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Kicking the Can, Again; No Deal in Budget Talks; Major League Championship Series

Aired October 16, 2013 - 04:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: No deal yet to avert a dangerous debt deadline. We are less than 18 hours away, folks. So can Washington reach a compromise? And even if they do, can they get it done in time to avert disaster? And are we just waiting for the next government crisis anyway?


TRICIA NORMAN, MOTHER OF REBECCA SEDGWICK: Yes. Pages started popping up on Facebook and Instagram, as a matter of fact, saying that she deserved to die. They were glad she was dead. I just -- I don't get it.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Have you heard this story, a mother demanding justice after her brutally bullied 12-year-old daughter takes her own life. Who police have arrested in the case.

BERMAN: A lot of people talking about that story.


FRED EDWARDS, PASSENGER: A huge explosion. It goes bam. And we saw the flames come up the side of the plane.


BERMAN: Oh, my. Scare in the air. Passengers justifiably terrified when flames burst on their plane that fills with smoke. Not what you want to see.

SAMBOLIN: Mad panic, I would imagine.

BERMAN: On the airplane.

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Glad you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. About 32 minutes past the hour right now.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So the big question this morning, will we see a deal, John Berman?

BERMAN: I think so.

SAMBOLIN: You think so?


BERMAN: I do think so.

SAMBOLIN: Well, there are less than 18 hours to go before the debt ceiling deadline when the Treasury Department says it must start the process of not paying some of its bills. Senate leaders started talking again last night after a last-ditch move by the House to pass its own plan fell apart. A compromise is said to be very close. And there's a chance it could be voted on as soon as today.


SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: The debt is here. The deadline is looming.

REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I believe that John Boehner will likely be in a position where he will have to, essentially, pass the bill that is negotiated between Senators McConnell and Reid. And I believe that the House will first pass it and send it to the Senate. There will be fewer Republican members voting for the bill than who actually support it. We're going to be seeing a lot of what I would call hope, yes, vote, no.


SAMBOLIN: So of course before any vote can happen, an actual proposal have to be put on the table. And right now it is not clear how quickly the negotiations will progress and just when we might see the details of what has been worked out. And there's always a chance that opposition in the House could scuttle any deal.

BERMAN: There's a sense that they want to get to the details before the markets open. So we should see them in the next few hours. Even then, though, it is possible they will not get a final vote on this until Saturday or Sunday after we hit that October 17th date which is just 18 hours away so we're --

SAMBOLIN: But as long as a deal is in the make, and there's discussion, and everybody has agreed, then potentially we could avert --

BERMAN: Hopefully, it means the markets --

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Don't overreact.

BERMAN: Countries around the world, everyone will remain calm.


BERMAN: That's all good-ish, right? But even if this all does happen and go well by Thursday, Friday, Saturday of this week, we're going to face this problem again in just a few months. Brian Todd explains why.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even if there's a deal this time that gnawing in your gut could well return in a few weeks.

NORMAN ORNSTEIN, AUTHOR, "IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS": You're governing by crisis, and that is no way to govern.

TODD: Congressional expert Norman Ornstein believes there will be more cans kicked down the road until the next shutdown or debt ceiling crisis. The chance now of a long-term, so-called grand bargain, almost zero, he says, because on one side, far right conservatives in the House will never agree to raise taxes, even a little. That would go back on their no taxes pledges and Tea Party and other conservative leaders would work against them in their reelection bids.

ORNSTEIN: The nature of primaries, the fact that so many people live in homogeneous districts that become ecochambers, all of that makes it harder overcome now a set of realities where our political process is driven by a small group of Americans who are more ideologically driven, and not by the vast majority of Americans who still say, come on, compromise a little bit and move us forward.

TODD: How did it get this way? Ornstein says it goes back to the financial collapse of 2008 when George W. Bush was president. Far right conservatives, he says, hated the bailout.

ORNSTEIN: The resentment against political leaders working with Wall Streeters to bail them out while the rest of the country paid for it just deeply amplified the kind of resentment against government per se. Then the continuing sluggish economy created the Tea Party movement.

TODD: But analysts say it's not just the Tea Partiers who dug in and created this mess.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: There's blame all around, including the White House.

TODD: Meaning Democrats may feel they've had the upper hand politically, making them less willing to negotiate. It's created a more personal, deep-seeded reason why a real long-term agreement between these key players may be elusive.

GERGEN: The trust has disappeared and is increasingly being replaced by hatred. There is a lot of deep alienation and just plain don't like each other. Don't want to sit down at the same table with each other.

TODD (on camera): Or as Norman Ornstein says, it's become tribal in nature. With leaders of both parties saying, if you're for it, I'm against it, even if I was for it yesterday.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: That is such a shame.

BERMAN: That's the definition --

SAMBOLIN: And it seem so childish, right?

BERMAN: Yes. It's a mess. The definition of a mess.

SAMBOLIN: Mess. Thirty-six minutes past the hour. A remarkable step in the fight against bullying. A Florida sheriff charging two young girls, 14 and 12 years old, with aggravated stalking for allegedly bullying a 12-year-old who committed suicide last month.

Rebecca Sedgwick's mother says her daughter is finally getting justice.


NORMAN: She should be here. She should be here to see justice getting served. I really wish that people would have listened to her a long time ago and had really looked into this that was going on when we were reporting it. I really believe that Becca stopped telling me about it because she's seen how much I was trying to get something done and nothing was getting done.


SAMBOLIN: Well, police say the intense bullying began as a fight over a boy, and it didn't stop after the girl died. The 14-year-old charged allegedly posted this online taunt Saturday. "I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself, but I don't give an expletive."


SAMBOLIN: Rebecca Sedgwick would have turned 13 on Saturday.

BERMAN: That is so sad. Hope it makes some kind of difference.

Missouri lieutenant governor is calling out prosecutors to revisit a controversial rape case dropped last year. A high school football star stood accused of assaulting a 14-year-old girl but the charges were quickly dismissed. Daisy Coleman said she remembers little about what happened.


DAISY COLEMAN, RAPE CASE DROPPED BY PROSECUTION: I began drinking from a bottle that they had given them. They tried to get me to drink out of this large cup. It's like a large shot glass. And I drank from it and that's all I remember. Ultimately, I tried committing suicide numerous amounts of times. And I did felt harmed a lot.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: After the incident, she was left outside in freezing temperatures. Her family believes the prosecutor was pressured into dropping the charges because the boy comes from a prominent political family. They say they were forced out of their small town. Their home mysteriously destroyed in a fire. The boy's attorney said that the sex was consensual.

SAMBOLIN: Extraordinary measures will protect the community of Sandy Hook as the elementary school where a gunman killed 20 children and six women is demolished. The "New York Post" says the building will be pulverized onsite and melted to prevent exploitation of any remnants there. Contractors have been sworn to secrecy and onlookers will be stopped from taking pictures as well. Demolition is set to begin next week and be done before the December 14th anniversary.

BERMAN: Some scary, scary moments on a flight from Dallas to Atlanta. An engine on the Spirit Airlines.

SAMBOLIN: That's an understatement.

BERMAN: Yes. Check this out. The engine burst into flames just minutes after takeoff. Passengers say it was so bright, it looked like the inside of the plane was on fire.


EDWARDS: The explosion goes bam, and we saw the flames come up the side of the plane which lit up the whole inside of the plane. It looked like the inside of the plane was on fire. Of course, it was on the outside engine. The plane started shaking violently. And after that, the plane started filling up with smoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the vents on the side of the aircraft was just pouring smoke. I mean, this full white smoke. And before you know it, you couldn't really see. That's when everyone got really scared.


BERMAN: My. The plane returned to Dallas and passengers were moved to another jet for a trip to Atlanta. Spirit Airlines says the passengers were not in any danger and the crew followed procedure by returning to the airport.


BERMAN: No danger. I guess that's fine. Some solace for the fact that the engine exploded.


And you saw the flames but they're OK.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know what I would do. All right. I'd start crying.

BERMAN: Scream. SAMBOLIN: All right. A 28-year-old airport worker under arrest for allegedly setting off dry ice bombs at LAX this week. Police say the suspect identified as Dicarlo Bennett is a service air employee. He apparently took dry ice from planes to construct these bombs before leaving them in restricted area. Bennett's bail set at $1 million. No one was injured by the blast and police do not suspect any link to terrorism.

BERMAN: Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner pleading guilty in a sexual harassment case that helped lead to his resignation from office. Filner admitting guilt on one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery for sexually harassing three women while in office. So under this plea agreement the 71-year-old will get three years probation. He will avoid jail time. He's expected to spend three months in home confinement.

SAMBOLIN: An unusual Wednesday election in New Jersey today to pick the state's newest U.S. senator. Newark Mayor Cory Booker is facing off against Tea Party activist Steve Lonegan to finish the term of the late Frank Lautenberg. It's a vote being closely watched by both parties which have put some big names behind their candidates. And it's being painted as a referendum on what's happening right now in Washington. The latest polls show a double-digit lead for Booker. Whoever wins will be up for reelection next year.

BERMAN: So we're hearing now just how scary it was when a south Florida woman wound up trapped and dangling from this railroad bridge. We showed you this picture before. A 55-year-old woman Wanda McGowan, walked under the bridge Saturday morning after completing a breast cancer walk. She wasn't supposed to be there. The bridge is closed to pedestrians, and seemingly had -- she had no chance to get away once the bridge went up. That's when the onlookers started calling 911.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the bridges is going up and a woman is standing on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's on the tracks on the bridge. The bridge is open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bridge is open and she's on there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's on it. Yes, she couldn't get off.


BERMAN: So what they did is bring a ladder out to get the woman down. The railroad company is considering filing trespassing charges against the woman.


BERMAN: Now get this, her friends say that the woman is legally blind. SAMBOLIN: I wonder if the railroad company knows that, right?

OK, the town of (INAUDIBLE), California, has a problem with bears. But they're not just getting into garbage cans and homes, they're getting into cars. Police say in the last two weeks, three bears have been trapped inside vehicles in that town. It is near Reno. They open the door. Climb in. Some have accidently locked the car from the inside so that they can't get out.

Experts say the bears are probably looking for food and they can easily open car doors. They're advising residents to lock their car doors. Don't leave any food inside or anything that smells like food inside.

BERMAN: Or someone should teach the bears how to get out once they get in. There should be a bear training course.


SAMBOLIN: Why don't you do that?

BERMAN: Yes. I'll pick that on. That's going to be my job.

SAMBOLIN: I know that I'd be volunteering for that.

All right. Coming up --


REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: I just think most folks understand October 17th is not the drop dead date. There are no payments due for a couple of weeks.


SAMBOLIN: The debt ceiling deadline less than 18 hours away now but some lawmakers say there's no need to rush a deal. Really?


SAMBOLIN: Love this segment. Forty-six minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. We have the best from CNN's prime time interviews. We're starting with Erin Burnett and the debt ceiling.

BERMAN: So she spoke with Kansas Republican Congressman Tim Huelskamp who called on his party to stand firm and not capitulate to the left.


HUELSKAMP: The deal we tried to offer a few weeks ago suggested, no, we can raise it for a few weeks, but not to raise it until next year. And another $300, $400 billion of debt. And that's unacceptable.

Americans want to face the problem. And the problem is not that we can't come together, it's the problem we have folks that don't want to ever cut spending which is why you have to raise the debt ceiling. That's the real issue here. And the president has no proposal, he does not want to reduce spending so we're at logger heads until he's ready to negotiate.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN'S "OUTFRONT": So you're saying you'll vote for a bill that extends a debt ceiling for a few weeks but not for a couple of months? That that's really all it came down to?

HUELSKAMP: In exchange for some significant changes and reductions in spending. And the C.R. debate is about Obamacare. It is a huge hole in our spending. It's going to create massive debts. It's about $50 billion more spending in the next year alone. $800 billion over the next decade and you can't balance the budget, Mr. President, unless you deal with your brand new entitlement that is unfunded.


SAMBOLIN: And on "ANDERSON COOPER," the economic consequences of a U.S. default. He spoke with former labor secretary under Bill Clinton, Robert Reich.


ROBERT REICH, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY: The doomsday, the actual hour or the day when we don't pay our creditors what's due them, may be a few days after tomorrow, it may be next week, we don't know. But certainly beginning Thursday, if nothing is done we are in deep trouble and creditors are going to be demanding even more of an interest payment against the risk that they're bearing.

Ultimately, this is crazy. I mean, we're talking about a lunacy here, because we are -- we are playing with the full faith and credit of the United States, which is the building block of not only the United States economy, Anderson, it's the building block of the global economy. This is where savers around the world put their money into treasury bills in terms of safekeeping.

If it's no longer a safekeeping device, if it's no longer a foundation stone of the global economy, then everybody is in trouble around the world.


BERMAN: Serious stuff. And on "PIERS MORGAN LIVE," advice from a master negotiator. Bill Richardson is the former governor of New Mexico. He negotiated with everyone from Saddam Hussein to the Taliban. Here's how he thinks this will play out today.


BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR: I had suggested a mediator but it's too late now. We're on the brink of a major decision. A catastrophic decision, if we don't take action.

Here's what I would do. I would test Ted Cruz with a vote. I would test -- and John Boehner, I think, can test his own members. I think the key player is John Boehner. He can go tomorrow to his caucus, after the Senate presumably passes a bill, possibly overriding Ted Cruz in a filibuster, and say, look, I've achieved the goals that you wanted me to. But what I think is very important now, in the end, is find a way not to denigrate each other. Don't go public blaming. Let's have the last day be one of a shutdown of all the press, the caucuses, everybody in a room, make a deal and I think it's going to happen.


BERMAN: You have already seen Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, the Senate leaders, start saying nice things about their discussions and the fruit of those discussions, so hopefully the tenor will be different today as we go forward.

SAMBOLIN: I hope so.

BERMAN: Fingers crossed.

SAMBOLIN: All right.

BERMAN: All right. Forty-nine minutes after the hour right now and coming up, it was the late afternoon, shall we say, when the lights went out in Detroit. But did the power outage suck the life out of the Tigers or the Red Sox? Who did it help? Who did it hurt?

Andy Scholes with all the answers coming up on the "Bleacher Report."

SAMBOLIN: It's written on your face.

BERMAN: I know.


SAMBOLIN: The St. Louis Cardinals are now just one win away from the trip to the World Series. How excited are you?

BERMAN: For the Cardinals?


BERMAN: I don't care about them.

SAMBOLIN: That's not at all.


BERMAN: I got other things going on.

Andy Scholes joins us now with the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, THE BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. Just 24 hours ago, we're all talking about how the Dodgers were back in their series after a big win. Well, took just one game for all that to change.

The Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday, he silenced the L.A. crowd last night with a two-run shot in the third inning. Now Dodgers had a great chance to get back in this game in the ninth but rookie sensation Yasiel Puig grounds into a double play. St. Louis wins 4-2, they now lead the series three games to one.

The other series, the ALS. Tigers' Justin Verlander, he was pitching lights out. Game three, then the lights actually went out, 17-minute delay. When they resumed play, one swing of the bat by Mike Napoli would decide this game. He homered off Verlander in the seventh. Tigers had their chances in the eighth but Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder both strike out. Red Sox they're pumped about it. They win 1-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

ALCS resumes tonight at 8:00 Eastern. The Cardinals can punch their ticket to the World Series this afternoon. First pitch from L.A. is at 4:00 Eastern on TBS.

Trending right now on, Will Ferrell back at his old stomping ground at the USC. And he wasn't trying to start up a new fraternity for middle aged men. He was leading the band in a cherry performance. Check him out wielding the sword during the fight song. It was all for a really good cause. The event was to raise money for the Kids with Cancer.

BERMAN: That is a great cause.

SAMBOLIN: That's great.

BERMAN: And to be fair, USC fans have not had a lot to cheer about, right, you know, lately, so Will Ferrell --

SCHOLES: Well, they have now.

BERMAN: Maybe make it a little easier. That's great to see.

Andy, thanks so much.


Coming up, new nominees for the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. Which legendary acts are now eligible for the honor? That's coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Fifty-eight minutes past the hour. Taking a look at the top CNN trends on the Web this morning.

Is Nirvana Hall of Fame bound? The Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame is out with its nominees. This is for the 2014 class. And Nirvana is on the list in its first year of eligibility.

Also up, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates. (INAUDIBLE), Berman?

BERMAN: Well, no, I -- know we were all thinking, which is how can it be that Hall and Oates are not already in the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame?

SAMBOLIN: Right. Why don't you tell us who you really feel about this?

BERMAN: With a library like that.

SAMBOLIN: Go ahead. Go ahead.

BERMAN: "Man-Eater"? I mean, that's a Hall of Fame song. Right?

SAMBOLIN: Go ahead. Good.

BERMAN: "Private Eyes." It's a Hall of Fame song.


BERMAN: "Your Kiss is on My Lips."


Hall of Fame song. John Oates has Hall of Fame hair. How can they not be in the Hall of Fame?

SAMBOLIN: You get how he feels about this, right?

Peter Gabriel and LL Cool J also on that list. And all told 15 artists are nominated this year. And fans can vote for their choice in the Rock Hall Web site. The inductees will be announced in December.

Who are you voting for?

BERMAN: Hall and Oates, baby. Hall and Oates. All about Hall and Oates.

SAMBOLIN: I love Hall and Oates.

BERMAN: EARLY START continues right now.


BOEHNER: There are a lot of opinions about what direction to go. There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do.

OBAMA: There have been repeated situations where we have agreements, then he goes back, and it turns out that he can't control his caucus.


BERMAN: So the national debt disaster looming. Less than 18 hours away now. The Senate may be close to a deal this morning. But the House, so far, refusing to play ball. Can Congress come together? Get this done before this economic catastrophe?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too soon to judge. Maybe tomorrow I can come with a better conclusion, but I think it's going well. SAMBOLIN: Possible progress this morning in a nuclear standoff. Iran in direct talks with the United States about scaling back its nuclear ambitions. We are live with the full report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was awesome. There were people sprinting to go and see this fish.


BERMAN: Really everyone's favorite kind of monster is a sea monster. An 18-foot sea monster discovered off the coast of California. How one snorkeler made the discovery of a lifetime.

SAMBOLIN: Super, big, humongous.

BERMAN: You're really into the sea monsters. Stay with us for the sea monsters, folks.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Great to see you. It is Wednesday, October 16th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

SAMBOLIN: And the big question this morning at 5:00 in the morning is, will they finish in time?