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AC 360 LATER
Obamacare Troubles; Celebrity Rehab; World's Most Powerful People; Putin Most Powerful Man in World?; Chris Brown Going to Rehab for Anger Issues
Aired October 30, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey. Welcome to the show, everybody. Welcome to "AC360 LATER."
Andrew Sullivan was just pretending he cares about the World Series.
COOPER: A lot on the table tonight.
Who is the most powerful person on the planet? Find out why "Forbes" magazine -- who "Forbes" magazine says and if you agree with the panel. Also, later, celebrities head to rehab as a tool to get them out of messy public relations. Singer Chris Brown is the latest to check into rehab. He got arrested. Is it just a way to tamp down the negative press coverage? We will talk about that.
But we begin of course with the Obamacare mea culpa today. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in the hot seat in front of a House committee promising the Web site will get fixed and she says taking responsibility for a launch which wasn't ready. Later in the day, President Obama was in Boston where he said he takes full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.
A lot of buck stops here kind of stuff going on with some serious questions raised about the president's message, his management style and what he really knew about the mistakes in the making.
Our panel sure to have plenty to say that. With me tonight, Andrew Sullivan, founder editor of The Dish. AndrewSullivan.com is the Web site. CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, CNN political commentator and "New York Times" op-ed columnist Charles blow, and Dr. Drew Pinsky will join us in our fifth chair in just a moment. He's just finishing up his program, "Dr. Drew on Call" on HLN.
What did you make of Kathleen Sebelius today?
ANDREW SULLIVAN, ANDREWSULLIVAN.COM: I thought she did a pretty good job, actually. I say that being very critical of her in the past. Look, she took responsibility and she gave us a date. So I think we're able to wait until November 30 to see if this Web site is working. That's fair enough. If it isn't, her head should roll.
COOPER: Do you believe this date or do you think this is just like a Hail Mary pass?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think they have to set a date. I think they have to work towards something. I think they believed that they had to find a date. They found one. They are going to try to work and make sure it happens by that time.
I think that Sebelius was trying to show some contrition. She was trying to fall on the sword. And I -- but I don't necessarily think that the committee members actually allowed it to unfold the way they could have and took the most advantage of it, because it came across -- at a certain point, it got to be -- it started to feel like bullying.
You could have just absorbed what was happening. They do have a problem. She has taken responsibility for that problem. Just let it ride. It's almost like they can't seem to take a win. When they're winning, they can't seem to take it. They just flip it to make themselves look bad. And I think that that happened again today.
COOPER: But don't -- at all these kind of congressional hearings, often it's more about the politician wanting to get on the nightly news with their strong statement rather than the answer the person gives, whether it's Republicans or Democrats, no?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, yes. I mean, there's some of that. But there is also some legitimate issues, and they have a legitimate oversight capacity.
NAVARRO: So this is an important thing.
What I heard new from her today was an apology for the first time. And good, because frankly, a little remorse, a little humility can go a long way in a situation like that. And it's taken her 30 days to say I am sorry that this is not working. This debacle is not working. And I take responsibility for the debacle.
But I also heard her say things that she just didn't know so much. Finger-pointing. She answered some things terribly incorrectly. She did give fodder to not feeling more confident about this.
COOPER: She says she wasn't signing up for Obamacare.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: She's a Medicare...
COOPER: But that's not what she said.
PINSKY: But that's the reason.
COOPER: That is the real reason.
PINSKY: She gave no reason.
NAVARRO: She said it was illegal for her to sign up for Obamacare.
PINSKY: It's sort of true.
COOPER: She cited because of the federal insurance that she already had.
PINSKY: You mentioned earlier her response to Jon Stewart about how complex the process was and she couldn't explain it. He sort of took her to task.
COOPER: He certainly did. I think she did a terrible job. I thought Jon Stewart gave her every opportunity to dig herself out. And she just dug herself in.
BLOW: You mentioned finger-pointing, though. That I think is the Republican problem here, right?
The Democrats, the White House has a problem. This Web site screwed up. The president kept saying you could keep it and there was a small group of people -- well, small, relatively small, 5 percent, but it's still like millions of people.
COOPER: Fifteen million.
BLOW: Yes, 15 million, whatever it is, who can't necessarily keep their insurance as it exists today.
PINSKY: Insurances are not just offering the plan.
BLOW: I get it. I get that. But just I'm saying it is a problem because he was saying something absolute with a period at the end.
But the Republicans could not take that -- and instead of taking it and saying, she's fallen on the sword. This is their problem. Just let it ride. And people will understand that we were right about some part of this. They couldn't do that. They keep trying to expand that smaller issue into a bigger condemnation of all of the law. That's the problem.
NAVARRO: You keep talking about the small issue about the Web site. Let's talk about the small issue that was on the split screen with the Web site down while she testified for over three hours.
NAVARRO: This was watching this and watching that split screen that says the Web site is completely down.
COOPER: She was saying that the Web site never crashed, which I guess I don't know what the technical definition of crash is. But it's not working. And even while she's...
BLOW: They literally cannot take the win. They cannot actually accept this idea that they were right about some things, but not about everything.
If we're going to hold these hearings and we want to hold people accountable to fix something, that's one thing. But when you're holding hearings to affix blame, that is a whole other conversation.
NAVARRO: Charles, let me give you congressional hearing 101.
BLOW: You don't have to...
NAVARRO: The Democrats see nothing wrong. And the Republicans see all sort of things wrong.
BLOW: That's not true.
NAVARRO: You know who are having huge problems like this? People like red state Democrats. It's Senator Landrieu from Louisiana who is up for reelection that is going to introduce legislation saying that people can keep their policy and grandfathering this in and really changing what is becoming a very loud outcry by the American people.
SULLIVAN: Can we just concede that this is not simply a Republican- Democrat thing, that that's not really at issue here? The thing at issue here is millions of millions of people have no health insurance and are free-riding on the rest of us.
And that bill, that law that's now in existence will stop that happening. Lots of people who currently have insurance will have much more security in that insurance than ever before. They won't be shelved for preexisting conditions, they won't have their plan suddenly dropped or changed. That is what this whole thing is trying to do. Let us also focus on that.
And I do not think that our priorities should at this point be -- we should absolutely, Ana, take this on. Last night, I was pretty tough on this. But I want it to work. And when Hillary Clinton after Medicare D rolled out under the Republicans, she said, I voted against this, but now that it's happened, I'm going to try and make it work and fix it.
BLOW: You can't do that. SULLIVAN: If Republicans wanted to work to really fix this bill, please, will you do that? Will you actually come and join the conversation?
NAVARRO: I have said before that Republicans need to come to terms that there are things about this that the American people like and that we need done. And Democrats have to come to terms with the fact that there's things in this bill as written that are very, very wrong.
SULLIVAN: I agree on both counts.
NAVARRO: I don't know what would be wrong if you want to show some humility and actually go get these things fixed to press the pause button while things like the security issues are addressed.
There are security issues that are worth and that are legitimate issue to bring up and address.
COOPER: You say pause button how long? You're saying delay another year?
NAVARRO: No, I'm saying until the Web site works.
BLOW: But you want to get it fixed. I'm talking your personal opinion. Do you think that -- maybe you were against it before, but it's the law and you think we can fix it and make it work or you're opposed to that?
NAVARRO: I think, Charles, the way to make it work is to fix Obamacare, to make it a bipartisan bill that addresses a lot of the issues that Republicans are bringing up, because they represent a large part of the American people.
BLOW: Like what?
SULLIVAN: What piece of reform would you add to the ACA right now?
NAVARRO: I think you need to make it more consumer driven. I think you need to fix the issue with the policies that people that are getting their policies dropped. I think that's a big issue.
SULLIVAN: I understand that.
NAVARRO: People like to make their own choices. When government comes in and says, the choices you have made are not good enough and we're going to make it for you, that goes against the grain to a lot of people in America. SULLIVAN: I know it does. But the reason the government is saying that is because those people are free-riders on the system. They're not paying enough into the system and they're taking health care out, which comes from everybody else. So they're not telling you, you can't have a choice.
They will have more choice now between different plans and they can see it if this Web site finally works than they ever had before. And the premiums that are actually coming in, the actual premiums that are in are about 15 percent lower than the CBO forecast. So we're actually seeing cheaper insurance policies and better insurance policies.
And I honestly think at some point we should absolutely bash these people for incompetence. But we need to wait. We need to be a little patient. It's a huge measure. We need to do -- the Republicans need to do with this what Democrats did with Medicare D, which is accept it as law and try and make it work.
NAVARRO: Let me just ask you this. The Web site has great issues. The browsing mechanism to browse and look at the different plans and do comparison shopping is not on, is not working. The Spanish Web site is not working. There's security issues.
Is there anything wrong with pressing the pause button and relaunching when it's actually working?
COOPER: What Sebelius was saying was, look, you have until March to do this. By then -- by the end of November they're claiming it's going to be fixed. So there's going to be time to actually browse this.
What I don't understand is why they made the decision to -- I forgot the name of the woman who made the decision who testified yesterday -- to force you to sign up first before allowing you to browse, which just seems ridiculous.
NAVARRO: Because they thought it would put that much more demand on the capacity of the Web site they already knew was not going to be handled.
BLOW: The actual explanation she gave was -- well, the programmers gave was they had to make a choice. They were up against the deadline. They had to make a choice and do that or do something else. And they chose to do that.
But I think the bigger part of that is that people are going to be able to sign up on this Web site. And if they don't want to do that, if they don't want to wait until the end of November they can use other mechanisms until the end of November. Signing up now on the Web site is not completely inoperable.
NAVARRO: They refuse to give us a number, which is another thing that's ridiculous.
SULLIVAN: I actually have a very small business. We are going through this process. And we have an insurance broker that we currently have our current plan in. We're talking to him. We're not -- we're waiting. We don't have to do it yet. A lot of people are going to wait until the last minute.
Let this thing go forward and let's try and constructively fix the problems with it, instead of playing politics with this now, when it's already the law. We need to make it work.
COOPER: Let's take a break right now.
I want to dig deeper into the notion that the health care debacle has revealed President Obama to be out of the loop, a bystander president, his critics are saying. What do you think about that? Veteran presidential adviser David Gergen has a lot to say about it. He joins us right after the break.
COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.
A do-nothing president, hands-off, passive, out of touch. I refer, of course, to Dwight Eisenhower. That was a knock on him at the time and Calvin Coolidge, even George H.W. Bush. When a president gets tagged by the pundits, they are either accused of micromanaging like Jimmy Carter or being out of the loop, bystanders to their own presidency.
President Obama is the latest bystander.
Back with the panel.
We're joined now by David Gergen, who has worked with presidents both Republican and Democrat since the Nixon administration.
What do you make of this? Is he a bystander president?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he has a management style that does not lend itself to vigorous governing.
He's a first-class individual. He's a moral man. I worked for Nixon. We don't always have that. Give him a lot of credit for that. I give him credit for passing a health care bill. It was the first -- seven presidents tried and failed. He got it passed. I think also it's become a triumph and a tragedy with what's happening with it.
Where I think he -- I think, Anderson, he is much, much better at campaigning. He ran a superb two campaigns, very well run, very well administered, the awe of the country in both cases. Yet he doesn't run the government well. COOPER: And so what is that? Why can somebody run -- is it just a completely different exercise?
GERGEN: I think it's a very different exercise with very different kind of talents. I think they came in thinking the White House was essentially a political instrument, as opposed to a governing instrument.
And the inner circle was mostly political. If you look back at Bill Clinton, his inner circle were mostly his policy people. His outer -- his next circle outward is political people.
COOPER: You believe even on issues of national security or domestic policy, they're running it through a political prism?
GERGEN: Absolutely, and economic December s.
SULLIVAN: This health care law surely belies that. If you wanted just to be popular, if you want to be purely political, you wouldn't touch this with a barge pole.
I think he it touched it and grappled with it because he believes in it.
GERGEN: I don't have an issue with that. But I still -- I think the way he runs the White House is much more politically attuned than substantively attuned.
Most Democratic presidents who come in with bold ideas about using government often bring heavyweights with them to make sure that they not only pass it, but they put it into place. When LBJ was there, he had Joe Califano. When Franklin Roosevelt was there, he has heavyweights around him to run his domestic programs.
You do not see this with President Obama. Who is his domestic counselor? Can anybody name the person who runs domestic policy?
NAVARRO: Actually, I can.
NAVARRO: Her name is Cecilia Munoz. She used to be at the National Council of La Raza.
NAVARRO: Her forte is immigration. But I don't see her anywhere.
GERGEN: I'm sure she's a wonderful human being. She's not a heavyweight in American political terms. Where is Tom Daschle when they need him to run this? SULLIVAN: Give me a couple other examples other than the health care thing of where his own engagement in governing has been obviously a failure.
COOPER: A lot of people point to Syria.
COOPER: "The Wall Street Journal" has a piece saying that basically he's been disconnected during meetings, kind of literally with his body language checking his phone.
SULLIVAN: Well, that's because he didn't want to invade Syria, when we elected him not to invade Syria.
GERGEN: If you ask the American people, do you think the stimulus program was well-conceived and well-run, you would find by a heavy majority they'd say no.
SULLIVAN: And they'd be wrong.
GERGEN: No, they'd be right.
SULLIVAN: It was an incredibly effective.
GERGEN: It was not an effective program.
SULLIVAN: It was. It saved us from a second Great Depression.
GERGEN: We have had the worst recovery since the Great Depression.
SULLIVAN: Yes, because we have been imposed austerity by the sequester and in the states by Republicans. As a recovery, it's -- given the headwinds against it...
GERGEN: When real Democrats who understood how to run the government like Franklin Roosevelt put it into place, he put in a place a program like the CCC. He proposed it in April of 1933. He had 250,000 people in the woods by that summer.
And it was the most popular program in the country. You don't see anything like that.
BLOW: You're saying the president is not a real Democrat?
GERGEN: No, he's a real Democrat. I misspoke on that. But a Democrat who understood how to use government, because Franklin Roosevelt was prepared for the office. He'd been governor, he'd worked in Washington.
And what we have now are a group of people, they're really nice people around President Obama. I have an enormous amount of respect for them as individuals. But he doesn't have a government...
SULLIVAN: Let me give a simple example, Cass Sunstein, who has gone every single thing they have done and figured out cost-benefit analysis for almost everything, in fact, for the first time, had a really serious cost-benefit analysis of everything that they are doing.
You get the impression, this president, he really does like the details of governing. He's been very hands-on with foreign policy.
GERGEN: You tell me the president has been hands-on with health care and let this happen, had this botched rollout? And now we have two million people have lost their health care policies and he promised us that would no happen? Are telling me he's done it well?
SULLIVAN: I didn't say that.
SULLIVAN: I think he's done it terribly. I asked you to name another instance, because...
SULLIVAN: I am in all day talking to techies about my own Web site.
They have language I don't even understand. This is an incredibly complicated thing to do. I agree with you that there's no excuse for the way it's been run out. But I also don't agree with you with the immense complexity of what they're trying to do and the difficulty of it. And Medicare D had the same problems at the beginning.
NAVARRO: Andrew, you can't on the one hand say that he is detail- oriented and hands on and then he not know so many things about Benghazi, he not know about what happened regarding the IRS, he not be knowledgeable about what's going on with the NSA.
SULLIVAN: He did not know.
NAVARRO: Well, then you can't be detail-oriented and...
SULLIVAN: If he'd known about the IRS, we should be impeaching the guy. He was not using the IRS...
GERGEN: Tell us how hands-on he is when this problem is mushrooming inside his own government.
He's not hands-on. He does not know these things. It is a failure on the part of the staff. He doesn't have a staff that's keeping him informed as they should on the NSA.
SULLIVAN: What is he not being informed on?
COOPER: How about his relationship with Capitol Hill? Would that be another example for you that he's not -- that he sort of leaves it to others?
GERGEN: If you talk to people on the Hill, they will say -- Republicans I will say have a huge amount of hatred. It's way beyond what it should be.
But I think if you talk to Democrats you find that they find he's disengaged. I have a theory, and it may be wrong, that in the domestic side, and I think to a considerable degree in foreign policy, he has centralized power in the White House.
He's disempowered a lot of people in the Cabinet agencies. They're treated much more like staff than they are like real Cabinet officers. He's not the first president to do this. But when he brought power into the White House, he did not set up a team in the White House who could really run the government with all that power. That's where I think he's had some problems.
NAVARRO: I agree with you on how difficult it is to understand techie speak. But there's also been some very clear memos that have come to light where the people working on the Web site gave very clear warnings that they weren't testing enough, that they weren't quite ready, that this wasn't set to go.
And why didn't they stop it? Because it would have been seen as a political concession at a moment when they were in a...
BLOW: That's where you make the leap. That's where you make the leap.
NAVARRO: How do you explain it?
BLOW: I'm sorry. The idea that memos were sent and whether or not they made it to the president's desk is another question. We don't know that, right? But the idea that you make the leap from information is flowing into the White House and then they make a political calculation to go forward with something simply -- and knowing that it will fail simply for political reasons, I think that's a leap that you just -- you can't back that up. What evidence do you have that that's true?
NAVARRO: Logic. Rationale. Reason. Experts. Experience. What evidence do you have on the contrary?
BLOW: I'm just saying, I'm saying, we don't know. You just said that as a declarative statement, and you don't know that.
NAVARRO: OK. It is my opinion then.
GERGEN: Something you said just a moment ago you agree, you agree. You actually think the staff has not served him well.
BLOW: I think the questioning of the staff and whether or not they have done a good job and whether or not you have picked people who will make sure you are not embarrassed is a fair critique of this president and of this staff.
I think that is completely fair. And I said this the other night. Basic management is that you never allow the boss to be caught off guard.
NAVARRO: Do you think the memos should have gotten to his desk? Do you think the memos warning that they weren't ready, that they weren't tested enough, that they didn't know if this was going to work, should they have gotten to his desk?
BLOW: I think in retrospect, we all say, yes, they should have gotten to his desk.
NAVARRO: OK. Then we go back to him living in a bubble of ignorant bliss.
COOPER: ... today saying that she said to him directly it's good to go, it's ready to go, when clearly it was not.
BLOW: Right. So, how do you blame him for that?
COOPER: Go ahead, Andrew.
SULLIVAN: Go ahead, David.
GERGEN: They work for him. He's responsible for the quality of the people who work for him.
SULLIVAN: What I find interesting is that the sudden decision to call him not able to govern doesn't normally happen after five years in office.
And I think we're in danger of slightly taking this unbelievable cluster whatever and...
SULLIVAN: I just don't want us to overanalyze this particular moment.
Everybody -- now, I agree I think he should be criticized for not understanding on this thing, his biggest, biggest domestic issue that actually getting it to work was as important to focus on as getting the thing passed in the first place.
SULLIVAN: And I just don't want us to extrapolate from this particular instance into a general characterization of his presidency which I don't think is really fair.
GERGEN: I don't think the bystander title is fair.
But I do think this has been a spotty administration in terms of the way they talk to him and how well they execute.
SULLIVAN: Here's the other thing I would say, though. I do think that he self-corrects. I do think he understands...
GERGEN: We're five years in, as you just told us.
SULLIVAN: Say what?
GERGEN: We're five years in, as you just told us.
SULLIVAN: Well, he has often corrected. He's shifted all along. He's a very adaptable person.
What I have noticed about him over the years I have been trying to observe him is that there is a sense in which he hangs out on the ropes for awhile. He's not a proactive president.
He is a reactive president, just as he's a community organizer. He likes other people to do the stuff. Now, in some occasions, he has not picked the right people and they haven't been candid enough with him.
But, look, this is also, you would agree, David, an enormously complicated and ambitious program, probably the biggest domestic program ambition since LBJ. So give him a little break in getting this through for a few months.
BLOW: And one person's not proactive is another person's thoughtful.
I think we have to see it through the lens that we want to see it through. The idea that we had a president who we felt like was just gung-ho and going ahead with things before he had thought them through, and people actually voted in 2008 because they thought the guy was more thoughtful, that he would take a second to take a breath.
COOPER: We got to take a break.
Coming up, "Forbes" is out with its list of the most powerful people in the world, number one not President Obama. We will take a look at who's on the list and talk about it with the panel next.
COOPER: Welcome back. Who's the most powerful person in the world? According to "Forbes" magazine it is Vladimir Putin. "Forbes" is out with its list of the 72 most powerful people on the planet. The Russian president comes in No. 1. President Obama was No. 1 last years. He's at No. 2 this year, followed by the leader of China, Pope Francis, Germany's chancellor, as well. The rest of the top ten, Bill Gates, Ben Bernanke, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the president of European Central Bank and the CEO of Wal-Mart.
We've got the most powerful people on 360 LATER: Andrew Sullivan, Ana Navarro, Charles Blow and David Gergen.
Were you surprised that Vladimir Putin is No. 1?
GERGEN: Sells magazines.
COOPER: I'm always -- any magazine that does a list I'm always skeptical of.
SULLIVAN: Every magazine does a list, though.
This is what is they call on the Internet trawling. That is what they do. Trawling. It is preposterous.
COOPER: Do you think it's preposterous?
SULLIVAN: It's also preposterous the pope is at No. 4. He doesn't have power. He just has moral authority. How many divisions does the pope have?
NAVARRO: First of all, you are a very bad Catholic tonight because he can damn the rest of the list to hell. So that to me is power.
SULLIVAN: He isn't damning anyone to hell.
NAVARRO: I think this pope -- I think the pope should be No. 1. This man has single-handedly done more to save the church in recent times and to change the perception of the church than anybody in my lifetime. SULLIVAN: You won't get any argument from me on that.
COOPER: That makes him power -- that makes him the most powerful man in the world?
SULLIVAN: Yes. He's got power over me.
BLOW: But there's different kinds of power, though, right? There is the ability to do whatever you want, which I think Putin would be at the top of that list, and then there is, you know, power to control things that are powerful like in Russia...
COOPER: Let's bring in "Forbes" executive editor, Michael Noer, who's joining us by remote. So Michael, what went into the -- how do you judge this? Why is Putin at No. 1?
MICHAEL NOER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "FORBES": Well, it's interesting to hear you guys talk about how you think we do this. I can tell you how we actually did do it. We actually looked at four different things.
We look at financial resources of the people relative to their peers. So for heads of state, that's usually GDP. Corporate leaders that's revenue. And for religious leaders, it's their finances. We look at how many followers or people they have power over. So for the pope, 20 percent of the world's population is Catholic. We also look at are they powerful in multiple spheres? So somebody like Mayor Bloomberg, who's a politician, a billionaire, a major philanthropist and media mogul, is powerful in many different ways.
And then we look at whether or not they are active in using their power. And we have eight of our editors vote on everybody, a candidate list of about 150 people. And then we rank them. And this is how they came out this year.
My guess is why that Putin is on top probably had something to do with the timing of the voting. The vote was didn't during the government shutdown, right after the showdown over Syria. And that would be my assumption. But I can't tell you exactly why the editors did vote the way they did.
NAVARRO: Well, he's the only head of state that can allow pictures of himself shirtless on horseback to be all over the world.
SULLIVAN: I think religious figures are also judged on how much financial power they have. The whole thing, it's a preposterous joke. And we should treat it with the contempt it thoroughly deserves.
COOPER: Oh, boy.
NAVARRO: We apologize here.
COOPER: David Gergen.
GERGEN: Just saying if you have a different kind of judging, let's say the top ten thugs in the world then Vladimir Putin could well be on the top of that list. The problem you have with this list is, let's take you take this kind of survey about how people exercised power in the second world war. Probably Hitler then Stalin then Franklin Roosevelt and maybe Churchill. Look at the value that is go into a survey.
On top of a demographically dying, really running Russia horribly, Putin, against the president of the United States with the biggest military more than anybody else put together. It's just obvious -- it's an obvious trawl.
GERGEN: But if you're sitting there as the editor of the magazine I bet they do sell magazines.
SULLIVAN: They do. He wouldn't be on here.
NOER: I don't think that putting Putin on the top. No, we don't, actually. I don't think that putting Putin on top is not a -- I don't say Putin is going to be on top. This is what the voting was.
Obama's been on top three out of the five years we've done it. The president of China was on top one year. You know, there are lots of interesting stories on this list outside of the top ten. They are not all good people. Alchapa, the billionaire drug dealer, is on the list. The dictator of North Korea is on the list.
And to the point is that the people who are less accountable -- Obama is accountable to an electorate. You know, even the president of China is to some degree accountable to the communist party. Putin's manipulated the Russian political system that he could stay in power until 2024. And you may say it's a declining power, but there's a major energy state. They're still a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.
SULLIVAN: That's all they've got. They don't really have a proper economy, because he's ruined the possible foundations of such an economy.
BLOW: Andrew, what do you really think about this list?
NOER: I get that Andrew doesn't like the list very much.
SULLIVAN: I edited a weekly magazine for five years and somehow managed to never do this lazy trawling list stuff.
GERGEN: Come on. Come on.
SULLIVAN: Put out 250 magazines with no lists.
GERGEN: No lists? I'll bet you did a lot of trawling. I bet you did a lot of intellectual trawling.
SULLIVAN: I did a little bit of...
COOPER: Michael Noer, I appreciate you. Michael, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it. That's in "Forbes," obviously right now. So definitely that -- you would not make...
All right. David Gergen, thanks for being with us.
GERGEN: Thank you.
Up next, Chris Brown says he's going -- talking about interesting switch. Chris Brown says he's going to rehab for anger management. Do they have a rehab for that? Is that even a real thing? Is it just one of those things -- scrips the celebrities get on script when they get themselves in trouble. Let's hear what the panel has to say. Dr. Drew is back.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're back with a new question on the table. Is rehab suffering from mission creep?
Before we go any further I just want to make clear we mean no disrespect. Obviously, rehab can save lives and does save lives, but Chris Brown kind of forced this question after the singer's latest arrest Sunday on an assault charge. His rep released a statement saying Brown is going to rehab. There's no indication he has a substance abuse problem. Apparently, this is rehab for anger management.
Brown is currently on probation for beating up his former girlfriend, Rihanna. The question is, is anger management rehab even a real thing? Dr. Drew Pinsky is back. So is Andrew Sullivan, Ana Navarro, Charles Blow. Is this real?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": What does rehab mean? It's not a term that has any medical relevance whatsoever. Are they talking about a psychiatric hospitalization? It's just become a P.R. term that puts people back on their heels. "Oh, good, he's going to rehab. Fantastic."
Rehab is not even a term that's actually accurate for chemical dependency, though generally it's become sort of an acronym, a shorthand way of saying somebody is being treated for chemical dependency. He doesn't have a chemical dependency problem. I don't know what he's being treated for.
SULLIVAN: Can you treat...
COOPER: Don't you have a show named "Celebrity Rehab"?
PINSKY: I didn't name it, by the way. And let's be fair. No, no, let's be fair. It could have been called chemical dependency treatment but they shorthanded it to rehab.
COOPER: OK, OK.
PINSKY: To be fair people sort of understand rehab as chemical dependency treatment.
COOPER: I don't want to give you the Andrew Sullivan to the "Forbes" guy treatment.
PINSKY: It's coming my way, I'm sure. But the fact is...
NAVARRO: The "Forbes" guy is saying Andrew Sullivan needs anger management rehab.
PINSKY: Look, the fact is, this gentleman has very serious problems.
PINSKY: It's coming out in rage. There's no -- there's no anger treatment for that. He needs treatment for the trauma he has suffered in childhood that's resulting in him being a domestic violence perpetrator.
The fact is, when kids see violence or objects of violence in childhood, the men act out, the women act in. The we say we say it is the men become warriors; the women become worriers.
COOPER: Wait a minute. Isn't this -- look, I don't know this guy. I know one song he's in that I run to that I enjoy. Other than that, to me, you know, I've just read about his constant issues. He's been threatening -- cussing out a security guard at ABC, trashing a dressing room.
PINSKY: Uncontrolled rage. Uncontrolled aggression.
COOPER: You say this has to do with childhood. Isn't this just celebrity entitlement? Like these celebrities...
PINSKY: No. Celebrity stuff...
COOPER: ... they have hangers on. They have an entourage. He thinks he's top of the world. He busts up a dressing room at "GMA." So what happens? What's the repercussions? "The Today Show" invites him on.
PINSKY: So your point is well taken, is that celebrities are able to act out further. But it's not causational. It's not as though that caused him to act out. He has issues.
COOPER: I think...
BLOW: Don't you think a little bit of a Superman syndrome? If you end up doing things and the repercussions are not as severe as you thought they would be...
COOPER: I think celebrity is like a cancer. It's like this creeping sense of entitlement. And if you start to believe in it, it's become -- it's like how people become anchor monsters.
PINSKY: But Anderson, you're a celebrity. Are you going to act like that? Impossible.
COOPER: No, but...
PINSKY: No, you're not, because you don't have those issues.
COOPER: No. But when I first started in the news business, there were plenty of folks I would look at in the news business and think, "God, how did they become like that? How did an anchor monster get made?" I now get it. I know how an anchor monster gets made.
PINSKY: You know how it gets severe. I actually have the only actual published literature. Actually did research. It's hard to get a hold of 200 of these guys. I did it, did the research on them. And it showed clearly they all have liabilities with which they came to their celebrity status. And the celebrity gave them the opportunity to act it out.
COOPER: But let me push back on that. Because I was just reading Malcolm Gladwell's new book. And in it he cites all these studies where, you know, trauma in childhood, in some cases death of a parent early on, dyslexia in some cases, can actually lead people to huge heights of success.
PINSKY: Sure. Sure. Absolutely.
COOPER: Doesn't necessarily make them happy. It doesn't make them happy, but it can lead the, push them to...
PINSKY: It goes either way.
PINSKY: It goes extreme success or extreme troubles. It's a high- risk way to get to success.
BLOW: Chris has both, right? I mean, he's kind of done -- he's taken both paths.
PINSKY: He's taken the opportunity to get treatment, guys. He's got himself in trouble...
COOPER: What treatment does one go to for anger management?
PINSKY: It's not -- I think that's missing the point. I think my assessment at a distance -- again, I don't know the guy -- is that there's trauma stuff fuelling all this. As we say, the men become warriors when they've been through aggression and trauma and physical violence in childhood. Even if they're just witnessing to it.
NAVARRO: But wouldn't that be addressed in anger management rehab? I mean, what are you trying to...
PINSKY: There isn't anger management rehab. That's what I'm saying. Is he going to a psychiatric hospital? I imagine that's where he's going.
BLOW: Would you let him on your show?
COOPER: But, like courts appoint people -- send people to anger management, don't they?
PINSKY: Yes, they do. That's outpatient kind of treatment. COOPER: Right, that's an outpatient. That's what I would imagine he -- I mean, he's not going to go to some psychiatric hospital and spend a month in a psychiatric hospital.
COOPER: They're tilting towards that. They're saying rehab, which suggests a place and a time out when he does it.
NAVARRO: Let's also remember that he's about to go back to court, that it looks better when you've been in rehab and it looks like you're doing something proactively.
PINSKY: But just proactively but aggressively. You're really taking extreme action. You're taking it very seriously, getting comprehensive treatment.
NAVARRO: One of my best friends, a lawyer, says to me that we should all go to rehab before getting caught doing anything. And that way when we get caught it's a relapse. So that's my recommendation.
COOPER: What I like about having you...
SULLIVAN: We aren't talking about him, for example, as if he is not responsible for what he does as an adult.
NAVARRO: You're right.
SULLIVAN: And lots of us have childhood issues, difficult childhoods, and don't behave that way. And there is a question of virtue, of character, of manliness. I regard people who beat up men, who beat up women as really -- it -- well, I almost can't find the words to say what I feel about that.
PINSKY: I agree with you.
SULLIVAN: And the idea that that could be excused in any way by any trauma is just wrong.
PINSKY: Not excused. Not excused.
SULLIVAN: You always have that choice. Well, we keep talking about it as if that's not really -- I know you're not -- I know you're not saying that.
PINSKY: The full extent of the law should be brought to bear.
SULLIVAN: But because we talk about this without acknowledging this man has done something seriously, gravely wrong to another human being.
PINSKY: Absolutely, 100 percent.
SULLIVAN: He's used power in the worst possible way.
And he needs -- he just needs reconciliation. He needs... PINSKY: By the way, it's not an easy issue to treat, either. I had a young man who had perpetrated once in college an act of violence against women. He immediately pulled back from it and said, "I have a problem. I need to get treatment."
I said, "Good you went to treatment. How long were you treated for?"
"Ten years." Ten years to get through one episode of domestic violence. So it takes a long time. It's really a very comprehensive and intense process.
BLOW: Because it's gray, it's more gray than other kind of substance...
PINSKY: It is so trauma-based. There's so much stuff that went on usually.
SULLIVAN: The problem is, Anderson, that we don't have any institute -- with a moral authority...
SULLIVAN: ... that we can refer to to judge this kind of behavior, so we turn to therapy. Because that's the only consensus we can all get in this society. Because we all have different value systems depending on different religious or other backgrounds. So I think that's why therapy becomes this catch-all. To cover what we used to call sin.
PINSKY: You're right. You're absolutely right. Just different terminology for the same thing. But how about this...
SULLIVAN: But understood differently, too.
PINSKY: Yes. Perhaps.
SULLIVAN: Incompletely in the past.
PINSKY: Let's talk about this. Why don't we say that let's let people get help before they perpetrate? Why don't we all agree on that? We can prevent you from going and progressing to the point where you're doing stuff like this. Afterwards maybe it's a question of sin.
SULLIVAN: One of the biggest things about the Affordable Care Act, seriously -- seriously...
PINSKY: I hope mental health is in there in a big way.
SULLIVAN: It is.
PINSKY: We'll see.
SULLIVAN: One of the -- no, it is. Hold on a minute.
PINSKY: But Andrew, after so many years of lip service about that and it never actually comes to bear.
SULLIVAN: It's in the law.
PINSKY: I know it is. I hope to God you're right. I really do.
SULLIVAN: It's a fact.
PINSKY: But so many years I've been told that.
SULLIVAN: My point is this, that yes, I think mental health, I benefitted from many years of therapy. I think everybody would benefit from therapy. I think de-stigmatizing therapy and mental health issues is incredibly important for all of society. For the economy, for everything. That's what we should be addressing.
And I think if that were more available, then we would be able to actually make judgments -- moral judgments about the activities of certain people. And people who buy his records are enabling that.
BLOW: But the justice system has also failed in this case. Not only did he do what he did to Rihanna, and that was basically a slap on the wrist that he got for that. He has been in many more physical altercations...
PINSKY: Acts of violence.
BLOW: And never really gets the full brunt of what the legal system provides to people with less money than that. And I do think...
BLOW: Hang on a second. Sending somebody to jail is going to make him less violent? I mean, sending him to jail will make him more violent.
NAVARRO: What's the choice, though?
PINSKY: Demanding treatment. He can afford it. Demanding three years of treatment.
NAVARRO: Just how much treatment do you get before you go to a jail?
COOPER: Up next stories you might not have heard. I'm going to ask the panel "What's Your Story?" We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. Time now for "What's Your Story?" where we ask the panel to share a story that caught their eye. Andrew, we'll start with you. What's your story?
SULLIVAN: Well, the wonderful, wonderful sight of a little boy showing no deference to the pope. He was part of an organized meeting outside. But going up to the pope's chair, being dragged away, refusing repeatedly. Now the reason why this -- and hugging him and not leaving him.
COOPER: Offering him candy. SULLIVAN: And then he started to try and organize the event. And the reason it's so powerful image, like so many with this pope, is that's Jesus. This happened to Jesus. Children went to him. And all of the established figures said, "Don't let this child in here. This child. We don't need that."
And Jesus had to tell the crowd, "No, chill. It's that person who will enter the kingdom of heaven."
NAVARRO: You don't think he's the most powerful man in the world?
SULLIVAN: No. I think he's much more important than that. I think he's the greatest moral authority right now, and that's different.
COOPER: This is a little boy who was adopted from an orphanage in Columbia who's being raised by Italian parents.
Ana, what's your story?
NAVARRO: I am very worried. I'm almost in panic stage. I read today that we are in danger of overdrinking and out-drinking the world's supply of wines. So we need -- we need more people -- we need more grapes planted. We have not...
COOPER: Both red and white?
NAVARRO: You know, the picture was white.
NAVARRO: So I think it was chardonnay was a particular problem. For me it's a very big problem.
SULLIVAN: With all this cannabis legalization, help is on the way.
NAVARRO: I could tell you this.
PINSKY: It's true.
NAVARRO: I mean, there's a lot of government dysfunction and political bullshit we have to get through. We need our wine.
SULLIVAN: We do need our wine. That's true, OK.
PINSKY: My story cuts differently. I've got a recovering alcoholic running for mayor in Boston, and the reason I...
COOPER: That's right.
PINSKY: Martin Walsh. The reason I love this is because, being recovered, he's been recovering for a couple of decades. You have to maintain -- you have to live a certain kind of life. You have to maintain rigorous honesty. That's a principle to stay in a recovery like that. A politician maintaining rigorous honesty? I'm interested.
BLOW: And my story...
COOPER: It's interesting, because there's a lot of people who have been in AA who are now coming out for him.
PINSKY: Mobilizing a voting group. There's enough recovering people now.
NAVARRO: What's his name, for God's sake?
PINSKY: Martin Walsh. Martin Walsh.
COOPER: Go ahead.
BLOW: My story is Germany on Friday is going to start its own Generation X. Germany on Friday, parents of newborns can choose a third gender. If you don't want to choose male or female, you can just put in "X" and let the kid determine their own gender when they grow up.
COOPER: I didn't hear that before.
BLOW: It's an amazing idea that they're -- I mean, they have to work out all the kinks later.
PINSKY: What happens in Germany soon after happens in Florida.
COOPER: So -- so the parent doesn't have to say that it's a male or a female?
BLOW: Just put an x.
PINSKY: The child decides later?
BLOW: The child decides later.
COOPER: It's interesting.
BLOW: Why not?
SULLIVAN: You put an "X" where? What do you mean by that? What are the boxes you check? You say other? Why not have it all together?
BLOW: Well, you can put an "M." You can put, you know, "M," "F," or you can put an "X."
SULLIVAN: Oh, I see. That makes sense.
NAVARRO: It becomes an important part of our...
PINSKY: Gender identity.
SULLIVAN: That's true. There are many children born into sex. I mean, there are many -- there's a vast variety of human nature.
BLOW: That's why.
COOPER: Thank you to my panel. That does it AC 360 LATER. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you tomorrow night. Good night.