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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Questions About Petraeus' Resignation; Hurricane Sandy Clean-up Efforts Continue; Impact of Women Voters in Election; Malala Yousafzai Continues Path of Recovery; Voters Approve Same-Sex Marriage; 100 Places to Eat Like a Local; Colorado and Washington Say Yes to Marijuana
Aired November 10, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 out West. Thank you for starting your day with us.
KAYE: We start with the shocking revelation from the now former CIA director, General David Petraeus. Petraeus resigned from his post, citing an extramarital affair. Petraeus had met personally with the president Thursday to offer his resignation. The president reluctantly accepted Friday.
The general's affair was actually uncovered during an investigation by the FBI. The FBI's involvement has raised questions with at least one former CIA operative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB BAER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not going to, but there are four or five CIA directors that I know were carrying on extramarital affairs while they were director. The FBI was never brought in. The office of security was never brought in. It was ignored. It went away quietly. We'll never know about them. So this is absolutely extraordinary. I'm telling you it's more to do than with sex. There's something going on here which I can't explain and I think we're going to find out very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Petraeus took over as CIA chief after a long career in the army, most recently as the man leading operations in Afghanistan. The CIA will now be run by Michael Morrell who has been deputy director since May of 2010.
BLACKWELL: There are plenty of questions surrounding that FBI investigation and the timing of the resignation. Joining me now is CNN intelligence correspondent Suzanne Kelly. Suzanne, good to have you back with us. Why was the FBI involved?
SUZANNE KELLY, INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, a U.S. official tells CNN the FBI was investigating a tip that David Petraeus was involved in an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell. She is his biographer. Broadwell spent a year with Petraeus in Afghanistan interviewing him for the book that she then co-wrote about him and CNN hasn't been able to reach Broadwell for comment on it. And it's not clear whether Broadwell is the woman with whom Petraeus has admitted to having this affair that led to his resignation as you reported.
The official says that the FBI counterintelligence unit investigated the tip to see if there was a potential security risk, whether Petraeus could possibly be blackmailed. The official tells CNN there was no suggestion that the FBI was investigating Petraeus for any possible wrongdoing, but the concern, rather, was that he might be putting himself in a vulnerable position.
BLACKWELL: We know that a lot of the questions from online that I've read, some of the comments on cnn.com and there's questions about the timing. Let's start with what it comes after, the presidential election. What if we found out about that connection, if any, and why this comes just days after the election?
KELLY: Well, that's a great question and I think a lot of those questions are going to be thrown at the White House and they have already, I can assure you. The FBI, obviously, if there was an investigation going on would have known about this. The White House would have known about this. But there's not always necessarily a reason to make a change.
If there is an investigation and there's anything serious that they feel like they need the opportunity to follow up on, there's a chance that moves wouldn't have been made. But the timing of it, obviously, with the election coming up is very curious.
BLACKWELL: And there are some who say that the Benghazi hearings are next week, following up on the attack at the consulate in Libya.
KELLY: That's right.
BLACKWELL: There are concerns that maybe this is a conspiracy, that this was timed perfectly to get the CIA director out before that. Any reporting on that?
KELLY: Well, there are a lot of conspiracies in Washington and I always look to see what they're based on. The CIA in particular is not, I think, under any increased scrutiny when it comes to the Benghazi investigation about anything that they did or didn't do. Of course congressional members who are on those oversight committees have a lot of questions. They're going to get an opportunity to get some of those questions answered next Thursday as you mentioned when there's this closed session briefing.
Michael Morrell who is leading the CIA at the president's request is a career CIA officer and he's going to be the one who's in the hot seat to answer those questions. But the real probably target of any of the political back and forth that was going on over Benghazi was the White House. This was very much being used sort of as a political tool, if you will, to say that the administration wasn't being transparent. I don't know that throwing David Petraeus under the bus would be something that's all that plausible, to be honest.
BLACKWELL: The questions about what the ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, had reported, that her information came from the CIA. That might have been why this could have some involvement with Benghazi. We'll see in the few days that we have before those hearings start if we hear any more about that from people who were following this very closely. Suzanne Kelly, thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: It's been almost two weeks since super storm Sandy hit and life is slowly getting back to normal for people in the northeast, far too slowly. Millions of people lost power during the storm and about 160,000 more lost power because of the powerful nor'easter that hit this week. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie expects a big turn- around this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Life will be back for most of New Jersey to normal come Sunday. What do I mean by that? Let's start off with power. We back tracked slightly in our efforts to restore power due to the nor'easter but after talking with the utilities last night and again this morning, my belief is that we will have almost 100 percent restoration by Saturday night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: But officials say people who have flood damage need to have an inspection before their power can be restored.
Now to New York where on Long Island alone more than 150,000 people are still in the dark this morning.
KAYE: And people are getting desperate, impatient and furious because of flood damage. Some people may not see power now for days or possibly even weeks. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't get light on for my kid. I can't get power, heat, garbage pickup, nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia is following this story very closely and we're hearing now the criticism not just from the people who live there but their elected officials, the local and county leaders.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: People are not getting answers. They're not getting answers they want anyway. We've been reaching out to LIPA all morning. It's Long Island public power authority rather, haven't been able to get answers Victor or Randi. We've called them, left messages. They haven't returned our calls. We're still waiting for an answer. A lot of people are waiting for their power to be turned back on. As you mentioned, two hours to be without power, let alone almost two weeks and that's what a lot of residents are facing. I believe we have a map that really illustrates exactly how many people are without power. As you see there, Randi and Victor, it's mostly along the south shore of Long Island there, those places that got those heavy storm surges, brought a lot of flooding about.
In fact, those frustrations from local residents really hit a boiling point yesterday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY J. SANTINO, HEMPSTEAD, NY SENIOR COUNCILMAN: This is a crisis of epic proportions. This is a natural disaster. We are here as one community together to send a message we've had enough. LIPA is disgusting. The management of LIPA should be fired from top to bottom. And Governor Cuomo, we have a message for Governor Cuomo. Send the National Guard in here today to turn the power back on!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: I think these frustrations are furthered by the fact that LIPA has told local residents Randi and Victor that they have to get an electrician to make sure that it's safe before any of this power can be restored.
KAYE: I get their frustration. Having been up there covering the storm a lot of the authorities said we can't go in there yet, it's not safe. That was fine. That worked in day one, day two, maybe even day three. But now two weeks? That doesn't work so much anymore.
VALENCIA: It's time to get angry.
KAYE: And these people are worried about not only their own safety but the security of their homes too right.
VALENCIA: Absolutely and looting was a big factor. Burglaries have gone up 7 percent. In fact we put a round of phone, put a round of phone calls to local authorities there, Nassau County in fact, one of the places, precinct four, a lot of people concerned there. We had a resident on earlier today talking about concerns of looting. They said that was something that was really instrumental and a phenomenon at the beginning in the initial landfall of the storm.
Right now, they're keeping an eye on it. They have security detail monitoring the situation, but so far no major reports of looting just yet, so we'll keep an eye on that.
KAYE: All right.
BLACKWELL: Twelve days.
KAYE: Thank you. Well, we have much more ahead this hour.
BLACKWELL: And here's what's coming up. KAYE: The new majority, the women's choice. Battles over voting rights. Tuesday's election revealed new lessons. All morning we'll put what we learned in focus.
As of Tuesday, smoking pot without a medical reason is now legal in two states. For now, the Feds aren't budging, so why is one career drug agent applauding the new laws?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should be held accountable for their failure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Fury over the darkness that still plagues Sandy's victims. Who is to blame for the loss of power that has gone on nearly two weeks?
KAYE: Welcome back, 12 minutes past the hour now. Election night seemed more like ladies night across the country. Not only did women help President Obama win reelection, they also made history and some big gains of their own.
Take New Hampshire, for instance. It became the first state ever to elect women to all its top posts, the governor and the entire Congressional delegation, all women. In Wisconsin, voters elected Tammy Baldwin as the nation's first openly gay senator. And in Hawaii, Mazie Hirono will become the state's first female senator. She's also the nation's first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate.
The new Congress will also see the largest number of women ever, 20 in the Senate and at least 77 in the House. And according to our exit polls, more women than men cast ballots this election. Of those who voted for president, 53 percent were women, 47 percent were men. And those women voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, 55 percent to 44 percent.
But with all the gains for women, the Senate is about to lose one woman who's been a fixture there now for years. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison did not seek reelection. She is retiring at the end of the year. She's been the Republican senator from Texas since 1993 when she replaced Lloyd Benson.
Welcome, Senator. Good morning.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: Thank you, Randi. It's great to be here.
KAYE: We are focusing this morning on what we learned in this election. So why do you think Republicans missed so badly with women voters?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think that statistic that you just gave, 53 percent of all voters were women this year, means that we need to go back to the drawing board because we didn't get the majority of that 53 percent and I think some of the harsh rhetoric of some of our high- profile candidates, even though they were repudiated by the party leaders, nevertheless just gave a bad image that's really not real, but yet I think it means that we're going to have to really look at what women want to hear from political candidates.
KAYE: You certainly had a pretty stark assessment of some of those candidates. Could you share that with us? I assume you're talking possibly about Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who both lost their Senate races after controversial comments about abortion?
HUTCHISON: And it was about rape victims. You know, I think that men need to be very careful when they talk about rape victims, because this is -- this is a trauma. There are two lives at stake here.
And I think we need to have a feeling for that. And I think that maybe the empathy, even though, you know, I worked on a bill when I was in the state legislature to make sure that rape victims, when they were testifying and in the legal system, had fair treatment. And it wasn't the case when I was in the legislature in the '70s, but we changed the law. And I found that the men in the legislature understood when you brought it up that there had to be a fairness, that you had to treat rape victims as if they were victims and not on trial.
That's where I think sometimes we haven't caught up and I think it's time for us to learn -- really dig down and learn from this election and make sure that we are talking about the issues that all Americans care about and want to hear from their political leaders.
KAYE: We mentioned that Mourdock and Akin lost their states, Missouri and Indiana, but they both went for Romney actually, both those states. So what do you think that tells us?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think it tells us that they made mistakes. Even though I know they were deeply felt personal views, but they're out of the mainstream deeply held personal views and that may not be what they need to run for public office on. Because Romney carried and in other places you had governors being elected, not in those particular ones, but just in general we need to talk about women's issues in a way that women want to be talked to. And I think that sometimes even though maybe their hearts are in the right place, maybe what they're saying is not being communicated in the correct way and maybe they're not talking about the right issues.
KAYE: Let me ask you quickly about women -- actually Latinos. Your seat now going to Ted Cruz, a Cuban American, backed by the Tea Party. But nationally Latino voters went 71 percent to 27 percent actually for President Obama. You got a large percentage of Latino votes when you ran and you won. Do you have some advice for your party on this?
HUTCHISON: Well, absolutely. I got 44 percent of the Latino vote in my state and Texas is a very conservative state. We all know it's a red state. Conservative values, conservative political views. But we -- we embrace Hispanics. They are a part of our leadership, they are a part of our communities and we talk about education, we talk about values and it resonates with Hispanic families. And I think that is the message that we need to be taking nationwide. And people want to be treated fairly. They want to work and they want to do better for their families. That's why they're here. I think we need to recognize that.
KAYE: Before I let you go, I want to ask you about the Tea Party. What happened to the Tea Party? Certainly didn't fare as well as they did in 2010. Did they lose focus do you think as a movement? Are they too far right for the rest of this country?
HUTCHISON: You know, Randi, I think you're on to something in that the Tea Party really came as a protest on the profligate spending, the debt, the deficits. They were an economically focused uprising, which has been good. We needed that uprising. We needed to get control of that. But I think they're in danger of being co-opted with so many other interest groups that they may not have that absolute focus on get your economic house in order.
And I think that was a great movement. I think it is a great movement if it stays focused on the long-term future of this country and that is jobs. It's the economy. It's getting our debt in order so that we will be the beacon of freedom to the world and the beacon of economic responsibility to the world, not going the way of a kind of a socialistic European trend.
And so, I hope that they are going to keep that focus and not be diverted by other extraneous issues that may be important but maybe not in the political spectrum that is going to keep the focus on get your economic house in order.
KAYE: Senator Hutchison, always a pleasure to speak with you. Even in your retirement, I hope we continue to be able to do so.
HUTCHISON: Thank you. I hope so too. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Just a month after being shot in the head, one of the Taliban's greatest threats is out of her hospital bed and even from England, she's inspiring huge changes back home in Pakistan.
BLACKWELL: Iran is defiantly defending its failed attempt to shoot down a U.S. drone. The U.S. says Iran fired on the unarmed surveillance aircraft over international waters on November 1st. Iran says it took action after the drone entered its airspace. The drone returned to its base despite two attempts by Iranian jets to bring it down.
KAYE: While China's elite meet to pick new leaders, ordinary Chinese who depend on Google have been left in the dark. The Internet provider says its service across China dropped off right after the Communist party convened its once a decade gathering. Google says the problem is not on its end. A company that monitors Internet blockages says Google's sudden blackout across China is no coincidence.
BLACKWELL: The attack on a teenage girl in Pakistan who wanted to go to school has inspired leaders around the world. Pakistani officials are now promising to get five million more children into classrooms and the UN has declared today Malala day. It's been one month since the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head and our senior international correspondent Dan Rivers has more on the recovery.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is staggering to see Malala Yousafzai out of bed with her father looking through some of the thousands of get well cards she's received. It's exactly a month since she was shot at point-blank range by Taliban gunmen for her campaign for girls' education in Pakistan.
Despite the bullet passing through her head and neck, she is able to talk. Doctors at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital in Britain are still assessing the extent of the brain damage. Her only visitors so far have been her immediate family.
ZIAUDDIN YOUSUFZAI, MALALA YOUSUFZAI'S FATHER: I'm awfully thankful to all these loving well wishes of Malala Yousafzai who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and who support the grand cause of Malala Yousafzai, that is peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.
RIVERS: The cards have come from all over the world. This one from Myanmar or Burma. Some are signed by entire households, some by entire offices. Her story has touched people around the world. And there's now an Internet campaign for Malala to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
She's yet to undergo surgery on her skull and jaw in Britain, but judging by these pictures, she is in very good hands, surprising everyone with her determination to recover.
Dan Rivers, CNN, London.
KAYE: Same-sex marriage has been approved in three more states, this time by popular vote. So are we starting to see the beginning of a cultural shift?
KAYE: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thank you for starting your morning with us. Here are five stories we're watching this morning.
First up, an extramarital affair has ended the career of CIA Director General David Petraeus. He admitted the affair in his resignation letter. The General's affair was actually uncovered during an investigation by the FBI involving a rumored affair with Petraeus' biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Well, CNN has not been able to reach Broadwell for comment, it's also not clear whether Broadwell is the woman with whom Petraeus has admitted to having of that affair that led to his resignation. Petraeus did not name the woman he was having that affair with.
KAYE: Take a look at this for the first time since super storm Sandy hit New York the lights on the Statue of Liberty were lit again last night. They had been damaged in the storm. The national monument remains closed though for now, no word when it will reopen. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people are still without power in the Northeast after 12 days now.
BLACKWELL: In politics, the presidential election may be history for most of the nation. But not Florida, the ballots are still being counted. CNN has not yet projected a winner but the latest tally shows President Obama with a 63,000 vote edge out of more than eight million votes cast. The counties have until noon today to submit unofficial results to the Secretary of State.
KAYE: Some shocking allegations against the CEO of the Southern Chain Waffle House -- his former assistant accusing Joseph Rogers Jr. of sexual impropriety. The unnamed woman said she was forced to, quote, "perform sexual services" among other allegations. Rogers has not responded to the claims.
BLACKWELL: And finally, some changes in leadership for the LA Lakers. After going 0-8 in the preseason and 1-4 in the regular season, you know they said let's pause here and you, sir, can go. They got rid of Coach Mike Brown. The team's General Manager said that it came down to, quote, "Looking at the record". The Lakers assistant coach will fill in temporarily.
KAYE: Historic, ground breaking, a turning point -- those are just some terms used to describe the vote in three states this week to allow same-sex marriage. Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington State said yes to it. It marks the first time voters and not legislators or judges have actually decided the issue. Opponents however say the laws endanger the very fabric of society.
Joining me now is Professor Charles McKinney; he's a civil rights historian. Good morning, Professor. Thank you for joining us.
CHARLES MCKINNEY, CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORIAN: Good morning.
KAYE: So do you think the passage of same-sex marriage laws in Maine, Maryland and Washington signal the beginning of a cultural shift?
MCKINNEY: I think that's quite possibly the case. As we've known -- as we've seen in the past, legislatures that have tried to pass this have been less successful. So this could be an indicator of -- of a significant shift in -- in a -- in a or the confirmation of a shift that's already taken place in a -- in a people's thinking around this issue.
KAYE: You know there are certainly times within our history as a nation that many look back and they say we can't believe that we let this happen. For example, laws banning African-Americans from voting; laws banning African-Americans and whites from marrying. Do you think that we are living through a period like that in our history where we might look back say 30, 40 years from now and say we can't believe we didn't allow same-sex couples to marry?
MCKINNEY: I think we're always living in a period like that in our history. You know, there's always been a -- a group of people who have been historically disenfranchised who have been historically disconnected from the mainstream of American life. Many of us look back now and say I can't believe where there was a time where as you just stated African-Americans and whites could not -- could not marry each other.
And so, you know, a number of years from now we probably will look back on this period and say, wow, you know there used to be a time where we would stop people from marrying one another on the basis of the fact that they were of the same -- of the same gender.
So I think that -- you know, I think that we are definitely -- we are definitely at a turning point.
KAYE: What about opponents to -- to these laws? They say "Such a radical change in the definition of marriage will produce a host of societal conflicts that government exercising its enormous enforcement powers will have to resolve." Now based on a dangerous and deadly history we passed civil rights movement. Do you see societal conflicts coming from laws such as these?
MCKINNEY: Yes. I mean, you know, again, societal conflict is part and parcel of -- of -- of social change. And when we're talking about changes that seem sort of titanic to a critical mass of people, there's going to be tension, right? It's not a matter of if there's going to be tension, it's not a matter of if there's going to be conflict. The question becomes what sort of form is this conflict going to take? Right, is it going to be a legislative conflict? Certainly there's going to be a cultural conflict.
But again you know we've seen this shift and more and more people, as we -- as we bring on more and more millennials, as we bring in more and more young people into -- into the electorate, as we -- that -- that's always been a very -- a very significant turning point. It was a turning point in the '60s when a new generation of young people came on -- came on the scene and said hey, you know what, the racial norms from -- from our parents' generation, those don't make sense to us anymore.
MCKINNEY: Right and so -- and so again, I think the pressure from -- the pressure from below to effectuate fundamental change in the way we think and the way -- the way we administer these loss, I think that's going to be inevitable.
KAYE: I want to quickly share with you an op-ed published in "The New York Times" the day after Maine and Maryland passed the laws allowing for same-sex couples to marry. It reads in part, "With these victories, opponents will no longer be able to argue that the movement for marriage equality is something imposed by radical judges and legislators who are out of touch with the popular will. It is a moment for the opponents of civil rights for all Americans including Congressional Republicans who are still defending the marriage act in court, to decide whether they want to continue to stand against justice to court a dwindling share of voters."
Now, these measures as you well know didn't pass by very much. Do you agree with the op-ed, do you think that the laws are still in danger of being repealed?
MCKINNEY: Yes. I think the laws are in danger of being repealed. And again, we are at a very pivotal moment and history reveals to us that these pivotal moments, they move in slow motion, right? You know back in the '60s, I remember California you know passing -- you know trying to pass a referendum which would -- which would legalize housing discrimination, right? So you know we've -- we've got -- we've got a long way to go in this.
And so, you know, for proponents of the issue who say, you know, we're at a turning point, we're at a turning point. As a historian of the civil rights, of the African-American civil rights struggle, I frequently remind people that, hey, turning points can take decades, right. Turning points -- we don't measure turning points in a matter of days, weeks, months. We measure turning points in many instances in a manner -- in decades, right?
MCKINNEY: Brown v. Board of Education was a turning point, but it took another 20 years in my neck of the woods. I'm down here in Memphis, right? It took them another 20 years to actually start desegregating the schools.
MCKINNEY: Right, so we've got to be very mindful of what -- we've got to be very mindful of in terms of how we're framing the issue, in terms of how we're categorizing these turning points because again, turning points can take a while.
KAYE: Professor Charles McKinney, a pleasure to have you on this morning. Thank you.
MCKINNEY: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: If you travel and you like local food, you know that place away from all the hotels that all the local people go to, you're going to want to see this. CNN and "Travel and Leisure" magazine are compiling a map of the world's best places to eat like a local. And wait until you hear how you can end up in the magazine.
KAYE: Welcome back.
You could say 50 never looked so good. "Skyfall" the new James Bond movie opened in the U.S. last night, 50 years after the original. This is Daniel Craig's third turn as the superspy and the movie is already making a killing, taking in $320 million since it opened overseas. "Variety" reports the movie could take in $80 million in its U.S. opening, the most in franchise history.
BLACKWELL: If you're visiting other cities and you're like most other travelers, you want to fit in, and feel like you belong. So what's the best way to do it? Well, I do it through food. Maybe you do too.
CNN iReport has teamed up with "Travel and Leisure" to create a list of 100 places to eat like a local and your recommendations will play a big part. I spoke to Niloufar Motamed of "Travel and Leisure" about how this works.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: We find ourselves just eating whatever is at the hotel or the chain we recognize and now there's a way that kind of gives us the best of the restaurants in the world. What are we talking about here?
NILOUFAR MOTAMED, FEATURE DIRECTOR, TRAVEL & LEISURE: Well, the main thing you know, Victor, when you're traveling, you want to feel like you're at the place where all the cool kids are basically. And with this project with "100 Places to Eat Like a Local", we're hoping that our readers and your viewers are going to give us the best, most authentic places that really have a sense of place.
So we're talking from New Orleans to New Delhi, from Bangkok to Boston -- across the world we're looking for those places that you kind of want to keep to yourself but you know you have to share.
BLACKWELL: And we're not talking just the five stars, the white linen restaurants. We're talking your food trucks, your greasy spoons, all of them?
MOTAMED: Well I'm thinking trattorias (ph), brasseries but also food trucks, as you said, street food stalls, kebob stands, tally joints anything that you love. That when you think about what is that one meal that I want to have in that destination that really signifies the place, that's the kind of stuff we're talking about.
We want people to feel really that hometown pride, whether it's a place that they live or a place they travel to all the time and they know the secret spot so we can get everybody out of their hotel rooms. They're not having necessarily a cold room service burger and they're experiencing the place. Because after all when you're in a restaurant that really is a local place, that's when you're really going to have a sense of place and you're going to really feel like you're experiencing that destination.
BLACKWELL: Absolutely. And I understand you have a couple of favorites of your own.
MOTAMED: I do. I live -- I live in Brooklyn and one place that is really quintessential in my neighborhood in Carol Gardens is Buttermilk Channel. This restaurant started out as a neighborhood commissary and has become so much more. This is a place that is buzzy from the moment they open their doors until the minute they are literally shooing people out at the end of the day. They are known for their cult Bloody Marys and they do an incredible job with chicken and waffles.
So this is definitely home food, and this is cozy food. This is a place you want to go with your family just to hang out. I love it there.
BLACKWELL: Oh it sounds good. And there's one more?
MOTAMED: Well, there is. Elizabeth Street Cafe in Austin. You know, I think Austin is known for having a lot of great food and this is a new place but immediately has become very popular in south Austin. What's interesting about it is the combination of French and Vietnamese cuisine.
So you can go there and get a banana and Nutella stuffed crepe but also get a spa. And what I love about is that families come here with the moms in the strollers in the morning. You can hang out with your stump town coffee and your newspaper in the afternoon. It's a place for all day and I think it's one of the places that locals and travelers should definitely check out.
BLACKWELL: I'm a newly converted vegetarian, but when I was eating meat and pork, there is no better place than McCray's Backyard Barbecue in West Palm Beach. It is so good, right over the open pit -- full stop, the best ribs ever. It's not even like a brick and mortar, it's this truck. It's like a food stand where there's a line nonstop.
And when you go, make sure you get the ribs with the twist. Now, the twist is a mix of two sauces. You might want to put them on the side. There it is. That's the sweet and the hot over a special, which is a pound of ribs. If you love pork, if you love ribs, you've got to go to this place in West Palm Beach. It's delicious.
MOTAMED: Now that you've talked about barbecue, I think you'll get a lot of people who are going to iReport because they're going to want to make sure that their hometown barbecue, whether it's in Texas or beyond is going to be represented so this is a good way to get the fire started.
BLACKWELL: Nilou Motamed, thank you so much for this. I'm looking forward to the list coming out.
MOTAMED: Me too.
BLACKWELL: All right. Thanks Nilou.
MOTAMED: Thanks very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: That's a great partnership. Can we highlight something for a moment?
KAYE: Ok. BLACKWELL: I don't know who I offended, but my head is on a platter quite literally in this shot, head on a platter. Now, I apologize to whom -- maybe the graphics person who set this up, but -- and I look like I'm happy about it too.
KAYE: Yes. Dig in. Dig right in.
BLACKWELL: Sorry. Hey iReporters, here's your chance to help us create a food lovers map of the world. Go to ireport.com/100places. Send us a photo of your favorite restaurant and the dish, why it's special and how you discovered this place.
The definitive list of 100 places to eat like a local will be revealed in March, 2013. And some iReports will be on that list. Stay tuned to see if you'll be one of them.
KAYE: It is a sign of the times. Voters in Colorado and Washington state vote yes to smoking pot, not for medicine, but just for fun. Will it become a big legal mess with the feds? That's the question and that is next.
KAYE: Well, here's a sign of the times. Voters in two states -- Washington State and Colorado -- have voted to legalize marijuana, not for medical use but for recreational use. Yes, we're talking simply to get high. Here's reaction from the legalization camp in Colorado after the ballot initiative passed this week.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am feeling amazing. This is the best day I've seen in my life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously it's always nice to be right. So -- but, you know, we're really happy. Most importantly, it's just wonderful that we're not going to see another 10,000 Coloradans arrested and made criminals in the coming years.
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KAYE: So let's bring in CNN legal contributor Paul Callan. Paul, good morning.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning Randi.
KAYE: A lot of folks talking about this one. Legally, this is a mess for the Justice Department because marijuana is still illegal, right, under federal law?
CALLAN: Oh, it most definitely is and I think Randi most people would be shocked to know that the Obama administration has been especially tough on legalized marijuana throughout the United States. Under federal law, it's a schedule one narcotic; it's on the same level as heroin. And for growing it, it's a felony. You can go to prison for many, many years. There are very, very tough federal laws despite the legalization efforts on the state level.
KAYE: How does this all then affect America's war on drugs?
CALLAN: Well, you know, I think law enforcement people are extremely upset about this because they, of course, view marijuana as a gateway drug and they think it's going to encourage people to get involved with other drugs. That's always been the claim. The voters seem to be going in a very different direction.
So people are going to be getting mixed messages on this. I mean you have enormous numbers of medical marijuana dispensaries opening nationwide. Every time one opens, it's a violation of federal law so we really do eventually need a unified drug policy on marijuana.
KAYE: Yes. Some states certainly now, the two states where it's now legal, they're concerned they're going to see cartels moving in there. What kind of problems do you see local law enforcement in those states and even their neighbors having to deal with?
CALLAN: Well, first I think they need to hear a unified message from state authorities and federal authorities as to whether existing laws are going to be enforced. Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado said hold off on the Cheetos to his pot-smoking constituents because if the feds are going to come in and enforce the laws, people are going to be in trouble.
And they have an arsenal of laws. They can charge banks with money laundering if they loan money to an entity that sells marijuana. They can lock people up for growing it. They can seize assets. They can do all kinds of things.
So, you know, this thing is going to be a slow introduction nationwide, I think, if in fact we're going to see legalization.
KAYE: Some though, they see an upside here. I mean they're seeing maybe a multi-billion dollar industry in these two states and possibly a whole lot of tax revenue.
CALLAN: Well, you know, I think you're on to something there. The talk that I've heard most recently from people is, hey, why don't you just legalize it and tax it. In California, for instance, I was looking at the stats. They think it's a $14 billion crop. It's the largest cash crop in California currently. Now, if you take those figures and project them nationwide -- and by the way over 100 million Americans admit to having smoked marijuana at some point in their lives -- you start taxing this, it's going to be a massive source of revenue for state and local governments.
In the end, you know, that may be the strongest argument in these tough economic times to regulate it and tax it since it's being sold illegally in any event.
KAYE: So from a legal standpoint, I mean do you think this is the beginning of the end of illegal marijuana in the U.S.?
CALLAN: I do think this. We're now up to eight states that have legalized the drug. And I think you're going to see a trend toward many, many more. I do think, of course, we've got to get the federal government to get unified with the states on it, but, you know, it's a -- how can the feds stop this? If one state after another state legalizes it, they just don't have the resources to shut it down. So I think we're seeing a trend and I think we'll see more of it in the future.
KAYE: Paul Callan, nice to see you. Thank you so much.
CALLAN: Nice seeing you Randi. Take care.
KAYE: A shocker in the intelligence community. General Petraeus is out as CIA chief. He admitted to an affair but only after the FBI got involved. So why was the FBI investigating the CIA's top man? We'll take a look.
KAYE: What a couple of weeks it's been. We had a superstorm, then we had a nor'easter, the election, of course, and now General David Petraeus stepping down.
BLACKWELL: And the late night comedians, they talked about all of it.
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DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Boy, I heard an update. Anybody power outages, anybody here with -- oh. I heard an update from Con Ed, the electricity company. They said the Republicans now will be without power for the next four years.
JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: Speaking of Mitt Romney, now that he's out of the presidential race, he will no longer receive protection from the Secret Service. Or as Big Bird put it, 'sup.
JIMMY KIMMEL, TALK SHOW HOST: Seventy-five percent of the gas stations in New York are still closed either because of power outages or because they physically can't get gasoline to the pumps. To help alleviate some of the lines, Mayor Bloomberg has implemented a gas rationing system for New York City. Starting today, people with license plates ending in an even number or zero are allowed to buy gas on the even days of the month, and cars with plates ending in an the odd number can only fill up on odd days of the month.
What if your license plate says "PLAYA" like mine does? What do you do? What would I do then?
JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: Listen, you all know who David Petraeus is, right? He's probably our greatest general. I mean, he loses his job, his career, his reputation, all over an affair.
Guys, let that be a lesson to you. If the CIA director who has access to phony passports, elaborate disguises, has safe houses all over the world, if he can't keep an affair secret, you're screwed, OK? You don't have a chance. You don't have a chance.
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