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Democrats Revolting Over Obamacare; Infrastructure in Philippines Breaks Down; Ford's New Confession

Aired November 14, 2013 - 05:00   ET



JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one will be satisfied with the numbers because they will be below what we saw.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: Just another day in a series of mess ups in Obamacare.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Obamacare enrollment falling far below expectations. Why Americans aren't signing up and what the White House plans to do about it.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Desperation now in the Philippines as survivors of Typhoon Haiyan struggle -- they are struggling to get the basic needs to have to have to survive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't come across that you're holier than thou, OK? Because you aren't.


SAMBOLIN: Toronto's mayor on the attack, refusing to go step down from office after admitting that he has purchased illegal drugs.

I have never seen anything like that before. Absolutely not.

SAMBOLIN: Pretty remarkable, right?

BERMAN: Beyond remarkable. Glad I don't live in Toronto this morning.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Nice to have you with us this morning. It's Thursday, November 14th. It is 5:01 in the East.

BERMAN: And we're going to start in Washington because this morning, they are waking up with giant headaches in the White House. That's if they slept at all. Chances are many of them didn't because not only is there signature policy on the line, but vital services for millions of Americans really now hang in the balance. The Obamacare enrollment numbers for October are out and they were low, very low -- epically low. Just about 100,000 people have signed up on the exchanges, which is below the numbers being naysayers were expecting.

And health care companies say the White House numbers are actually higher than the number of people who started paying for their plans which is how they actually count.

So, look, this is bad all around, period.

The White House continues to insist things will get better. The president has an economic event today in Ohio, so let's see if he explains how things will get better because some of his closest Democratic supporters are starting to demand changes and they're starting to bolt.

Here is senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not July the numbers that are in for the first month of sign-ups and Obamacare so are the reviews.

CANTOR: Just another day in a series of mess-ups in Obama care.

ACOSTA: And it's not just Republicans who are giving the October enrollment period a thumb's down.

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: I don't think anyone is satisfied, but, you know, the promise of the Affordable Care Act is worth fighting for.

ACOSTA: Of the roughly 100,000 consumers who signed up for Obamacare during October, less than 27,000, did so on the federal marketplace, on the troubled Web site. That's far fewer than the ones they estimated would sign up in the first month. This internal memo released by House Republicans, in just a tiny fracture more than 19 million people to flood into

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: We have every reason to expect more people will enroll.

ACOSTA: A Web site embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims is now improving daily.

SEBELIUS: I would say, first of all, it is running right now. Every day people are getting enrolled.

ACOSTA: But mark your calendars for November 30th. The White House says it will be working for, quote, "the vast majority of users by the end of the month."

CARNEY: It is our conviction that we can, with the fixes that are being implemented, reach that goal by goal by November 30th. ACOSTA: The administration is under pressure to act fast, with frantic Democrats rushing to support a bill proposed by Senator Mary Landrieu, that would allow Americans to keep their current insurance plans, an idea White House officials worry could undermine the entire program that has yet to deliver.

REP. JOHN DUNCAN (R), TENNESSEE: If we have spent $600 million already, does anybody have any idea how much this all is going to cost us in the end?

ACOSTA: Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.


SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Jim.

And now to the Philippines where help does seem to be getting where it's need. In the wake of a devastating typhoon there, Haiyan hit last Friday, obliterating many towns, killing more than 2,300 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more homeless.

Satellite images show the extent of the damage. Take a look. This is Tacloban before the storm, a bustling city, full of buildings and this is after, very little remains in that city of more than 200,000 people. So tough to see.

The mayor of Tacloban is telling residents they should leave if they can and aid workers are being told the city cannot help them. The resources simply do not exist.

So, supplies are simply piling up at the airport. There is little fuel for the caravan station to bring aid to the people. More American troops are set to arrive in the next few days, and the United States is helping move Filipino soldiers into the worst hit areas.

My goodness.

Anderson Cooper is in the Philippines and he visited an overwhelmed hospital where supplies are short and patience is running very thin.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's like this every day now. In this overcrowded clinic at Tacloban airport, there are too many people, and not enough supplies.

KATRINA CATABAY, MEDICAL DOCTOR: It's a little bit chaotic because --

COOPER (on camera): It looks very chaotic.

CATABAY: Yes. As you can see, we don't have any medicines. We don't have any supplies. We have IV fluids but it's running out. And most of the people here doesn't have water and food. That's why they come here.

Most of the kids are dehydrated. Most of them are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.

COOPER (voice-over): Dr. Katrina Catabay has been here for three days. It feels much longer.

(on camera): What do you need here?

CATABAY: We mostly need food and water. That's the most important supplies that we need for all the --

COOPER: So you don't even have enough food and water for the sick people?


COOPER (voice-over): More people just keep coming in. Captain Leland Noel Abagnol (ph) stitches up a man injured in the typhoon. Used bandages lie in a pile on the floor.

Nearby, a member of the Philippine military reads names off a list of those who get to be evacuated today.

(on camera): So who gets to be evacuated right away? What makes it -- someone eligible?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, like the elderly, the children, the very sick.

COOPER (voice-over): For some, the wait is too long. This man died last night. He lies on a gurney at the end of the hall. They have no place else to put him.

A mother plays with her child and in a tiny side room three babies have been born in the last three days.

(on camera): A very beautiful baby.

CATABAY: It's a boy.

COOPER: I know. He's very beautiful.

(voice-over): A healthy baby boy named Haiyan, named for a storm he will know nothing about.

Anderson Cooper, CNN, Tacloban, Philippines.


BERMAN: You know, people see something like this and want to do to something to help, at least try to help. Please go to our Web site There are a list of all kinds of ways to participate in the relief effort there, and they desperately need help.

Seven minutes after the hour right now.

President Obama picked to head the Federal Reserve goes to Capitol Hill today for a confirmation here. Janet Yellen planned to tell senators that the Fed stimulus program is the best way to revive the economy and she has no plans to change the course set by current chairman, outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke.

But you can expect some tough questions from Republicans and Democrats about Fed policy and the regulation of the nation's financial system.

We are going to have much more coming up in our next half hour when Christine Romans joins us for "Money Time." this is one of her favorite subjects.

SAMBOLIN: So much going on Capitol Hill.

Also, some House Republicans plan today to introduce articles of impeachment for Attorney General Eric Holder. Texas Representative Pete Olson says Holder has disregarded the rule of law not and not been forthcoming to the Congress. It is not clear if they have support from the house leadership and the Justice Department is not commenting.

BERMAN: One thing not happening on Capitol Hill is comprehensive immigration reform. It will not happen in 2013. Not on this Congress.

Speaker John Boehner says the House will not negotiate with the Senate to work out the differences in their respective immigration plans. Democrats have been pushing for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrations. Some Republicans have to.

Republicans in the House are working on several piecemeal bills dealing with immigration enforcement but, again, ain't nothing going to happen this year.

SAMBOLIN: That's too bad.

All right. We are still waiting to learn the identities of the four Marines who were killed on Wednesday at Camp Pendleton, California. Base officials aren't saying much. They are calling it a fatal incident that occurred while Marines were clearing a range of unexploded ordnances. An investigation is under way. The incident comes eight months after a mortar blast killed eight marines during a training exercise in Nevada.

BERMAN: So, for much of the country, the November chill continues this morning. In fact, it feels a little bit like Christmas.


BERMAN: But you will not hear Christmas music here.

SAMBOLIN: Wouldn't you love to hear Christmas music this morning? Chime in and let us know. I'm all for it. My producer refuses to do it.

BERMAN: However, as chilly and Christmas-like as it might be right now, word has it might warm up at the end of the day.

Indra Petersons is here with the forecast.

SAMBOLIN: But I wore a sweater. I came prepared.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I have the long sleeves on. We're good. We got this, all right? Two of us together.

We're talking about temperatures. Yes, they are warming up. This is good news. People are waiting for this.

Of course, we have the morning hours to get through first. It's still chilly out there. New York City right now just barely above freezing at 33. D.C., 31, so you are below freezing.

And look at these numbers even into the South, notice 20s in Jackson and Mobile, 36, and Atlanta below freezing at 31. So for that reason, of course, we have a frost and freeze warnings out there this morning all the way throughout the South. That's going to be going away as the pattern changes.

High pressure makes its way offshore. This is what we love and means we are taking the source out of the gulf where it is warmer and with that we are all going to be seeing warmer temperatures and we are talking about not only warmer temperatures but we are talking about some moisture.

So, it's been really dry in the south thanks to the cold air from Canada. This will give us just a little hint of a chance of showers in the South tomorrow, and not a really big deal but rest of us really kind of just enjoying the nice change in the temperatures going back up to where they should be today back in the 50s. Love it.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. We do love it. Appreciate it.


BERMAN: All right. Some political theater like you have never seen it before. A big city mayor knits to doing drugs and refuses to resign.


ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Nothing else to say, guys. I really F'ed up and that's it.


BERMAN: The circus, folks. Why Mayor Rob Ford will not step down from office and why his city can't do a thing about it.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, more trouble for the Secret Service. Two agents now accused of sexual misconduct. What investigators say what happened this time.

BERMAN: It is that time. Time for our morning rhyme. Tweet us with an outstanding original verse. It can be about anything. The hashtags are #earlystart and #morningrhyme. We will read the best one on the air in the next half hour.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START.

Fourteen minutes past of the hour.

Did you miss all of this yesterday? A big city mayor is being told it's time to go.

Rob Ford who is already admitted smoking crack went before the Toronto City Council which voted overwhelmingly to ask him to take some time off. But not before he made another troubling confession.

Paula Newton has that.


REPORTER: Allegations come forward of driving drunk?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Never a dull moment at city hall as the mayor of Toronto faces fresh allegations about drug use, drunk driving, maybe even escorts.

FORD: Be very careful on what you write.

NEWTON: That was Rob Ford's comeback after court documents reveal a sorted night of binge drinking and drugs and detailed in interviews with his staff. All this after a surreal day of questioning at city hall and inquisition that became a veritable public flogging.

FORD: I'm answering, but you don't want to hear my answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, you're not being truthful.

NEWTON: Ford made confession after confession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years?


FORD: Yes, I have.


NEWTON: And on it went. Mayor Ford on the spot and on the couch.

This from one of his allies.

GIORGIO MAMMOLITI, TORONTO CIY COUNCILOR: Mr. Mayor, do you recognize few of us that really do want to help you?

NEWTON: But Ford denies being a drug addict.

FORD: The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That's all it was.

So, I'm not going to blame somebody or take a cop-out. I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I don't know what else I can say.

NEWTON: It went on for several more uncomfortable hours.

FORD: There is nothing else to say, guys. I really f'ed up and that's it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Number one, record a vote.

NEWTON: It didn't matter what he said. Fellow counselors voted for the mayor to take a leave.

But the truth is the vote didn't matter. No one can legally force the mayor to quick.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Doug Ford, the mayor's brother, says he's staying put.

(on camera): The mayor said, "I smoked crack cocaine. What kind of an example is that for the people --

DOUG FORD, ROB FORD'S BROTHER: It's not a good example. It's not. And he has admitted it. There's going to be a point in life you have to say, we accept his apology, time will tell, the people will decide.

NEWTON (voice-over): And that is the Ford doctrine, despite being humiliated, he is hanging on, battling through, betting he'll be back in the mayor's office for another term next year.

Paula Newton, CNN, Toronto.


BERMAN: What a circus.

Seventeen minutes after the hour.

An Air Force officer accused of groping a woman outside a Virginia bar has been acquitted. Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski once led the Air Force sexual response team and a 23-year-old woman testified he grabbed her back side at a bar in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. But it took the jury only an hour to find him not guilty of this accusation. Krusinski did not say much as he left the court.


LT. COL. JEFFREY KRUSINSKI, AIR FORCE: I will say I love my children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very gratified by the verdict and even more so, I think we are grateful to the judge and particularly the jury for its very careful thought.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: It's not clear what the jury's decision will mean for his career. He had been reassigned to a job in the Air Force personnel while the case was being litigated. He could still face internal disciplinary action.

SAMBOLIN: More trouble for the Secret Service. CNN has learned two supervisors on President Obama security detail are now under investigation for alleged misconduct. They're accused of sending sexually suggestive e-mails to a female subordinate. One was reportedly a senior supervisor who was also accused of trying to force his way into a woman's room at a Washington, D.C. hotel. The Secret Service is not commenting but "The Washington Post" says both are no longer part of the team protecting the president.

BERMAN: The TSA's much touted behavioral screening program may not work so says a new report from the Government Accountability Office which claims the program has not proven itself effective at stopping threats against air travel. In fact, the report says the results were no better than random chance. The TSA is defending the program which so far has cost nearly a billion dollars since 2007.

SAMBOLIN: A new threat for law enforcement. Plastic guns. A ban on creating undetectable firearms expires next month. And ATF agents worry that that means manufacturers will begin producing gun with no metal in them. The law now says some metal must be in all firearms so they show up in metal detectors and scanners.

Legislation to reinstate the ban is pending in the House.

BERMAN: This is one of the most bizarre auction items you will ever hear before.

SAMBOLIN: I will agree.

BERMAN: The plastic surgery records for Marilyn Monroe. A file containing x-rays and office notes confirming that the star underwent cosmetic surgery has sold in auction for $25,000. What do you do with these now?

SAMBOLIN: Frame them. Display them in your home.

BERMAN: I guess. The name on the records was Ms. Joan Newman, which is obviously an alias. The address and other facts records prove it was Monroe. The record show she had a cartilage implant in her chin.

SAMBOLIN: What do they show is all I want to know.

BERMAN: Chin and nose.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you for that. We appreciate that.

All right. Coming up, a big brawl breaking out on the basketball court. How did it start? I missed it. Guess what? It doesn't matter. We are going to have more coming up in "The Bleacher Report." That's coming up next.

BERMAN: We were arguing about Obamacare.


SAMBOLIN: I want to know what happened.

BERMAN: The Thunder and Clippers came to blows last night in Los Angeles and is going to be very costly for Clippers forward Matt Barnes. Why?

SAMBOLIN: I don't know.

Andy Scholes is joining us now with more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

I want to know what happened. Show me.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: OK, Zoraida, I'm going to show you.

You know, Matt Barnes known as an enforcer there on court and he'll go out there. He's going to do the dirty work out there but it looks like cost him once benefit. Second quarter last night. Blake Griffin and Serge Ibaka tangled up. Ibaka shoves Griffin, so Barnes shoves him back. Ibaka and Barnes are being ejected for this scuffle. Griffin received a technical foul.

All the way in the tunnel, check it out. Barnes grabs his twin boys out of the stands and takes him with him to the locker room and from the locker room, he tweeted, "I love my teammates like family but I'm done standing up for these blanks. All this blank does is cost me money."

Definitely a rough night for Barnes. Looks like he is going to be fined for ejected and fined for tweeting mid-game and then for what he tweeted.

All right. A lineup section on, big league pitcher Brian Wilson loves his bushy beard so much he is giving up a chance to play with the Yankees. According to Wilson's agent, the Yankees wanted to sign Wilson but they have a strict no hair facial policy and Wilson loves that beard too much. He reportedly turned down a million bucks by a razor company to shave that monstrosity over the summer.

Now, if you're looking to have a drink in the Louisville, Kentucky, area tonight check out the Lady Cardinals basketball game. The coach Jeff Wall says the first round on him. He is buying the first 2,500 fans who are over 21, of course, a free beer for attending the preseason WNIT semifinal game against LSU. The promotion is going to cost the coach about 5 grand.

There may now be somewhat tougher than Chuck Norris. That's right. It's Russian President Vladimir Putin. While in South Korea the former KGB agent was awarded the highest rank in taekwondo, giving him honorary grandmaster status within the martial art. That means he has a higher ranking in the sport than Chuck Norris.

But, guys, I know if Putin has complete Internet site dedicated to him like Norris does, because we all know Chuck Norris can do pretty much anything. I don't know if you knew when Alexander Bell invented the telephone, he had three missed calls from Chuck Norris.

BERMAN: The one thing that Putin has that Chuck Norris doesn't is the bomb.

SCHOLES: The Super Bowl ring.

BERMAN: Super Bowl ring and nuclear weapons. Putin, Norris, you make the call.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Andy. Appreciate it.

Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

The death toll rising in the Philippines. Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan struggling to find food and to find water. We are live with the latest on the ground when we come back.


BERMAN: The whole world is asking, what is the holdup struggling to survive? Thousands and thousands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan can't get to food, water, or doctors. We are live on the ground with the latest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Didn't have to go this far, you know? Not only did they burn their house up but they broke their family up.


SAMBOLIN: Teen girls accused of taking bullying to the absolute extreme, ransacking a classmate's house before burning it down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw these cops up here and was wondering what is going on. Then I saw a silhouette of a little baby kangaroo.


BERMAN: Kangaroo on the loose. In fact, kangaroo on the lam, taking over a Texas road.

SAMBOLIN: A Texas road -- seriously? Yesterday was alligators. Today, it's kangaroos.