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Steak with a Side of Bipartisan Politics; High Hopes for Obama Budget?; Kevin Bacon Spoiler and Apology; Offline Buying Prompts Facebook Ads; The Masters Starts Today; Red Sox's Sellout Streak Over

Aired April 11, 2013 - 09:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Carol Costello. We're watching the opening bell at the New York stock exchange. See if stocks continue their record run. Investors waiting for more quarterly results. Alison Kosik on the floor.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. After yesterday's record breaking day, will stocks do it again? Maybe not at the moment. Looks like the bears (ph) have come out to play a little bit. Stocks are sitting at the flat line. But overall the path of least resistance, is still to the upside, especially with the fed driving the rally overall. Pumping billions of dollars nto the economy, buying up treasuries and mortgage backed securities, lowering interest rates, and pushing investors to buy into stocks. And with the Dow and the S&P rocketing to their highest trading levels ever yesterday, that's surprising even some of the more pessimistic traders and analysts here on Wall Street. They didn't expect to see levels like this until summertime. We could see stocks get a little more momentum as the day goes on, after we learn that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell a lot. By 42,000 to 346,000. The day is young, stocks are flat. Carol.

COSTELLO: Alison Kosik, reporting live.

On the menu at the White House, green salad, steak, and sauteed veggies all served with a big side of bipartisanship. The president hosted 12 Republican senators at dinner to talk about the budget, deficit, immigration reform, and preventing gun violence. Johnny Isakson of Georgia organized the guest list. Senator Hatch of Utah was there, with Senator Alexander of Tennessee, Senator Rubio from Florida and Senator Collins of Maine was also there along with seven others. With us now from Washington, CNN's White House correspondent Brianna Keilar. So did they accomplish anything?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I am so sorry to disappoint you, we don't actually have specifics on the meeting. And I will tell that if I kept a list on the meetings in Washington that I wanted to be a fly on the wall this would be right up there. The White House and the Republicans of this meeting, they're staying mum on the specifics of what was discussed. Yes, that's annoying for reporters like you and me who want to know all about it. But you can take it as a sign of good will, that they spoke about things and not blabbing about it right now.

The White House says it was a constructive discussion, that it was wide-ranging, that they talked about immigration, which obviously is very important because you've got the Gang of Eight senators who are supposedly close to a deal on legal status for undocumented immigrants. They talked about gun violence, this on the eve of this vote that we're seeing in the Senate today. And they talked about deficit reduction on the day that President Obama unveiled his budget. That, yes, Republicans and Democrats didn't really like.

So Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson he said that this was the discussion that was productive. Orrin Hatch said it was an open discussion. And I was sort of struck, Carol, by the fact that is was a really long dinner -- about 2 and a half hours. You had senators arriving here at about 6:45 p.m. They didn't wrap up until a little after 9:00. And I do want to show you exactly where they ate. This was in the old family dining room this is my best shot. Why I'm not a meteorologist. Right about there. The old family ding room off the state ding room. Nice price to have dinner and it seems like they were sticking to the Atkins diet, wouldn't you say, with the steak and veggies.

COSTELLO: It sure sounded healthy, but you're right a lot of protein there.

KEILAR: Definitely. I think they had a good time, though and maybe a good sign they aren't talking too much about it.

COSTELLO: Man, I hope so. Brianna Keilar thanks so much.

So two dinners just over a month marked by constructive and cordial discussions. But it seems the president and Republican senators are still at a stalemate in issues like the budget. Joining me now, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman and CNN contributor and analyst for "The Blaze," Will Cain. Welcome to both of you.

So, you hear Brianna, this dinner lasted two and a half hours and they talked about substantive issues, tough issues like immigration, the budget, gun control. Do you have high hopes, Will?

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I don't have high hopes, and that's okay, though. That's all right. Look, I hate to belabor the dinner metaphor, but the problem largely is that we often attempt to bite off more than we can chew. We have Obamacare, that is well over a thousand -- tens of thousands of pages. Huge. Let's just put it that way. Now we're working on an immigration bill that's comprehensive in nature that is getting as lengthy, with as many caveats, with as many pages --

COSTELLO: 1,100 pages, right?

CAIN: Right.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Will, let me ease your indigestion, Will.

CAIN: We are much more successful when we debate issues that we can digest in small chunks, debate each other, get mad at each other, but hash out something that's possible.

ZIMMERMAN: Will, let me ease your indigestion for a moment. First of all, I am very encouraged by these discussions. And more importantly by the results we're seeing take place, for example on gun safetty, it's not a compromise that would be as strong as I'd like it to be, but it certainly is an important step forward.

We are seeing actual, real achievement in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on immigration reform. A possible bill coming out, maybe even this week or beginning of next week. So, we're seeing progress there. And even on the budget. The president proposed cutting $1.2 trillion in spending over 10 years. As a progressive Democrat, that's more than I would prefer, but he's challenging his own party and taking on his own party to get a deal done.

COSTELLO: Let's face it, Robert. That budge is going nowhere. Going nowhere.

ZIMMERMAN: What is going to be positive, though, Carol, is we're going to see some structure for deficit reform, because the debt ceiling debate that's coming before us.


CAIN: Let me tell you why you are not easing my indigestion, I am afraid of what your success may look like.

COSTELLO: Yeah, but doesn't there have to be some movement on the budget, Will? Nobody gets all that they want. And it's about time we started to come to some sort of agreement on something. Although the background check isn't the best, for anyone really, at least they came to an agreement. At least Democrats and Republicans came to some sort of agreement. When was the last time that happened?

ZIMMERMAN: And more importantly, here we're seeing the public is engage in the debate, and the public taking action, demanding action from legislators. That's critical.

CAIN: We are taking on so many issues, agreement isn't always something to be celebrated. On the issue of background checks, I don't think it's a compromise worth having.

COSTELLO: Okay, well, I'm kind of depressed by you today, Will.


CAIN: Sorry.

COSTELLO: Will Cain, Robert Zimmerman. Thanks for joining int he discussion this morning.

Just ahead in the NEWSROOM, talk about a spoiler alert. Actor Kevin Cacon of the hit TV show "The Following" reveals a major plot twist and now he's apologizing.


COSTELLO: Kevin bacon says oops, my bad., after re-tweeting a big show spoiler. A.J. Hammer is in New York. What happened?

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": To be clear, Carol. I won't make the same mistake by putting that spoiler on the air right now. I respect people's desire to see the show play out as they will. It's a spoiler about Kevin's hit show "The Following." I don't think you can really blame Kevin for this.

After Monday's episode aired, he re-tweeted a fan's reaction to a major plot twist, but didn't he think about the repercussions, you know all the people who time-shift programs and watch later on the DVR, or the fans who are watching outside tU.S., or the fans like me who are waiting till after the season is over to watch the whole thing in order.

A lot of people haven't seen the episode yet. Here is the apology the Kevin tweted. "To all of the fans abroad and late watchers, I'm truly sorry I re-tweeted a spoiler." And then he posted a quick little apology. That we can show you. Take a look at this.


KEVIN BACON, ACTOR, "THE FOLLOWING": My bad, my bad, my bad.

BACON: My bad, my bad, my bad.


HAMMER: If I can sum that up for you Carol, Kevin thinks it was "his bad." But remember, Kevin Bacon is a movie star, not used to the TV gig and the quick turn around. Perhaps an honest mistake, I will give him a pass.

COSTELLO: He needs to talk to his wife. She could teach him a thing or two, probably has. Appreciate it.

If you think Facebook knows to much about you, wait until you hear what kind of personal data the social media giant is mining for its latest advertising blitz. The story, next.


COSTELLO: 47 past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories."

Five men under arrest in Los Angeles are suspect of being part of a crew of serial bank robbers. Police say the group would break into banks through the roof using power tools and then gain access to the vaults. They are accused of hitting four banks in the last year and stealing -- get this -- $6 million.

In South Florida, a court hearing under way for a mom and dad accused of abducting their own children. Josh and Sharyn Hakken are accused of snatching their -- snatching their young sons just days after losing custody and sailing off to Cuba. A CNN crew found them in Havana. The parents could face life in prison. The little boys are back safe and sound with their custodial grandparents.

A tornado leaves a 30-mile long debris path outside Little Rock. The twister hit one town, passed over another, before slamming into a third. In all, three people were hurt, 33 homes damaged, a church was absolutely demolished, just 90 minutes before the start of weekly services. Those severe storms are now heading east. Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia could see some strong winds and damaging hail later today.

Next time you pick up a new pair of shoes at the mall, don't be surprised to see more shoe ads for footwear popping up on your Facebook page. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. So ooh this is kind of creepy how does Facebook know where you're shopping?

KOSIK: Well didn't you know Facebook is kind of peering into your grocery bag into your shopping bag. They are watching what you're buying. Well kind of. You know, they're actually work with free data companies that already have this a huge pile of consumer data on you and on me.

These companies are Axiom, Data Logics and Epsilon. They know everything about us. They've got this dossiers on everything from our income levels our online activity thy know what we bought, even our Social Security numbers.

Now what Facebook said it's going to do is it's going to match all that data to your profile on Facebook and use all of that information to create better target groups for its ads.

Now until now, Facebook only was able to target these ads base on what information that users provided. But that's all changing now. Facebook though is quick to point out that all the data is anonymous, that advertisers, that they'll never know the identities of the people seeing their ads, but still.

COSTELLO: Yes. I know. So can you opt out of these ads?

KOSIK: Yes the good news is that you can. You can do what's known as a wholesale opt out or you could actually opt out from certain advertisers. So if you actually go to the Facebook page -- your Facebook page you can choose to remove yourself from targeted ads if you go to the "about this ad link" or from the help center link. You could also go to within the drop down box that's associated with an ad and you can ask Facebook not to show you that ad again or not to show you any ads from that partner.

Now, Facebook also said users, they're going to be able to see why they were targeted for a certain ad. But come on, Carol. I know you don't like this, but there is a harsh reality.

You're going to get bombarded with ads no matter what. Facebook is trying to make them more relevant to you, while at the same time trying to deliver advertisers a group of people who are actually most likely to see the ad, to click on it, and actually be motivated to buy whatever the company is selling. It's just a reality of online activity.

COSTELLO: Well, I guess you got to make money, and that's what they're doing, right?

KOSIK: Exactly.

COSTELLO: Alison Kosik, thank you.

"Talk Back" question for you today. "Will background checks really decrease gun violence?" or tweet me @carolCNN.


COSTELLO: "Talk Back" question for you today, "Will background checks decrease gun violence?" A lot of tweets today. I'm going to read you some.

This is from Valenciajr3. "Violence will always exist, however, citizens should have a right to defend themselves without the government dictating what kind of weapon."

This from Dailyquote, "Yes, it will. It will deter some who should not buy them. The harder it is to buy a gun, the better."

This from mardigny, "Of course not. Criminals procure their weapons through any means, including illegal means that this further check cannot address."

And this from Linda, "What harm will it do? That is, unless you have something to hide. If one life is saved by doing background checks, then it's worth, it isn't it?"

Please keep the conversation going. or tweet me @carolCNN.

Tickets for Red Sox games usually are hard to get, but something happened at Fenway Park that has not happened since President George W. Bush's first term in office. "Bleacher Report" is next.


COSTELLO: Golf's first major tees off today. And forget Tiger. The talk may center around a 14-year-old Chinese golfer. Joe Carter is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report."

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Eight -- eighth grade Carols I was going to about say eight years old. He's not that young, 14, eight grade. His name is Tianlang Guan. And he's the youngest player ever at the Masters. The guys is consuming the clubs since he was three, kind of like Tiger Woods. He earned his spot this week in the Masters by winning an amateur championship in Asia which is last year.

Now already he's got some critics, a few veterans on the -- on the tour expressing that hey, this guy is way too young to be participating in the masters, but he's here and he's played a practice round this week with Tiger already. He took on the media. A never seemed rattled. China you know over the years hasn't really produced many great golfers, but Tiger thinks hey it's going to start with this guy.


TIGER WOODS, TALKS ABOUT YOUNG PHENOM TIANLANG GUAN: They're coming, and he is one of them. And to see him hit the ball under 12 and well, we knew he was going to be good, but we didn't think he was going to be in the Masters in two years.


CARTER: All right. Cute kid alert. This is the par three competition -- love it. It's on Wednesday every year of the Masters. That is Robert Gerrick's son. The mini driver and short and straight Luke Donald and his daughter. Look at that, the putter is longer than she is. She is so cute. Look, dad, I did it, I did it and Gerrick's with his son again. Using the same driver. Having a little trouble. He finally connects out of the sand. So adorable. A great family event for grandkids and the kids. The Masters par 3 contest.

In the NBA last night Kobe, wow, had a great night. Dropped a season high 47 points on Trailblazers, but it's what he said before the game that has people talking. Kobe had some choice words for fired Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice. He said it on Jim Rome's Show Time talk show.

JIM ROME, TALK SHOW HOST: If you were one of the players getting the ball thrown at them, how would you have reacted?

KOBE BRYANT, NBA PLAYER: I would have smacked the hell out of him. No question about it. No question about it. Probably wouldn't have been the best way to react to it, but that's how I would have reacted to it.


CARTER: Kobe feeling like a lot of us felt when we first saw that video.

Ok, tor the first time in ten years Fenway Park did not sell out for a Red Sox game. Some are blaming the rain. Some are blaming the 69 wins last season. Whatever the reason, they fell about 6,000 short of a sell-out. The attendance streak started may 15th, 2003 -- went for 820 straight games, which includes both regular season and playoff games.

I mean, most baseball stadiums around the country would be proud to sell out for two, three years for them to go ten straight years is actually really incredible.

And rain today going to be an issue for the Masters. It's supposed to come in maybe late day and obviously over the night and possibly early into the morning as well.

COSTELLO: Like some delays, huh? Joe Carter, thanks. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Running for cover as tornados rip through the Midwest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As soon as we got into the hall bathroom really a loud boom went off, and a tree broke and went right through the kitchen.


COSTELLO: Plus, how easy is it to buy a gun?