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Gay Marriage Vote to Come Shortly; 'Daily Dose'

Aired July 14, 2004 - 11:30   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: A vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is about 30 minutes away. Our congressional correspondent Ed Henry back with us. He is tracking the issue. Ed, good morning.
ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Daryn. You're right. The debate is wrapping up an we speak. This is an issue that Republicans had very high hopes for scoring political points on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. But instead, it has fizzled out a little bit.

We've seen the debate get very hot in the final moments here. Democrats like Senator Edward Kennedy are saying that the Republicans are wasting time on an issue that is going to fail. Republicans acknowledge this vote is going to fail in a half hour, as you mentioned.

Republicans like John Cornyn, however, say that there's no more important issues than preserving American traditional families and marriages.


SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The leadership is engaging in the politics of mass distraction by bringing up a discriminatory marriage amendment to the United States Constitution that a majority of Americans do not support.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: For someone to stand up here and say that preservation of the traditional marriage is not important enough for us to talk about, to me is breathtaking in its audacity and its sense of on obliviousness what the concerns are to moms and dads and families are across this country.


HENRY: Daryn, obviously you're seeing division there between the two parties. But there's also been in the last couple of days some division within the Republican Party itself. That's why this is not going to pass today.

And that's also why there are two different versions of the amendment floating around. That has added some confusion to this. This is just going to be a procedural vote. Not an actual vote on a constitutional amendment. As a result, Democratic Senators John Kerry and John Edwards are not planning to be here. They're not going to vote. And so the Republican plan to get them on the record is going to actually not work -- Daryn.

KAGAN: And the division within the Republican Party leads to my "Ed Henry Question of the Day," Ed. And that is, a party's split, can't agree, can't get something through the Senate. Republicans almost look like -- dare I say -- Democrats?

HENRY: Well, what's interesting is that you're starting to see Republicans insist that Democrats are obstructing here because, in fact, this is a couture vote. That means Democrats are filibustering a bit. And so you'll going to see Republicans trying to say that Democrats are blocking it.

The response from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle is that in fact Republicans are obstructing themselves. Maybe, as you mentioned, looking like Democrat have in previous years because, in fact, it has been Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's decision to come up with these two different versions, that division, and now this procedural vote, that has really led to this problem that they face now.

So you're right. I think you're going to see Democrats trying to make political points, saying -- crowing a bit, saying they were able to thwart this Republican plan to embarrass them on the eve of the convention. And in fact, Republicans are going to have a hard time here.

But heading into November, Republicans are still confident that we have not heard the last of this issue. And that conservatives are going to turn out in full force to try to knock some of these Democrats out of office -- Daryn.

KAGAN: And you'll be tracking it for us from Capitol Hill. Ed Henry, thank you for that.

President Bush -- is on the road again for a second day of campaigning in the upper Midwest. Judy Woodruff watching that and other political developments. Judy, good morning.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Daryn. That's right. George W. Bush has boarded his campaign bus for an all-day, three-city trip across state of Wisconsin. He arrived at his first state -- first stop, I should say, the city of Waukesha, about an hour ago. He plans a town hall-style meeting this afternoon in Fond du Lac. And he wraps up his day with a campaign rally later this evening.

Democratic lawmakers welcomed Senator John Edwards back to Capitol Hill yesterday. One colleague quipped at the Democratic luncheon Edwards' fellow senators, quote, "did everything but carry him around on their shoulders."

This morning, Edwards held a private meeting with the House Democratic Caucus. Later today he campaigns in Iowa and Illinois. It's his first solo trip as John Kerry's running mate.

A new "Washington Post" poll taken after Edwards was added to the Democratic ticket shows the presidential race a dead heat nationally. But both Kerry -- or, rather, both Kerry and Bush getting 46 percent. Last month, Kerry led Bush by 4 points in "The Post" poll.

In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where the candidates have spent a lot of time, a new poll shows Kerry ahead, 49 percent, to 42 percent. Kerry led by 6 points in the Quinnipiac Survey last month.

The Bush daughters are in the spotlight today with Barbara campaigning with her dad and Jenna on the road with her mom. And the 22-year-old twins speak about their decision to join the campaign in the August issue of "Vogue" magazine.

Jenna is quoted as saying it's not like her father called up and asked her. She says her parents, quote, "never wanted to throw us into that world, and I think our decision probably shocked them. But I love my dad, and I think I'd regret it if I didn't do this," end quote.

This afternoon, we'll report on Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge's visit to Boston where he's checking out security plans for the Democratic National Convention.

I'll also talk with Miss America Erica Dunlap. She's visiting Capitol Hill and honoring wounded members of the U.S. military.

All this and more when I go INSIDE POLITICS at 3:30 Eastern. Now right back to Daryn in Atlanta.

WOODRUFF: Judy, thank you for that.

Now one more political story that I know you'll track out of Chicago. Politics might look like a sport. might look like football. High stakes battle, the need for tough, new recruits. Well now in Illinois, there's a unique draft effort that's merging these new worlds by trying to get a gridiron great to tackle a tough, new assignment. Chris Lawrence has that story.


MIKE DITKA, FORMER NFL COACH: There's no no and there's no yes.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the last few days, Mike Ditka has become a coveted free agent, with some trying to coax the old coach into politics.

TOM PENCE, DRAFTDITKA.COM: At this point, the Republican Party in the state of Illinois, we don't have a lot of options. You know, we've got to find somebody to run for Senate.

LAWRENCE: Tom Pence is part of a movement called, designed to promote Ditka for state party chairman, and now adapted to support him for the Senate.

DITKA: If I want the opportunity, I'll run. I'm not afraid to get beat at anything..

LAWRENCE: That alone would distinguish Ditka from other Republicans, who haven't exactly been rushing into this race.

DON ROSE, POLITICAL ANALYST: They are in a way clutching at straws.

LAWRENCE: Political analyst Don Rose says Democratic candidate Barack Obama was up 20 points on Republican Jack Ryan, and that was before the sexual details of Ryan's divorce became public. When Ryan dropped out, House Speaker Dennis Hastert called Illinois State Senator Steve Rauschenberger the best man to replace him. And then Rauschenberger refused to run.

Republicans are now considering about 10 people, but none with the name recognition of Mike Ditka.

PENCE: The more people I talk to, the more they tell me, he's our only chance to win at this point.

LAWRENCE: On the street, reaction to Ditka's potential candidacy ranges from outright shock...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it a joke? Is this for real?


LAWRENCE: ... to genuine support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how he's going to do in politics, but he'd surely would win the vote of the people, I think.

LAWRENCE: But some say a Ditka on the ticket has its own dangers.

ROSE: And if he's got a Republican banner and he makes some cockeyed statement that he would make and get a lot of laughs out of at his bar, you know, he could do some damage nationally.

LAWRENCE (on camera): On the other hand, Republicans wouldn't have to spend much money to tell people who Mike Ditka is, especially important with the election less than four months away. Party leaders expect to make a decision within the next week or so.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Chicago.


KAGAN: You've seen the commercials, you've seen the ads on the Web. So do e-diets really work? We'll let you know if the truth is a bit hard to swallow, coming up next.


KAGAN: Here's a number I checked with Elizabeth Cohen to make sure this was right: 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese. Many turn to the Internet for help. Some online diets have received rave reviews in the past, but a new study casts some new doubt on their effectiveness. Elizabeth Cohen is here on diet patrol in today's "Daily Dose." Two-thirds -- so you're saying only a third of Americans are the right weight.


KAGAN: That's right, there's a lot of people who need a lot of help, and so many people turn to the Internet, and a lot of these sites are really terrific.

COHEN: There is -- if you're on a diet, there is a site for you. There's a site for people on protein diets, there's a site for Jenny Craig and for Weight Watchers. You name it, it's there. And they have lots of terrific stuff. There's recipes. There's diet tips. There's chat rooms, so you can get tips from other dieters. They can buddy you up with someone who you can e-mail. There are lots of great tool.

So you would think that people who were on one of these diets might do better than people who were just on a diet where they used a book. Some researchers put that to the test, and they were very surprised by the answer, which was, no, in fact, it really didn't help. Dieters in this study weighed 199 pounds. Some of them went to, which is a Web site, one of the most popular ones, and in the course of a year, they lost 1.8 pounds.

On the other hand, the traditional dieters, who were just given a book to lose weight, a manual, they lost 7.3 pounds during the course of that year. So the folks who just read a book did better than the folks who went to a Web site. Now of course the question is, gee, why did this happen? The researchers noticed that people who were sent to the Web site didn't log in very often, they just didn't use it. All of the tools were there, but they just didn't use it.

Again, the question, why didn't they use it? I asked the researcher, and she said, it wasn't entirely clear why it wasn't so user-friendly for them. But she said we noticed that a lot of them complained about pop-ups pushing product, trying to sell them things, and they said, we were kind of annoyed, we just don't want to deal with this. This study was done two years ago, says they've learned a lot and have changed the site since then.

KAGAN: And so we're not saying don't use any e-diets?

COHEN: Correct, this is not an indictment of all e-diets. It is an indictment of picking a diet plan and then not using it. If you're going to go to one of these sites, you actually have to go to it, and you have to use it, and you have to use the tools. And find the one that's best for you, find the one that interests you the most. This is a woman we did a story with who lost quite a bit of weight on an e- diet, and what worked for her was that she buddied up with someone else on the site and they would send e-mails, and she'd say, you know, it's 3:00 in the morning and I'm dying for a milkshake. And the other person would sort of talk her out of it, so.

KAGAN: So for her, it actually worked.

COHEN: It did work, and it worked because she used it, that's why it worked.

KAGAN: There's the key. So no matter what kind of diet plan you're looking at or weight-loss program, what should you be looking for?

COHEN: Whether it's an Internet diet or a book diet, or wherever you see the diet, here are some tips, here are some things that you need to look for so that you can actually stick with it. First of all, look for one that offers reasonable weight-loss expectations, one to two pounds per week. If they say, "lose 10 pounds in a week," go somewhere else. It' not going to happen, and if it does, it's not healthy anyhow.

Secondly, Use one that asks you to keep exercise and food records. That has turned out to be very helpful for many people, that you have to be held accountable and have to use those records.

And thirdly, choose one that works with your lifestyle. You may be an Internet diet kind of person if you're very independent, if you're very busy, and you don't have time to go to meetings during the day, you may be better off going to a Web site that you can access 24/7. However, if you're one of those people, Daryn, who likes to have other people in the room with you, you want to be weighed-in by one of your fellow dieters, you want to have face-to-face contact, obviously, Internet dieting may not be for you.

KAGAN: No, but for all those people that are fighting the battle and trying hard, we say you keep going, sending encouragement their way.

COHEN: That's right, keep going and use the plan.

KAGAN: Elizabeth, thank you for that.

For your "Daily Dose" of health news online, go to our Web site. You'll find the latest medical headlines, and there's a resource guide from CNN and the Mayo Clinic. The address is

COHEN: It is not your father's religion. That's because, well, it's different. Up next, you're going to meet an unusual man behind a different type of magazine. That's part of "Spirit" series. It is one that is aimed at young people who may love God, but might not like being preached to, a different take. We'll talk to the founder of "Relevant" magazine.


KAGAN: Breaking news into us here at CNN, and it's coming from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. We're getting word from Reuters, who is reporting that a senior Iraqi government official has been assassinated in the city of Mosul. The exact identification on which official it is has not come in yet, but we continue to track that story. Once again, breaking out of Iraq, a senior Iraqi official has been killed, has been murdered, in the northern city of Mosul. More on that just ahead.

Right now, at 12 minutes to the top of the hour, we focus now on this new segment we're developing on your spirituality. Talking to an interesting young person today. This magazine has a consumer guide to Jesus action figures, edgy reviews of Christian pop rock and hip-hop artist. All are found within the pages of "Relevant" magazine, the new Christian publication, part of the Relevant Media Group. It hopes to reach people, especially young people, by unconventional means.

Cameron Strang is the president and CEO of the business. He joins me now from Orlando, Florida with more.

Cameron, pleasure to have you here with us.


KAGAN: Let's talk about creating a new magazine for young people, 18-34. To me, I would think most people making that pitch, you're going to say, it's going to have sex, it's going to have rock 'n' roll, it might have fashion, it have materialistic items, yet you are focused on spirituality. Why is that?

STRANG: Well, there's a need for a magazine that talks about life in your 20s and all the things that we're into, like the things you just mentioned, but from a God-centered perspective. There's really no magazines like that out there, so we set out to make one.

We feel that 20-somethings especially are dealing with world issues and life issues, and they really want to know God, and so we grapple with the questions they're asking.

KAGAN: And so it's a Christian magazine, but not specific denomination. Why did you choose to do it that way?

STRANG: Well, because I really believe that this generation is very spiritually hungry. You can look all over the culture and see them searching to know God, and it's not specific to a denomination. There's people outside of the church or people who maybe just grew up in the church but left their faith, and they're looking for more, and I really wanted to connect with those people.

KAGAN: And so what do you think the Christian community is getting wrong when it's trying to draw young people in? And what's the secular community getting wrong?

STRANG: Yes, well, the secular community -- I mean if you look at most media and entertainment, there's no basis of faith. They can't completely disregard the fact that the majority of America has a faith foundation. So I think they're kind of missing the boat.

And if you look at a lot of Christian media, they put blinders on and don't look at the world they live in. They talk about Christian issues and Christian things and you shop in Christian book stores and listen to Christian music. But they don't interact with the world around us.

And I really think that we need to break down those walls and be able to talk about faith in a way that's relatable to culture.

KAGAN: And so here comes "Relevant" magazine and your Web site. And you're saying, let's erase those lines because, you know what? Young people are living in both worlds and each world is getting it wrong if you going to ignore the other one.

STRANG: Absolutely. That's absolutely right. What we found -- on, it's a user-driven Web site. Everyday we have features that are written by our readers. And so it's a great way to keep in touch with the heart of this generation. And they're talking about faith issues and cultural issues and new music that they're into.

It all kind of blends together. And we're on a spiritual journey together. And I think our staff represents that in a way that nothing else does.

KAGAN: And so for this to go, we have to talk about the obvious. It's a business. Can it make money?

STRANG: Yes. Well, it has. We've been in the black since 2002. On a small scale, we're growing. We're pretty much unfunded. So we're just kind of living day to day.

But it's been a fun journey. We don't only do the magazine. We also have the Web site where we can sell our things direct to consumers on there. And then we also publish books. We have a division called Relevant Books. It's growing very rapidly. We're doing 18 books this year. We're in Barnes & Noble and Borders and Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. And the distribution is increasing.

So we're really finding that this media is connecting with an audience that nobody's found.

KAGAN: Well we're looking for that same audience. Looking -- we believe, too, that there's a huge push for spiritually, all different types of spirituality. And that's what this segment's going to be focusing on. And interesting take, interesting magazine. Good luck with it.

STRANG: Thank you very much.

KAGAN: Cameron Strang. the movie -- the movie? The magazine is called "Relevant" magazine, also online. Thanks for being with us.



KAGAN: We want to tell you about a developing story that's coming out of Germany. The Marine who has experienced the mysterious disappearance and reappearance, Wassef Ali Hassoun. We had reported that he was going to make his way back from Germany, back here to the U.S. today.

Now our sources at the Pentagon telling us that return to the U.S. has been delayed at least a day. Pentagon sources saying that it's because of aircraft maintenance issues.

So Wassef Ali Hassoun will stay make his way back here to the U.S. he is undergoing more questioning and more repatriation efforts. But that will be delayed by a day. More on that with our Wolf Blitzer at the top of the hour.

Now, the date is official. Video game lovers will have to wait until May 2005 to get a glimpse of PlayStation's next version. Sony says it will wait until a trade show to demonstrate PlayStation 3. The company has been very secretive about its next generation consoles because of competition from Microsoft and Nintendo. People have very strong feelings about their PlayStation.


KAGAN: Well, it has been a busy morning indeed. That's going to do it for me, Daryn Kagan. I'll be right back here tomorrow morning. You have a great day. My friend and colleague Wolf Blitzer takes over from Washington, D.C.


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