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Campbell Brown

Supreme Court Justice Retiring; Flu Fear

Aired May 01, 2009 - 20:00   ET


ROLAND MARTIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, folks, a big week for President Barack Obama just got bigger.

After seeing a longtime Republican senator join the Democrats, the president now has the chance to nominate his first Supreme Court justice.

As always, I have got some great folks here ready to break down all the news of the day, including CNN correspondent Erica Hill, chief business correspondent Ali Velshi, "In Session" anchor and CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom, and national political correspondent Jessica Yellin.

And, Jessica, the president interrupted the daily White House briefing to come out with the news today. Pretty interesting.


And while court watchers might not have been surprised by this, most everyone else was. And I will tell you why, because the expectation was that, if somebody resigned from the Supreme Court, it would be either -- we have a -- I think a graphic these folks...

MARTIN: Right.

YELLIN: It would be either Justice John Paul Stevens, who's 89, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has pancreatic cancer. You would think one of those folks would go first. But it was Souter. And he is on the liberal side of the court, which means Barack Obama, President Obama, is likely to replace somebody also in that vein, a liberal jurist.

But you never know. Souter was one of those exceptions. You never know what you're getting. They picked Souter thinking he would actually be a conservative and he went the other way on abortion rights. George H.W. Bush put him in the court. It was not what they expected. So, you never really know what you're going to get.

MARTIN: Anybody running for president and also wins, we know they already have a list in operation. So, has the White House really started that process?

YELLIN: Yes. They already have a list of -- a global list of people they would want. But now they're going to really bore down and really look into it. There will be a vetting team. Vice President Biden will be involved in that because he was on the Judiciary Committee. And here's -- I like to call this when news stories collide. Guess would have run the Republican opposition to the Supreme Court pick, Arlen Specter, who just left the Republican Party and he's going to be a Democrat. So, the Republicans are looking for someone to run their side of the thing.



We have got some other great folks, folks, right now. Of course, senior legal analyst for CNN Jeffrey Toobin, he's here. He's the author of "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court." I read the book. Very good. Also, in Boston, Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree. He taught both Barack and Michelle Obama when they were students at Harvard. His books, a bunch of them, include "All Deliberate Speed," another great book.

And, Tree, I want to start with you. You know President Obama very well, as well as his wife. And, so, you said the president was intellectually curious. So, when he gets in a room with a -- with his nominees and has a chance to ask them questions, what is he going to ask them? What does he want to know?

CHARLES OGLETREE, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: What does the Constitution mean to you? What do you think about equal rights and civil liberties? Are you prepared to make decisions that you think are right and be independent, and not be influenced by outside forces?

I think he's going to make a terrific selection. I think it's going to be someone who's probably young, who's smart, who is independent, who has good judgment. And it will not be a shock and awe appointment. It will be someone that people say, aha, that's a good choice. And I think that the Senate will come around that choice and it will be confirmed.

MARTIN: Already, everybody is talking about, oh, he's going to appoint a minority; he's going to appoint a woman.

But do you believe this will be a wide-open process and he may very well surprise the folks who are saying he's going to appoint?

OGLETREE: Well, I think those people who are saying who he's going to appoint, they don't know anything about Barack Obama.

And, in fact, what they want to do is to get more roadkill, run some names out there and those people will not make it past the first round. And more importantly, those people who are self-nominating themselves have no chance. This is not going to be on the basis of political favor, not going to be on cronyism. It's not going to be on the basis of political pressure.

Barack Obama is a constitutional scholar. He's a smart man. He is a man with a big heart. Michelle Obama knows a little bit about the law from her training at Harvard Law School as well. So he will make a decision that I think we will all say, good choice. We could have thought about somebody different, but this is a powerful decision as the first decision by this president.

MARTIN: Hey, Jeff, remember that forum in Saddleback where he was asked the Supreme Court justice he liked, one he said he didn't like, Clarence Thomas. He also liked Ginsburg, Souter and others.

And so how do you think the president will go down the path of choosing a nominee?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, another justice he's often spoken fondly of is Earl Warren, who was chief justice in the '50s and '60s.


TOOBIN: And Earl Warren was not a judge before he went on the Supreme Court. And Obama has often said...

MARTIN: Governor of California.

TOOBIN: He was governor of California.

And Obama has often said that we limit the pool too much when we only look at sitting judges as possibilities for the Supreme Court.

MARTIN: Good point.

TOOBIN: So, I think people who will be considered might include Jennifer Granholm, the governor of Michigan, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, people who are not in the traditional mold.

Now, who will wind up getting it? I don't know. But I think it's going to be a big, broad search.

YELLIN: Jeff, what role do you think politics will play in all of this, because there's a lot of talk...


MARTIN: Politics? Come on, Jessica. That never. happens.



YELLIN: Might want to pick a woman or the first Hispanic...


TOOBIN: Well, those are definitely considerations.

But I think Obama, as a former constitutional law professor, has a big interest in this decision, because he knows this justice will outlive his presidency for sure. So, I think particularly the women's issue is important, because he is a great believer in diversity.

Almost half the lawyers in the United States now are women, and there are one-ninth of the Supreme Court are women. That's an imbalance that I suspect, if not in this appointment, in subsequent appointments, he is going to take on.

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And Justice Ginsburg has said she's lonely being the only woman on the court.

Professor Ogletree, we know that Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor himself at the University of Chicago Law School. What do we know about his constitutional jurisprudence?


One of the great things, all of his exams that he gave at the University of Chicago are still on the Web site there. They're worth taking a look. And some constitutional scholars have looked at them and said, this is a brilliant man.

More importantly, he's talked about his displeasure with the court's decision involving the Seattle and Louisville cases of voluntary affirmative action in 2007. His praise for Justice O'Connor is very careful in a diversity case.

I think he's going to do a great job and I think he's going to use all of his knowledge to make a big -- an important decision and the right decision.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When it comes to that decision, though -- you touched on this, Jessica but the politics in Washington, as we know, it's a divided city. These hearings tend to be incredibly polarizing.

Jeff, is there any way, when we eventually get to a nominee, we get to these hearings, to keep Washington from turning this into a knock-down, drag-out political fight, and instead to keep it maybe perhaps less political and more focused on the task at hand?

TOOBIN: President Clinton's two appointees, Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer, were both confirmed with more than 90 votes.

I don't think we will ever see a nominee in our lifetime confirmed with more than 90 votes anymore. The Supreme Court is too much at the center of politics. But you know what they call a justice who is confirmed with 51 votes? Justice.

MARTIN: Justice. It does not matter.


TOOBIN: You know, Clarence Thomas got 52 votes. He's just as much a justice as Antonin Scalia, who was confirmed unanimously.

I think Obama is in an incredibly strong position with 60 Democrats by summer in the Senate. It will be a big fight, but, barring some sort of scandal, it's hard to believe his nominee will lose.


MARTIN: Hey, Tree, I have got to ask you, I have seen your name on some of these lists. Can you say right now that you will gladly have your name on the list or you will not seek the job?

OGLETREE: I have got a great job. That's why I'm here on this station tonight. I'm not going to Washington. I am going to be right in Cambridge taking care of my students, working with my faculty, writing about these issues, and trying to sell some books, Roland.



TOOBIN: I can relate to that, Tree.


MARTIN: Just checking. Just checking.

Jeffrey Toobin, author of "The Nine," professor Ogletree, author of "All Deliberate Speed," we certainly thank you very much, sir.

HILL: But he didn't say no.

OGLETREE: Thank you.

MARTIN: No, he didn't say no.

HILL: That was a lawyer's answer right there. He didn't say no.



MARTIN: Folks, go to and we will link you to CNN's list of potential nominees to replace Justice Souter. You can read up on the backgrounds of the people who just might be the likely candidates.

We're still keeping an eye on the swine flu. And now some college kids are getting a dose of bad news, a separate graduation ceremony for flu sufferers, and the complaints are coming in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have been there for five years. I have been with a roommate for five years, and I'm not going to get to see him graduate. He's not going to get to see me graduate.


MARTIN: Will fears over the flu change life at a college campus near you? Plus, police in Miami are letting teens race them to try and keep people out of danger on city streets. Is it really the way to fight crime or this just asking for a whole new world of trouble?

We certainly want to know what you think. Is supervised law- breaking OK? Hit us up at 1-877-NO-BULL-0. That's 1-877-662-8550. Of course, the e-mail,, and you can find me on Twitter and Facebook.


MARTIN: Folks, the swine flu outbreak isn't just making people sick. It's making them scared. And some are taking that fear to the extremes. We will talk about that in a moment.

But, first, Erica is here with the latest flu update -- Erica.

HILL: Yes, let's get you caught up on the numbers, Roland. They continue to climb. I guess that's no surprise.

We can tell you today 367 confirmed cases worldwide. Of those, 141 are in the U.S., spread across now 19 states today. Again, though, only one U.S. death thus far, a toddler who died in Monday on Texas. So, the death toll is not rising here in the U.S.

But the number of schools closing, that number is rising, up to now more than 400, 433 at last count. You may remember, yesterday, we were just shy of 300. This is affecting 250,000 kids across the country in 17 different states. Everybody keeping an eye on that.

And when it comes to travel, which is another big issue here, Continental Airlines today saying it's going to cut its Mexico flights by 40 percent, also going to begin using smaller planes. This is the largest U.S. carrier to Mexico.

One thing that's important to note, though, despite those cuts in flights and smaller planes, Roland, they say they're not cutting service. They are going to continue to service all 29 cities in Mexico that Continental does currently fly to.


Now, folks, check this out. Colleges and universities are starting to shake things up on their campuses when it comes to graduation ceremonies. It's amazing with this H1N1 virus. One college, they plan to eliminate the traditional handshake when you are walking across the stage, shaking hands with the dean. In fact, they also put hand sanitizer under the desks as well -- or under the chairs for the faculty. So, I'm trying to figure out what that's all about.

BLOOM: Probably a good idea.

MARTIN: Well, also a good idea...

HILL: Maybe not bad, yes.

MARTIN: Not bad at all, so smart move.

But, also, Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania taking things a step further, a separate graduation tomorrow for nearly two dozen students who officials worry might have been exposed to the virus during a school trip to Mexico.

HILL: They don't have it, but they might have been exposed.


MARTIN: Might have been, might have been.

Of course, the fear is now being aimed at those who haven't even been to Mexico for years. In Boston, a radio talk show host has been suspended after making insensitive comments about Mexican immigrants in the days after swine flu made news.

Joining us right now is journalist and hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente. She was also the V.P. candidate for the Green Party. And, of course, our panel is back as well.

So, Rosa, what do you make of this? We're hearing all kind of different stories out here. This radio guy, we're hearing other people making comments or targeting people from Mexico. What is your initial reaction to this kind of language and kind of rhetoric?

ROSA CLEMENTE, HIP-HOP ACTIVIST: Not surprised at all.

I think the rhetoric around Latinos, particularly immigrants, in the last year has been racist. It's been filled -- it's xenophobic. It's almost like every immigrant comes from one country, and it's the worst country. So, I was not surprised.

And my fear is, after reading the Southern Poverty Law Center's recent reports, that hate crimes against Latinos have been rising. And, as a Puerto Rican, who is different than other Latinos, being born an American citizen, it doesn't matter. The brown person is now the new OK racial whipping boy and whipping girl in this country for everything that's wrong, including the economy.

MARTIN: Look what is happening in Phoenix? Cops there are wearing face masks and latex drugs when they're in the field to arrest illegal immigrants.

CLEMENTE: That's Sheriff Joe, the great Sheriff Joe out in Maricopa County.

And I know it's in Phoenix, but he's doing that, too.


CLEMENTE: And when you have law enforcement that then ratchets up fear, and then you think about a law enforcement is doing this by putting on these masks when they're encountering certain, you know, people that they have arrested, then they're -- then they're -- they're not violating a law, but, definitely, when you see law enforcement doing that, what does that mean?

MARTIN: Right.

CLEMENTE: What's the signal that's sent? And this is a state that's been dealing with Sheriff Joe for a very long time.

MARTIN: Gotcha.

HILL: And you're referring there specifically to Sheriff Joe Arpaio...


HILL: ... who a lot of people at home may know of.

When it comes to wearing the masks and the gloves, so, if this was across the board for all law enforcement, no matter what they were doing, would you have a problem with it in terms of protection?

CLEMENTE: No, not at all, if it was across the board.

HILL: So, you feel that it's specifically targeting illegal immigrants and profiling them racially?

CLEMENTE: Yes, racially profiling.

And I specifically think that Sheriff Joe is very media-savvy, and he knows what he's doing, because he -- this civil rights probe has been opened within the Department of Justice.

BLOOM: Rosa, I know that the hate crimes are up exponentially against Hispanics.


BLOOM: It really is shocking.


BLOOM: And that's before the swine flu outbreak. What do you attribute that to? And what do you think is going to happen once this outbreak continues, time goes on, and people become more fearful?

CLEMENTE: I think I attribute it is in the last three years to the xenophobic rhetoric that we see in mainstream media, independent media, on college campuses, wherever you go, the Minutemen.

But, for the last year, it's this real fear that these people are taking over our country. They are crossing the border. They're illegal. So, I attribute it just straight up to racist rhetoric that leads to behavior.

BLOOM: So, when you heard that the swine flu deaths were happening in Mexico, you must have been very concerned?

CLEMENTE: Yes. MARTIN: Yes, you had to know, OK, we know what is about to happen.


Immediately, I called my friends and I'm like, you know what's about to go down. It's all about Mexicans, instead of looking at the larger picture, like, let's look at this farm. According to some reports, this farm where this pig and this young person had contact is a Smithfield farm.

And if it is found out to be a Smithfield farm, as it -- according to independent reports I have read, this is a company based in North America, in North Carolina. Then we got to take it back to this NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement.


CLEMENTE: And the reason I'm taking it back is just to give it a larger context of maybe this farm was doing things that were unsanitary.

YELLIN: What would you want the media to do differently or leadership?

HILL: Yes.

CLEMENTE: I have to say that I believe the mainstream media has not been bad on this issue.

I believe this is the right-wing part of particularly radio. These are the Michael Savages, the Don Imus. I may have my problems with one of your hosts here, Lou Dobbs, but he has not ratcheted up that fear.

HILL: We do need to clarify something. Smithfield has come out and publicly denied those reports.


HILL: But in the interest of changing things and not adding to those numbers, in terms of hate crimes, let's turn this to a positive discussion.


HILL: How do you change that? How do you change the views in the United States. How do you make sure that the right information is getting out there, that it is not every immigrant who, as you said, may have brown skin who is automatically giving somebody swine flu?

CLEMENTE: I think, right now, the conversation has to happen on the very basic level of community dialogue.

I wish that President Obama would make this a national dialogue. I wish that the administration would come out and say, hey, let's slow down. Let's think about this. Let's have young people talking to each other. Let's have African-American leaders, some who have come out, like Al Sharpton, but I would like to see more, saying, no, this is unacceptable behavior. We have to talk about this. We have to dialogue about it.

So, I think if the administration would put that out, it would give a lot of people in this country who know that this is wrong some power to have the conversation.

MARTIN: I will say this, if anybody is listening. Bottom line is, anybody can catch this. So, this whole notion of targeting one particular country or one particular group makes no sense at all.


MARTIN: Rosa, we certainly appreciate it. Thank you so very much.

CLEMENTE: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: Thank you very much.

Folks, even as the Obama administration takes a stand against torture, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is fighting back after being confronted on Guantanamo Bay. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five hundred thousand died in World War II


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, yet, we did not torture -- we did not torture the prisoners of war.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: And we didn't torture anybody here either, all right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tortured them in Guantanamo Bay.

RICE: No. No, dear, you're wrong. All right? You're wrong.


MARTIN: She had that Clinton finger-wagging thing going.


MARTIN: You are going to hear more from that showdown, plus what her body language may have been telling us.

Also, protests and violence in the wake of the global financial crisis -- we will show you in a moment.


MARTIN: John Legend there. Lisa liked it.

HILL: I liked it.

MARTIN: There you go.

No word from Jessica yet.


MARTIN: OK. Here's a radical idea for fighting crime: Let folks break the law. I'm talking about taking something that is illegal and giving people a legal outlet for it.

Cops in Florida are doing it with street racing once a month at a local speedway. Now, pretty interesting idea here.

BLOOM: Great idea.

HILL: It's a fascinating idea.

BLOOM: Great idea. Keep them off the streets, do it somewhere safe, and raise a little money in the process.

HILL: Well, and they say it is making the streets safer. They say there's been a big reduction.


MARTIN: I have been trying to figure out, though, but it's a police car. It's -- the city sanctioned it.

BLOOM: That is what makes it more fun.

HILL: A little confusing.

MARTIN: But we will hash it out later, folks.

Here's Frederick from South Carolina. See what he has to say.


FREDERICK, SOUTH CAROLINA: No, I do not think that it's OK for police to supervise illegal activity. The mere fact that they are supervising it contradicts what they're supposed to be standing for.


MARTIN: Great point.

And tonight's topic, is supervised law-breaking OK?

We want to hear from you, 1-877-NO-BULL-0. That's 1-877-662- 8550. You can also e-mail me or find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Of course, tonight's rundown also on the board -- back in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)



HILL: It's a little calm.



MARTIN: There's a story in your briefing, someone who imitated Frank Sinatra.


MARTIN: Just trying to work it out here, folks.

HILL: You and your continuity.

MARTIN: Samantha actually suggested that.

HILL: Nice work, Sam.

MARTIN: Jessica didn't like it, but...



YELLIN: I didn't say a word.


MARTIN: No, but the look on your face.


MARTIN: All right, folks, tonight, we're talking about giving people legal outlets for illegal acts. Will it help fight crime?

The number to call is 1-877-662-8550.

But, first, here's Erica with the briefing.

And, once you hear this they, you will know what we were talking about.

HILL: Stay tuned for that.

MARTIN: There you go.

HILL: First, though, time is up for thousands of people living in FEMA trailers on the Gulf Coast. Emergency housing for Hurricane Katrina victims is supposed to expire today, May 1. The agency has ordered everyone out, but it's estimated as many as 5,000 families are staying put past today's deadline.

Frustration offer the global economic crisis boiling over at the annual May Day rally in Turkey. Look at this. Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police who used water cannons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowds. May Day, of course, is supposed to be a celebration of the labor movement.

MARTIN: How about that party?

HILL: And here we go, Roland.

MARTIN: There you go.

HILL: Las Vegas' entertainer of the year has died. Danny Gans won that title 11 times in his years of doing musical impressions on the Strip. He was just 52 years old. He died in his sleep. There is no word on a cause of death. But "LARRY KING" will have a special tribute from Las Vegas in the next hour.

MARTIN: And one of his best impersonations was of Frank Sinatra.

VELSHI: That's right.

MARTIN: He was -- he did it perfectly.

HILL: Never saw it.

MARTIN: Great guy.


HILL: I will have to tune in to "LARRY KING."

MARTIN: Absolutely.

HILL: Sad loss.

Finally, one last mystery that no one is in a hurry to solve. I love this story. The anonymous donor striking again, now $7 million to the University of Alaska Anchorage. It's believed this donor has now given more than $81 million to 14 different colleges over the past two months. And each time, that donation does come with a catch. The donor has to remain anonymous. You cannot seek them out.

Occasionally, too, there are some stipulations. And a lot of times, the stipulations include that the money go to scholarships for minorities and women, Roland.

MARTIN: Anonymous, you can e-mail me.


MARTIN: We will work something out. No big deal.

HILL: Roland would like you to set up a scholarship for him, please.


MARTIN: All right, folks, now, you think reporters are tough, watch as Condoleezza Rice gets grilled by a bunch of college kids.


RICE: I didn't authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency that they had policy authorization, subject to the Justice Department's clearance.


MARTIN: Not the Condi we're used to seeing -- more after the break.


MARTIN: A little Beyonce there.

All right, folks, listen up, crazy, crazy conversation at Stanford University the other day, folks. We were talking about this earlier. And it was an amazing conversation.

Of course, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, she was asked about water-boarding by some students at Stanford University. Check this conversation out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how are we supposed to win hearts and minds in the world as long as we continue with these actions?

RICE: Well, first of all, you do what's right. That's the most important thing, that you make a judgment of what's right.


MARTIN: Now, check this out. The conversation wasn't over there. It got a little bit more heated. Watch her body language.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how are we supposed to win hearts and minds in the world as long as we continue with these actions?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first of all, you do what's right. That the most important thing that you make is actually what's right.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROLAND MARTIN, CNN ANCHOR: Now, check this out. The conversation wasn't over there. It got a little bit more heated. Watch her body language.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FMR. SECRETARY OF STATE: The world is not a bunch of easy choices in which you get to make one that always feel good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm aware. But even in --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry we have to move.

RICE: No, let him finish. Let him finish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But even in World War II as we faced Nazi Germany, probably the greatest threat that America has ever faced, even then --

RICE: With all due respect, Nazi Germany never attacked the homeland of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, but they bombed our allies.

RICE: No, just a second. Just a second. Three thousand Americans died in the Twin Towers and in the Pentagon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 500,000 died in World War II.

RICE: No, fighting a war in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And yet we did not torture -- we did not torture the prisoners of war.

RICE: And we didn't torture anybody here either, all right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tortured men in Guantanamo Bay.

RICE: No, dear, you're wrong. All right. You're wrong. Did you know that the organization security and cooperation in Europe said Guantanamo was a model medium security prison?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, but I feel that changes nothing.

RICE: No. Did you know that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did not know that.

RICE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then it changes absolutely nothing.

RICE: No, wait a second. If you didn't know that, maybe before you make allegations about Guantanamo, you should read. Those trials were staged (ph) by whom? Who kept us from holding the trials? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't answer that question.

RICE: Do your homework first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a question.

RICE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I read a recent report recently --

RICE: The Supreme Court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That said that you -- in a memo, you are the one who authorized torture.

RICE: It's not torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, not torture. I'm sorry.

RICE: Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waterboarding. Waterboarding. Is waterboarding torture?

RICE: The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations under the convention against torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is waterboarding torture in your opinion?

RICE: And I just said the United States was told -- we were told nothing that violates our obligations under the convention against torture. And so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the convention against torture.


MARTIN: We share the same birthday. That's cool (ph). She got a little testy there. All right.

The panel is back. Also, I want to go to Pittsburgh, folks. Also our next guest, Janine Driver. She is an expert on body language. And so, of course, the panel we have got some stuff. I want to go first to Janine.

What stood out to you in watching that video?

JANINE DRIVER, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: I loved it actually. I swear. Sometimes I get calls and I'm like, there's not much there. There's a lot of body language there.

I'll tell you right now. She's speaking volumes, and I think she mopped those guys up big time.

MARTIN: So what was her body saying, though? I mean, what was -- because, you know, we had the finger moving.


MARTIN: We had the hand. We had -- right, Ali, she was sitting there, the arms crossed. So exactly as a body language expert, what did all of that mean?

DRIVER: Oh, a lot of things. She starts off with an open palm gesture. So open palm, this is called the beggar's pose, a dollar, please, a dollar please. This is, hey, I'm open to what you have to say.

When he starts really going off on a tangent, she does the palm down gesture. And think about it, I have a 3-year-old son, Angus. It's like, Angus, don't run in the street. It's right here.


She even no-dared him one time.


DRIVER: I was loving that. I wish I could high-five Condi for that. She's like no, dear, right here with the whole finger pointing. She, like, reprimanded him back. She does microexpressions, too. At one point, she was going to rip his face off, you know.


When he -- he's comparing it to World War II or whatever he was saying, her brows go up and are straight across, which is a microexpression of fear and surprise. She's like, this guy is going to get killed right now.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATL. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think she seemed a little bit defensive, too.

VELSHI: Or you think very antagonizing.

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR OF TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": She was secretary of state. I don't think she's used to this young person being up in her face and challenging her in that way.

VELSHI: No, but listen, listen, listen. Hold on for a second because we're talking about her behavior.

DRIVER: Well, you're right.

VELSHI: We're talking about the content. We can agree or disagree with what he says. There was nothing about that kid that wasn't antagonizing.

DRIVER: Oh, no. Listen, my heart went out for her. I have to say she did get defensive a little bit. She put one hand over her center. And this is very interesting because a lot of people will think that this is defensive, so I'm creating a wall between me and you. But actually, it's almost like she's giving herself a self hug.

And what studies have shown -- what studies have shown is if you sit -- you'll be surprised to hear this, ladies. When you sit with your arms crossed...

MARTIN: Right.

DRIVER: ... you'll actually spend 30 percent more time solving a difficult problem. So when her arms are crossed here, she's got the arm crossed, she's saying, I'm not going to give up here.


DRIVER: And you hear her --

MARTIN: No, Janine. She said -- this is what she said. I'm about to kick your little behind if you keep asking me the question. That's what she was saying.

YELLIN: This woman is a trained diplomat. She knows how to deal with confrontation.

DRIVER: It's like confronting the Webster dictionary on a word, vocabulary word. I mean, you can't beat Condoleezza Rice. She is awesome.

BLOOM: Oh, I don't know about that. I think he did a pretty good in the argument that the U.S. did not violate the U.N. convention on torture, but just because the president says so doesn't make it legal.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But that's a good question. That's something I actually wanted to ask Lisa. She does say specifically, and I'm quoting here, "If it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the conventions against torture."


HILL: Is that true?

BLOOM: Absolutely not. We sign treaties. The president can't just violate it under presidential authority or anything else. The president has to live up to those treaties. So I have to think she misspoke. I think she's smarter than that. Maybe she meant something else.

DRIVER: I'll tell you right now. Condi, Condi --

MARTIN: Real quick. Real quick.

DRIVER: What Condi is saying, her body language matches what she is saying verbally. And 93 percent of what we communicate with people are nonverbal. She's saying, listen, this is the United States of America. We're not going to break any -- put our people in any type of a danger.


DRIVER: It's a dangerous situation.


DRIVER: I thought she rocked it. I loved it.

MARTIN: Janine, I thought --

DRIVER: I'm going to show it at classes around the country.

MARTIN: I thought what she said, you little punk, I'm going to eject you. OK, just wait, I'll kick you outside. That's what she was doing.

Yes, right? Now you're going snapping --

DRIVER: I'm surprised she didn't do a couple of snaps.

MARTIN: Janine Driver, thanks a bunch. We certainly appreciate it.

Folks, that entire video is well worth watching. Trust me. To see the whole thing, go to our Web site

Now as a native Texan, we take our football very seriously. So why is one lone star congressman -- stop laughing, Jessica -- comparing the Bowl Championship Series to, yes, communism? We'll have that story in tonight's "Political Daily Briefing."

VELSHI: You know, Roland -- Roland was a star football player.

MARTIN: Oh, you lost your mind.


That never happened.


MARTIN: Lisa, do your homework.

All right, folks, time for the "Political Daily Briefing." Hear Jessica hut, hut.

YELLIN: Hut, hut. OK.

Our first story, the Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele stuck his foot in it today. He was guest-hosting a conservative radio show called "Morning in America" when a caller described President Obama as "the magic Negro." Steele laughed. Here's a clip from the show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CALLER: It's just like the "L.A. Times" said last year or two years ago, he is the magic negro.

MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: Yeah, he (LAUGHING). You read that too, huh?


YELLIN: Well, there is a back story here. That same phrase came up while Steele was running to be chair of the RNC and his opponent, Chip Saltsman, lost the race largely because he sent out what he called a joke CD that included a song called, "Barack, the Magic Negro."

While Steele slammed Saltsman, his opponent at the time, and when Steele won the chairman seat, he promised a more inclusive party. Oh, well, maybe Steele is trying to compete with Vice President Biden for most political gaffs.

At the White House today, changing gears, some fun moments from President Obama's unexpected appearance in the daily press briefing. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is in the middle of deflecting press questions when President Obama just meandered into the briefing room and personally confirmed that the justice is in fact retiring. The president made a joke about Gibbs on his way to the podium. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm tired of Gibbs screwing this thing up. You know, there's a job to do -- please, everybody, have a seat. There's a job to do, you've got to do it yourself.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: See you guys later. Have a good weekend.


YELLIN: The president left without taking questions. He gave the room to Gibbs, who in turn cracked a few jokes.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have an announcement to make. I've been notified that Judge Souter is stepping down from the Supreme Court. I have this from the very highest levels in our government. Do you see that the guy -- you know, he read the statement and then he left the questions to me?


YELLIN: Gibbs said -- Gibbs said that he had no idea the boss was going to show up.

And finally, this story is for Roland.

MARTIN: And all of you football fans.

YELLIN: The big battle in Congress over whatever they call college football? Lawmakers held a hearing today about whether to change the current college football championship system. OK, here you go.

Right now, the BCS, or Bowl Championship Series...

MARTIN: That's right.

YELLIN: OK, is set up in such a way that teams with the best overall records might not necessarily play in the national championship game.


YELLIN: OK, people care. OK. So the push is to change to a more traditional playoff system, something President Obama has personally been vocal about supporting, along with some very passionate lawmakers. Listen.


REP. JOE BARTON (R), TEXAS: I have a piece of advice for the BCS coordinating board. You should either change your name to BES for Bowl Exhibition System or just drop the "c" and call it the B.S. system.


YELLIN: He went on to compare the BCS to communism. In turn the BCS argues that dumping the bowl games would drive away big sponsors and advertisers.

MARTIN: I love it. Joe Barton, a Texas aggie, way to go, Joe. All right, folks. Jessica, thanks so much.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up at the top of the hour. Joy Behar is sitting in.

Joy, how are you doing?

JOY BEHAR, GUEST HOST FOR "LARRY KING LIVE": Hey, Roland, how are you? Ann Coulter is here. We had a lot of fun last time we got together.

Tonight, round two. I'm going to ask Ann, if she like one of her conservative friends would be waterboarded for charity. Then we'll get into the gay marriage debate. Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler (ph) is here and so is actor Stephen Baldwin. Then Larry joins us from Las Vegas where Danny Gans died suddenly this morning. We'll talk to Donny and Marie Osmond about it too, next on "LARRY KING LIVE."

MARTIN: Sounds like a great show, Joy. Thanks a bunch.

Folks, hear the story from the if you can't beat them join them department.

Miami police are offering to race drivers for 25 bucks a pop in an effort to cut down on illegal street racing. So, what do you think about supervised law breaking? Is it OK?

Here's what Liz says on Facebook. "I think it's a great idea. If it takes dangerous activity off the streets or at least decreases it, then why not? Much like a shooting range keeps people from practicing their shots out in the open."

I want to know what you think. Give us a call 1-877-662-8550 or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter.


MARTIN: Let's go to our panel. You know, folks, I was driving once in Texas and literally blew past a police car going down the highway. Yes, I got pulled over by the cops.

HILL: Did you get a ticket?

MARTIN: Yes, I did.

HILL: How much?

MARTIN: I don't know, but it was just fun blowing right past him. But what's interesting in Miami they have this crazy story. To combat street racing what they decided to do is go to a speedway, charge them 25 bucks and they can actually race a police officer in a cruiser.


MARTIN: And so they're saying it's a great idea. But we want to talk about though, the question is, what about, you know, rewarding folks for, frankly illegal behavior?

Joining us right now is Michael Gross, a constitutional law professor, and, of course, Erica, Ali, Jessica and Lisa. So, Michael, what do you think about this? I mean, is it a smart idea?

MICHAEL GROSS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAWYER: The more, the better. Let's get along. The cops have too long been isolated from the people that they need to be together with.

The uniforms are bad. The leather is bad. The boots are bad. The guns are bad.

YELLIN: The shiny badge.

GROSS: The shiny badge. They're alienated from these guys and mostly guys and women as well. And they need to get together. And this is a wonderful way to get together.

MARTIN: But, Mike --

GROSS: Race.

MARTIN: But, Mike, look, this is a city police car. What if somebody gets injured? They're driving at a 160, a 170 miles an hour. If this cop gets hurt, taxpayers have to pay for his hospital?

GROSS: I'm glad to say the facts are that there's been a reduction in illegal driving and in the accident rate since this program has been instituted.

HILL: But what about the liability that Roland brought up? In terms of liability, isn't there a big concern there? I mean, come on, you're a lawyer.

GROSS: It's at a drag track that this is going on makes it better.


BLOOM: Yes. There are drag tracks all over the country.

GROSS: This is a safe place to do this. Everybody does it. They sign a waiver.

VELSHI: I'd rather they do it there than on the street.

GROSS: Absolutely.

YELLIN: OK. Where do you draw the line? Do you take people out and say if they're going to shoot somebody, come shoot a criminal with me?


MARTIN: Hey, you want some crack, come buy it from us, it's OK.

GROSS: I think that's a good idea, the potters and the burglary. Yes. Get some good advice.


BLOOM: But, Jessica, we do this in many, many areas. Illegal to sell drugs on a street, legal to sell them in a pharmacy. Illegal for bookies to do bets on the streets, legal in the casino.

MARTIN: OK, OK, Lisa, you can't -- you know, I haven't seen crack in a pharmacy.

BLOOM: Well, there are pretty similar medications.

MARTIN: Yes, but come on, come on now. Prescription is different from on the streets.

BLOOM: Look, you take it off the street, you reduce crime significantly. You actually save lives and you let them race the cops. I think it's a great idea.

GROSS: The idea is the separation of law enforcement from the community. And we need to get together.

BLOOM: Right.

GROSS: The metaphor can be expanded from families that need to get together, parents and their kids about what they're doing...

VELSHI: All right.

GROSS: ... communities and globally. It's not different to say this leader is a horrible person, but unless I get to know him he's not going to get to know me. So more of that interchange that's going on, it's the same kind of thing.

MARTIN: Ali, will you do it? Will you do it? Will you race the cops?

VELSHI: Oh, easily, easily. And if I were a cop, I think there's no bigger thrill than the fact I get to legally race people on the streets.


VELSHI: I mean, I think this is win/win.

BLOOM: Roland, what about boxing? Fighting on the street illegal? Put people on the ring, all the time it's legal.


BLOOM: People bet on.

MARTIN: Look, I understand that but here's what you have. You have an actual police car, an actual officer who's actually racing these people.


MARTIN: And again, what about the liability of the city?

GROSS: Oh, come on.

MARTIN: You just say it.

BLOOM: OK, people are going to sign that away. We've got lawyers for that.

MARTIN: Just what we need, more lawyers. Yes.

HILL: They'll draw a waiver for you right now.


GROSS: We need cops who are human beings.

MARTIN: Got you. Hold tight one second, folks. We're talking about Miami cops giving street racers a legal outlet once a month. Is supervised law breaking OK?

We want to hear from you. Here's what BDP12 on Twitter says. "It's racing on the track. That's much safer and keeps them off the street. It's a good idea."

OK, so what's next? Legalized marijuana? Sell crack by the police? 1-877-662-8550.

GROSS: Only if you engage --

MARTIN: Hit us on Twitter or Facebook. Back in a moment.


MARTIN: All right, folks. Speeding, drinking, drugs, how far should society be allowed to indulge in bad behavior? Attorney Michael Gross is back with us. He says, what the heck, let's all get high and be merry.


All right, folks, it's your turn.

HILL: And let's be friends. He says it will make us all friends.

GROSS: Only if the cops join in.

VELSHI: And look at you.

MARTIN: Folks on the phone lines. Timothy in Michigan, how are you doing?

TIMOTHY, MICHIGAN (via telephone): I don't think that the police should create an avenue for citizens to break the law. It sends a mixed message. So many people have been hurt and killed by drag racing.

BLOOM: Yes, but it's not illegal. If they do it on the track, they get off the street where they're killing innocent bystanders.

VELSHI: Right.

YELLIN: But it encourages this kind of behavior.

VELSHI: But we do. We got NASCAR. We encourage racing.

BLOOM: Yes, the number one sport in America.

YELLIN: A spectator's sport.

MARTIN: All right, Timothy, we certainly appreciate it.

Let's go to North Carolina. Dan, how are you doing? What do you think?

DAN, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): I'm actually an illegal (ph) racer myself.

GROSS: Illegal.

DAN: I think it's a good idea because these people, 99 percent of the races take place out in the middle of nowhere where there's no easy access and there's a lot of drinking and a lot of drugs that happens.

MARTIN: OK. All right, we certainly appreciate it, Dan.

VELSHI: And that's dangerous.


YELLIN: Yes, but it's --

GROSS: I have a criticism of the segment producer. There's confusion about this activity. This is not -- I'm serious. This is not illegal activity.

BLOOM: Right.

GROSS: The racing that's taking place with the police, let's be clear to everybody --

No, no, no, you go to a drag track where you -- anybody can go at any time and pay a fee and you get your car in line and you drag race on a track.

VELSHI: But added to that is that you can race a cop.

GROSS: Exactly.


GROSS: Perfectly legal.

MARTIN: Right. A city-owned vehicle taxpayers are paying for.

VELSHI: Oh, come on!

GROSS: How is this coercing illegal activity?

VELSHI: Would it be OK if we race garbage trucks?

Same thing.

GROSS: This is not a street.


YELLIN: These are people who normally street race.


YELLIN: And are instead being encouraged to do it with a police officer.

GROSS: Right.

YELLIN: But street racing is illegal.

GROSS: Why do you frame this as illegal activity?

BLOOM: Otherwise illegal activity? Can you live with that?

VELSHI: Well, because basically what you're doing is you're taking what was illegal --

MARTIN: I'm saying is go to a track. But the bottom line is the police department is sanctioning this and that's what they're doing.

BLOOM: And that racers who would otherwise be engaging in illegal behavior like the caller say now I'm not breaking the law.

GROSS: It's their program. They're not sanctioning it. They devised this program to reduce crime. No bias here.

MARTIN: All right.

HILL: And no bull.

MARTIN: Right, right. But there's a whole lot of bull in terms of, oh, no, it's OK, they're safe. Let an officer get hurt. Watch you pay for it.

Mark in Chicago, what do you think?

MARK, ILLINOIS (via telephone): Well, Roland, I think on a bigger scale, if you walk in the streets of Chicago, you watch the illegal people selling their loose cigarettes and bootleg CDs but they make their money. The legal businesses are providing the illegal businesses with all of the products and the machinery that they need to do the illegal business. So it's kind of it's a double-edged sword but it's much bigger on these urban streets because illegal people couldn't do what they do without making money for the legal business.

VELSHI: Yes. There is one.

MARTIN: All right, Mark, thanks so much.

VELSHI: That's right.


VELSHI: There's a lot of illegal business, what some would call the underground economy in this country. And everything that is sold in the underground economy, at one point, was in the above ground economy.

MARTIN: But here's the deal, though.

HILL: Sometimes it falls off the back of the truck. So it wasn't really, I mean --

MARTIN: What if the cops are going to say -- what if the cops are going to say, OK, you know what, we understand these drug alleys, so let's go ahead and just sanction it and (INAUDIBLE) create a store front and we can just sell it in one place.

GROSS: You got it right.

BLOOM: Well, that's not all that different than what's going on in California right now because the federal government is not prosecuting the medical marijuana store fronts.

GROSS: Right.

BLOOM: And they're popping up all over Los Angeles because they know it's sanctioned and they're right there out in the open.

GROSS: If your focus is to punish, is to arrest, charge and penalize somebody for whatever behavior they're into -- and when it's into at least low grade recreational drugs, that's seriously questionable. Why not --

MARTIN: I want to waterboard them, Michael.

GROSS: You already let our former secretary of state go to that.

MARTIN: I got you.

GROSS: The issue is if it's borderline criminal, victimless crime, why not find out why it's going on, reduce it, just the way you're reducing illegal driving by getting more involved honestly with kids, not trying to arrest them or punish them but find out what's going on with them.

MARTIN: Cops in Miami, Michael will be driving there real soon.


Michael Gross, we certainly appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Folks, who would you put on the list of "Time" magazine's 100 most influential people? We'll preview tonight's CNN special. Find out what Bono and George Clooney think about being journalists.

Them, really?


MARTIN: All right, listen, dear.

HILL: No, dear.

MARTIN: All right, folks, we've got something special coming up tonight. "Time" magazine's 100 most influential people. Ali, you got my list (ph)?

OK, one of the --

HILL: Ali was number one.

MARTIN: One of the highlights is an all-star interview, Bono's one-on-one with George Clooney. Check this out.


BONO, FOUNDER, ONE.ORG: And I have a theory, I don't know what you make of it. That actors in a certain sense are like journalists, like you collect the details of other people's lives, the minutia.

GEORGE CLOONEY, FOUNDER, NOTONOURWATCHPROJECT.ORG: Well, there's some truth to it. The difference is that there is no responsibility there as a journalist. You know, you have a responsibility to the truth, or you hope you have a responsibility to the truth.

If you're a journalist, you know, if you're an actor, you can -- you know, you can make up your facts along the way. You can decide a character has these qualities and you can decide certain facts, unless you're doing a movie or a project that's based specifically on somebody. I think most actors are jealous of journalists in a lot of ways, because there's -- I have nothing but respect for them.

BONO: Oh, yes. I mean, they are the -- they're protecting our democracy, that's for sure, especially the level of Nick Kristof (ph) and people like that. I must say I think if I wasn't a singer, that's what I'd be doing.

CLOONEY: I studied journalism in school. I only lacked smarts. Other than that, I had the proper hat for it.

BONO: Yes, I could see the problem.

CLOONEY: I was good with the hat.


VELSHI: They love us. They really love us.

MARTIN: All right. Bono and Clooney at the Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz and Lincoln Center. Anderson Cooper, he anchors "Time 100 World's Most Influential People" tonight at 11:00 Eastern. Also, Saturday and Sunday night at 8:00 and 11:00.

HILL: It's actually really cool because what "Time" did this year is they had -- instead of "Time" writing about people, you know, there are different people writing about the people that were on the list. So, you know, Bono is interviewing George Clooney because he wrote about him.

VELSHI: Cops are racing with criminals, Bono is interviewing George Clooney. Why did you say that whole Rose Theater thing?

BLOOM: I'm just curious as to why all the seats are empty when you got Bono and Clooney in a theater. VELSHI: Yes. Right.

MARTIN: So you want like a big live interview?


BLOOM: Heck, yes (ph).

HILL: You talk about a crazy lady named Lisa knocking at the door trying to get in.

MARTIN: Let me in. Let me in.

VELSHI: Why did you have to say that whole thing, by the way, at the Rose Theater at the Rose -- Lincoln Center?

YELLIN: He had to.

MARTIN: Hey, man, I wasn't the writer. I'm just reading what is written.

YELLIN: That's the name of it.

MARTIN: All right, folks, hey, we had a great, great week. I want to thank all of you who called and e-mailed your comments. We certainly appreciate it. Your voices are important and we love hearing from you.

We got to go. Joy Behar is holding down for "LARRY KING LIVE" which starts right now. What do we say?

ALL: Holler (ph).