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Will Sequestration Happen?; South Carolina Congressional Election Draws Interesting Pool; "Silver Linings" Star Eyes Oscar Gold; Facebook Alerts Woman about Son's Death

Aired February 19, 2013 - 09:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thank you for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. Stories we're watching right now in the newsroom at 31 minutes past the hour, the opening bell ringing on Wall Street on this holiday-shortened week. Alison Kosik at the New York stock exchange, positive so far, huh?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Just a little bit, Carol. Wall Street's getting back to work from that three-day weekend, basically in the same mood from last week, pretty blase. Don't expect the Dow to get to that record high today. The Dow is beginning the day about 183 points away from the record 14,164, and that record's been elusive since the Dow crossed over the 14,000 mark a couple weeks ago. Since then, it looks like stocks are playing hide and seek with that record at this point. One thing that will hold back the market, those automatic spending cuts, Carol, it's those cuts that the congressional budget office continues to say could put the U.S. back into a recession. Wall Street, they want Congress to figure out a way to avoid those cuts before it pushes the Dow to that record high. Carol?

COSTELLO: We'll see, not much longer to go. Alison Kosik live at the New York stock exchange.

Checking other top stories. In weather news, North Dakota digs out from another blizzard, up to half a foot of snow fell Monday creating blizzard-like conditions. Drivers were stranded in places like Grand Forks where police told people not to travel. Happily, the snow is on its way out today.

The Oscar-nominated film "Lincoln" inspired change in Mississippi. After watching the movie, two men discovered Mississippi was the last state which had not officially ratified the 13th amendment which abolished slavery. Lawmakers approved it in 1995 but did not notify the U.S. archive. The U.S. archivist. That all changed February 17th when the federal register received a copy and made it all official.

In money news, social media hijinks hits Burger King, the fast food giant's Twitter page was hacked and changed to claim it was taken over by rival McDonald's. The account was taken down for the rest of the day.

"Political Buzz" is your rapid fire, look at the best political topics of the day, three topics, 30 seconds on the clock. Playing with us today Democratic strategist and former DNC communications director Maria Cardona and Katon Dawson, Republican consultant and former chairman of the South Carolina Republican party. Welcome to both of you.



COSTELLO: Good morning. Okay, first it's the nine-letter word that epitomizes gridlock in Washington, I'm talking about the sequester or, in layman's terms, forced budget cuts. In an hour President Obama will urge Congress to act to avoid those automatic draconian budget cuts, it is a familiar scene for the president who seems to be reduced to begging Congress to do something, anything, these days. So our question, what would you say to Congress to avoid sequestration? Katon?

DAWSON: Good morning Carol and Maria. I would think that either party the Democrats certainly don't want to get caught cutting entitlements and the Republicans don't want to get caught cutting defense spending. So, what I would tell them is, they're going to stand down, sequestration is coming, the public understands the credit card is full and the president will make his pitch. The easy path for once is for them to stand down. If you talk to people in Washington, you see it, feel it coming, right wrong or indifferent I predict to you that it will be a way of life and that's what's going to happen.

COSTELLO: Woo, Maria?

CARDONA: Well the president is doing exactly what he needs to be doing, which is essentially telling American voters to tell their members of Congress what they want, what they don't want. They don't want the cuts, the automatic cuts to mental health programs, food safety, education, small business. If all else fails, they should gather all the members of Congress, especially the Republicans who are being so obstinate and spend them on an all expenses paid cruise trip on Carnival Cruise Lines.

COSTELLO: Not with taxpayer money or anything. On to South Carolina, a special congressional election is attracting what can only be called a diverse group of candidates. This is the greatest election ever in South Carolina including this man.


MARK SANFORD, FMR. GOVERNOR, SOUTH CAROLINA: I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes, but in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it. In that light I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington.


COSTELLO: How's that for a political ad, former governor Mark Sanford whose 2009 trip to Argentina to see his mistress not only ended his marriage but a promising political career. Sanford is vying with 20 other people including the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert and the son of media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner. So the question, is Mark Sanford poised to be the next political comeback kid? I'll start with you Caton since you are from South Carolina.

DAWSON: Well, if Mark Sanford can keep the narrative in the forgiveness story, the infidelity and the apologies, he's going to win that race but I would predict to you Stephen Colbert and his sister is going to be on the Democrat side are not going to let that happen, plus you've got hard-hitting political activists and political operatives in South Carolina that will change the narrative to some of the real facts and lastly, Mark Sanford is not the first politician to start dating while in office, and while married, to be able to get away with it. He's a good politician will stay on message and he has Colbert sitting out there waiting on him.

COSTELLO: He won't be the last politician to do that either.

DAWSON: That's right.


CARDONA: I guess we're nothing if not a country of redemption and Mark Sanford is certainly doing all the right things in terms of making this the one issue so that others don't. I got to tell you, if he's the front-runner in South Carolina, does the GOP really have nothing else to offer other than Mark Sanford? It's a sad state of affairs, no pun intended, for the GOP in South Carolina if that's the case.

COSTELLO: Oh, ow, ow! Final question, you could call it the big bang theory, First Lady Michelle Obama opening up about what her husband called the most significant event of inaugural weekend. Her hair.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: This is my mid life crisis, the bangs. I couldn't get a sports car, they won't let me bungy jump so instead I cut my bangs here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You went for the bangs.

M. OBAMA: I went for the bangs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're the boss of your hair.

M. OBAMA: I can do this. This is all mine.


COSTELLO: Come on, guys, cut the first lady some slack, with a 73 percent approval rating she's more popular than most of Washington. Our question, what should Michelle Obama do for her next act of rebellion? Maria?

CARDONA: That is a tough one to top, the bangs are fabulously popular, everywhere I look I see more women with bangs. I might get bangs myself, Carol, maybe you should, too. I would suggest maybe a tattoo, Carol, nothing outrageous, something very classy and small, maybe a little rose on her fabulously cut shoulders, I think that would be fantastic.

COSTELLO: I can't wait to ask Katon this question.

DAWSON: I've got it. I mean I can scratch the sports car itch right here in South Carolina by inviting the president and first lady to the Darlington 500, guarantee you the first lady will beat him in a race car, that will scratch the race car itch, that will get it and then they can vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where Michelle Obama can take up golf and learn how to beat the president there also.

COSTELLO: I love that answer, Katon! thanks to you Maria Cardona and Katon Dawson.

A Hollywood A-lister hoping for Oscar gold. CNN sits down with Jennifer Lawrence and she opens up about the other side of fame that's hard to handle.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: So 22 years old, your second Oscar nominations, do you ever just say this can't be my life?

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTOR: Yes, I do. Now it's just I find it hilarious.


COSTELLO: More of Nischelle Turner's interview, next.


COSTELLO: You might be seeing more of Michael Jackson's oldest son, Prince Michael, that's his name, he's been hired as a reporter for Entertainment Tonight. The lawyer for the 16-year-old says he is determined to make his own money, though he's set to inherit millions of dollars from his father's estate.

Counting down now to Hollywood's biggest night. The Oscars, just five days away, for actress Jennifer Lawrence she's hoping her performance in "Silver Linings Playbook" will turn to Oscar gold.


LAWRENCE: I said I'm tired. Are you going to walk me home or what?


LAWRENCE: Yes, you. Are you going to walk me home?

COOPER: You have poor social skills. You have a problem.

LAWRENCE: I have a problem? You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things. You scare people.

COOPER: I tell the truth. You're being --

LAWRENCE: What, I'm not telling the truth?


COSTELLO: Our Showbiz correspondent Nischelle Turner joins me now. And you aat down for a one on one interview with Jennifer. Tell us what she said.

TURNER: You know, Carol, she's kind of salt of the earth. I've interviewed her several times from good, young actress to A-list superstar. Now she's a front-runner in the race for best actress for the Oscar but she says all in her life that glitters sure ain't gold.


TURNER: 22-year-old, your second Oscar nomination, do you ever just say this can't be my life?

LAWRENCE: Yes, I do. Now it's just I find it hilarious.

TURNER: And you're at these things and you're like --

LAWRENCE: I know, I'm looking around at all of these legends, my heroes and I'm just like --

TURNER: I heard you on Piers Morgan the other night tell him that you were vulnerable. When I heard that I said no way, you come off as such a confident, tough girl.

LAWRENCE: That's just my voice, I have a deep voice, makes me sound very confident and tough.

TURNER: What are you vulnerable about?

LAWRENCE: Well, everything. There's not really, there's no way to really feel like fully confident when you're photographed almost every day. I mean I can't read what anybody says. I don't know, just very, very watched and kind of looked under a microscope, it's impossible not to feel vulnerable.

TURNER: I remember interviewing you when "The Hunger Games" was coming out and the paparazzi were starting to figure you out and find you. Have you made peace with that? Because I know it's a full-on issue.

LAWRENCE: No it's horrible. The worst part they take away your peace of mind, even in my house you still have the feeling of being watched. It's just kind of a horrible, horrible thing. I don't think I'll ever come to terms with that.

TURNER: When you're not looking like you are today with the gorgeous makeup and the great dress, what do you do when it's just like Jennifer Lawrence's day off? LAWRENCE: I never wear makeup. I'm not good at putting on makeup so I never wear makeup. I'd look terrible. I normally stay in my pajamas forever especially now because I'm not leaving the house. So my friends come over you've been wearing the same thing for three days. I'm like, ugh.


TURNER: Now my girlfriend actually said she saw her at CBS the other day with a ball cap on and no makeup and she was still cute. So there you go.

Carol she did seem a little shocked though at all of this success she's had so early. She maintains -- she's still just Jennifer from Louisville, Kentucky. And I know you will appreciate this because you're a woman like me who loves her sports. We got into the University of Kentucky/University of Louisville athletic debate and she said in her family they are definitely UK, University of Kentucky academic people, but they are U of L athletic supporters all the way.

COSTELLO: It's in your blood sometimes. You can't help it.

TURNER: It is. It is.

COSTELLO: Nischelle Turner, thanks so much.


COSTELLO: A mysterious message pops up on Facebook and it leads a woman to news about her missing son. Why she's now furious about that message which came from the police.


COSTELLO: Fifty minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories".

Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius breaks down in court as he's officially charged with premeditated murder in his girlfriend's death. He says his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp died in his arms. According to the affidavit Pistorius said "I heard a noise in the bathroom, a sense of terror overwhelmed me, it was pitch dark, I thought Reeva was in bed. I did not have my legs on I felt extremely vulnerable. I shouted to Reeva to phone police, she did not respond."

A California man has been arrested and charged with rape after police say he met his victim on the dating Web site Now police want to know if Sean Banks victimized other women. Police say Banks used several different names online.

Police use Facebook for a lot of things, but to notify family members about a dead loved one. An Atlanta area woman says that's how police tried to reach out to her about her son's death and she's furious. Here's Tom Jones with our affiliate WSB.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANNA LAMB-CREASEY, VICTIM'S MOTHER: Misty Hancock. And I'm like who is the Misty Hancock?

TOM JONES, WSB ATLANTA: Anna Lamb-Creasey didn't know who Misty Hancock was and why she was sending her and her daughter Facebook messages to contact Clayton County police. They paid it no mind because of the strange name and profile picture of Atlanta rapper T.I.

LAMB-CREASEY: And I'm like ok, I'm thinking this is fake.

JONES: Lamb-Creasey had been searching frantically for her 30-year- old son Ricky Lamb. He had been missing since January 25th of this year. She called hospitals and checked jails. She even posted messages on his Facebook account.

LAMB-CREASEY: "Ricky, where are you, love mom."

JONES: Lamb-Creasey had no idea her son had died when a driver hit him as he crossed Terry (ph) Boulevard and Old Dixie road on January 24th around 11:00 that night. Then, on Valentine's Day, some 20 days after Lamb disappeared, Lamb-Creasey's daughter called the number on the Misty Hancock page and an officer gave her the bad news. He was trying to reach them to tell them Lamb had died.

LAMB-CREASEY: And I've been on my job 13 years. They could have found me.

JONES: Lamb-Creasey is angry police didn't use other means to find her and she says they should have used a police department Facebook account to reach her. Lamb's girlfriend feels the same way.

MELISSA WILSON, VICTIM'S FRIEND: People need to know that it's the police department trying to contact them.


COSTELLO: Tom Jones reporting from our affiliate WSB. For their part, the Clayton County Police said they made every effort to contact the family in more conventional ways. Lamb's funeral is set this Saturday.

And we're talking this morning about what may have motivated Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza. But should we be talking about it at all? It's our "Talk Back" question today.


COSTELLO: "Talk Back" question today. "How should the media report on serial killers?"

This from Lisa, "Delicately to avoid any 'how-to manual' type of information for potential copy cats."

This from Mark, "Ask anyone -- ask anyone, any of the last five mass murderers what their names were and they will know, and then ask them who the last five heroes who made the news headline are and they'll say what?"

This from Shelly, "The public needs to be made aware of thing like this, but maybe not -- maybe it shouldn't be brought up every 30 minutes. Also continuing to focus on the victims rather than the killers is a good idea."

This is from David, "The main reason to report anything is to solve problems not to indoctrinate. I sometimes think that the corporate media wants to recreate the world in its own image."

And from Mike, "The media should just stop. It should not even be reported. This is why they do it to become famous dead or alive." CNN, or you can tweet me @CarolCNN. Please continue the conversation.


COSTELLO: Sad news from the sports world, Los Angeles Lakers long- time owner Jerry Buss has passed away. Vince Cellini is here with more in this morning's Bleacher Report.

VINCE CELLINI, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Carol, thank you very much. The Lakers' Jerry Buss was many things -- owner, innovator, L.A. playboy but most of all he was a winner and he passed away on Monday at the age of 80 after a long battle with cancer. PhD in physical chemistry, Buss made his fortune in real estate, bought the floundering Lakers in 1979 and turned them into show time winning 10 championships, earning 16 trips to the NBA finals. From Kareem to Magic, Shaq and Kobe, the Lakers were Hollywood cool. They remain a family business. Daughter Jeannie Buss will control business aspects of the team; son, Jim Buss, basketball decisions.

NBA commissioner David Stern released a statement. "The NBA lost a visionary owner." He goes on to say "More importantly we have lost a dear and valued friend. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

Members of the Boston Bruins visited Newtown, Connecticut to show their support to the people affected by the Sandy Hook shootings. With the Stanley Cup in tow, the players put on a hockey clinic for Newtown's high school hockey team and they signed autographs for the crowd. So a nice story.

And this, a terrific piece of video from Campbell University's PGA Golf Management program, nine players, each simultaneously and they find the cup. That's great teamwork and that's the classroom.

For all your entertaining sports news, go to bleacher, more on the passing of the Laker owner and all of your sports news. It's difficult for one to make it that pot, let alone nine.

COSTELLO: That didn't look real. Vince, thank you. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.