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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Arrest Imminent in Chandra Levy Case, Police Say; Star Couples Add Glamour to Oscar Night; Stimulus Funds Take Winding Road to Your Pocket; Recessions Impact: Empty Malls, Store Closings
Aired February 21, 2009 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you all. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, 6:00 a.m. here on the East Coast; 3:00 Pacific. I'm T.J. Holmes.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. We do want to thank you for starting with us. It is the 21st of February, and we do want to begin with some breaking news.
HOLMES: Yes, and kind of a -- a shocker that went through the -- the newsroom this morning.
Yes, you remember that name and you remember that face in all likelihood. That is Chandra Levy, the 24-year-old who went missing some nine years ago now -- eight years ago, more specifically. An arrest, we're being told now, is imminent in this case. This is coming to us from our CNN affiliate out in the Bay Area, KGO. This is one of the most infamous D.C. cold cases out there. Again, some eight years old.
Just a little background on this case. You remember this young lady went missing in D.C. Got a lot of attention for one reason because of her relationship that it came out that she had with Congressman Gary Condit, who is no longer a congressman now. But a relationship that came out.
He was never -- there he is there -- never officially a suspect in the case.
HOLMES: But that was a reason this case got so much attention. And now, Betty, as we're hearing, an arrest...
HOLMES: ...is imminent in this case.
NGUYEN: The case not only ended Condit's career, but we are learning this morning that there is a suspect, a man who is indeed behind bars at this hour.
We have on the phone our security analyst Mike Brooks to talk about the latest leads in this case.
Mike, so this is a man, as far as we know, who has been charged with a couple other assaults there at -- a park where Chandra Levy, in fact, was found missing (sic).
MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Right.
This -- this park -- the park that runs through the center of Washington, D.C. -- it's called Rock Creek Park, it's actually on -- a federal park. It's opened by the Department of Interior. But all homicides in that park are handled by the Metropolitan Police.
Now, they -- Metropolitan Police and the FBI had been working on this for quite some time. She went missing in April of 2001, and her remains were found in May 2002 in the park by a man walking his dog. But the body -- the body had been so badly decomposed, they really couldn't tell a -- you know, they knew the manner of death was homicide, but they really couldn't tell exactly what happened. They thought that she possibly had been stabbed because of some markings on the body.
But this guy had been arrested back a number of years ago and has been in the D.C. penal system for quite some time. Now, he had said early on that he had seen her and there had been two similar attacks of which he was arrested back a number of years ago.
What the newest leads are, if he (AUDIO GAP) (INAUDIBLE) was able to -- they were able to get some additional evidence, or maybe spoke to someone, we don't know what the details are on that -- on that particular -- if there was a confession or what it was that led to his arrest.
NGUYEN: Yes, that's the big question this morning. In fact, the FBI interviewed him many years back, and he said, you know, he really didn't have anything to do with this missing-person case.
We want you to stand by just for a second, Mike, because we do have some sound from Chandra Levy's parents. They spoke to the media early this morning.
Here's what they had to say about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROBERT LEVY, FATHER: No, he didn't say exactly when. They said just real -- or she -- she said -- she said it would be really soon. So tonight or tomorrow.
SUSAN LEVY, MOTHER: She didn't even mention who or what.
R. LEVY: She didn't say the name yet.
S. LEVY: There was no mentioned name.
R. LEVY: But we think we know who it is. I -- I don't want to say until it's official.
S. LEVY: There was a warrant for arrest. That's all I know.
R. LEVY: For his arrest. (END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: All right. And so that's the latest that we are getting from Chandra Levy's parents.
Mike Brooks, if you're still on the phone with us, I want to ask you about this. I mean, what would legally lead to something like this? Would it have to be a confession? I mean, I -- I don't suppose any additional evidence has been found.
BROOKS: No, unless there was any -- unless there was some additional DNA -- but I don't recall -- going back to the case, I don't recall any particular DNA evidence that they had from either her body.
But -- but there's -- there's always a possibility they could have done some retesting, and it led back to this guy. But we don't really know, because he has been in the system for quite some time.
HOLMES: Mike, T.J. Holmes here now.
I -- I assume this guy isn't new. And again, we haven't said the name. The suspect, we believe, as being reported, is Igmar Guandique is his name. He's in the penal system, as you already mentioned.
Any reason -- I -- I mean, it's -- it's not -- it's unfathomable that he would be a new name or somebody just introduced to them as a suspect. There was also a "Washington Post" investigation that went on last year, and he was the focus, in -- in large part of that report as possibly being a suspect.
Is it possible that the police pretty much let the -- the -- the newspaper do some reporting and do some investigating for them, and that report could have then led to this arrest?
BROOKS: What I can tell you is that the D.C. police and the FBI know the special agent who was actually working this case for quite some time. They had been looking at this guy for quite -- for quite some time, but they really didn't have enough.
And I had heard back a number of years ago that (INAUDIBLE) -- Boy, I -- I was told by one of my sources, Mike, I think we're close to this guy. And then they didn't -- then there was no arrest. So I didn't -- so what they have now is -- is -- I'm going to very -- very, very interested in finding myself exactly what they have on this guy now.
You know, many, many times in prison, you'll have people, after a long amount of time, that'll start -- start talking about the things they've done. And then there's some other people in prison who will go ahead and tell the authorities what this person said to try to work off some of their time that they're doing in prison.
So, you know, don't -- I don't know exactly what they have. But I'm going to try to find out; that's for sure. HOLMES: All right, CNN security analyst Mike Brooks, we know you will be working your sources in the law-enforcement field. We appreciate you. Know we'll be talking to you again this morning. Thanks so much.
And again, the breaking news this morning: an arrest is imminent, is the word coming to us from our affiliate our in the Bay Area in the Chandra Levy cold case out of Washington, D.C.
More breaking developments, stay with us throughout the morning.
NGUYEN: In the meantime though, we do want to look at some other stories that have developed overnight.
On Chicago's South Side, police are searching for several suspects accused of shooting and killing three teenagers, including a seventh-grader.
The boy's friends had this to say about him:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEONTE MARTIN, VICTIM'S FRIEND: He was there for you if you needed him. He would give you his last dollar, if it -- if it -- if he really had to. So -- so that was like my brother. So I'm a miss him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: The shooting happened yesterday afternoon, and police say at least one of the suspects used an assault rifle. They hope two surveillance video cameras near the scene will lead to clues.
HOLMES: China is the last stop on Hillary Clinton's first trip overseas as secretary of State. Clinton and Chinese leaders are talking about economic issues, climate change as well as security. But she is not focusing on human-rights issues. That's where the U.S. and China have long disagreed.
NGUYEN: Federal officials have closed yet another bank, bringing the total so far this year to 14. The latest to fail is Silver Falls Bank in Oregon. This is their Web site, explaining the closure.
Customers will still have access to their money when it reopens Monday as Citizens Bank. For now, they can write checks or use ATM and credit cards.
HOLMES: Now comes the part of the show where we give you the bad economic news for the week. Sorry.
Here it is: The Dow dropped to a new six-year low; it closed at 7,466 yesterday, the latest dive prompting fears that we haven't yet hit the bottom. The White House says it has no plans to nationalize Citigroup and Bank of America despite rumors. The press secretary, Robert Gibbs, says the administration supports a privately held banking system. A lot of those fears about nationalizing a bank led to some of the biggest drops for Citigroup and Bank of America yesterday. Also, the auto industry desperately needs to be restructured. That's the word from President Obama's task force reviewing a multibillion-dollar bailout request from GM and Chrysler.
NGUYEN: President Obama released his foreclosure-relief plan this week, and we want to know what you think about it. Send us your questions on the housing rescue and foreclosure mess. We know you have them. E-mail us at email@example.com, and we're going to answer some of those throughout the morning, starting at 7:00 a.m.
HOLMES: And also, Betty and I have finally given in to the pressure of creating Facebook pages.
NGUYEN: Yes, we have.
HOLMES: We do have these -- these finally now. But we -- we're certainly wanting to get more interaction with you all out there on the Internet. This one you're looking at here on the screen happens to be my Facebook page. And we are soliciting your -- your questions.
I've gotten a couple already this morning. But a lot of people curious about what's happening now that President Obama has announced plans for that $75 billion foreclosure crisis-relief plan. People are asking, well, how -- do -- do I qualify? How does that money come to me?
So there it is. Facebook.com/tjholmes. Also, facebook.com/...
NGUYEN: Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: Betty Nguyen.
NGUYEN: We're on there. We're out there. We're talking to you. So we're hoping that you will send us those questions this morning.
It's really important, because I think a lot of people do want to get in on this stimulus plan.
HOLMES: Yes. Oh, yes.
NGUYEN: They want to reap the benefits of it, but a lot of people...
NGUYEN: ...really don't know how just yet.
HOLMES: How do you do it? We're going to have a guy here this morning with us who's -- who's written a book with one of my favorite titles...
NGUYEN: "What Had Happened Was."
HOLMES: "What Had Happened Was." He's going to be answering a lot of those questions you have, so please send them to us, at -- our e-mail, also the Facebook accounts -- we'll be checking it all this morning.
NGUYEN: We're all over the net.
All right. In the meantime, this is it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: I absolutely love this band. Got a little music to get you started this morning. You know them. Earth, Wind & Fire. In fact, they're going to be at the White House tomorrow. They're performing for the National Governors Association dinner.
HOLMES: And you know those governors can get down, can't they?
NGUYEN: Apparently so.
HOLMES: They'll be in D.C. this weekend. They're trying to work out ways to distribute the stimulus package to their states.
And still to come this morning, the governors of Kentucky, Governor Beshear, and also the governor of Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty, they'll both be here with us, diving into how they're going to divvy up all that money.
NGUYEN: Plus, love is in the air -- on the red carpet, in fact. Can you name couples who have been nominated for an Oscar in the same year? Hmm. A little Academy Award trivia still ahead.
NGUYEN: All right. So the Academy Awards, they are tomorrow.
NGUYEN: I know you've already rolled out the red carpet at the house.
HOLMES: You know the party...
NGUYEN: You've got your party.
HOMLES: ...the party's huge. Bigger than the Super Bowl party almost.
NGUYEN: Not really. Come on.
OK, so -- but adding to this year's excitement is a little bit of star-power coupling, shall we say? You know them as Brad and Angelina, or Brangelina, as so many call them.
HOLMES: And both of them up for Oscars.
HOLMES: That's a good night.
NGUYEN: Isn't it?
HOLMES: My date's up for an Oscar. I'm up for an Oscar.
NGUYEN: It's a good time to be Brad and Angelina, isn't it?
HOLMES: It -- it is right about now. But...
NGUYEN: But when it's not?
HOLMES: Good point.
A preview now of the coupledom we'll be seeing tonight on the red carpet from CNN's entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One Oscar-nominated star escorting another. It's the ultimate in arm candy.
ROBERT OSBORNE, OSCAR HISTORIAN: You put two of them together, and then they come in with all that va-voom factor, it's what makes Oscar shows and Oscar nights great fun.
ANDERSON: Oscar historian and author Robert Osborne is talking about the glamour and excitement of that rare event when a megastar couple scores Oscar nominations in the same year.
This year, it's Brangelina.
OSBORNE: There have been few high-profile couples as famous as Brad and Angelina.
BRAD PITT, ACTOR: They said I was going to die.
ANDERSON: Pitt earned his best-actor nomination for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Stop saying that!
ANDERSON: Jolie is up for best actress for "Changeling."
They're the latest famous duo to share Oscar nominations at the same time.
OSBORNE: There have been very glamorous couples through the years. Probably one of the most famous was Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, when they were both nominated in one year.
Frank Sinatra and Eva Gardner were married at the time that they were both nominated in 1953. Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh were a very high-profile couple back in the late 1930s, when they were both nominated; she for "Gone With the Wind", he for "Wuthering Heights."
ANDERSON: More recently, there was Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams, both nominated for Oscars for "Brokeback Mountain" back in 2006, and Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon for "Dead Man Walking" a decade earlier./
OSBORNE: It's really fun to see them just kind of arriving and being themselves and all the glamour and the paparazzi. I think it adds to the excitement of the night and the glamour of the night.
ANDERSON: A night when international attention will be focused on Hollywood, and Hollywood's golden couple on the carpet.
Brooke Anderson, CNN, Hollywood.
NGUYEN: And we do invite you to go to CNN.com for all things Oscar. Just click on the link that says "Oscars," of course, and you can vote for your favorite nominees and check out video clips of nominated videos and actors.
HOLMES: All right. You -- you've seen all the Oscar-nominated movies, Reynolds?
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. You know, I'm -- I'm just transfixed by the beauty and splendor that unfolds every single year during the Oscars.
WOLF: We're not buying it, are you?
HOLMES: Which movie -- which movie's your favorite? No, really.
WOLF: I like that one. You know, that one that had...
HOLMES: Which one was that?
WOLF: With the guy. The -- the dude.
WOLF: Yes. Yes.
HOLMES: And then there was a girl in it.
WOLF: You saw it?
HOLMES: I did.
WOLF: The same one.
HOLMES: Then at the end, the way it wrapped up, it was beautiful.
WOLF: Two thumbs up.
WOLF: All right.
HOLMES: Let's move on to something we do know something about: weather.
Right now, it looks like Chicago -- I would say Chicago, Milwaukee and definitely Detroit, two thumbs down. Because they're ready for spring; they really are. They're ready for -- they've had a really rough winter.
Today, they're going to see anywhere from six to eight inches of snowfall. It's going to be a rough time for them. Certainly time to get the snowplows out once again. Salt the sidewalks, certainly a good idea.
Let's get right to it and show you what's happening there. T.J. giving the two thumbs up to your camera right. We'll talk about that later on. Payback is bad, T.J.
Let's go right to the weather computer. And as we do so, there it is. You see some blue popping up on the radar. That happened to be some of your rain. Where you see pink -- well, that is a little bit of a wintry mix. But it is that white precipitation that we're most concerned with. As you see it, right here on radar, that is your heaviest snowfall. Some bands moving just to the east from Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids, today it's going to be much easier for you. Just a lot of cold air coming in. Certainly breezy at times, but the rough stuff now moving into the Great Lakes. From Green Bay southward to Milwaukee, it could get fairly rough, but right now the National Weather Service has a winter-storm warning in all areas shaded in red. You'll notice quite a bit of it in parts of, say, Wisconsin and back into Illinois.
But take a look at -- at all of Michigan. Anywhere from, say, the Thumb all the way to the top of the Mitten -- you can hear me referring to it as the Thumb -- well take a look at it on the map, take a look at my hands. Kind of like a giant mitten. That's how it is. And it looks like you're going to be seeing the heavy snowfall in places like Flint down to places like -- in -- just downtown Detroit. So certainly they're going to be dealing with for a good part of the weekend.
Now, if you make your way in terms of, say, going out to the mailbox, that kind of thing, it's going to be a cold morning for you in Flint. Right now, 14 degrees; 4 in Alpena; 27 in -- in Milwaukee; in Chicago, 26. If you want to get away from the cold stuff, you head south. In fact, as you head towards places like, say, New Orleans, where it's currently 43 degrees, certainly big doings this weekend.
Take a look at the shot that we have for you from New Orleans. It looks pretty good there for the time being. You know, Mardi Gras time; certainly time to go out there and get those beads. Maybe not now; it begins (INAUDIBLE), a little bit of a chill. No question about it. You see the -- the colors there, lighting up on the building. The gold, the green, the purple -- typical for this time of year.
Something else you're going to be seeing, a lot of the beads going, and the cool floats. Take a look at this neat one here. Kind of a strange time. Have you guys ever done the Mardi Gras thing? It's always fun.
NGUYEN: Yes, it's always a blast. I've always enjoyed it.
NGUYEN: What I can remember of.
WOLF: I know. I've got blurred memories myself. And not that there's anything wrong with that.
HOLMES: It's kind of (INAUDIBLE)
WOLF: I guess it depends on who you ask.
NGUYEN: Yes, parts of it is, of course.
HOLMES: Family and festive events.
NGUYEN: And they -- they throw out the beads. They also throw out candy. I mean, it's -- it's good times for everybody.
HOLMES: Some of the things that you have to do to get those beads....
NGUYEN: Well, I don't know about all that.
What would that be in fact, T.J.?
HOLMES: They cannot be spoken of here.
NGUYEN: Is that it?
WOLF: This is -- this is probably a subject for another time. NGUYEN: Absolutely. Draw your own conclusions.
WOLF: But, you know, there is nothing than being in the French Quarter eating candy off the ground while I'm watching these giant floats.
It is -- it is a good time.
NGUYEN: All right, Reynolds.
WOLF: All right, guys.
NGUYEN: We'll get you some beads later this morning.
WOLF: That's what I'm saying.
HOLMES: All right. Thanks, Renny.
A hundred bucks, Betty.
HOLMES: Free. Yours. Sound good?
NGUYEN: I love it.
HOLMES: We're going to tell you, and you out there, how you can put some extra cash in your pocket. I'm not going to tell you. Financial guru Suze Orman is going to be along to explain.
NGUYEN: But we know it's not coming from you.
HOLMES: It's not coming from me.
NGUYEN: All right.
HOLMES: The hundred bucks or the advice, actually.
Now that President Obama has signed the stimulus package, we do want to know: Where is this money going? Josh Levs is following it for us.
All right, Josh. Show us the money.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's what we're going to do. We're going to trace it for you.
Because in order to pay for a $787 billion plan, we have to get that money. We're going to show you the path of it, from its origin, straight to you.
HOLMES: All right. Are -- are we printing this stuff, $787 billion? Where are we getting this?
NGUYEN: This money, it's coming from you, and it's coming from me, and it's coming from all of you out there.
HOLMES: That's one of the big questions people have: Where's it coming from? And then the next one: How exactly is it going to get to me?
NGUYEN: Yes, all of us who are in need.
Well, our Josh Levs has the daunting task of taking us through those steps.
All right, a little "School House Rock" style, I understand.
LEVS: "School House Rock."
NGUYEN: How's that going to work?
LEVS: Isn't this pretty cool? I love the pictures they make for me. This is great. Because this is the image, right? Of Uncle Sam's throwing all his cash up in the air and everybody in America gets to go and just, like, kind of reach out your hands and grab it.
Not so much.
Let's go to the reality. We're going to go to the next screen here so I can show you how this actually works, how we can actually come up with $787 billion. This is the deal: U.S. Treasury sells bonds, all right? So if you hear about bonds being sold, this is what they have to do: They have to sell $787 billion worth of these bonds, because in order to pay for tax cuts or spending, they need to make up the money.
Who do they sell it to? The U.S. public, anyone who you know, maybe you, buy a bond. But also, foreign governments. And this is where we're always hearing that the U.S. is so indebted to other nations, because foreign governments are buying those bonds right there. They're for owning our debt, which we pay interest on.
Let's go to the next screen. So that's how the infusion of cash comes along. The Treasury then takes that money and sends it out to the different states all over the country, which they've represented very well. Those beautiful red arrows.
Let's go to the next screen now. Betty, this is kind of for you. We had to pick a state; we went with Texas.
NGUYEN: Mmm, absolutely.
LEVS: So we're going -- there you go. (INAUDIBLE) the Texas Department of Transportation. So Texas, for example, one of many states that will get some of that money from the Treasury. It goes from the Department of Transportation, for example. They then take that money and they pay for one of the projects. So here we're seeing people building a road, building a bridge. That's how the money gets that far.
But, a lot of people who are going to watch us right now, and you're probably saying, Well, I'm not one of these people; I'm not out there working on the road. How do I get any of this money?
That's when we go to the last screen, to give you one more example here. You've probably heard there's a tax credit in the stimulus. For most people, that's going to mean you're getting to get $15 more per paycheck throughout the year. One reason they can do that is going back to the very beginning, those bonds that they're selling. To make all that money that allows them to give you $15 more per paycheck and still keep the government going.
So it might not be that much of a huge impact on your life in the end. She seems pretty happy with that $15. But that's the idea; you've got the Treasury selling the bonds, all the way through to you, guys.
NGUYEN: All right. And ultimately, this could cost more than a trillion dollars from what we understand?
LEVS: It could, yes. And that's actually because of the interest on those bonds. You know, we say $787 billion a lot; every time we talk about this stuff, we say the immediate cost.
But the fact is, when you factor in that we're borrowing that money, and then paying interest on it, we're already hearing from the Congressional Budget Office it will cost more than a trillion dollars just for this stimulus package alone.
NGUYEN: All right. Josh Levs, joining us live, thank you, Josh.
LEVS: You got it. Thanks.
NGUYEN: And you know, to see how the stimulus package is broken down, all you have to do is go to cnn.com/money. You can also check out ways to boost your home value and see how your state is doing when it comes to foreclosures.
For all of this and financial news, just go to cnnmoney.com.
And, in fact, some financial experts say there are new reasons to be hopeful the U.S. economy will, in fact, turn around.
HOLMES: As if we needed new reasons to be hopeful. But with the economic package now law, and President Obama's new plan to deal with the mortgage crisis, personal-finance expert Suze Orman says, give it time.
Orman was a guest on "LARRY KING LIVE."
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Do you see anything encouraging?
SUZE ORMAN, PERSONAL-FINANCE EXPERT: Yes. Here's what I see encouraging: The stimulus got passed. He has a plan. We now have to give him our support to make this plan help everybody.
I wish everybody would stop saying, it is dire, including the president. Stop telling everybody that it's dire, it's this, it's that. We have a plan. Let's see how what we can do. Let's see deal with this housing crisis now as well. And if we could just keep doing this, little by little, we're going to get through it. Is it going to be easy? No. But we will eventually get through it. We need time though, Larry.
KING: You've often discussed the difference between needing something and wanting it.
ORMAN: Well, so many times, people think, Oh, they're -- they're -- they go to a store, or they go out to eat, or they go and they have to get their hair cut, or whatever it may be. And they think that they really need these things that they're buying.
Most of the things that people buy, Larry -- because I look at their expenses all the time -- they don't need these things. They want these things. They want to go on vacation; they want to go out to eat; they want to go shopping. Do they need to do any of those things? No.
What do you need to do? You need to be able to buy food at a grocery store to feed yourself and your children. You need to be able to pay your mortgage payment or rent in order to keep that house over your head. You need to be able to possibly have a used car to get yourself to work. You need to be able to put in the gas in the car.
Do you need to be able to put gas in the car to go skiing? No. So there's a big difference...
KING: Should you....
ORMAN: ...between needs and wants.
KING: The U.S. savings rate was 0.8 percent last August. Jumped to 3.6 percent in December, even though the average income was the same, maybe a little lower.
Is that a good sign?
ORMAN: I think it is a great sign.
You know forever, I've been on this campaign of, America we have got to increase the savings rate. Save yourself. You know I created that savings account where with -- you know, if you put in $100 every month, at the end of 12 months, I'll give you $100. Go to save yourself.com, everybody. Be paid to save.
If you don't have a good savings rate, and something happening, where are you going to go? That's when you all of a sudden stop putting things on your credit cards that you can't do anymore. That's when you then start to become an aid -- you know, where the -- you're asking the state to aid you, food stamps and everything. So if you have savings and something goes wrong, you will be able to save yourself.
HOLMES: And Orman going to be sitting down with business correspondent Ali Velshi on "YOUR MONEY" this afternoon, 1:00 Eastern. They'll discuss the stimulus plan as well as a host of other issues affecting you and your money.
But what exactly do you, the people, think of the stimulus package? The pulse of the nation with the latest poll numbers, coming up.
NGUYEN: And there are great questions coming in from you about the housing crisis. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have expert advice.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SATURDAY MORNING: Good morning.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SATURDAY MORNING: How are you doing?
NGUYEN: I'm doing all right. Good morning to you.
HOLMES: Good morning.
NGUYEN: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: I'm T.J. Holmes. Glad you could start your day with us here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: And we do want to begin with this breaking news this morning.
We have learned an arrest is imminent in the Chandra Levy murder case. CNN affiliate KGO is reporting police in Washington, D.C. are pursuing a warrant for an inmate already in the prison system. Here's his name, Ingmar Guandigue. Levy went missing, as you recall, in Washington, in April of 2001. Her remains were found a year later. We're going to have much more on this story throughout the morning. So you want to keep it right here.
HOLMES: Also, a lot of country's governors are in Washington this morning. Got a little dinner planned for this weekend. It's the winter meeting for the National Governor's Association and President Obama having them over for dinner at the White House. That will be tomorrow night. He's been looking for a support from a lot of the nation's governors for handling the economic crisis. We will have two of the governors live with thus morning.
NGUYEN: It has been one month since President Obama took office. So, how is he doing? HOLMES: Do we get reviews after the month of working here?
NGUYEN: I sure hope --
HOLMES: I hope we do not.
NGUYEN: -- not.
HOLMES: I hope we still don't get reviews.
NGUYEN: Well, I think we're doing pretty good. And so far, so good, for President Obama as well.
HOLMES: Even though the popularity is down a bit from how he started off right after the inauguration. There is a big reason for the dip. Republicans, Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider with the latest polls for us.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Is President Obama's honeymoon still on? Very much so. Although there are some Americans whose love is fading.
(Voice over): President Obama is a month into his honeymoon. Is the love still there? Yes, it is. Mr. Obama's approval rating is still very high, 67 percent. When's the last time President Bush had an approval rate that high? You have to go back to March 2003 when the initial fighting ended in Iraq.
Still, 67 percent approval is nine points lower than two weeks ago. Two-thirds of that decline came among Republicans. For them, it's over.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: If this is going to be bipartisanship, the country's screwed.
SCHNEIDER: It's the stimulus plan, isn't it? Overall, public support for the plan is strong. 60 percent of Americans favor it. But the stimulus plan has become a real cause of contention. Nearly a quarter of Republicans support it, but more than three-quarters of them don't. Won't work, they say.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: It has 100s of billions of dollars in projects which will not yield in jobs.
SCHNEIDER: Will, too, say Democrats, nearly 90 percent of whom support it.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D) CALIFORNIA: It is going to stimulate the economy. It's going to create jobs. In the state of California, we're going to get almost 400,000 jobs.
SCHNEIDER: Is there anything people think President Obama can't do? Yes. The public is not sure he can end the partisan gridlock in Washington. Do they really want him to? Yes. Most Americans say they would rather see Mr. Obama try to reach a bipartisan compromise rather than pass laws he thinks are right for the country, that are not supported by the Republicans.
In other words, they want to see more love.
SCHNEIDER: Has the Republican Party taken a hit because they oppose the stimulus plan? The Republican Party is still nearly 20 points behind the Democratic Party in popularity. That was true in December. It doesn't look like the Republicans have paid a price for opposing this stimulus plan, but they haven't made any gains, either, Betty, T.J.
NGUYEN: Tuesday, the president is talking to the nation about the economy. And we, in fact, have built our prime time programming around that theme. The presidential address is scheduled for 9:00 Eastern and that's going to be followed by Anderson Cooper and the best political team on television. Then, at midnight, a very special edition of "Larry King Live."
HOLMES: And of course, the nation's mayors and the nation's governors, they are looking for help from that stimulus bill. The governors, they get their chance with the president this evening. They're in Washington right now. They will meet with the president tomorrow night for a dinner. We will be talking to them today though, in our 8:00 o'clock.
That guy, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will be with us. Also, 10 a.m., Minnesota's Governor Tim Pawlenty, he joins us live. Talking to them both about the impact the stimulus will have on their states. You want to hear on how they plan on getting and then handing out this money.>
NGUYEN: President Obama released his foreclosure relief plant this week. And here's what we want to know. What you think about it. Send us your questions on the housing rescue and foreclosure mess. E- mail us at email@example.com. We're going to answer some of those, throughout the morning, starting at 7 a.m.
HOLMES: And another option for you, if you want to get a hold of Betty and I. And send those questions in, we are soliciting them on our Facebook pages. Facebook.com/tjholmescnn, also Facebook.com/bettynguyencnn. Right there we're asking on our boards, what your questions are about the housing crisis. We're getting some good questions in already. We will be answering them throughout the morning. Betty and I are here until noon.
NGUYEN: We have a lot of time to filter through those questions. We know you have a lot of questions. There's a lot of money doled out. What does it mean for you if you can't make your mortgage payment, if you're faced with foreclosure, what does that mean for you and what kind of money are you going to get. What kind of relief, most importantly, are you going to get from it? Send them into us. We'll be reading them on the air. And more importantly, we're going to get some expert advice. HOLMES: Yes, because we're not the experts, at all. Stay with us.
NGUYEN: Just the messengers, folks.
HOLMES: Answering those throughout the morning. Stay with us. Quick break.
HOLMES: I don't even know what to say.
HOLMES: Uh, Betty?
NGUYEN: It's the truth, though, apparently.
HOLMES: I have been preaching this to you for a long time.
NGUYEN: You've been preaching to me?
HOLMES: Yes, that marriage is good for you.
NGUYEN: I think it's good for everyone involved.
HOLMES: Everybody involved?
HOLMES: But you know who else agrees with me? The federal government.
NGUYEN: All right. Well, you know, in fact, a new $5 million advertising campaign is set to hit the Internet promoting the values of marriage. Several studies show marriage leads to better health, wealth and a happier life. However, statistics show 7.1 marriages per 1,000 people in 2008. So that's not a whole lot of people believing this or drinking the Kool-Aid, if you will. That's down from 10 per 1,000 people in 1986. So the government is trying to make a change. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL AMATO, NAT'L. HEALTHY MARRIAGE RESOURCE CENTER: Young people in the United States are somewhat confused about marriage. Marriage has changed a great deal in the last several decades. And the old rules really no longer apply.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Paul Amato is an adviser to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, which is government-funded and designed to advocate the virtues of marriage. How much will this new ad campaign cost though? How about $5 million. That's a whole lot of money to promote marriage. HOLMES: It should be promoted.
NGUYEN: Especially in a recession like this.
HOLMES: Well, there are some financial advantages to being married, tax advantages.
NGUYEN: That, too. Given the numbers, I guess this information needs to be out there because not many people are taking that advice to heart.
HOLMES: And then those who are getting married, a lot of those are ending in divorce.
HOLMES: There aren't too many romantics out there. They did a study about this and not too many people are in that category. Just being - ah, I want to get married. Swept off my feet. A lot of people are very practical about it these days.
NGUYEN: I don't know I think there's a few of us who are still of romantic out there.
HOLMES: Are you, Betty?
NGUYEN: Every girl wants to be swept off her feet.
HOLMES: Oh, my goodness.
NGUYEN: Keep that in mind when your time comes.
HOLMES: Oh, my goodness.
NGUYEN: In the meantime, the feds aren't the only ones trying to promote marriage. Funny man Steve Harvey - this is a great guy with some good advice. In fact, he has written a book on love and marriage.
HOLMES: Yes. Act Like a Man-excuse me, no, no, no. Don't act like a man. I'm sorry. I messed that up. Sorry, Steve.
It's "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man". It's on "New York Times" best-seller list.
We sat down with him to discuss all things relationship related.
NGUYEN: Steve, in your book you talk about there are five things that women need to know about men. What are those five things?
STEVE HARVEY, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: It's five questions that a woman should ask a man when they meet. You know, because a lot of women have been sold a bad bill of goods, you know. We have created this thing that if you ask us too many questions, if you're too inquisitive, that you're encroaching on your privacy. And then we won't have anything to do with you. That's not the truth. You have every right to know what you're getting into.
NGUYEN: So, just stop messing around and just find out what you need to know to either keep him or let him go?
HARVEY: You know, it's in your best interest. You know what I'm saying? You have not go stop -- women have got to empower themselves. That's what the book is for. So you can empower yourself. You've got to be -- you've got to stop being at a man's beckon and call. You have every right to know if he wants to marry you or not. You have every right to know when the marriage is going to occur. This is your future we're talking about. You really need to know if he's into your kids.
HOLMES: A lot of people follow you. And the fellows might say, why are you not talking to us? Why are you not giving us some relationship advice?
HARVEY: That would be great, but they don't buy books.
HARVEY: Let's just tell the truth. So I really don't care what you think.
Not really. But you know the first three chapters in the book, what drives a man, what a man needs, and how a man loves is absolutely the best part of the book, because it actually helps a man in his relationship. Because a lot of women just really don't know, as the title of the book, they don't know how we think. Our love is different. We don't love the same.
You all are great communicators, you're very nurturing. You encompass a lot of things in your love. A man's love is shown in three ways. I call it the three Ps. We profess it, we provide, and we protect.
HOLMES: We sit here and we're laughing, cracking up having a good time, and what not, but are people going to be disappointed? Maybe you even got some reaction already? People pick up the book, they see your face, they see your name, they expect to open this book and laugh.
HOLMES: This ain't funny.
HARVEY: No, it's not. And I mean, you know, I'm sorry. But I've got enough stuff out there on tape that's funny. This book isn't a clinical study. You know, most women aren't married to Dr. Phil anyway. You're married to a regular guy. You're dating a guy that's got a job somewhere that you are trying to figure it out. I took all of my talks with T.J., who is a friend of mine, guys that play ball, guys that are TV stars, guys that drive trucks, guys that I worked in the factory with. I put all of this -- and I'm 52. I put all of this information together of how we really think. And it's done purely to just empower women.
NGUYEN: For all the ladies out there, answer me this one question. Why do men cheat?
HARVEY: Well, that's a million-dollar question no matter how I answer, it's going to be a $10 answer. But I'll tell you this. Number one, I try to teach women to release themselves from blame. You know, as soon as the guy cheats, a woman tries to find out what's wrong with her. And it has nothing to do with you, oftentimes. It's just an inadequacy in your man, that makes us go outside. Because we're constantly trying to feed our ego, trying to feel better about ourselves.
HOLMES: Now, a lot of this in the book can be applied to all men and women. But speaking, particularly, to black men and women here, is there a new standard for all black men and women and couples to follow given what we see in the White House now?
HARVEY: The book is written for everybody. But there is a new mandate here. Obama is the new president. We got to do better than this. That's just the tone that's out there in the country, for a lot of people. There have been other beautiful families in the White House. Nobody is knocking that. I think George Bush - I liked the guy personally. I thought he was a good family man, a good father. This is special for a lot of people, especially in the African-American community. Everybody has got to kind of understand that.
NGUYEN: We appreciate your time, Steve. Thank you so much.
HARVEY: Best interview I've ever done.
NGUYEN: And we didn't pay him to say that, in fact. He has some really good advice, especially for women out there who are waiting to see where this relationship goes. When is he going to propose to me? When am I going to get that ring? And all that. What he says, is that, you know what, if this is what you want, then you set it out there. You have that time line. You have your rules. And if he's not going to step up to the plate, then just walk away.
HOLMES: And there's nothing wrong with that. This is your life. You have I every right to say exactly what you want. If he can't provide it, then go your own way.
NGUYEN: Maybe he's not the one.
HOLMES: But that's why, Reynolds is with us here now. That's why oftentimes he said this. Men will call a guy, forgive me, I'm talking about Steve here. Bu the says men will be called a dog, but it's because women allow that. Cut that behavior off. Nip it in the bud.
NGUYEN: Tell him you won't tolerate it.
HOLMES: Don't allow him to keep coming back.
NGUYEN: Were you ever given an ultimatum, Reynolds? (LAUGHTER)
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's 3 degrees in Marquette.
Right now, we've got 19 in Green Bay. That's a look at your forecast.
Guys, that's an answer for another time. That's going to take an entire show.
In Alpena, currently, 4 degrees, Flint with 14. Now, we've got the cold air in place. Heavy snow is on the way. Coming up, we're going to let you know about the winter storm warnings that are in effect for much of the Great Lakes and what you can expect through your weekend. That's all moments away. Maybe some answers, too.
HOLMES: How can you have a mall without stores? Empty display cases, a lot of major stores gone for good. This is the Crossroads Mall. This is in Oklahoma City. And this is what it looks like right about now. Stores like Macy's, Steven Barry's, Dillard's, all gone in the past year. Our IReporters Austin and Brian Chu took these photos for us. They're touring the country to see the effects on the economy with their own eyes.
Malls are places for people with disposable income. These days people don't have much income left to dispose of.
NGUYEN: No, not at all. As long as the customers are staying away, why not close the shop up early? Reporter Dave Lopez has more from affiliate KCAL.
DAVE LOPEZ, REPORTER, KCAL 9 NEWS (voice over): Just before 11 o'clock Friday morning, inside the Westfield City Mall in Santa Ana, historically one of the busier malls in all of Orange County. That is until the economic bottom fell out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had like 24 hours a week and now they've cut me to 11.
LOPEZ: The Westfield Corporation owns literally hundreds of shopping malls throughout the country. And they announced today that they are cutting the hours at the Main Place Mall beginning on March 1st, opening a half hour later and closing a half hour sooner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm surprised with so many of them going out now, that hopefully we stay here.
LOPEZ: No comment today from anyone at corporate headquarters at the Main Place Mall, only to say that the press release speaks for itself. That they are cutting hours. (On camera): On the surface it doesn't seem like such a big deal, opening a half hour later, closing a half hour sooner. But just stop and think how many stores are in this mall? It's 181, to be exact. That means every one of those stores will be cutting back their hours. That means less hours for people who work in there. That means it's a big trickle down effect for everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've noticed. I've basically noticed, you know. You can tell. I've come here for a cup of coffee, before I go to work every day. It just -- it's just like that. You can see different, you know, slowing down.
LOPEZ: Like they're disappearing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
LOPEZ (voice over): When discussing business news today you might as well say, read it and weep. And we are told in tough economic times like this, in order to keep some sense of sanity, think of pleasant thoughts. Does that make you feel any better? From Santa Ana, Dave Lopez, KCAL 9 News.
NGUYEN: Well, President Obama released his foreclosure relief plan this week. And we want to know what you think about it. Send us your questions on the housing rescue and foreclosure mess. I know you're dealing with it. You do have questions.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are going to have some expert advice, some answers to those questions throughout the morning starting at 7:00 a.m.
HOLMES: Something else we're also doing here if you want to reach out to betty and I, you can tune into our Facebook pages. Showing this to you on our big board. Getting comments in from folks this morning.
This happened to be one here from Danielle, who is talking about this stimulus bill and some of the reports out there that Republican governors would reject the billions from the stimulus bill. We'll touch base with a couple of governors about this morning. So, a few comments, certainly a lot of comments coming in.
Also, Betty Nguyen, look at that lovely picture of Betty.
HOLMES: Facebook, again, Betty and I have been resisting this whole Facebook thing. But we had to finally get on board. So we do have'em and we're going to use'em. Be interactive. Send us your comments, either on the Facebook pages, or send them to us at email@example.com.
NGUYEN: It is a great resource. Because we know you indeed have questions about how are you going to get in on the action when it comes to the stimulus bill. And what is it going do to help your mortgage payment, and keep you from go into foreclosure. Send us your questions either to our Facebook pages or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOLMES: All right.
Illinois Senator Roland Burris, he was supposed to be above the fray, right? He was not supposed to be caught up in all this scandal. Uh-uh. He's getting more heat now. Calls for him to step down.
NGUYEN: Yeah. Laying the groundwork for new relations with China. Why Hillary Clinton's meeting today was the most crucial of her Asia tour.
HOLMES: Well, Speaker -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she is in Afghanistan. She's visiting that country, visiting with several officials there, including the president there, Hamid Karzai. As you know, President Barack Obama is promising to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan to fight the growing violence from the Taliban.
NGUYEN: Last stop for Hillary Clinton, that would be China. The secretary of State is wrapping up her first overseas diplomatic trip in Beijing today. Now, some analysts call it her most important stop on this four-nation tour. Our Jill Daugherty is there. She joins us now live.
Jill, why is this the most important stop on the tour?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN SR. FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Betty, you would have to say it's certainly the most sensitive stop during this entire one-week trip of Asia. And as Hillary Clinton meets with the leadership of china, the president Hu Jintao, the Premier Wen Jiabao, she really is saying they want a broader relationship with China. She's calling it a positive and cooperative relationship.
And you know, traditionally, one of the subjects at the top of the agenda always was an irritant, and that was the issue of human rights. Now, it is not. This is a shift now. It is not the top of the agenda at this stage. What Hillary Clinton is saying as secretary of State is that they want to broaden that relationship and deal with some burning issues right now. One, is the global economic crisis. Another one would be climate change. The third one would be security issues like North Korea, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
So, however, they do say, she says, human rights is very important but that should not be allowed to interfere with those other three issues. We heard comments today from the foreign minister of China, Yang Jiechi. Let's listen to what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) YANG JIECHI, FOREIGN MINISTER, CHINA (through translator): Given our differences in history, social system, and culture, it is only natural that our two countries may have some different views on human rights. But I also say that it is commitment of the Chinese government to continue to engage in human rights dialogues with the United States on the basis of equality and noninterference in each other's internal affairs, to increase our mutual understanding, narrow differences, and work together to advance the cause of human rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: How far did we get?
I think we have a little interference, Betty.
NGUYEN: Jill is having - yeah, we're having a audio difficulty, Jill.
NGUYEN: We'll try to touch base with you a little bit later this morning, of course.
A big stop there for Hillary Clinton. We're going to get more on what's on the table and how important this is for both the U.S. and for China. We'll talk with Jill a little bit later, once we get that audio problem fixed for you.
HOLMES: Of course, we're coming up on the top of the hour. We're continuing to follow our breaking story this morning. A break in the case of Chandra Levy, an eight-year-old cold case out of Washington, D.C. An arrest, we are told, is eminent. Stay with us.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: I'm T.J. Holmes along with CNN's Betty Nguyen on the CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
Breaking news this morning: Chandra Levy, the infamous cold case out of Washington, D.C., could possibly be solved -- an eight-year-old case. Police now say that they are close to arresting someone in this case. That's coming to us from our CNN affiliate KGO out in the Bay Area.
But Chandra Levy if you remember was an intern in Washington, D.C., who disappeared. Her remains were found a year later. But now, an arrest warrant, we're being told, has been issued for Ingmar Guandique, is his name. He's actually in prison right now, Betty.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. He's been in prison in Washington since 2001. Now, police contacted Levy's parents yesterday. Here's what they had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, KTX)
ROBERT LEVY, FATHER: Still mad.
SUSAN LEVY, MOTHER: Not having your child with you.
R. LEVY: Yes.
S. LEVY: I mean, you want justice. You want the person, you know ...
R. LEVY: Imprisoned.
S. LEVY: ... incarcerated. And you want justice.
R. LEVY: And put away.
S. LEVY: This shouldn't happen to anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Well, Levy was reported missing in April of 2001. Her remains were found a year later in a D.C. park. The case got so much attention because of Levy's relationship with Congressman Gary Condit.
HOLMES: Again, Levy went missing in 2001. Remains found in May of 2002. So, here we are all these years later, and possibly an arrest in the case.
CNN's security analyst, Mike Brooks, is on the phone with us. He's been joining us this morning, and will continue to join us as we get breaking developments in this case.
Mike, what do we know about this suspect?
VOICE OF MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, we know, T.J., that he's in jail right now. He's serving a 10-year sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary in Victorville, U.S. Penitentiary in Adelanto, California.
The reason he's there, T.J., are because of two attacks in Rock Creek Park, the same park that Chandra Levy was attacked and her remains were found. It was also in the same area. The two attacks occurred, one attack occurred in May 2001 and the other one in July of 2001. Very, very similar -- he would attack the women and then drag them down a hill, because if you recall, Chandra Levy's remains were found off of a remote path in Rock Creek Park, about almost 80 yards down a hill. They were found by, in 2002, by a man walking his dog.
And that's when U.S. Park Police had found out about this -- the two attacks. Just to explain, Rock Creek Park is a federal park. It's policed by the U.S. Park Police. Now, the two attacks were not homicides. They were assaults. Two women were not killed.
So, they were able to make the case on this guy, and found him hanging out in the park and he was arrested by U.S. Park Police. Subsequently convicted on these two assault charges and that's why he is in a federal penitentiary because it is a federal park.
HOLMES: OK. Well, Mike, here we are, all these years later now. I'm assuming there's not new physical evidence out there. Is that fair to say? And so if that is the case, is it likely that the police are able to now possibly make an arrest because of either a confession or because someone else has come forward with information?
BROOKS: Well, right now, because, if you recall, the autopsy proved she was strangled and then the barely decomposed remains. But what I'm hearing and I'm trying to confirm this with another source there, the possibility that one inmate, he could -- he told an inmate that he had killed Chandra Levy and someone then turned him in. We're trying to go ahead -- we're trying to confirm that, again, with another source. But that's what we're hearing right now, T.J.
HOLMES: All right. We know you are on it with your sources. Again, our security analyst, Mike Brooks, on the line with us -- will be with us this morning. We'll continue to check in with you, Mike. If you ever get any -- whatever you get something, you call back in to us. Thanks, buddy.
BROOKS: Thank you, buddy.
NGUYEN: Well, in other news this morning, many of the nation's governors are in Washington today for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association. President Obama is having the governors over for dinner at the White House tomorrow. Now, the president has been looking for support from the governors for his handling of the economic crisis.
And President Obama this morning is touting that huge economic stimulus bill in his radio address.
HOLMES: And, of course, he signed that legislation on Tuesday in Denver, saying it will put 3.5 million Americans to work, actually saying it will either save or create 3 million to 4 million jobs. But he adds that more work needs to be done to fix the nation's housing market.
So, let's talk about that housing market with the CNN deputy political director, Paul Steinhauser. He's joining us now from Washington.
Paul, always good to see you. So -- what's next? When is this thing going to start working?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, you know, on that radio address this morning, the YouTube and the radio address that President Obama announced that, you know what -- help is going to be on the way and pretty soon. He said he's directing the Treasury Department to talk to employers to reduce the amount of money they take out of your paychecks. And they said by around April 1st, Americans, most working Americans, will see more money in their paychecks.
So, he was touting the economic stimulus plan. But, as you mentioned, he said there is more to come and more to do on the road to recovery. That's going to start on Monday, I guess. They're holding a fiscal responsibility summit at the White House on Monday, T.J. We'll hear more about attempts to reduce the size of the nation's budget and the money we spend.
Tuesday night, primetime, of course, he's going to give a joint address to -- an address to a joint session of Congress and we'll hear a lot more about the economy. And then on Thursday, President Obama is introducing his budget, which he says will be a very fiscally responsible budget.
So, a lot more action coming up in the next couple of days, T.J.
HOLMES: Well, did he know he signed up for this when he applied for this job?
HOLMES: My goodness, a lot going. All right. A lot going on out there.
Let's talk about some still kind of connected to this president, but this mess isn't over yet with his old seat in the Senate. Roland Burris was supposed to be the guy to kind of, you know, be on the up and up. But now, calls for him to resign?
STEINHAUSER: Yes, just a month on the job now and, you know, this story just seems to be snowballing in the last couple of days. Yesterday, the governor of Illinois, the new governor, Pat Quinn, who replaced Rod Blagojevich after he was impeached and kicked out of office, well, Governor Quinn yesterday called on Roland Burris to step down, to resign from the seat. And he said he would hold a special election to replace Roland Burris.
You've also had other calls for Roland Burris to resign, including coming from the two top newspapers in Illinois, the "Chicago Sun-Times" and "The Tribune." It's all kind of stems from Roland Burris early last week admitting that, you know what, back after the election, when that seat was open after President Barack Obama stepped down to become president, Roland Burris talked to people close to Rod Blagojevich, including his brother, and talked about trying to raise money for the governor at a time when Roland Burris was lobbying for that Senate seat.
That is very different from what he testified back in January. So, a lot of calls here for Roland Burris to step down. He says he's done nothing wrong.
Take a listen to what the White House has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is supportive of an investigation that would get some full story out. And I think it might be important for Senator Burris to take some time this weekend to either correct what has been said, and certainly think of what lays in his future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: Here in Washington, the Senate Ethics Committee is investigating. Back in Illinois, there may be a perjury investigation of Roland Burris. Again, he says, T.J., he's done nothing wrong. We're keeping our eyes on this one.
HOLMES: That statement out of the White House sounded very carefully-worded.
HOLMES: He was looking for those words, wasn't he?
HOLMES: All right. Paul Steinhauser for us out of Washington, D.C. -- always good to see you. We'll talk to you again soon.
And, of course, as Paul mentioned, on Tuesday, the president will be talking to the nation about the economy. And we fill our primetime programming around that and the presidential address scheduled for 9:00 o'clock Eastern. He'll be addressing Congress. That's followed by Anderson Cooper and the best political team on television, and then at midnight, a special edition of "LARRY KING LIVE."
NGUYEN: All right. So, here's a question for you this morning and here's what we really want to address. How can you benefit from the president's housing help plan? Well, we're going to break it down with the financial expert, maybe he can help you save your home.
NGUYEN: A big catch.
HOLMES: That's something you're going to be interested in hearing.
HOLMES: Also, our Reynolds Wolf, he's a hands-on kind of guy.
NGUYEN: Always, yes.
HOLMES: But this time he got hands on with some sea life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, you do see a lot of patients sometimes that come in and you say there's no way we're saving this animal. It's not going to happen.
DR. TERRY NORTON, GEORGIA SEA TURTLE CENTER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're looking at one of them. (END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: He's helping ...
NGUYEN: Look at that.
HOLMES: ... to save the turtles. Our Reynolds Wolf, what a sweetie.
NGUYEN: Dr. Wolf to you.
HOLMES: Yes. He'll tell us what goes on in this turtle rehab clinic.
NGUYEN: All right. So, it's been four days since President Obama announced his $75 billion plan to help homeowners on the brink of foreclosure. There are still more questions though than there are answers. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES: The plan I'm announcing focuses on rescuing families who played by the rules and acted responsibly: by refinancing loans for millions of families in traditional mortgages who are underwater or close to it, by modifying loans for families stuck in subprime mortgages they can't afford as a result of skyrocketing interest rates or personal misfortune, and by taking broader steps to keep mortgage rates low so that families can secure loans with affordable monthly payments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: OK. So that sounds promising. But, only certain homeowners will benefit.
Here to help us break down who gets what, if anything at all, is author and financial expert, Clyde Anderson.
Clyde, you've got a lot of talking to do this morning ...
CLYDE ANDERSON, AUTHOR, FINANCIAL EXPERT: Yes.
NGUYEN: ... because I think when people hear this, they want to know -- number one, I am trying to refinance, I am trying to keep from going into foreclosure. This is supposed to help some 7 million to 9 million Americans. Do I qualify?
ANDERSON: Well, what you really have to look at is where your current situation is. Have I been paying my mortgage on time? Am I struggling to make those mortgage payments?
And if that's the case and I've been doing what I can to make them, there may be an opportunity for you to refinance into a lower interest rate. There may be an option to modify your loan if you're facing foreclosure. So, you're going to have to look at your individual situation a little bit and see where you fall.
Some people say it's only for people that have been paying their mortgage late, but it's not. It's for some people that have really been kind of stretching themselves to make these adjustable rate payments and to stay current on their mortgage. So, this gives them an option to save more money.
NGUYEN: So, what does this plan specifically give to the homeowner? Are they going to get lower rates, are they going to get -- I don't know -- some kind of money from the government to help them make their bill? I mean, how does this work?
ANDERSON: Well, there are several levels of it and it's really interesting. I think this is a great first step to where we really need to go. There are several options.
Some people will actually receive incentives. When they do a modification or modify their loan, meaning, they're facing foreclosure, they definitely need something right now with a lower interest rate they can go ahead and refi and they'll give them a credit -- which is about $1,000 a year if they pay their mortgage on time for the next five years. They'll give them about $5,000 to reduce their mortgage buy.
NGUYEN: That's a big deal. But what about those 4 million to 5 million people who had their loans caught up with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? What can they get out of this?
ANDERSON: They can actually -- they can go in now and refinance. Say, if you're in a situation where your houses has depreciated, meaning, you owe more on the house than it's actually worth -- they will go in now and do a refinance for you so you can refinance that loan to make it still affordable, and so, you don't have to worry about being upside-down in your mortgage. So, Fannie and Freddie are going to come in and help out with that aspect, Betty.
NGUYEN: You know, that sounds great. But a lot of people say, "You know, I've gone to the bank. I've tried to salvage this. I've tried to save my home. But the banks aren't giving out any money." So, what's the incentive in this for the banks to go ahead, to help these homeowners get what they need so they can save their homes?
ANDERSON: Well, the government is now stepping and said, "Hey, we're going to back you. We're going and provide some of that subsidy that is needed." So, I think that's key.
I think it's really over-exaggerated sometimes when they say that banks aren't giving money. There are a lot of people out here that are still getting loans. And sometimes people see that or they hear that people aren't getting financing and they don't even try.
You have to be credit worthy. I mean, it's not a situation where you can go in and have terrible credit and think you're still going to get refinance and you're still going to get a deal. You still have to have some sort of credit-worthiness.
NGUYEN: Well, Clyde, as we look at this and try to figure out how this is going to affect me personally, I think a lot of people are also a little skeptical. In fact, there are critics of this plan. And we heard President Obama in the beginning say this is for people who acted responsibly. But I want you to take a listen to what the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, had to say earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIBBS: There will people that made bad decisions that, in some ways, will get help. This plan though, I think it's important for the American people to understand, was designed to help those that have been responsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: But indeed, is this also helping those who have acted irresponsibly? So essentially, you're kind of prolonging some of the pain that we've seen because people took out loans that they could not afford?
ANDERSON: Well, I think you've got to look at it from two degrees. There's definitely an issue with people being able to afford it. I mean, a lot of people have lost their jobs. And if they can't afford the home, they just can't afford the home.
I don't think it's only helping those who haven't paid their mortgage, again, because it's helping people that maybe have been in a situation where they just need to get the payment down, they're making the payments, but they need to get it down to affordable range. Things have changed, you know, in the last couple of years. And some people were irresponsible, they took out these high interest rate loans.
ANDERSON: One hundred percent finance.
NGUYEN: Bought a house they could not afford ...
ANDERSON: Bought a house they couldn't afford.
NGUYEN: ... because they were told that -- yes, you can, according to their paperwork, you qualify.
ANDERSON: Exactly. Yes, on paper, you look great.
ANDERSON: But is it truly -- should you take on that risk, and a lot of people did. So, again, I don't think it's for everybody. Some people just made bad decisions. But some people really just got caught up in what's happened in the economy. And I think those people truly do need some help. NGUYEN: Absolutely. There's a lot of people out there who, in fact, are in need of urgent help. And today, you're answering some of those questions.
NGUYEN: We want to hear from you today, this morning, in fact. Send us your questions about the housing crisis. E-mail us: Weekends@CNN.com. Also, you can go our Facebook pages, T.J. Holmes has one; I have one as well. Put those questions there. We're going to take them from all different areas. But we will continue to answer your questions throughout the morning.
In the meantime, though, our iReporters are sounding off about the economy. And Josh Levs -- he has been listening.
So, what are you hearing, Josh?
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Betty. You know what? It seems like every day we're hearing about yet another new economic rescue plan. Well, what do you think the government should focus on? I'm going show you how you can send us your answer.
HOLMES: All right. Bailout. Everybody gets a bailout.
HOLMES: Bailout --everybody gets a bailout.
HOLMES: But yes, automaker, banks, mortgage companies. Now, we got this big ol' stimulus package.
HOLMES: What do you think should be next to be bailed out?
NGUYEN: Well, CNN iReporter is sounding off on that. And actually, you can weigh in as well. Our Josh Levs joins us.
Any chance that we're all going to get a bit of a bailout?
LEVS: Yes. It's what everybody wants. Isn't it? I mean, it really is kind of amazing, all this money flying around right now.
And, you're right. I guess you're right, every day there's a new plan. So now, people are saying, well, here's what I think should be next.
We're going to start out with Blaine Dapper who says broadening restructuring is needed all across the country because he says the stimulus just won't solve the problems in the states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, IREPORT)
BLAIN DAPPER, IREPORTER, OKLAHOMA CITY: States already have serious infrastructure projects that are in progress right now that they cannot afford. This money is simply going to go to complete those projects. They're not going to have any more money after those projects are complete and after balancing their budgets for this year and possibly next year. They're going to be in the same position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: Meanwhile, Patty Lewis wants to see a lot more done to help the unemployed avoid foreclosure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, IREPORT)
PATTY LEWIS, IREPORTER, WILLOW GROVE, PENN.: I guess right now housing may be subprime and adjustable lender. What about the unemployed that have been unemployed for over a year and are now facing foreclosure? And haven't replenished their income? We do not overspend like a lot of American citizens think that people of victims of foreclosures do. We haven't been on vacation in 25 years. We don't go to the movies. Our house is our priority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: And one more here. A.C. Ramirez sent us this, iReport. He's pushing an issue that he says is just not getting enough attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, IREPORT)
A.C. RAMIREZ, IREPORTER, MOODY, TEXAS: Maybe it's time to revisit the minimum wage in America and see about increasing that -- because the average person that, you know, is just at minimum wage or above is living paycheck to paycheck and really struggling to pay their bills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: Now, we know you want to weigh in. It's really easy. Just go to iReport.com. We're showing you some of the newsiest iReports we've got right here.
Even if you haven't made a Web video before, we talk you through the steps. It's really easy. Your cellphone camera, any camera. You'll be done in a few minutes. Ireport.com. We'll keep an eye on them here.
And, Betty and T.J., we'll keep showing you some of them right here on TV.
NGUYEN: All right. Thank you for that.
HOLMES: Thanks, Josh.
LEVS: Thanks, guys. NGUYEN: OK. So, all six sea turtles species in the U.S. -- they are listed as threatened or endangered? Did you know that?
HOLMES: I did not know that.
NGUYEN: Interesting, isn't it? It's kind of sad.
HOLMES: Reynolds is educating us here about this. He's working to help save some of them. And he'll show us how you can help as well.
NGUYEN: And in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING -- to stay or not to stay. If you're getting foreclosed on, why one congresswoman is telling people -- do not leave.
WOLF: Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY MORNING and we're going to be talking sea turtles. Sea turtles have been around some 200 million years. With over-fishing and destruction of their habitat, many of them now need your help. I recently visited a rehabilitation center in Jekyll Island, Georgia, to learn more about what's being done to save this ancient animal.
WOLF (voice-over): It's just another day on the job for Dr. Terry Norton. This is the first of seven patients he'll see in his Georgia clinic. For some, it's a grind. But for him, it's a passion.
This is a dream come true.
DR. TERRY NORTON, GEORGIA SEA TURTLE CENTER: Yes, and more. I mean, I didn't have any idea it was going to be this big or popular with, you know, people.
WOLF: And turtles. See, nearly a decade ago, Dr. Norton had a vision. And in 2007, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center became a reality. The objective is to rescue these endangered nomads of the sea and educate people about saving them. First in for treatment is "Pumpkin,:" a loggerhead sea turtle.
NORTON: She came in almost comatose.
WOLF: And probably underweight.
NORTON: We're going to sit her here for a second.
WOLF: This awkward procedure will help open and strengthen her beak, allowing her to eat freely in the wild.
NORTON: She couldn't open her mouth at all. So, this is one technique we use for physical therapy.
WOLF: Treating these prehistoric animals is not a one-man job. It's a group effort, from weighing in to drawing blood to prepping their food. The work never ends.
ERIKA KEMLER, GEORGIA SEA TURTLE CENTER: They're graceful- swimming dinosaurs. And just to be able to work with them is a really neat opportunity.
WOLF: And it provides a chance to try innovative medical procedures. The severely broken shell of this green turtle is being treated with honey.
NORTON: Honey has a lot of different properties. One is the production of hydrogen peroxide once it hits the tissues.
WOLF (on camera): Well, do you see a lot of patients sometimes that come in and you say, there's no way we're saving this animal. It's not going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're looking at one of them.
NORTON: She's pretty much a trouper. Amazing that she's come this far.
WOLF (voice-over): And yet all of these turtles have a long way to go, to heal wounds that may have been prevented, from boat strikes to fishing entanglements to trashing the ocean. We have not made it easy on these animals. Norton's main goal for the sea turtle center is to instill a sense of awareness.
NORTON: By treating this one turtle, we're not going to save sea turtle populations, but we can -- by you talking to me and by writing about it, putting it up on our Web site, and that has a huge impact, much, you know, much more impact by engaging people in what we do.
WOLF: An impact that's really felt when these endangered creatures can head back into their natural habitat.
WOLF: And, you know, the learning never stops. That's the beauty of it. For more on rescuing these sea turtles, the GeorgiaSeaTurtleCenter.org. That's the place you need to go. You can adopt a turtle, you can even track it with an account on the site.
And, you know, when you adopt a turtle, it only cost you $50. The turtles, you actually get a letter from the turtle. They can write.
NGUYEN: Get out of here.
WOLF: It's an amazing thing!
In all seriousness, the veterinarian that works there is Dr. Terry Norton, an amazing man. And he's been -- this is his life fashion. You know, it's so funny, there are so people that at the beginning of the day look in the mirror and wonder if they've made a difference.
WOLF: This guy doesn't have to answer that question.
NGUYEN: At all.
WOLF: I mean, it's just an incredible thing to see and get the opportunity is certainly something you want to go check out.
NGUYEN: Some important work being done there.
WOLF: No question.
NGUYEN: All right. Reynolds, thanks for bringing us that. That was really nice.
WOLF: Absolutely, guys.
HOLMES: All right. Well, we will all be back with you at the top of the hour. But for right now -- "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.