just afraid they'll lose supporting moneys from the big oil companies."

This from Ian, "We need to raise taxes and lower spending/entitlement. Please work together for the good of all of us."

This from Jake. "Republicans should not blink. If they give in, they might as well switch parties."

This from Lisa. "It seems like since Obama was elected, it's clear what most Americans want, meaning Obama's tax plan."

This from Rob. "The whole key to raising revenue is jobs. If you took all of the wealthiest Americans' money, it wouldn't last more than a few months."

Please keep the conversation going., and thanks, as always, for your comments.


Imagine a Washington without gridlock. Imagine it. I'm not talking about the nation's capital, but a town in nearby Virginia hoping its namesake gets its act together. CNN's Tom Foreman paid a visit.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just an hour outside of D.C., people in the small town of Washington, Virginia spent months waiting to see what the election would bring their way. And many, like cabinet-maker Peter Cramer, say they didn't much care about whether the Democrats or Republicans would win, just as long as the creeping economy starts racing again.

PETER CRAMER, CUSTOM FURNITURE MAKER: I'm saying, it's both of us. And, yes, somebody fix it. Let's get some people in Washington who want to sit down and say let's solve the problem, and stop the gridlock.

FOREMAN: Next door at the Stonyman Gourmet Farmer's Cafe, Susan James spent the run up to the election feeling much the same way.

SUSAN JAMES, STONYMAN GOURMET FARMER: Certainly, the economy has changed the way we've conducted business. And it's changed decisions we've made. Major decisions. FOREMAN: Instead of expanding her family-owned business, she kept a close eye on cost, steered clear of debt, and watched the electoral process play out. What is it that you most want to see from Washington, D.C.?

JAMES: Leadership and stepping up. The game of passing the buck, blaming the other guy, it sounds as if the way my brother and I used to fight when we were 7 years old. And people know, we don't want that.

FOREMAN: It was that way all over town before the election. Many, like jewelry-maker Kaitlynn Mullan were unsure of what would happen with taxes, jobs --

KAITLYNN MULLAN, JEWELRY MAKER: I think a lot of people are just scared to commit a large amount of money to anything, whether it be a couple hundred dollars for custom jewelry or a home, you know. A lot of people are nervous.

FOREMAN: No one expects any quick fix for the economy.

JAMES: It's big, and it's going to take some time, and a lot of work. And it would be nice to get at it. .

FOREMAN: But they are more than ready to start building up again, just as soon as the other Washington settles down, and gets back to work.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington, Virginia.


COSTELLO: It's a beautiful town. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me today. "CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.