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House GOP Leaders Talk Fiscal Cliff; Storm Systems Target West Coast; The High Price of Winning; Christmas Classics Day at the Office

Aired November 28, 2012 - 10:30   ET


RON BONJEAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I have to say that the effort by Republicans now is to place as you saw an emphasis on entitlement reform over Medicare, Medicaid, because the issue has been focused by the White House -- White House on tax rates. You know, there's -- it needs to be a balanced conversation. Republicans are looking for a balanced effort here to promote economic growth, to, you know, to -- through saving money on revenues, through -- I mean, through tax reform on revenues, through entitlement reform and through spending cuts.

They want a balanced approach not one or the other. And that's why I think you see Eric Cantor, Speaker Boehner, saying, look. We want to be reasonable here. But we have to look at the whole pie.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: The other interesting thing --


L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: But I think Democrats have been saying that.

COSTELLO: Well, go ahead, L.Z.

GRANDERSON: I was just -- I was just saying I say it's not anything different than what the Democrats have said. It is not anything different than what the American people have said. We all want a balanced approach. This isn't something unique to the Republicans.

COSTELLO: Well, the -- the -- the other -- the other interesting thing that's going on is President Obama is not sitting down with the principals. He did that one time but hasn't done that since. Instead, he is going out to Pennsylvania to speak to voters. He's having meetings in his office with CEOs and small business leaders. He is not really talking to the principals.

And some people say and Ron, they're Republicans.


COSTELLO: That the President should sit down and talk to the principals involved and get this thing done.

BONJEAN: Well, I think that's coming. This is the type, this is the part of the negotiation where each side is taking out their approach and eventually you know, you only have a few weeks left here until you go over the fiscal cliff. All the leaders including the President are going to have to end up being in the room.

You know, Republicans are going to go out on the campaign trail, too, with small business leaders to talk to small business owners to talk about the impact on them if tax rates do go up. And I have to say, you know, the Democrats have not had a balanced conversation so far. They've been hammering this -- the tax -- the upper tax bracket but they have not been talking about Medicare or entitlement reform in general.

And that's why Republicans are trying to balance it out.

COSTELLO: Well, do you agree with that, L.Z.? Because I have heard some Democrats say, hey. Social Security is off the table. We're just not going to talk about that. I've heard civil rights leader come out and say you know entitlements are very important to the black community. The President owes the black community a lot, you know, with his re-election and also don't touch those.

So the President is under a lot of pressure isn't he?

GRANDERSON: Well, I don't think so. And here is why. I think the way that we've been having this conversation is a little bit antiquated. And what I mean by that is this whole notion of going out and talking to people in meetings and things like that and then having talking points and then having us here debating on air, that is a really old school way of having this kind of conversation.

With the kind of technology that we have available to us now what I would like to see the White House do is just simply put together is argument and like an infomercial complete with pie charts and things of that nature, visual aids so that the American people can see for themselves that this isn't just about, you know, my side winning, getting what it wants versus your side.

This is about the American economy and where it's headed and what needs to happen and what's eating up most of that money. And I think the American people work really well with visual stimulus. I'd rather see that approach this conversation and not just you know closed meetings and finger pointing and saying ooh, you know, we got this so they got that.

I mean that's really ridiculous. We're heading toward this cliff and the responsible thing to do is to not play these games anymore. The election is over. Let's talk about governing now.

COSTELLO: I like that idea actually. Actually, I like that idea better than what happened in John Boehner's office yesterday when a naked person showed up. I just had an idea if the entire middle class went to Capitol Hill naked maybe something would get done. I mean, you don't see this very often. I'm sorry.

GRANDERSON: Well I think, look, I was -- I was traveling and I just saw bits and pieces of headlines, you know, as I was going in and off planes and I just saw a Boehner nudity and I said "Oh, lord Jesus, no what happened." That's -- that's the last thing the American people need now is for Congress to strip their clothes off to get things passed.

So I was happy to see it was protesters and not Congress members.

BONJEAN: I don't think anybody wants to see that at all. You know and I think people take this very, very seriously on both sides of the aisle but you know, to get naked to get attention from the media, boy, that's -- that's asking for a lot. You know, you're right. I think millions of Americans could end up marching on the White House naked. And have a million American -- have million voter -- a million naked voter march. Let's get it done.

COSTELLO: OK, we'll edit on that -- we'll edit on that visual. We'll be right back. Thanks to both of you.

BONJEAN: Thank you.


COSTELLO: Oh, I'm sorry West Coast friends. You are about to get assaulted with rain, snow, wind and waves. Yes the Pineapple Express is coming.

Alexandra Steele is here to tell us more.



STEELE: Would you like a cherry with that?

COSTELLO: It so innocuous. I know.

STEELE: Well, that's nice. Now what we're seeing is similar to a Pineapple Express in terms of the moisture coming all the way from near the Hawaiian Islands, it could be south, it could be north. It just of show you how much moisture and how long the moisture train is. And that's what it's about a barrage of moisture.

All right, this is the current radar showing you San Francisco to southern Oregon. This, what's happening now is just the tip of the iceberg. That's the problem. Today all the way through Sunday we're going to see it. So there is so much moisture in the Pacific Ocean and look at as we head towards the next couple of days, we're going to see this just kind of an onslaught come in. What it is, is this river of moisture but the problem is with this river it's just a funnel hose so it is not appreciably moving.

So one area northern California again toward southern Oregon will just get slammed day after day. So of course a huge flood threat. How much rain are we talking? Well, this is only through Friday, Carol. So what we're going to see potentially from Redding to Sacramento four to eight inches through Friday. Now we're seeing this shuttle straight through until Sunday. It could bring a foot of rain for some areas. But rain not the only problem. The three biggest cities impacted: San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles with myriad things including flash flooding, rock and mud slides around the Bay Area, southern Cal a little bit of rain but it's more of a northern California affair. Heavy snow from the Sierras through the bitter roots and 20 to 30-foot waves potentially south facing beaches most importantly.

Wave of heights will be huge and coastal gusts 60 to 70 miles per hour. So if that's not a barrage I don't know what is, right, Carol?

COSTELLO: I think that is. Alexandra thanks so much.


COSTELLO: Many, maybe everyone in America excited about tonight's Powerball drawing but all that money comes with a big price tag. We'll tell you why winning might not be what you should hope for.


COSTELLO: Ticket buyers lining up for a chance at history. It's the largest Powerball drawing ever, half a billion dollars. And if you're wondering what you could do with all that money we have some dreams. Everybody wants an iPad so why not buy 851,703 of them and get the good ones with the retina displays.

Let's say you're feeling a bit flashier. How about a car? You could buy nearly 1,000 of these Rolls Royce coups. And what about the lady in your life? You could buy her 236 of these 11-carat Tiffany diamond rings. Ooh.

But winning the lotto isn't all fast cars and flashy jewels. It turns out all that cash comes with a pretty big price tag. Here's Lisa Sylvester.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the stuff of dreams.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd probably buy my wife a new car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd be able to pay off my student loan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Retire most definitely.

SYLVESTER: $500 million before taxes. That's how much you can win in the Powerball jackpot. If you win you can buy a lot of stuff. But what about happiness? Well it turns out those cliches, money can't buy you happiness, money doesn't make the man, a fool and his money are easily parted -- there is some truth to them. Only about half of all lottery winners are happier three years later says Michael Boone whose Seattle firm advises big lotto winners.

MICHAEL BOONE, PRESIDENT, MWBOONE AND ASSOCIATES: I think Henry Ford said it really, really well. He said that money doesn't change a person. It simply unmasks them. And I think that really is what happens. So people have an opportunity to do all the things that they dreamed of and sometimes those are good things and sometimes they're not.

SYLVESTER: Christmas, 2002, Jack Whitaker of West Virginia had the only winning ticket in the $314 million lottery jackpot. Two years later his wife said that she wishes she had torn up the ticket. Their lives in shambles, their 17-year-old granddaughter was dead after struggling with a drug addiction. Whitaker faced multiple lawsuits and was arrested twice for drunken driving.

Abraham Shakespeare of Florida was murdered after winning $31 million. Then there is Amanda Clayton a young mother who won a million dollars in the Michigan lottery she made headlines when she continued to collect food stamps. She was found dead of an apparent drug overdose.

Are these winners just unlucky or is there something more? Psychologist Alduan Tartt says big payouts can isolate people, thrust them into a world of wealth that is foreign to them. Long lost family members may hound them. There's a guilt factor who to help out and who not to and there is a funny thing about money and happiness you may not realize.

DR. ALDUAN TARTT, PSYCHOLOGIST: You win the lottery and so you spend a lot of money. And what happens is you get used to having a lot of money and spending a lot of money. So what happens is you actually have to spend more money to get the same level of happiness.

SYLVESTER (voice-over): But what about the lottery winners who do end up happy? What's their secret? Experts say they don't lose their sense of self and they can separate their identity from their money.

(on camera): Tartt says what makes people really happy is the pursuit of happiness. Enjoying the journey of setting a goal and reaching it. With the lottery the money is just handed to you. Also Tartt is making someone else happy, having a sense of purpose and expressing gratitude, those are the keys to true happiness.

Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.


COSTELLO: I think I could handle it. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: 47 minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories.

An attorney for a Florida man accused of shooting a teenager to death says the case bears no resemblance to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. 45-year-old Michael Dunn is being held on a murder charge. The shooting followed a confrontation about loud music coming from an SUV at a gas station.

Four female war veterans are suing the Defense Department over the policy against women in combat on the ground. The ACLU says the women's careers and opportunities have been limited by the policy.

New fallout from the gulf oil spill. The EPA has temporarily suspended BP from new contracts with the government citing BP's response to the spill earlier this month and BP agreed to plead guilty to 14 counts linked to its conduct surrounding the 2010 disaster that killed ten people.

Take a look at this. An algae bloom turns the water red in beaches around Sidney, Australia. The algae commonly called sea sparkle is not toxic but it can be high in ammonia which may irritate the skin and frankly it looks pretty disgusting.


COSTELLO: Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone and although it isn't even December yet your favorite radio station may have already switched over to holiday music. Everybody has a favorite. Some new, some old.

But CNN's Jeanne Moos has found a new take on a classic that's poised to go viral.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of those omnipresent Christmas songs you hear.


MOOS: Played on cellos, performed by vocalists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ding dong ding dong that is the song

MOOS: But now the ding dong is coming out of the office phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day of there were over 250 takes.

MOOS: It wasn't like you dubbed over sounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no. All the sounds are real.

MOOS: produced at the warehouse where "Alphabet Photography assembles their products in Niagara Falls, Canada. Owner Jennifer Blakely used a mix of her employees and local musicians to create a do it yourself version of "The Carol of the Bells".

JENNIFER BLAKELY, STORE OWNER: The janitor was also -- he is actually a local rapper.

MOOS: The guy manning the phone like some demonic elf --


MOOS: and singer/songwriter named Joel Van Fleet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got excited. MOOS: Alphabet Photography is a small company and unlike Wal-Mart, unlike the NBA, Gennifer can't afford a big ad budget so this is a sort of viral Christmas commercial. Two years ago she organized a Christmas flash mob in a mall food court. Hallelujah --

MOOS: That video now has 39 million views. The new video starts with dial tone. Imagine all those folks at home who are going to be dialing 9591 -- take it from the demonic dialer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This people are shining (inaudible) Just know that not all telephones are in the same key.

MOOS: My producer found a better combo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Count eight count four. Pound eight pound four

MOOS: it'll either sweep you off your feet or leave you wishing for dial tone. Jeanne Moos, CNN.

What's the Beethoven one? Five, five, five, seven

MOOS: New York.


COSTELLO: We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: It's a few days after Thanksgiving but there is always the temptation of eating unhealthy food. In this daily dose a nutritionist Novenia Brock tells us how to stay strong and eat healthy.


NOVENIA BROCK, NUTRITIONIST: It is possible to eat healthy at the office but here's what you should know. Preparation and portion control are key. Keep grab-and-go healthy options at your work space. Make sure you them in zip lock bags for easy and convenience. Always pack some protein. Could be sliced chicken or turkey. A handful of nuts. Even a protein bar. And include your vegetables -- Fresh vegetables and fruit give you nutrition with anti-oxidants and high fibers. Make it more interesting and more nutritious by adding homus or Greek yogurt. You can use those for dipping. Together the full complement is what you need to get you through your day.


COSTELLO: All right, now to sports, Indiana gets North Carolina the marketing match up of the first night of college basketball. ACC Big 10 challenge, but the game was not much of a challenge for Tom Kreen's number one ranked Hoosiers.

Indiana had a transition game running on all cylinders. Code -- some burst of slam for two of its 20 points. Final score, Hoosiers 83, Carolina 59.

Indiana's pro team taking on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Despite battling the flu the superstar scored 40 points including that long- range basket tying the score 25 seconds left in the game. Indiana would get the last shot. George Hill drives and nobody stops him. The Pacers win, 79-77.

This video is angering some Kansas City Chiefs fan. That's Chief's running back, Jamal Charlotte. He asked for Peyton Manning's autograph. Right after Mannings' Denver Broncos beat the Chiefs on Sunday. In Charlotte's defense he played hard in the game, rushing for more than 100 yards. And it's not unusual for sports stars to exchange autographs or even (inaudible) -- any one of Manning's autograph for his mom.

Maybe we'll excuse him but then again, I'm not a Chiefs fan.

That is a look at sports this morning.

I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.