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Top Energy Official is Out; "Occupy Wall Street" Goes Viral; Three Women Share Nobel Peace Prize; Screening for Prostate Cancer; "Mile on the Moon"; Was ESPN Right to Part Ways with Hank Williams Jr.?; Resignation At Energy Department; Jobs Bio Moved Up; Three Women Win Nobel Peace Prize; When Parents Text
Aired October 7, 2011 - 05:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It was a bad bet President Obama does not regret. I'm Christine Romans. The president defending a controversial loan to a green energy company, the company that went belly up and may have cost a top energy department official his job.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: They're paying attention now. I'm Carol Costello. The Wall Street protesters picking up steam. People in our cities picking up the cause, and now, they're on the president's radar on this AMERICAN MORNING.
ROMANS: Good morning, everyone. It's Friday. Friday, October 7th. Ali's off today.
COSTELLO: Did you notice Ali was off? Mr. New York Yankees' fan.
ROMANS: That's right. Carol, who won?
COSTELLO: I think it was the Detroit Tigers. I actually e- mailed Ali last night after the Tigers won. I said, yes, Tigers, that's all I said because I didn't want to send him over the brink of doom. He e-mailed back, yes, the Tigers won, period.
ROMANS: That's our boy. All right, Ali will be back Monday morning and hope you all have a great weekend. But in the meantime, there's awful lot happening this morning to finish out your week.
First, a top Energy Department official is out even after President Obama defended a controversial $535 million government loan to a California solar panel company that eventually went belly up.
Our Brianna Keilar live at the White House. Brianna, the Solyndra, I guess, drama continues. Good morning.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. It continues, I think it will continue for some time as well. We saw it certainly continued yesterday in the president's press conference when he was asked about that.
But Jonathan Silver, the man who has been heading up the loan program, which, of course, is the controversial part of this program, because of a guaranteed loan that was given to that solar panel company that President Obama visited, and that went belly up in August, that's really what all of this stems around.
Well, he has resigned, and to listen to the Department of Energy we're hearing from Secretary Steven Chu, he's saying that Jonathan Silver, and this is the man who testified before Congress about this controversy recently.
That he was already going to be leaving. That he had been pulled in July before news broke of Solyndra filing for bankruptcy that he would be going into the private sector. So you're hearing from sort of the executive branch here that this was already going to happen.
But you're hearing from Republicans who have been very critical of this program, they're sort of drawing some causality here. So that's up for debate right now.
Meanwhile, President Obama defended the decisions that were made by his administration for this half billion dollar loan yesterday during his news conference. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now, we knew from the start that the loan guarantee program was going to entail some risk. There were going to be some companies that did not work out, Solyndra was one of them, but the process by which the decision was made was on the merits. It was straightforward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now President Obama has said previously that, you know, you have 20/20 hindsight, certainly, but he was defending yesterday this loan guarantee program overall saying that overall it had been a success.
But certainly, guys, this has been an issue for the administration undermining definitely the president's emphasis on renewable energy and now you have Republicans, despite Jonathan Silver resigning, saying that it's not going to be enough to satisfy them.
ROMANS: And the White House saying that 20/20 hindsight, you know, is always perfect, except the Bush White House declined to extend a loan to the same company. Is that right?
KEILAR: Yes. One of the issues here -- and there were warnings. This is one of the things that we realize as documents have come out that there were warnings that were going to some of the president's top advisers.
There were concerns, even from people who had an interest in the Solyndra that this was a company that was dealing with about $100 million in assets, yet this was a loan for more than $500 million. I think one person advised a White House adviser, that, you know, that's good for us, but I'm wondering sort of why you're doing this.
So certainly a lot of people have said there were red flags that were missed, but what we're hearing from President Obama is the defense of the program overall, that this has been going on now for weeks and is expected to continue.
ROMANS: All right, Brianna Keilar. Thank you, Brianna.
COSTELLO: You can now feel that it's becoming something bigger as we enter the fourth week of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement today. The movement has gone national. The message spreading like the hottest viral video and people aren't laughing any more.
COSTELLO (voice-over): It started out as a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are they not like the Tea Party? All right, some of them, you know, smoke, and have pants made out of pot.
COSTELLO: Now it's swelled into a nationwide movement, mostly peaceful, but certainly PO'd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got sold out.
COSTELLO: And ready to eat the rich.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is like a performance piece, the corporate zombie march.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I see the money hanging out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the breakfast.
COSTELLO: From 1,000 protesters on Wall Street, it has gain momentum and spread to tens of hundreds of people from New York to Los Angeles and dozens of cities in between, even across borders and oceans. The people are angry that they're running second place to profits.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want jobs, and we want them now.
COSTELLO: That their quality of life has plunged while the rich get super rich and the taxpayers bail them out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Politicians can be bought. Political influence can be bought through political donations.
COSTELLO: In Los Angeles, protesters took over a Bank of America and were arrested. And in Philly, thousands broke out in their battle cry. We are the 99 percent. It has some big wigs on Wall Street looking out their windows, and now the White House is paying attention.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Obviously, I've heard of it. I've seen it on television. I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. And that's going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond until people feel like once again we're getting back to some old-fashioned American values.
COSTELLO: Still getting organized isn't easy and it's too early to say whether these protesters will become a political force, a Tea Party from the left. Same frustrations from the other side, but there's plenty of time until next November.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 24/7, if necessary, 365. We're planning on snow. We're planning on summer heat.
COSTELLO: One unwanted affect of all of this, the protest is actually costing taxpayers money. The New York commissioner, New York City police commissioner, Ray Kelly saying its cost his department $2 million in overtime already, and that tab will likely rise in the coming days.
ROMANS: All right, it's Nobel week culminating this morning with the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize in Oslo, Norway. This year's prize being awarded by three women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.
The Nobel committee recognizing their non-violent struggle for the safety women and for women's right. Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first democratically elected female president in all of Africa. The Yemeni laureate dedicated the Nobel to the Arab spring activists.
COSTELLO: In health news this morning, men have been told for years not to neglect prostate cancer screenings. Now CNN has learned a task force is about to recommend just the opposite, that men not get screened for the disease.
CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us from Atlanta. Elizabeth, who's making this recommendation? I got to tell you. This is confusing.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is confusing, Carol. This is the same group that two years ago told women in their 40s not to get mammograms and I know you and I talked about it on the air many times.
There was a huge brouhaha over that. Well, now this same group is telling men not to get prostate cancer screening. They say that the screening does more harm than good. In other words, men are finding cancers that are so small they never would have caused them problems.
But then the treatment they then feel compelled to get is causing them problems. So the U.S. Preventive Task Force is set next week to recommend a de-rating for PSA screening. Carol --
COSTELLO: OK. So what's a guy to do? What are you supposed to do? Armed with this new information?
COHEN: You know, Carol, it's a very difficult decision for a man whether or not he wants to get screened because on the one hand, there is a chance that he's going to find one of these relatively unusual fast-growing cancers that could kill him.
But there's a much bigger chance that he's going to find a cancer that never would have caused him any problems, and if he treats that cancer, he could become impotent. He could incontinent and actually the treatment could kill him.
Carol, I want to give you some numbers that a man really needs to think about before he goes forward with screenings because I think these numbers kind of say it all. If you screen about 1,400 men you'll find 48 men with cancer, but only preventing one death, because those other 47 cancers are small and nerve worry have caused the man any problems to begin with.
Again, if you choose to treat those cancers, you can cause a lot of problems and, Carol, the problem is, doctors have a really hard time discerning those fast-growing dangerous cancers from the slow- growing cancers. We're just not there yet.
COSTELLO: So, I guess, you have to sit down with your doctor and really discuss this. I'm just thinking -- I want my husband to have those tests ask right?
Christine is here nodding her head, too, but then you think, what if they find one of those small cancers and what sort of decision will we as a couple have to make?
COHEN: Right, that's exactly the question you should be asking, is what kind of a decision will we as a couple make. You have to think into the future, and Carol, if go to cnn.com/thechart.
You can see an article that I wrote called "What's a Dude to Do?" and it goes through all the questions that men need to go over with their doctors. This is not a slam dunk whether or not to have the screening.
COSTELLO: I'm going to read it in the commercial break. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much.
ROMANS: What a catchy title "What's a Dude to Do" on the chart.
All right, still to come this morning. ESPN pulls the plug on the Monday night football theme. This after singer, Hank Williams Jr. referred to Hitler while talking about President Obama. So our "Talk Back" question this morning, was ESPN right to part ways with the performer?
COSTELLO: And one man's amazing race. We'll introduce to you an athlete who's planning to run where no man has run before. You won't believe it. It's 10 minutes past the hour.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: It's Friday. Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. He's run more than 10,000 miles raising money and awareness for a variety of causes. Now athlete and philanthropist Jonathan Prince, he has set his sights a bit higher, you might say.
COSTELLO: You could say that. He's now training to become the first athlete to complete a mile run -- on the moon. He's doing it for the cause.
CNN's Jason Carroll is here with the story. This is an exclusive. Is this even possible?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, it's definitely possible and I know when I talked to both of you about it, both of you looked at me like I was crazy. It's not my goal.
It's not my goal, but it is a goal and we're going to see what's going to happen with this. And you know, it's not unusual to get just a few raised eyebrows when Jonathan Prince talks about his goal. But he says he has the means. He has the method and he's getting the training to run where no man has before.
CARROLL (voice-over): Skeptics said it couldn't be done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One small leap for man, one giant leap for mankind.
CARROLL: But not only did astronauts take the leap, they took a history making golf swing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to try this (INAUDIBLE) shot here.
CARROLL: That was more than 40 years ago. Now one earth-bound athlete is striving toward making another lunar milestone.
JONATHAN PRINCE, DISTANCE RUNNER: It feels like a dream, but it feels like living the dream.
CARROLL: Jonathan Prince's dream, run a mile on the moon.
PRINCE: I can't help but stargaze at night and I just wondered about the possibility of running the first mile on the moon.
CARROLL: Prince has finished ambitious runs in the past. In 2005, he ran from Los Angeles to New Orleans raising more than $100,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. His new goal, raise awareness in space travel while inspiring students to excel in science.
PRINCE: It's the demonstration for the current generation and the generation that's not yet born, you know, to go beyond.
CARROLL: The question is how to get there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The final liftoff of Atlantis --
CARROLL: NASA retired its space shuttle program this year. So Prince will go to private route, flying onboard a rocket being developed by Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX for short.
PRINCE: Private companies are now able to build rockets, fund it on their own and sell trips.
CARROLL: But first for Prince, there's training.
PRINCE: Typically, I'll reach around 100 to 120 miles a week.
CARROLL (on camera): You have me beat by probably 120 miles.
(voice-over): And that's just the beginning.
PRINCE: The gravity pressures, the buoyancy, everything. I have to reprogram everything I thought I knew about running.
CARROLL: Over the next few years, he'll learn about space travel at a private facility called NASTAR, the National Aerospace Training and Research Center in Pennsylvania.
BRIENNA HENWOOD, NASTAR: We are currently training the generation of folks that are not the astronauts. Jonathan is at the forefront of leading this new industry.
CARROLL: Prince has received funding he needs from donors and sponsors, and hopes to blast off by 2016. Until then, the 31-year-old continues training.
(on camera): I know you must have heard from the -- from the people who say that's a nice thing to say, nice goal that you've got there, but there's no possible way you're going to be able to.
PRINCE: Absolutely. You know, skepticism is just -- is just part of human nature, but at the same time, Kennedy had a dream to, you know, go to Apollo -- go to the moon with Apollo Mission. So it's important to put massive action behind your dream.
CARROLL: Whoa. In addition to his training, Prince will be speaking to students around the country encouraging them to learn more about science and space exploration and a lot of folks are started to hear about what he's trying to do, his mission, including Bono. Apparently Bono has told him that he was so inspired by what he wants to do, he wants to create and write a song about his whole mission and his goal. So we'll follow and see.
ROMANS: (INAUDIBLE). "Shoot for the moon," you know? I mean, that's somebody who's really going to shoot for the moon.
ROMANS: He couldn't pay for it himself, finding people who, you know, ate inspired by him and let him do it.
CARROLL: And, you know, it also just raises this whole idea about commercial space travel because that's really where the future is. I mean, that's what we're going to be seeing. We're going to be seeing a lot of private companies trying to do things just like this.
ROMANS: Yes. Science, technology, engineering and math, going around and talking to kids about this thing, too, is a really nice added bonus.
CARROLL: All right.
ROMANS: Thanks, Jason.
COSTELLO: It's terrific. Thank you so much -- as are the Detroit Tigers.
ROMANS: Is that why Rob is MIA this morning?
COSTELLO: I think that's why Rob is off because, Jacqui Jeras, Rob was supposed to be just completely in a Boston Red Sox uniform, because he would have lost the bet with me.
JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I know. We might have to wake him up this morning so he can defend himself.
COSTELLO: No, let's wake him up just to wake him up and make him mad.
JERAS: Just to wake him up and make it miserable on his vacation day. He thought he could sleep until 10:00, not so much.
ROMANS: Good morning, Jacqui.
JERAS: Congratulations to the Tigers and all the fans out there. Though, sorry about it, Yankees, but, I mean, how many trophies do they have?
COSTELLO: Oh, Yankees, Yankees.
JERAS: How many Ws (ph) have there been in the past?
COSTELLO: Yes. They were the best team in baseball, right, in the American League, and they're not anymore.
ROMANS: Money can't buy you everything. Is that what they said?
COSTELLO: That's right.
JERAS: Here you go.
COSTELLO: Don Kelly. Don Kelly. I mean, Don Kelly was in the Minor Leagues not too long ago. He wasn't even drafted. He hit a homerun last night in Yankees Stadium. It was like amazing. (CROSSTALK)
COSTELLO: Twenty-seven years old. Jim Leyland, the manager, talked about Don Kelly and started crying. It was fantastic.
JERAS: You know, you're eating on my weather time.
ROMANS: For Carol, it's going to be sunny and 80 degrees for the next three months.
JERAS: I know, right?
It's going to be great in Detroit today, though, it's going to be great all across much of the east but it's the nation's midsection that's seeing the lousy weather today. Extremely windy from the Upper Midwest, all the way down to the Gulf Coast, but the strongest winds here across parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas where it's going to be gusty as much as 50 miles per hour. So high fire danger here today.
It's really going to be affecting a lot of your travel. It all has to do with the cold front in the nation's midsection. We will see some occasional showers and thundershowers here. Some of these could be severe in the western high plains late today and into the evening hours.
On the back side, very cold. We're talking about snow. Yes. The S word there. How much? A couple feet of it before all is said and done between, you know, what happened yesterday and as we head into today and into early tomorrow.
Temperature-wise, ahead of it it's nice and warm. We're talking 80s across parts of the Plains and the East Coast looks really, really great. If you have plans to get out leaf peeping this weekend, take a look at this video and this will inspire you. It's so gorgeous. From the Vermont area they're at peak to near peak right now into the higher elevations and in the valley areas looking at mid-stage.
But it's going to be a great weekend with a lot of sunshine to get out there. No rain in the forecast for the northeast. A little rain, though, down in South Florida, although you don't see a lot of color down there this time of year.
ROMANS: All right.
JERAS: So everybody -- I just wanted to mention, everybody else in the east is --
ROMANS: Thanks, Jacqui.
COSTELLO: Now is your chance to "Talk Back" on one of the stories of the day. The question for you this morning -- was ESPN right to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr.?
Williams doesn't care. He's so hopping mad he was out of there anyway. On his website he blasts ESPN for stepping on the toes of the first amendment and adds, "Me, my song and all my rowdy friends are out of here." ESPN said in essence, "Don't let the door kick you in the arse (ph) because you're fired," and here's why.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You mean where John Boehner played golf with President Obama?
HANK WILLIAMS, JR., MUSICIAN: Come on. Come on. It will be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. They're the enemy. They're they enemy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's the enemy?
WILLIAMS: Ah -- Obama! And Biden. Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.
COSTELLO: It's a free country and it's not like Hank Williams Jr. chairs the National Republican Committee.
Here's -- well -- here's Whoopi Goldberg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS/TV HOST: He's a musician. Musicians do provocative things. And I think of all the football players and all the musicians that have either taken a misstep or done something, you know, and what kind of standards are we holding, folks, to when we say, oh, no, you can't say, we can't say, listen, man, that's not a good thing to do. So instead we pull.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Kind of sounds like what happened to the Dixie Chicks. Remember the Dixie Chicks? Natalie Maines said the Chicks were ashamed of President Bush because of his stance on Iraq, and while the Chicks weren't fired, they were blackballed by not only many country music fans but the country music establishment.
So the "Talk Back" today, was ESPN right to part ways with Hank Williams Jr.? Facebook.com/AmericanMorning, Facebook.com/AmericanMorning. I'll read your comments later this hour.
ROMANS: All right. Up next, the latest from the Michael Jackson death trial. Why lawyers for the King of Pop's personal physician are launching an attack on the L.A. County Coroner's Office.
COSTELLO: Plus one young woman not just complaining about Bank of America's new $5 debit card fee, she's doing something about it. Find out what she did, it has a lot of people talking this morning.
It's 22 minutes past the hour. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROMANS: Welcome back. Good morning. "Minding Your Business" this morning.
Today is all about the big September jobs report released in about two hours from now. Economists say it will show maybe about 65,000 jobs added to the economy in the month. The unemployment rate expected to stay steady at 9.1 percent.
Can the market make it four straight days of gains? Right now U.S. stock futures are down this after overseas markets turned lower as European leaders continue to try to solve that region's debt crisis. Every day is a little bit of progress or a little slip back that decides which way European markets go.
A dozen European banks taking a hit this morning after the credit rating agency Moody's cut their rating. The reason Moody's says is that it believes the U.K government may not support some of its banks if they ultimately need a bailout. Banks, investment firms and lobbyists are poring over details of a leaked government proposal designed to limit the kinds of risky trading that played a part in the financial crisis. It's called the Volcker Rule. It's one of the most controversial elements of the Dodd-Frank Financial Oversight Law.
Mortgage rates have never been cheaper. The average 30-year fixed rate loan is down to 3.94 percent. That is the first time in history that mortgage rate has fallen below four percent. Though the low rates have done little so far to boost home buying.
The NBA's credit rating could be cut this season if the season is cancelled because of a labor dispute with players. The credit rating agency Fitch says it's watch listed the leagues BBB plus rating because, quote, "there's a strong likelihood that the ongoing lockout will result in missed games."
AMERICAN MORNING will be right back after this quick break.
COSTELLO: It is 30 minutes past the hour. Here are your top stories:
The head of the Energy Department's loan program is out. Jonathan Silver oversaw the program that supported dozens of projects, including the solar company whose bankruptcy could cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. According to the Energy Department, Silver's departure was announced in July before Solyndra's Chapter 11 filing.
Wall Street protest entering their fourth week today and they are spreading nationwide. They're popping up all over the map, from New York to Los Angeles, even an occupied Washington sister protest in Washington, D.C. President Obama weighing in for the first time, saying the demonstrators are giving a voice to those frustrated with the financial system.
And three women are sharing this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Two are from Liberia. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The second woman is Leymah Gbowee and the third woman, Tawakkul Karman from Yemen. The women won the prize for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building. Sirleaf is the first democratically elected female president in Africa.
The jobs report for September will be released in just about two hours. Right now, 14 million Americans are out of work.
Let's head over to Christine.
So, where can they find a job, Christine?
ROMANS: Right, Carol. If you're one of those 14 million, you're thinking what job should I be looking for? What industries are hiring?
As we've told you before, there are three million job openings right now. It's matching those openings with the skills and the talents of the people who are looking for work.
Here's a look at seven jobs that are in high demand today, even in this stagnant economy. The first one is retail workers. No real surprise here, I'll tell you. The average pay: $25,000 a year. You're not going to really send a kid to college on that.
But retailers are looking to hire about half a million temporary workers with the holidays coming up. This is according to the National Retail Federation and the major chains often hire these temp workers full-time after the holidays. So, that's the area that's hiring right now.
How about this one? Commercial truck driver. The average pay here is better. There is training required. If you can pass the commercial license test, you can drive a truck. Your license will depend on the class of vehicle that you know how to drive. And some estimates say they are looking up to 400,000 more of these drivers over the next few years.
Next one here, I'm showing you a wrench -- it's industrial engineer. Take a look at this $73,823. What is required is a bachelor's degree at least. Sounds hard -- it is. Electrical and manufacturing companies are fighting tooth and nail for people with these skills. These are people you can look at, at a manufacturing process, at a car factory, for example, figure out ways to streamline things, to increase efficiency.
Online job postings, Carol, were up 28 percent in the past four months for this category. That's according to Monster.com.
All right. Let me go over here, software engineer. You know this one is in big demand, right? Average pay, $85,430 a year.
If you know how to write software, build a mobile app or a Coda Web site, chances are, you're going to be able to find work right now. The Labor Department expects very strong growth in this sector over the next few years.
Three more to go. This one is a registered nurse. Average pay is good here. Sorry. I got this little thing on there. Training is required. Don't forget.
So many aging baby boomers getting older and needing medical care, the Labor Department says the need for registered nurses will grow by about 22 percent over the next six years. And I'm telling you that average pay rises, the more degrees, the more training, the more certification the registered nurses have. You have to be careful, though, because some hospitals are actually cutting back. Others are growing. It depends where you are.
Professional cook. What? We're talking top chef-type professional cook. Average pay, about 38 grand or 39 grand. Professional cooks, hot commodities at hotels and restaurants often swept up by competition at the draft of the hat. There are constant jobs in this sector. Not as many as, say, nursing or retail, but if you've got the knack, check out with your local culinary schools and see what demand is like.
And then, accountant. This is my friend Ali Velshi's favorite job to recommend to young people. There are tons of people are graduating from business schools with degrees in accounting right now. These jobs are still hard to fill because they're often very specific for each state and industry. Monster says online job postings for these jobs up 12 percent in the past few months.
For more information on these industries and the job openings, you can see all of this, Carol, at CNNMoney.com.
But Ali's favorite is accountant. My favorite is an engineer. Of course, both of us were liberal arts majors, though, what do we know?
COSTELLO: You know a lot. That was really great information.
COSTELLO: Thanks, Christine.
Are you tired of being nickel and dimed by your bank? Probably the very same bank your tax dollars helped bail out. Well, one young woman is taking matters in her own hands.
Molly Katchpole was so angry that Bank of America was going to charge her $5,000 just to use her debit card that she delivered the bank a petition with 153,000 signatures.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOLLY KATCHPOLE, FORMER BANK OF AMERICA CUSTOMER: A few thousands of people right now, an extra $60 a year to a company that they just bailed out with their own tax money is not OK. I don't want to be at bank that isn't going to have a response to over 150,000 people who have signed on. It's been a week now since this petition was up and they haven't said anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Molly's mad. We're going to talk to Molly later this morning at 7:40 Eastern.
But she took matters into her own hand. She started this online petition. She didn't expect to get, you know, maybe 5,000. But 152,000 people, she brought it to Bank of America there in Washington, D.C. She demanded to see the manager. The vice president of that bank came out and he came out and he took the petition.
ROMANS: Wow, interesting.
COSTELLO: Will it make a difference, though?
ROMANS: I don't know, because, you know, the company says they're being transparent and have given you time to make a choice. You don't want the fee.
COSTELLO: Well, Molly's walking.
ROMANS: There you go.
All right. Congratulations. You're finally texting and you're proud of yourself, right? Your thumbs are flying. So, why are your kids rolling their eyes every time you send them a text? You're not cool, mom and dad.
Up next, a much-need lesson in texting etiquette, for the above 30 crowd.
ROMANS: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
So, you're finally texting? It's taken a lot of us grown-ups a long time to get onboard. And while, I don't know, you may think you're cool. The kids are cringing.
It turns out, we've got a lot to learn about texting etiquette -- especially if you're above maybe 40. That's why our next guest wrote this book. It's called "When Parents Text."
Lauren Kaelin, Sophia Fraioli, thanks for joining us this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
ROMANS: So let me ask you. You started asking people, give us the craziest examples of parents and kids texting each other. What did you find?
LAUREN KAELIN, CO-AUTHOR, "WHEN PARENTS TEXT": It's results have been overwhelming. So we started a Web site maybe 11 months ago now, and we get hundreds and hundreds of submissions every single day.
ROMANS: Let me give you a few them. You have all sorts of different texts from parents. There's some pretty funny ones like this one.
This one is about a dad gift guide. OK? Me: Hey, what do you want for Christmas? Dad: Remington 1187 premier shotgun. Me: LOL. OK. What else? Dad: Hair.
ROMANS: That's pretty funny. And, of course, beginner parents were just working on the sort of the idea of getting texting out.
Is this way for parents and kids to finally understand each other? I mean, you used to always complain, oh, my son never calls. My daughter never calls. I never talk to them. They're never busy. There's no excuse anymore.
SOPHIA FRAIOLI, CO-AUTHOR, "WHEN PARENTS TEXT": I do think it's bringing kids and their parents together. And, you know, when I mom grew up, my mom didn't know what she was doing ever, because she had no way to contact her. And now, you know, can you text, what are you doing and you kid will respond.
ROMANS: What's the appropriate way to be texting with parents? Let's take it from the parents' perspective, because I think that they think that they're hip and young and connected. And really they're kind of off kilter, aren't they?
KAELIN: We want to encourage that behavior.
KAELIN: I'll say to my mother, you're doing a great job.
ROMANS: And you don't mean it?
KAELIN: No, I mean it with all of my heart.
FRAIOLI: We really do. I mean, we love texting our parents and we love when they text us. It's great.
ROMANS: I love it, too. But sometimes, you know, it can be a very long text. It's like a letter. Dear honey. Today the weather is very nice. This is not a letter.
KAELIN: Yes, you get a lot of those. Paragraphs.
ROMANS: So, what is it doing for the parent/child relationship? I would say a teenage or college-aged child and then the older parents?
KAELIN: Well, we think that it's actually bringing parents and their kids closer together.
ROMANS: How come?
KAELIN: Because it's allowing them to communicate in this forum where everything's equal, that they're able to communicate with each other throughout their day and in their own language. So, in the beginning, we found that, you know, parents were struggling with technology, with these gaps, with auto correct and things like that. But now, parents are actually understanding the technology and using it as a parenting tool.
ROMANS: It's a good way to keep tabs. I will say that. I mean, there's no excuse anymore. Oh, I couldn't find a phone. Or, you know, my friend you know -- I mean, you can contact your kids all the time now.
Can we pull up the lasagna one? This one is -- I love the lasagna one.
OK. So there's this one, I guess this one on page 14 where they say, my fingers -- the mother says, "My fingers are saying words. This is amazing."
And there's also this one from the mother saying, "We're having lag at Maryanne's and Scott's." And then the kid replies, "Lag?" The mom responds, "Lasagna." And the kid says, "You can't abbreviate lasagna." And the mom is lie, "OK."
I mean, deciphering their text is a little, entertaining I would say.
FRAOILI: Oh, yes, really. I mean, that is so funny to me. I want to use that. I think parents are, you know, they're making their own language and it's great, and we really enjoy it. We have a whole glossary section in the back that has just information of what parents have, you know, brought to texting and it's really amazing.
KAELIN: Yes. So, lag, we hope, will now be a commonly accepted abbreviation.
ROMANS: Yes. That's going to be perhaps a new thing in the dictionary. It's going to put a new definition next to it.
One thing I will say about parents and kids is that -- look, I feel like anybody under 30, they have an institutional knowledge how to use this technology. I mean, you don't need a user's guide, you just figure this out. You just figure it out.
But for everybody else, it's really new stuff and it's slower and clunkier and funny and entertaining to watch those people evolve. Isn't it?
KAELIN: Yes. I think trying to explain to someone what a hashtag is --
KAELIN: Super hard.
FRAIOLI: My mom still has no idea. She asked me, how do you use Twitter? How? Tell me. I'm like, I don't even want to explain to you how to use Twitter.
KAELIN: What is liking something on Facebook -- I can't explain that.
ROMANS: It's interesting. I was talking to a recruiter, a job recruiter, about baby boomers. And she told me the kind of technology you use and how you use it defines how fast and innovative you are and what kind of worker you're going to be. So, everyone -- I mean, we're kind of making fun of people being clunky with it, except employers and everyone kind of judges you how you use your social media. That's interesting.
FRAIOLI: It's really important. And I hope that our book brings a little information to parents as well.
ROMANS: Well, it's certainly entertaining. The book is called "When Parents Text." Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli, thank you so much, ladies, for joining us. Have a wonderful weekend.
FRAIOLI: Thank you.
COSTELLO: That was a fun conversation. I loved that.
It's 44 minutes past the hour. Beam me up, Scotty! Classic line from the classic "Star Trek" TV series. Right? It turns out no one actually said that on the show. It's just one of the nuggets in William Shatner's new book. His interview with Ali Velshi is just ahead.
COSTELLO: Forty-six minutes past the hour. Here's what you need to know to start your day.
COSTELLO (voice-over): A resignation at the energy department after that solar energy company received a $535 a million loan and then went belly up. Jonathan Silver who oversaw the agency's loan program is now stepping down. Republicans say the resignation will not stop their question, however.
America's longest war now a decade old. Ten years ago today, "Operation Enduring Freedom," the war around al Qaeda from Afghanistan began.
Protestors scattered (ph) in many cities across the country today, including at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington.
An influential task force that about to recommend that men under 75 forgo prostate cancer screening. They say the problem with the test is it plugs too many patients for follow-up procedures that can be expensive and sometimes risky.
The death of Steve Jobs led the publisher of his authorized biography to move the release day up a month to October 24th. The book titled simply "Steve Jobs" rocketed from number 437 to number one on Amazon's best-seller list in the hours after Jobs' death.
This year's Nobel Peace Prize and being shared by three, Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf along with Tawakul Karman of Yemen and Leymah Gbowee. The Nobel committee recognizing those women's work for the safety of women worldwide and their work in women's rights.
President Obama appointing Shakira, the Colombian-born performer has been named to the president's advisory commission on educational excellence for Hispanics. She'll be at the White House today.
COSTELLO: And that's the news you need to start your day. AMERICAN MORNING BACK after a break.
ROMANS: At the age of 80, William Shatner is still going at warp speed. That's right. Shatner is 80. Hard to believe. He's an award-winning television actor, commercial pitchman, and spoken word artist, and his new book reveals how he did it. It's called "Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse in the World At Large".
Our Ali Velshi sat down with Shatner and began by asking about critics who say he won't turn down anything.
WILLIAM SHATNER, ACTOR: Saying no is very easy. No, I won't go there. No, we won't go out. No, we won't go to that place. No, we won't eat that food. No, we won't take that adventure. No, we won't read that book. No, we won't entertain a new idea. Why? Saying yes opens opportunity.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Saying yes for William Shatner led to memorable roles in the TV series "Star Trek," "T.J. Hooker" and "Boston Legal." At the age of 80, he is still one of the busiest working actors in Hollywood.
SHATNER: I'm 80 years old. You're what, 47?
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: 46.
SHATNER: How come we look like we went to high school together?
VELSHI: In the past month alone, he's appeared on Comedy Central's "Roast of Charlie Sheen," released an offbeat spoken word album "Seeking Major Tom," and now, a book, "Shatner Rules."
(on-camera) Your chapters all start with a rule. In chapter 6 says it's good to bury the hatchet so your former co-stars won't find it and use it on you, and you go into great detail about the acrimonious relationship you had with some of the -- your co-stars from "Star Trek."
SHATNER: I don't want to give it any more import than it has, especially in my life. I devote a chapter of that is in essence of tongue and cheek, and I laugh (ph) at it, because one actor in particular was held a sense of animosity towards me. I don't know. I mean, It's been 45 years. I think I've seen him three times since that time.
VELSHI: For many people, you will always be Captain Kirk, but what roles have you really liked and felt that really brought everything out in you?
SHATNER: Think about me in acting as I enjoy the art. Acting is moment to moment as life should be. So, if I can hit a moment, I'm gratified, and so it's the last thing I did. If I hit that moment, it makes it the best for me.
VELSHI: You haven't shied away from anything anyone's ever said about you that's not good. There's been a lot of great stuff that said about you, but it seems like you've taken every one of these criticisms that anyone's leveled against you and explained why you did what you did in life or why something happened. So, when you look back at your very, very full life, what impression would you like people to have?
SHATNER: What I can say is that this moment in time, my 80th year, in this moment in time, I am so happy, that to voice any regret whatsoever would be callow. And I say to you that anything bad that's happened to me in the past has only been the steps on the journey that has led me to this moment.
VELSHI: That seems spiritual. Have you always had this view of life?
SHATNER: Probably not. Probably in the hurly burly (ph) of making a living as spirituality is difficult to come by, but as you rise from your bed at the age of 80 and you're looking at death straight in the face, wondering what that's going to be like, I wonder about that, and I wonder how to die and what people have said about dying before, and it's an interesting subject ideally.
ROMANS: I'll tell you that working makes you young if you love what you're doing, because look at how vibrant he is. He's 80 years old, and he's working so much, and he's clearly --
COSTELLO: He's thinking about dying. I guess, we all have to think that.
COSTELLO: But you're right. He looks fantastic for 80. He's energetic.
COSTELLO: And maybe you're right. That's the secret to keeping your energy at an older age.
ROMANS: I'm intrigued about the controversy about the actor who he talked to maybe three times over the past few years --
COSTELLO: I think he's George Takei, the guy who played Sulu, although, I can't say exactly why they were hiding.
ROMANS: Makes me interested in reading (ph) that chapter of the book.
COSTELLO: Yes, exactly.
ROMANS: All right. Much more of Ali's interview with the great William Shatner coming up in the eight o'clock hour when the talk with William Shatner turns to politics.
COSTELLO: Oh. Let's talk. Let's talk about something else right now. We asked you to "Talk Back" on one of the stories of the day. The question this morning, was ESPN right to part ways with Hank Williams Jr.?
This from Kenneth, "The first amendment has nothing to do with it. ESPN wants nothing to do with vitriolic speech. Just like Aflac wanted nothing to do with Gilbert Gottfried's joke. It's about a company not wanting to offend people. By calling this a free speech issue, Hank Williams Jr. showing how one-sided he really sees thing."
This from Ralph, "I believe it was wrong for Hank Jr. to be dropped. What if all companies let people go for saying what's on their minds? How many people would have jobs then? Next thing you know, we'll be told what we can/cannot say what we can and cannot say in our own homes."
And this from Ann, "Absolutely. We, as a nation, are better than Hank Williams Jr. Finally, maybe, there will be consequences for some of the mean and uncalled for language out there from the part of our country that cannot stand the thought that a smart black man is the leader of our nation."
Keep the comments coming. Facebook.com/americanmorning. We'll read more later on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROMANS: All right. Ahead next hour, fed up with fees. She cut up her debit card, got 150,000 signatures, and is trying to stick it to Bank of America. She has a lot to say, and she's going to join us live.
COSTELLO: I can't wait.