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Danica Patrick Makes History; Protesters Outside LAPD Headquarters Supporting Doner; Pope Benedict XVI Leads Thousands In Prayer For Strength; Massachusetts Gets More Snow; Thousands Rally in Washington; Protesters Rally in Support of Ex-Cop's Claims; Bracing for Big Spending Cuts; James Pulled in Many Directions

Aired February 17, 2013 - 16:00   ET

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


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. It is 4 p.m. in the East, 1 p.m. on the West. I'm Deborah Feyerick in for Fredricka Whitfield. And if you're just tuning in, thanks so much for being here, spending part of your day with us. These are the top stories that we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Danica Patrick makes history as the first woman to win the pole for the Daytona 500. That puts her in the best starting position for the race next Sunday. She clocks a qualifying speed of 196 miles an hour. That's also her first full-time season in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series.

Patrick spent a lot of this week answering questions about her private life, dating fellow Sprint Cup racer, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Now, yes, she has something else to talk about.

And right now in Washington, thousands of people are marching. Their demands? They want more action on climate change. Among their calls is for President Obama to kill the big keystone XL Pipeline.

We've got a reporter who's been in the crowds all afternoon. We're going to take you there in just a few moments.

Massachusetts socked again with a thick blanket of snow just a week after that devastating blizzard slammed into it. Boston's the hardest hit with strong winds and gusting snow, making it very hard to see.

And in -- and in Detroit, a massive pileup on the highway due to snow. Southbound I-75 was shutdown for hours after about 20 to 30 cars spun out of control, crash into one another. Drivers said it was impossible to see in the snowstorm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just like somebody suddenly threw a white sheet across the windshield. And we couldn't see anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More cars, you could hear them smashing with each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You can everybody behind us just -- (CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Behind us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just one after another, banging.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: The winter storm warning for Massachusetts ends less than an hour from now at just about 5:00.

Well, Tom Sater joins me now from the Weather Center.

And, Tom, conditions, are they expected to improve in Massachusetts any time soon?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Think they will for Massachusetts in the next few hours, Deborah, but it'll be still Maine into tomorrow, where blizzard warnings will continue. But we've got a couple of storms stacked up for this week, it's going to be an active week.

I want to show you a total reports. What's interesting about this, even though it was only one to three inches, it was parts of South Carolina. Some of these areas, not just the first measurable snowfall for this winter but you've got to go back two winters ago to have some measurable snow.

Now the warnings still in play, as you mentioned, just for another hour. If we make our way northward we do have advisories in effect until midnight tonight and then blizzard conditions, mainly because of the winds and the blowing and drifting snow as we get into tomorrow afternoon. But it is winding down. Again, just a week after being hit very hard by that massive blizzard. And it was just a week ago today, we had the EF-4 tornado in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, so as it winds down, we'll watch for that to push off.

The snow totals are kind of impressive, though, five and six inches, Massachusetts, Logan Airport, 5.1. If do you have a flight, always a good idea to call ahead. But as we watch the winds, even though the -- you know, the snow comes to an end, these are sustained winds, these are not gusts, so it's going to be -- a kind of a cold, blustery day really for the northeastern quadrant of the country for Presidents' Day tomorrow.

Now let's talk about -- not only one storm system but two more that we're watching. One in the middle of the country, blizzard conditions are set up for the north, parts of North Dakota into Minnesota. Advisories, winter storm watches and warnings but it's not just this storm. We have two.

There's another one in the Gulf of Alaska. They are going to quickly make their way across the country with this one, the blizzard conditions, most of the snow staying in the Great Lakes, into the eastern prairies of Canada, but we will watch for the threat for any possible strong storms. We do not want another tornado outbreak like we had last Sunday.

As that one leaves, the next one may be even stronger. This will have blizzard conditions and severe weather in the Deep South. So, again, it's going to be an active week. President's morning -- Presidents' Day morning, they are spraying the orchards with water. Hard freeze. Coldest air of the season even down to Atlanta this morning -- Deborah.

FEYERICK: All right. Tom Sater there for us. Thanks so much.

It's winter that has not ended yet.

SATER: Right.

FEYERICK: OK.

Well, the White House is drafting a plan to deal with illegal immigration. According to "USA Today," the plan would allow immigrants to become permanent residents in just eight years after they pass a background check and pay fees. Until then, they'd have to apply for and then carry a visa with their status of lawful prospective immigrant.

The White House says it's vital to have a way for America's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who are here to become citizens.

The Republicans led by Senator Marco Rubio call this reported version of the president's plan, quote, "dead on arrival," unquote, in Congress. Rubio supports the bipartisan Gang of Eight plan, which was released last month. That also offers a pathway to citizenship, along with more money for broader security.

Republicans say the White House plan doesn't do enough to secure America's borders, even though it would increase funds for the Border Patrol.

Over in Illinois, the family of Jesse Jackson Jr. says they're struggling to cope with allegations that the former congressman misused campaign funds for personal expenses, but they are also standing by his side as he faces federal charges while struggling, in part, with his mental health.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN JACKSON, JESSE JACKSON'S BROTHER: Still under a strict regiment with the doctors. And he's had -- he's had to deal with the issues of his health, as well as legal issues and so he's been working through both simultaneously. So we ask that you continue to be mindful that he is not -- he's not able to speak for himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Jesse Jackson Jr. stepped down as a congressman to deal with those health problems. He says that he takes responsibility for his actions. A judge will decide whether he'll serve any prison time.

And while track star Oscar Pistorius sits in a South African jail accused of killing his model girlfriend, his fellow sprinter, Usain Bolt is trying to process how he got there. The six-time Olympic gold medalist told our Rachel Nichols that he's shocked to hear of the allegations against Pistorius.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

USAIN BOLT, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: When I heard, I was like, what? Who? As in the amputee, the guy who run the 400 meter? I was asking all kinds of questions because this can't be the same guy that I have seen that I know. And I still can't process it really. I'm trying to process what really happened. What's going on. So as far as I am concerned, I'm just listening out, listening to the news, you know, what's up, follow Twitter and see what is going on. Because for me, I'm still in slightly shock for what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: And all future races that Oscar Pistorius was expected to compete in, they have now been canceled. That's according to a statement released by his management company just a short time ago.

And back to our big story this hour, history being made in Washington. Thousands marching for more action on climate change. Organizers claim it is the biggest rally of its kind ever in the U.S.

Our Chris Lawrence is right in the middle of it.

And, Chris, what is the main call for action there today and why today?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think two reasons, two big issues here, Deb, as the last few die-hards start to straggle away down to a few thousand people from a crowd that organizers say once numbered about, you know, 30,000 to 40,000. But they have two issues. One, they want stricter emission standards, not only on future power plants but on existing power plants as well.

And they want President Obama to block the extension of that Keystone pipeline. That's the pipeline that's bringing oil from Canada. Right now it's only authorized to bring it into the Great Lakes region, but President Obama has to decide whether to extend that pipeline all the way down into the Gulf Coast.

We spoke with a couple younger people who came here from far away who say they do not want him to extend that pipeline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm only 16 and someday, I hope to have my own kids and I think this is -- I want them to live in a world that's -- you know, like environmentally safe and natural.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keystone XL is a dirty and dangerous pipeline. It's literally going to cut our country in half, carrying a very dangerous fuel and it will cause runaway climate change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE: Yet again we talked to a lot of folks who are younger voters who say they backed President Obama in the last two elections and this is a cause that is near and dear to their heart and they do expect some sort of action -- Deb.

FEYERICK: You know, Chris, President Obama has been talking pretty tough on climate change, he wants to see things happen. Is anything likely to happen, especially with respect to this Keystone pipeline?

LAWRENCE: You know, you've really got to go state by state, legislator by legislator, because if you look at some of the states out west that President Obama carried in the last couple of elections -- Oregon, California, states like that -- climate change is a very big, relevant issue out there and he might get a lot of support from some of the legislators from those states.

On the other hand, we've already heard legislators from Nebraska where the pipeline would cut through, saying it would bring jobs to that area. We have heard complaints from folks in West Virginia saying harsher standards are just going to take away jobs from their coal industry. So it's really going to be very geographical in terms of how the support or the opposition to this goes down.

FEYERICK: Absolutely. OK. A big debate to watch. Chris Lawrence, thanks so much for being right in the middle of it, as you always are. We appreciate it.

In Los Angeles, a different kind of rally, this one, dozens of protesters gathering outside the LAPD headquarters. They carried signs supporting renegade ex-cop and cop killer, Christopher Dorner. They don't support Dorner's deadly camp page but say that the accusations of corruption, racism, even brutality in the LAPD need to be address so this doesn't happen again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there are a lot of honest policemen out there trying to serve the people. But it's just atrocious what Mr. Dorner did and we don't want it to happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Now, our Nick Valencia is here with me today.

Nick, you were out in Los Angeles. It seems a little bit odd that people would actually support a cop killer. What is going on exactly?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not just a cop killer, Deb. Let's not forget, he killed two innocent civilians as well, the daughter of the man that defended him during his appeal process as well as her fiance. But let's be clear about something. As was the soundbite leading into this report, the people that you talked to that say that they are out there in support of Chris Dorner, not so much that they're behind what he did, his actions, is that -- they don't support the actions of the Los Angeles Police Department.

In that manifesto written by Chris Dorner, he made wide, sweeping accusations of abuse and corruption against the Los Angeles Police Department. In fact, when I was there last week, I asked the Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, if any legitimacy or credence should be given to Dorner's words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), LOS ANGELES: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that was done to this individual that would rationalize in any way the murder of three innocent people. The notion that somehow this deranged individual should be given any credence boggles my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: Deb, but it's also the way the LAPD handled this Dorner manhunt and investigation. Last week, on Thursday, they opened fire against two innocent civilians, two Hispanic women, delivering newspapers in dawn in a neighborhood that was being given that security detail that dozens of families were receiving after Dorner's manifesto surfaced.

FEYERICK: Yes. Absolutely. Clearly something that even the police themselves are going to be looking into, that the car that those two women were driving was suspiciously like the model that Dorner was said to have also been driving.

The LAPD opened or reopened the investigation, I should say, into Dorner's firing, that sort of seminal event that led to all of this in his mind, but he's blamed a lot of people going back to elementary school.

Are the allegations, in part, credible and is that what the LAPD is trying to determine.

VALENCIA: Well, those are questions that I specifically posed to the Los Angeles Police Department. Lieutenant Andrew Smith with the LAPD Media Relations. And because of its an ongoing active investigation, he was unable to answer some of the specific questions I had. Dorner, if you remember, made an allegation that he was hacked and he had to get a restraining order against somebody, one of his colleagues in the LAPD.

I asked Lieutenant Andrew Smith about that -- Commander, rather, Andrew Smith, about that and he said because of the ongoing investigation he was not allowed to answer that. So it's going to be really up to reporters like us to press the Los Angeles Police Department about more information post-Dorner's death -- Deb. FEYERICK: Yes, and clearly, the LAPD really understands that they have to make sure that they do this investigation, do it properly, so, there is no sort of second guessing or any doubt as they move forward.

VALENCIA: That's right.

FEYERICK: All right. Nick Valencia, thank you so much for your reporting. Appreciate it.

Well, president Obama and Congress on a deadline and under pressure to reach a debt deal to keep deep spending cuts from kicking in. Are they close to an agreement? We have those details.

And the president also under pressure, but of a different kind. He is on the golf course, playing against a top golfer, somebody who is definitely making him, maybe, a little nervous.

And LeBron James on a record-setting tear. So is he the next Michael Jordan? Find out. LeBron is going to tell us straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: Well, call it one of the perks of being president. Mr. Obama playing a round of golf with none other than Tiger Woods today. The president is enjoying a golfing weekend with friends in Palm City you Florida. He's also playing with Jim Crane, a Democratic supporter and owner of the posh resort where they are playing. To top it off, the president got a golf lesson from Tiger's former coach.

President Obama laid out his plan for his second term and you could call it a big wish list but he'll have to get past the two big hurdles in front of him first. Avoiding automatic across-the-board budget cuts coming in two weeks and getting a Defense secretary nominee confirmed.

Candy Crowley is anchor of "STATE OF THE UNION" and is with us from Washington.

And, Candy, I want to play a clip from your show this morning. When you asked New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer about those $85 billion in cuts. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Well, here's what I think. I think that Democrats have the high ground, both substantively and politically, and we will win on this issue. Why? The bottom line is very simple. The Republicans have proposed devastating cuts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Now, Candy, both sides agree that these cuts would be devastating. How are they going to come to some middle ground in time? CANDY CROWLEY, ANCHOR, CNN'S "STATE OF THE UNION": I don't know that they will in time actually. We also had Senator Barrasso on, who's number three in the Republican hierarchy on the Senate side, he said that cuts are going to happen. So you have -- two different views, but I think what you will see is that March 1st will come and go, the sequestration will begin. And there's probably two, three week in there where they could still come to some accommodation.

Whether they will or not, I think, depends, number one, on who these cuts being to hit. I mean, will there be some sort of public outrage because TSA lines are longer? Wherever -- you know, we heard this whole host of horrible things that will happen if sequestration happens. Let's see what happens there and see if that actually does occur. But in the end, I think that sequestration, that is these across-the-board cuts, will happen.

We'll tell you one thing, I think, where there's maybe a glimmer of hope, and that is, these are indiscriminate across-the-board cuts. What people are beginning to talk about or have been talking about is what if we said to the Defense Department, you still have to cut this kind of money but you get to choose where the cuts are made. That may happen.

FEYERICK: Let's move to former Senator Chuck Hagel. He is a Vietnam vet, he's won two Purple Hearts. First ever Defense secretary nominee to be filibustered, which as I come to understand it is really just a way of delaying a vote until after all the politicians get back from the President's weekend.

What did you learn on your show today?

CROWLEY: Well, a couple of things, first of all. I think that most folks, even those who are going to vote against Chuck Hagel, believe that he will in fact, become the next Defense secretary. The Republicans have said we need to know some more things. A couple of speeches, we haven't seen exactly what he said. But in the end, you will have the majority of Republicans, I would guess, will vote against Hagel but they will allow the vote to go forward.

FEYERICK: It's so incredible, because looking at it from an outsider, you know, the process didn't move that much faster with Secretary of State John Kerry's confirmation. There seems to be a lot more theater involved in this.

Is it -- why, I guess?

CROWLEY: Look, because Kerry was a popular choice. He was well liked, across the board, Republicans and Democrats and it was very quick and they made it known, you remember all the pushbacks to Susan Rice. She didn't even make it to nomination if, indeed, she was the president's first choice and there are some questions about that, but nonetheless, Susan Rice, now the U.N. ambassador and then the U.N. ambassador was someone that Republicans made it known we don't want.

Now when Hagel's name began to surface for Defense secretary, the same kind of thing began to happen but, you know, the president having sort of looked as though he backed off Susan Rice, this was not one he intended to back off from. And -- but Hagel was much more controversial of a nominee than Kerry was and that's why it takes so long.

FEYERICK: All right. Candy Crowley, anchors "STATE OF THE UNION," thanks so much. Great insights.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Deb.

FEYERICK: And the NBA All-Star Game is tonight in Houston. One of the biggest stars there is talking exclusively to CNN, LeBron James opens up about his goals on the court and the comparisons to Michael Jordan.

And turning a hot space rock into cold, hard cash. That's exactly what some Russians are hoping to do after Friday's powerful meteor blast. Find out just how much money they could make ahead in the NEWSROOM.

And if you have to go out today, just a reminder, you can continue watching CNN from your mobile phone. You can also watch CNN live from your laptop, just go to CNN.com/TV.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: The NBA All-Star Game goes down tonight and that also means the annual slamdunk showdown. But first, on the "Bleacher Report."

It is a milestone for a legend, Michael Jordan, was known for wearing number 23. But today, it's all about the big 5-0. That's right, it is his birth day. He turns 50, which actually is the new 30, I hear.

Players still try to emulate him on the court. Just have a look at last night's dunk contest. Defending champ Jeremy Evans dunking over a painting of himself. That he painted. Himself. And then signs himself. That got a lot of people talking.

And if you think dunking over a painting is an incredible feat, well, how about dunking over a kid? A brave kid. Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross goes over the top of a ball boy. His knee just clears the boy's head. That got him the win as this year's slamdunk champion.

For more entertaining sports news, check out bleacherreport.com.

Well, he's 28 years old and earned $53 million playing for the Miami Heat basketball team last year. He's a three-time winner of the NBA's Most Valuable Player award and according to the experts, he's playing his best basketball right now.

Rachel Nichols sat down with LeBron James to ask, what's next?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN WEEKEND SPORTS ANCHOR: Dwyane Wade said that after one of these games, this last week or two, that he looked at you and he said, who are you right now?

(LAUGHTER)

LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT FORWARD: He did. He did. And I said, what do you mean, who am I? I'm your best friend, right? What do you mean? You know who I am. He was like, I don't know who you are right now, you're from another planet.

NICHOLS: Most of us don't know what it's like to be on an NBA court and be shooting with that kind of accuracy. Can you compare it to anything in regular life that the rest of us can know how you feel right now looking at that basket?

(LAUGHTER)

JAMES: Well, I mean, I guess would say, you know, the way I've been shooting the ball it just feels like you're on a beach and you have a tennis ball and you can just, no matter where you though it, it's going to land in the water. You know? And that's just the feeling I have every time I go on the floor. I feel like every shot that I take no matter what shot I take, will go in. Now I haven't shot 100 percent yet.

(LAUGHTER)

But --

NICHOLS: But you want to. You were close one night.

JAMES: Yes, I was close. I was close. I missed a lay-up. I missed a lay-up.

NICHOLS: And that lay-up bothers you?

(LAUGHTER)

JAMES: That layup -- after the fact. During the game, I didn't know. But after the fact, I said, 13-14, blew a lay-up.

NICHOLS: You tweeted this year, I am not MJ, I'm LJ.

JAMES: Right.

NICHOLS: How sick are you of being compared to Michael Jordan?

JAMES: You know, well, it's not even a sick thing. I'm not sick of it. It just that Mike is Mike. And a man can only be himself. I can't be Mike. I don't want to be Mike. I want to -- well, not I want to, I am who I am.

NICHOLS: So everyone is so focused on your basketball right now but there's all these other parts of your personality that we are seeing whether it's you playing catch with the fan the other night, are you tackling the guy when he makes the half-court shot or actually saw you joking around with your family in a commercial or you have a cartoon series.

JAMES: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

JAMES: A lot of people think it's kind of like staged.

NICHOLS: Right.

JAMES: It's just -- I don't know. It happens, it is neat. You know, like you said, with the instance with the fan and the basketball. I don't know -- I went over, hey, give me the ball, and he threw it to me light. I was like, give me a better pass than that.

NICHOLS: And we've talked over the years, where you say I have more fun, I play better basketball. There is a relationship.

JAMES: Right. Right. Right. It is.

NICHOLS: Well, you're playing the best basketball of your life, arguably.

JAMES: Right.

NICHOLS: Are you having the most fun of your life right now?

JAMES: Absolutely. This is fun. You know, on this level, it's hard, you know, to find that balance and I'm happy that I'm at a point in my career, where I found a balance and I'm back to having fun and loving the game that I've always loved.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: Thanks, Rachel. Well, LeBron James will play in tonight's NBA All-Star Game.

And the great python challenge in Florida is over. We'll tell you just how many of the giant snakes were caught in that month-long hunt and reveal how big the largest (INAUDIBLE). I'm shivering already.

Plus, as Pope Benedict prepares to step down, the debate over who should replace him intensifies. Find out why many Catholics aren't on the same page on who should sit next on the throne of St. Peter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: Hey there everybody it is 4:30 on the East Coast, 1:30 on the West Coast. I'm Deborah Feyerick in for Fredricka Whitfield. Happy you are with us today. These are the top stories that we are following for you right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Well history is made just ahead of the Daytona 500. Danica Patrick is the first woman to win the pole for the big race next Sunday. That puts her in the best starting position. She clocked a qualifying speed of 196 miles an hour just a short time ago. Patrick spent a lot of this week answering questions about dating fellow Sprint Cup racer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. But now as somebody who is right up close front, she has something else to talk about.

And in Los Angeles, a protest outside LAPD Headquarters and dozens of protesters carried signs supporting renegade ex-cop, Christopher Dorner. They don't support the cop killer's deadly rampage but say that the accusations of racism and brutality in the LAPD has to be investigated so that it doesn't happen again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I think there's a lot of honest policemen out there trying to serve the people but it is just atrocious what Mr. Dorner did and we don't want it to happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Christopher Doner was fired from the LAPD for falsely accusing his training officer of kicking subdued suspect. He died Tuesday after the going on a deadly revenge spree against officers.

Now to Florida where the great python challenge has ended. That was the state-sponsored hunt for Burmese pythons, an invasive snake species living in the state. The search yielded 68 pythons. Out of the 100,000 estimated to live in the Everglades. The longest of the giant snakes was 14 feet 3 inches and netted the hunter a prize of $1,000. I would pay him twice that if that thing were in my house.

In western Siberia, shattered windows and walls were among the damage done by that exploding meteor, there were only six today. But the Russians may want to prepare for another explosion this one a tourism boom. Meteorite hunters are already booking trips to the Ural Mountains to see what's left after the once-in-a-lifetime event. There's no way to know just how many fragments of that meteor hit the ground after it blew up or where many of them ended up.

Pope Benedict XVI led tens of thousands in a prayer for strength. This morning, he gave his second-to-last prayer as Pontiff and then thanked his followers for their support. Last week, the 85-year-old Pope announced he is resigning because of his advanced age.

Well now that the Catholics got a chance to get used to the fact that Pope Benedict is stepping down. Many are turning their focus to the next Pope. Who do they think should lead the church moving forward? Well joining me now to talk about this very important decision is James Salt, executive director of the Catholics United and Kim Daniels, director of Catholic Voices USA. Welcome both of you. First both of you are Catholic. You have different visions on which direction the church should take. James, today you argue in the "Washington Post" that the current strategy of the Catholic Church is failing. Why? And what type of change do you want to see?

JAMES SALT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CATHOLICS UNITED: Thanks, Deb. Well you know, certainly, with the departure of Benedict, it's a gracious gesture of humility, more importantly, it's an opportunity to reset the parties in the Catholic Church. Take for example, you know, the Catholic Church is known for its strict opposition to issues of human sexuality, its opposition to gay marriage and contraception. What if, instead, our faith were known for its teachings relating to the common good, issues like climate change and the need to reorient the world economy to better meet the needs of the world's poor.

FEYERICK: So, it's much more of a progressive vision. Kim, during his eight-year practicing Pope, Benedict has exceeded, elevated about 67 cardinals. So, it seems safe to say that at least he and those cardinals feel the church's priorities are pretty much where they want to be. Do you think it will continue as a conservative body still?

KIM DANIELS, DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC VOICES USA: Well, I think it's clear that the church will continue to confidently engage the world, proclaiming its teachings, even when they are counter cultural. We are not called to accommodate ourselves to this isolating entire culture. We are called to bring a life-affirming message as an alternative to people. And I have to disagree with James' characterization of this is a liberal versus conservative matter.

In fact, we are both and faith it is not mutually exclusive to say that you can care about the poor and also care about babies in a woman's womb. It's -- we are called to serve the voiceless and vulnerable wherever we find them and that is the message of the church.

FEYERICK: What's fascinating is that youth Catholics have split the Vatican on a lot of issues. Now, there's a slight chance that Arch Bishop Timothy Dolan could be up for major consideration. He certainly could take the church into a more modern direction. What do you think, James?

SALT: Well, let's be honest, there's a crisis of leadership within the Catholic Church and a discussion with an American catholists (ph). One out of every three Catholics born into the faith no longer considers themselves Catholic and it's because we no longer see the inspiration of the gospels and the actions of our bishops. Increasingly, our bishops are known for their political actions and inheriting the legacy of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and are less and less a spiritual inspiration.

FEYERICK: And so Kim let me ask you that because that leads to another question, if people are moving more toward secularism, away from the message of the church, how does the church bring those people back and get those feelings of disenfranchisement that they may be having?

DANIELS: Well I think first of all the Catholics go to church; Catholics are in pews every Sunday because they stand with our church. It's not a -- it's not a case that is a matter of political issues versus service issues. We are called to serve the church, we are called to serve the voiceless and vulnerable where ever we find them. This is part of a new evangelization, which is bringing a confident message of rekindling the faith in these cultures that have become increasingly secular and different. This is a message that resonates with young Catholics. You see this in the march for life, which is heavily Catholic and even as pro-choice leaders will agree has an incredible youthful enthusiasm about it; you see it at World Youth Day where millions of young people are --

FEYERICK: People are coming back?

DANIELS: People are coming back. Absolutely.

FEYERICK: Very quickly, as we wrap up, you know, there's an old saying I was reminded of in one of the papers today, it said "God has already chosen the next Pope but it is up to the cardinals to figure out who God's choice is." So Kim, quickly, who do you think will be the next Pope?

DANIELS: Well I can't say who it will be but I think that I hear a lot of people talking about Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada. He speaks six languages, he is head of the Congregation of Bishops and he would be a great, great Pope.

FEYERICK: And James, last word, who do you think will be Pope?

SALT: Well I'm looking at Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina, more known for his humility and his commutes to work using public transportation and he is a Jesuit and he has an incredible respect for the needs of the poor in Argentina.

FEYERICK: All right. James Salt, Kim Daniels, thank you so much. We really appreciate your insights today.

SALT: Thanks, Deb.

FEYERICK: Well, you can follow the process of selecting a new Pope on our Belief blog; it is seen on CNN.com/belief.

And here's a look at what's trending online.

Fighter jets have been scrambling over President Obama's vacation spot in Florida. Today, for the third time, f-16s had to escort a small private plane out of the restricted airspace. Saturday two other planes veered into the area. Secret service is investigating. The president was playing golf there with Tiger Woods.

The man who brought us the iconic logo of America's team has died. Jack Eskridge designed the Dallas Cowboys team logo after joining the team in 1959, a year before its first season kicked off. Eskridge was 89.

And reality TV star Kim Kardashian sold the Beverly Hills home she shared with ex-husband, Chris Humphries. Reports say that Kardashian was asking for about $5 million for the home after paying $3.4 million for it about two years ago. She is expecting a baby with singer Kanye West.

Well, people are breaking open their piggy banks today to own a piece of Camelot. Are you one of them? Hundreds of items once belonging to JFK and Jackie O are on the auction block right now. We will show you the extraordinary collection and preview the keep sakes that are expected to bring in the highest bids.

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FEYERICK: The 101st Airborne Division Easy Company is one of the most famous from World War II it is immortalized in the book and TV series "Band of Brothers" and in Florida this week, one of the last remaining members of the unit, Roy Gates Jr., died. He was 91. Gates was there when Easy Company freed survivors of several concentration camps. He even saw Hitler's private retreat, called the Eagle's Nest, in the final days of the war.

Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, an auction house in Massachusetts is selling items belonging to him. All of them were found in the home of David Powers, a special assistant and long-time aide to President Kennedy. He was a very good friend of the president and was with him from 1946 until the tragic day in 1963.

Rice University historian Professor Douglas Brinkley joins me from Austin, Texas. Thanks so much for being here. You know a lot of people are at the auction today. Even after so many years, such high demand for all those items, what is it about these items that people want a part of?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, HISTORIAN, RICE UNIVERSITY: Well it's a great treasure trove of material. I mean Dave Powers was the adviser to John F. Kennedy, was with him everywhere, he was almost like a brother and he ended up saving all sorts of items, so I was utterly fascinated by this and I deal with a lot of auction houses on presidential memorabilia, being a presidential historian. I have never seen anything quite like the number of different significant mementos coming out of this collection.

FEYERICK: Which one really jumped out to you, because there are some magnificent pictures there? You know there are also notes and letters, which one, if could you own one of them, which would, it be?

BRINKLEY: I like the letters that he wrote in 1945 from Arizona, when he went out to Benson, Arizona, lived on a ranch for a while. There are letters on stationary from a Hot Springs Castle, Hot Springs Hotel and also Saddleback. Nobody thinks of John F. Kennedy in Arizona but these letters home from there are just fascinating. Anybody writing a future book on the young JFK will end up using those letters as a primary source.

FEYERICK: Also what are your impressions, just even looking at some of those pictures there? We have seen a lot of pictures of John Kennedy and also Jackie O. But what about you resonate or what about them resonates for you in looking at these older photographs?

BRINKLEY: Well, remember, you know, John F. Kennedy was murdered 50 years ago this year. But he always stays young and when you look at these photos, you realize we don't have old images of John F. Kennedy. So, there's just this handsome, gallant president, how tan he is in many of these photographs. Many -- there's a whole group of ones I hadn't seen before, him playing with his children that are really amazing.

Then I particularly like the ones of him on some of his tours that Powers apparently took when Kennedy would travel to the national parks, for example, and he took these candid shots of Kennedy. So it is a lot of these are faded, some are almost like a Polaroid quality but they are just interesting material.

FEYERICK: You know some critics say why not give all of these over to the library, why not make them available? What are your thoughts?

BRINKLEY: I would love it if all went to the library, but alas it is up for auction today it seemed to me a pity that it couldn't have all been the Dave Powers' collection but you know money gets into the -- into reasons people need to do these things. But hopefully a lot of these items will find great homes. It includes briefcases and cuff links and I fell in love with the little one, just the mercury one pin of John F. Kennedy when the famous John Glenn did his famous orbits of the Earth, sub orbits, for anybody that wants to look at his catalog, they will find something that speaks to them.

FEYERICK: Yes. You know what I think the one item that I would want there Doug, would be the bomber jacket. Pretty sure that would fit me.

BRINKLEY: Boy that bomber jacket's an amazing item that is the famous jacket to come, Air Force One bomber jacket, Bobby Kennedy would wear it some, JFK would wore it. The most interesting, Ronald Reagan asked to borrow it and wore it and then returned it and the note from Reagan for the returning, it's really the most iconic, I think, garment of John F. Kennedy's, that bomber jacket.

FEYERICK: There is no question about that. As a matter of fact, I think he made it fashionable for all presidents going forward. All right. Douglas Brinkley, thank you so much. Always wonderful to speak with you.

BRINKLEY: OK. Enjoyed it, thank you.

FEYERICK: What are your opinions on President Obama's job performance? Those huge spending cuts that could take effect in less than two weeks.

And Geraldo Rivera, the one and only, possibly running for the Senate. Your verdict next.

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FEYERICK: Most of us will be settling in for an extended weekend tomorrow but for Presidents' Day, CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser has been busy finding out your take on the job President Obama has been doing. Paul.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey, Deb. Tomorrow's Presidents' Day, for most Americans means a day off from work or school, but I will use the holiday to check out what you think about the current president. The best way to do that is to look at his approval rating. According to a CNN Poll of Polls, which averages the most recent non-partisan live operator surveys 49 percent approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing with 43 percent giving him a thumbs down.

You know, you're going to hear a lot this week about the so- called sequester, those mandatory across-the-board federal government spending cuts that are set to take effect on March 1st. Forty three percent of those questioned in the most recent national poll on the subject from Quinnipiac University, well they said they don't want the cuts to take place with 22 percent saying let them happen. But the survey suggests many people are not sure what to think as nearly one in three had no opinion.

Geraldo Rivera generated headlines a few weeks ago when he said he was thinking of running for Senate next year in his home state of New Jersey. But a poll out the other day doesn't bring the talk show host great news. Just over half of those New Jersey residents questioned in a Monmouth University poll said they would not consider voting for Rivera at all.

Finally, many of you may be thinking about the Oscars, with the Academy Awards just a week away. Unfortunately, I don't have any polling numbers on the Oscars. Deb.

FEYERICK: Thank you, Paul.

Well have you ever wanted to grab a bite to eat with Oscar nominees? We do in a pre Oscar lunch. Well there is plenty of talk about the upcoming awards battle.

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FEYERICK: In Hollywood, if you can't wait another week for the Academy Awards and really who can well you are in luck. Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner got to sit down with the nominees for a special Oscar look ahead. Check it out.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of my favorite parts.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The annual Oscar nominee's luncheon.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Today was the first day where I felt like, oh this is really happening.

TURNER: A great excuse to get dolled up.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I normally stay in my pajamas forever.

TURNER: And break bread.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Did you know I could eat five pounds?

TURNER: Or not.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Did we have a lunch?

TURNER: With the who's who at this year's Academy Awards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hug Steven Spielberg and say hello, it's ridiculous.

TURNER: No winners. No losers. Just nominees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's some of them now.

TURNER: For some, the beloved tradition is a reminder of early Oscar memories.

HUGH JACKMAN, LEAD ACTOR NOMINATION, "LES MISERABLES:" My father worked for Price Waterhouse. When the accountants used to come on the Oscars, we would go crazy. And I remember one year my dad saying I had a meeting with that guy once. I thought my dad was it. For me this is something beyond the realms of imagination.

TURNER: For others, the occasion validates years of sacrifice.

NAOMI WATTS, LEAD ACTRESS NOMINEE, "IMPOSSIBLE:" It just seemed like it was just too hard to continue to struggle, I can't take this rejection anymore. And then suddenly, just as I made that decision, I would get to the point where I had bought my ticket home and then I would get a call.

TURNER: It mixes the excitement of youth.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: How I did get here? All these legends my heroes.

TURNER: With the confidence of veterans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Older and wiser.

TURNER: For the ultimate Hollywood celebration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is incredible. I saw Helen Hunt today and I was able to communicate how much I loved her performance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sally Field, I got to know Sally Field through this. Someone I idolized through out my whole life.

JACKMAN: Today is the epitome of how lucky we are.

TURNER: What was the most fun about today?

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: All of it.

TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: What an amazing picture there.

Well, an airline passenger allegedly slaps a crying 2-year-old by and uses a racial slur while telling his mom to shut the child up. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM, we will talk to the parents about the incident and hear how Delta Airlines is responding.

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