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American Morning

Michelle Obama Defining Her Role as First Lady; Mom Of Octuplets Cashing in on Her Story; Bank of America in Hot Water Over Super Bowl Sponsorship; Congresswoman Expresses Outrage Over CEO Bonuses; The Voice Behind Bart Simpson Selling Scientology; North Korea Missile Launch; Barbie Sales Plummet; Joe the Plumber to D.C.

Aired February 03, 2009 - 07:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Just crossing the top of the hour, it's 7:00 Eastern and here are this morning's top stories.

Administration officials say New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg has accepted President Obama's offer to be secretary of commerce. The announcement is expected later on this morning. Source say New Hampshire's democratic governor will name a Republican to take Gregg's place, therefore not affecting the balance of power in the Senate.

Eric Holder will be sworn in as the nation's first black attorney general today. He was confirmed yesterday by the Senate, 75-21. Holder served as the number two at the justice department during the Clinton administration.

Iran state radio is reporting the country set its first domestically made satellite into orbit. It's yet another development in Tehran's ambitious space program, and it is worrying to international observers. State television showed video that it claimed was the satellite launch.

The tug of war over the president's stimulus package gets under way in just a short while. The Senate is expected to start voting on amendments to the bill. Many Republican senators are signaling that the full bill needs more debate. The president met with Democratic lawmakers at the White House yesterday, working to win bipartisan support for the bill. And that could be an uphill battle.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we can't do is let very modest differences get in the way of the overall package moving forward swiftly.

SEN. THAD COCHRAN (R), APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: The Senate is being asked by the administration to take a big leap of faith that the massive spending proposed in this bill will, in fact, stimulate growth of the economy.


ROBERTS: And with hundreds of billions of dollars on the line, it's hard to know what the stimulus would really do for you, so we're breaking it down for you this morning.

Looking for GOP support, Senate Democrats have agreed to drop two controversial programs, $75 million for antismoking campaigns and $400 million slated for STD and HIV prevention.

Turning to the proposed tax cuts, $500 for individuals, $1,000 for working couples for the first half of this year. That's about $20 a week back in your pocket.

The plan would also spare around $24 million taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax. The total cost, $70 billion on average saving the family of four about $2,300.

Our Christine Romans is digging deeper this hour, looking at what the stimulus could do for the nation's infrastructure. You heard Governor Pawlenty say that a lot of what's in the bill doesn't seem to count to him at least as infrastructure. Then there's also the controversy that the Congressional Budget Office found that a lot of the economic boost from this won't be felt for years.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Some of the answers to these questions we're not really going to know. And I talked to economists and I say when will the boom getting big? How many from the infrastructure spending? We really just don't know. It depends on the mechanics. It depends on a lot.

It depends on what the projects are and how quickly they can be unrolled or unfolded, rather, and rolled out. Two-thirds of this whole bill is directed to states and infrastructure spending. Some $90 billion for construction projects, $142 billion for education. They want to fix up a whole lot of schools, some 10,000 schools President Obama says. $20 billion to modernize health care records and use technology there.

The critics here or the support for infrastructure spending is it could create some three to four million new jobs, strengthen infrastructure and be of future benefit to the economy but the critics say it's unfocused. There's not enough shovel-ready projects but you talk to governors and they'll tell you that they've got a lot of shovel-ready projects ready to go and that it will add to the deficit.

So here's the sort of debate over this unfocused nature, all of these different plans, you know. Does it help or does it hurt? This is what Mark Zandi said. You know, unfocused can be -- well, it can cut both ways.


MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ECONOMY.COM: None of us really knows which of these projects are going to reap big benefit, both the stimulus and this long-term plus for the economy. So I think we need to diversify the kinds of things that we invest in just because of the uncertainty involved in those investments.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Unfocused or diversification? It depends on how you look at it. But a lot of projects and there are a lot of very different kinds of projects that it's a whole lot of money. We talked a little bit earlier about the distraction of the tens of millions here and there. This is a lot of money.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And Christine, you bring up a really good point because obviously, you know, how quickly can they turn this around and actually create these jobs? You know, I mean, that's the big debate is whether or not they'll be able to spend this money really, really fast and actually have those millions of jobs that they say they're going to be able to save or create.

And then the other side of it, of course, is really chipping away at that $900 billion economic stimulus package. There are so many Republicans and Democrats included who are just very upset about the price tag of all this. They have no idea whether or not this is even going to work. So they're talking about cutting out programs in the millions, not in the billions, but in the millions. And so they have a really long way to go here.

ROMANS: Back in 1993, Bill Clinton was trying to get $30 billion for an economic stimulus package and Republicans were screaming. $30 billion, can you believe he wants $30 billion to stimulate the economy and create jobs?

ROBERTS: Right place, wrong time.

ROMANS: Yes, $30 billion. Now, we're talking about $900 billion.

CHETRY: You're right.

ROMANS: Things have really changed.

CHETRY: Right. When $125 million here or there is considered small --

MALVEAUX: It's like peanuts.

CHETRY: Exactly. You know what we're dealing with.

All right. Well, another big thing that happened yesterday. Michelle Obama, she started to sort of define her role more as first lady. The first lady giving her first public speech and she did it at the Department of Education, telling America's teachers, roll up your sleeves.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is back again with us with more on this. So this is her first big, you know, speech that she gave. And she wanted to say, look, I'm a product of public schools, so is Barack Obama.

MALVEAUX: Yes, and you know, she's really stepping out now because she says, you know, she's going to have a public role. Obviously, she's going to be mom in chief and she's talked about that before, but education is really important to her. Community service is really important. Military families. And so you're going to see her really define her role and step out.

This is just the first step. I want you to take a listen to what she said yesterday.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I am a product of your work. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the public schools that nurtured me and helped me along. And I am committed as well as my husband to ensuring that more kids like us and kids around this country, regardless of their race, their income, their status, the property values in their neighborhoods get an access to an outstanding education.

The children of this country are counting on all of us. They're looking to us for direction. They're looking to us for that ray of hope. They're looking to us to help them figure out how to make it through. And we have everything we need right here and now to make that happen.


MALVEAUX: Another one of her roles is she's becoming kind of this neighborhood mom, if you will. They've really -- the first couple have embraced Washington, D.C. as part of their home and really a part of their community.

I heard an anecdote and I didn't even believe it. Somebody told me there was no crime in D.C. for two whole days, no crime. And this was around the inauguration.

I got on the phone this morning. I talked with the mayor of D.C., as well as the police chief, and they said yes, it's absolutely true. For two days, there was no crime.

There was a sense people are trying to clean up their areas, their neighborhood.


ROMANS: Really?

MALVEAUX: You know, it is incredible though that you have that sense of community that people are like, well, perhaps Michelle Obama will visit our neighborhood next week by surprise and so you see these, you know, folks who are cleaning up their backyards and shoveling their snow and doing things to empower themselves because they believe that, you know, maybe Michelle Obama, the first lady, will stop by and you never know.

ROBERTS: Pretty extraordinary.

CHETRY: Thanks, Suzanne. Well, President Obama is expected to announce Republican Judd Gregg as his choice for commerce secretary. It's today at 11:00 Eastern. We're going to watch it live on CNN or online at

Also, CNN's Anderson Cooper sits down for a one-on-one interview with President Obama today at the White House. And you can see it on "AC 360." It's tonight right here on CNN, 10:00.

ROBERTS: It's coming up now on eight minutes after the hour, and here's what's new this morning.

A soldier in South Carolina, listen to this story, was in the middle of his first-ever skydive when the instructor who was strapped to him -- it was a tandem jump -- died from an apparent heart attack.

Daniel Pharr said that he went into survival mode and used his army training to stir the parachute which thankfully was already open and land safely.


PVT. DANIEL PHARR, SURVIVED SKYDIVING SCARE: I was asking him what his longest glide was before, you know, just general skydiving questions and he was unresponsive. I just grabbed the right toggle, tried for the left toggle, and in doing so lost the right one. So I regained the right one and just held on to it. And my path was such that I was going toward a house, so I just pulled on the toggle and turned right.


ROBERTS: On the ground, Pharr attempted CPR on the instructor but it was too late.

And here's a little tale of responsibility that's sure to inspire you. Hero pilot "Sully" Sullenberger lost a library book in the flight that he landed in the Hudson River last month, the US Airways Flight 1549. But his late fees are being forgiven and the library is dedicating the replacement book on professional ethics to "Sully."

Talking recently to ESPN, "Sully" was asked how he felt when he realized both his plane's engines were out. His response, "Shocking. It was very quiet as we worked, my co-pilot and I. We were a team. But to have zero thrust coming out of those engines was shocking, just the silence of it."

Now here's why it's a lesson in responsibility, OK. Because he lost the book, but he contacted the library to say, I'm sorry, I lost the book. I'm trying to retrieve it. Can I get a temporary waiver on my late fees because maybe I will be able to retrieve this book at some point? The library said forget about it. We'll replace it.

CHETRY: And they're going to dedicate the new replacement book to him. They say they were really struck by his diligence, but with all of that going on, he remembered his library book was overdue.

ROMANS: That's amazing.

Boy, he really follows the rules, doesn't he?


ROBERTS: You'd think you'd have a few other things on your mind.

ROMANS: I know.

MALVEAUX: Just a little bit.

CHETRY: I love how the book was "professional ethics." What a good guy.

All right. Well, the mother of 14, she took fertility treatments before she had octuplets, is now thinking payday. Why her priorities might not be in the right place right now.

ROBERTS: Forget about the referees in this year's Super Bowl. One bank sponsorship deal has got Washington watchdogs crying penalty.

CHETRY: Also, actor Christian Bale going ballistic. All of it caught on tape. We're going to hear what set him off at ten minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Well, she now has 14 kids and is looking for her 15 minutes. The woman who gave birth to octuplets last week has now hired a PR firm. Apparently, she wants a job on TV and she wants to sell her story for millions. The doctor who made the record delivery joined "LARRY KING LIVE" last night.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Did you wonder why someone with six kids, three sets of twins, would have eight more children?

DR. KAREN MAPLES, HEADED OCTUPLETS DELIVERY TEAM: Actually she has six kids with one set of twins but at that point in time my focus was on taking care of the patient and dealing with the seven babies that we thought were on board at that time.

KING: So you weren't questioning why she did this, when she do this?


KING: Just how we're going to deal with it.

MAPLES: How we're going to deal with what's in front of us at this point.


CHETRY: And so some are asking now should she be cashing in on her kids. Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She may turn out to be the ultimate working mother. With 14 children all under the age of 8, the California octuplets mom now wants a job, not just any job, but a career as a child care expert on television. This public relations CEO says not so fast.

RONN TOROSSIAN, CEO, SW PUBLIC RELATIONS: I think that this woman is delusional in thinking that she's going to become a star or become rich simply because she's having a lot of children.

KAYE (on camera): 33-year-old Nadya Suleman hasn't been employed for years. The "L.A. Times" report she was once a psychiatric technician but stopped working after she was injured on the job. She became a student, the paper says, and started having babies, lots of them.

(voice-over): The octuplets are all from the same sperm donor, but why would a single mother who already has six children want to deliver eight more?

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It's quite possible that she hasn't found real success or significance in her life. This is something that she feels that she can do right. I think this is a woman who's looking at being good, at being a mother, and being good at having a lot of children and this puts her in a very significant and important place in our present history.

KAYE: But what about the babies' future? With 14 mouths to feed and eight new bottoms to wipe, not to mention all that medical attention preemies require, the unemployed single mom may not be able to provide for them.

Her parents bailed her out once already when they bought her a small home in 2007, but soon filed for bankruptcy and had to move in with her. The mother of 14 hasn't even left the hospital yet, but she's already hired a publicist who told us her client is the most sought-after mom in the world right now.

The publicist says she's been bombarded with offers for everything from book deals to TV shows, including some paid interviews and various business proposals. Media outlets report the mega mom is looking to land millions in commercial endorsements and media interviews.

GARDERE: It seems to me that this is a woman who has a very unique way of thinking which may not be rooted in reality.

KAYE: The octuplets' grandmother, Angela Suleman, told "The L.A. Times" her daughter is not evil, but she is obsessed with children. She loves children. She is very good with children, but obviously she overdid herself. Then added, "I wish she would have become a kindergarten teacher."

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: You know, I don't know that you want to really analyze the mother until we hear from her, but there are aspects of this story that are just downright weird.

CHETRY: And it's very hard to find any fertility doctor, the ones that we talked to, who say that implanting eight embryos is a good idea in someone under the age of 35.

ROBERTS: Guidelines of American Society of Reproductive Medicine, you know, mothers who are older than 40, max maybe of five.

CHETRY: Right.

ROBERTS: But for young people like her, two, maybe three on the outside.

CHETRY: Also in that interview, her mother said that what she wanted was just one more girl. That's all she wanted. That's why she decided to go for it again. That's what her mother says. Then she said, look what happened, octuplets, dear God.

ROBERTS: What's that old saying about be careful what you wish for?

CHETRY: Exactly.

ROBERTS: Well, first they take billions of your tax dollars in a bailout and then Bank of America spends this little money for a Super Bowl sponsorship. Is it lack of accountability or is it good business? We'll let you decide.

CHETRY: Payback time.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: They don't get it. These people are idiots.


CHETRY: Washington saying Wall Street needs a reality check.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses?


CHETRY: Why CEOs may be forced to take a pay cut. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHETRY: Welcome back to the "Most News in the Morning." Huge CEO bonuses, pricey sponsorship deals. When it comes to the Wall Street bailout, critics are saying there's still no accountability. And now after taking billions of taxpayers' dollars, Bank of America is in hot water after hosting a huge Super Bowl event. Tom Foreman has the story.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even before the players hit the field, taxpayer watchdogs were crying foul over a massive Super Bowl event.


NARRATOR: The NFL experience presented by Bank of America is coming to Raymond James Stadium.


FOREMAN: That's right. Bank of America. The same bank that bought Merrill Lynch and received $45 billion of your tax dollars just to stay afloat sponsored this five-day celebration of football just outside the stadium.

TOM SCHATZ, CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE: It shows that the bank doesn't get it. They're out there sponsoring the Super Bowl, and they're not spending the taxpayers' money properly. There's no accountability, there's no transparency, and nobody knows if it's worthwhile.

FOREMAN: Bank of America insists it was worthwhile to back this event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took a couple of spills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that counted in football.

FOREMAN: Sure, the program was aimed at kids but by promoting things like credit cards to their parents, Bank of America expects to take in $10 for every one dollar spent on this sponsorship. Bank officials say they made this deal months ago.

They did not use bailout money for it. And in any case, they've got to take part in revenue-raising events if they are to pay back taxpayers. It's also the official bank of baseball and NASCAR.

(on camera): Still, keeping them honest, Bank of America will not say how much the whole package cost. We do know it is in addition to the existing $10 million sponsorship deal they have with the NFL.

(voice-over): So even amid the celebration, some lawmakers are not very happy, suggesting this sponsorship was at least a bad play at a sensitive time.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: And the bailout doesn't stop and presently the anger surrounding the bailout doesn't stop. But pricey sponsorships after big Wall Street firms were rescued, bosses still got billions of dollars in bonuses. In fact, "The Washington Post" reports that the average CEO makes 344 times more than the average Joe, whether he be a plumber or a carpenter or whatever. So the outrage now has a voice on Capitol Hill and Jim Acosta is live on our Washington bureau.

And Jim, where is this voice emanating from?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, Congress may be finding its backbone when it comes to the bailout. The House Banking Committee is expected to hold hearings on the latest bank scandals next week. And over in the Senate, a note to those bailout barons on Wall Street. Don't make Senator Claire McCaskill angry. You won't like her when she's angry.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Ever since Claire McCaskill took to the Senate floor to publicly shame those bailed out financial firms that handed out billions of dollars in bonuses, the Missouri Democrat say she's gotten one basic response. You go, senator.

(on camera): Did that feel good?

MCCASKILL: Oh, yes. It felt great. And what felt even better is the reaction that we've gotten from around the country. Our phones won't stop ringing. The e-mail traffic is unbelievable. It's hard to be confident about our financial system when you're so damn mad.

ACOSTA (voice-over): There is already a new bailout shocker. Citigroup, a firm that received $45 billion in taxpayer money, just announced its former CEO, Sandy Weill, will no longer use the company's private jets. The company says Weill had used one of its planes to fly his family to a posh Mexican resort over the holidays.

MCCASKILL: Taxpayers are on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars in their institutions. They own the taxpayers something other than business as usual.

ACOSTA: McCaskill has introduced a bill that have to pay bailed out CEOs at $400,000 a year, the same as the president's salary. A staunch ally, the president during the campaign, she may be gaining traction.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll ensure that CEOs are not draining funds that should be advancing our recovery.

ACOSTA: The administration is looking at ways to crack down on executive bonuses, but Republicans in Congress are skeptical.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: I really don't want the government to take over these businesses and start telling them everything about what they can do. Then you truly have nationalized the business.

ACOSTA: You voted for the bailout.


ACOSTA: Any regrets?

MCCASKILL: Sure. I clearly learned my lesson going forward. We've got to put a lot more controls in these bills, making sure that these executives understand that taxpayers cannot afford to pay them what they're used to getting paid.


ACOSTA: Remember the other half of the $700 billion bailout? Well, the Treasury Department is now considering just how to use that money to prop up some of the nation's biggest banks with new rules for firms that get taxpayer help -- John.

ROBERTS: A lot of people hoping that they just don't open the barn doors and let all the horses out.

ACOSTA: Just like last time, that's right.

ROBERTS: We'll see what they do. Jim Acosta for us this morning in Washington. Jim, thanks so much.

ACOSTA: You bet.

CHETRY: Well, the Simpsons have taken on almost every religion on God's green earth. But now, the woman who lends her voice to Bart is using him to introduce scientology without Homer's permission. The robocall and the controversy, next.

And actor Christian Bale blows up on set. What sent him into an F-bomb rant? We'll hear the audiotape just ahead.

ROBERTS: Jenny's number for sale. Your chance to own a piece of pop history if you can handle all the prank calls.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is jenny there?


ROBERTS: You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHETRY: Welcome back to the "Most News in the Morning." "The Simpsons," the show's creators were masters of religious satire. But now one cast member is using her famous voice to endorse a controversial belief and Springfield isn't too happy about it. Here's CNN's Kareen Wynter.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, Al. Last name Coholic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Phone call for Al, Al Coholic. Is there an Al Coholic here?


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Any good Simpsons' fan knows Bart is the prankster behind many a funny phone call. But producers for FOX's longest running show aren't laughing about a recent real life call made by (INAUDIBLE) in Bart Simpson's voice.

VOICE OF BART SIMPSON: Hey, what's happening, man? This is Bart Simpson. Just kidding.

WYNTER: The call audio landed on YouTube.

NANCY CARTWRIGHT, VOICE OF BART SIMPSON: No, it's not. This is Nancy Cartwright, and this is a very special phone call to you.

WYNTER: Nancy Cartwright, a high-profile member of the Church of Scientology who's also the actress behind Bart's iconic voice, recorded a robocall pitch to boost turnout for a Scientology event in Hollywood. She identifies herself by her real name and not her character but uses the Bart voice at a few points in the recording.

VOICE OF NANCY CARTWRIGHT: It's going to be a blast, man. I will be there to share my many wins as a Solo NOTs auditor and to see the Golden Era of film presentation of FLAG: The Mecca of Technical Perfection. I hope you can make it, man.

WYNTER: The Simpsons' executive producer, Al Jean, told CNN, "This is not authorized by us. The Simpsons' does not, and never has, endorsed any religion, philosophy or system of beliefs any more profound than Butterfinger bars. A reference to a paid endorsement deal the show once had with the candy bar. Cartwright has spoken openly about her beliefs in the past.

NANCY CARTWRIGHT, VOICE OF BART SIMPSON: Scientology is very practical. You take the information and you put in your life and you get better from it. And then you -- I've also recognized for myself that I can help other people too get better.

WYNTER: Neither the Church of Scientology nor Cartwright responded to CNN inquiries about the phone calls. The audio of the original call which at first appeared on YouTube as a video with Simmpsons' images was removed from the site this weekend. The poster connected to an anti-scientology group stated it was no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox.

WYNTER: The FOX network told CNN it had no comment on any actions it's taking.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Just crossing the half hour now. A look at the top stories this morning. North Korea may test fire a long-range missile that may one day be able to hit the United States.

South Korean and Japanese news agencies say that the north is preparing for a ballistic missile launch. It comes just a week after Pyongyang said that the Korean Peninsula was on the brink of war, throwing out all agreements with South Korea. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton is expected to visit the region during her first overseas trip.

Well kids are being denied new toys in today's economy. Mattel reporting bad news as Barbie gets ready to turn 50. The company says fourth quarter profit was almost cut in half. They say Barbie sales down nine percent. Hot Wheels sales also down. And Fisher-Price sales down three percent.

Well for Joe the plumber to Joe the political strategist, fresh off his stint as a war reporter in Gaza last month, Joe Wurzelbacher will be the featured guest today at a meeting of Republican congressional staffers in Washington. The group is promoting his appearance to get staffers to attend. Joe is expected to speak about the economic stimulus. He is against it.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Well they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But it doesn't mean that you have to like it. The White House is now cracking down on companies that may try to invoke the president's campaign or likeness of White House official business in their commercials. Companies like Pepsi, their new logo looked familiar to you?

Well in fact, it should because it's very similar to the Barack Obama campaign logo. CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin joins us this morning.

Jeff, you know, every White House does, it tries to limit the profiteering off of images of the White House and the official seals, stationeries or what have you but the enthusiasm surrounding this president is unlike anything I've ever seen.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It certainly is. The images of Barack Obama and his family very importantly are very popular for the moment, anyway, and lots of companies are trying to profit off of it. Interestingly from a legal perspective, it's actually hard to crack down on this stuff.

ROBERTS: Yes. Let's look at some of the problems you brought in this morning, some of the items that you brought out there. Here's a Christmas ornament. A little three ball here which actually kind of cheesy to me. And here's a little button here, the first family. It's done on the official White House script as well which I guess isn't necessarily copyright infringement. And here's a lovely Obama ruler as well.

The White House in its statement said, "our lawyers are working on developing a policy that will protect the presidential image while being careful not to squelch the enthusiasm that the public has for the President." But as you said other than some limitations on the U.S. Code of the Presidential Seal, what can they do?

TOOBIN: Well, that's the problem. Because the law prohibits the use of the seal which is familiar. People you notice the seal isn't any of these little items, but in terms of the photograph, which is obviously the most important thing, Barack Obama's photograph is part of the news.

So any commercial company, it's very hard to tell them you can't use Barack Obama's photograph. The "New York Times" has his photograph on the front page every day. You can't tell "The New York Times" you can't run this photograph. How do you draw a distinction between that and any other business? Because the "New York Times" is in the profit-making business like any other-

ROBERTS: Tell us the difference here because some people will say well if your look at the cover of maybe the "New York Times" or "People Magazine," every once in a while you'll see Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie's picture there but you can't put that on a t-shirt and sell it without getting your butt sued.

TOOBIN: Right. There are certain state laws, not federal laws but state laws that prohibit the commercial exploitation of famous faces. California, the home of many celebrities has a pretty strict law in that regard. You can't use someone - a famous case involving W.C. Fields. W.C. Fields' picture on any sort of good and try to make money off of it. That's a state-by-state process. That's something that the White House doesn't want to get involved in litigation about.

But the White House is mostly using moral-ssuasion. It's trying to say -

ROBERTS: As we saw with the dolls, Sasha and Malia.

TOOBIN: That's right. Michelle Obama came out publicly and said she didn't like it. Most people don't want to offend the White House. If Greg Craig, the White House counsel writes you a letter and says the president would prefer you not do this, most companies will follow along but not all of them.

ROBERTS: And not legally bound to either. Interesting. Jeff, thanks so much for your legal analysis.

TOOBIN: And bringing my excellent props.

ROBERTS: Really. Can I keep the button?

TOOBIN: You an keep the button.

ROBERTS: Thank you.

CHETRY: All right. Well in the fit of rage, actor Christian Bale is caught on tape going off from the director of photography while on the set of the fourth "Terminator" movie, "Terminator Salvation."

According to the TMZ website, Bale accused the man of ruining his scene by walking on to the "Terminator" set while filming in July. When the director of photography tried to explain himself, Bale cut loose. Let's listen.


VOICE OF CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: I'm going to (inaudible) kick you (inaudible) if you don't shut up for a second alright?

Do you want me to (bleep) trash your lights?

Do you want me to (bleep) trash them?

Then why are you thrashing my scene?

DIR. OF PHOTOGRAPHY: I'm not trying to trash your ...

BALE: You are thrashing my scene! You do it one more (bleep) time and I'm not even walking on this set if you're still hired. I'm (bleep) serious. You're a nice guy. You're a nice guy but that don't (bleep) cut it when you're bull(bleep) and (bleep) around like this on set.


CHETRY: He had one compliment in there.

ROBERTS: There were more beeps in there than words.

CHETRY: You're a nice guy, you're a nice guy but -

ROBERTS: But beep.

CHETRY: Wow. Well, TMZ is reporting an executive sent the recording to the insurance company that backed the movie in case Bale tried to bail on the project. "Terminator Salvation," it hits theaters May 22nd. So far attempts to reach Bale and his representatives for comment were unavailable for comment.

ROBERTS: This wasn't just some shmoe. He's the director of photography, like he's an essential part of this whole thing and he unloaded like that. According to some report, the two of them made up since.

CHETRY: Oh. All right.

ROBERTS: But my goodness.

CHETRY: Well, bygones be bygones. How about that?

Well, now that the President is armed with a super secret spy phone, all around Washington everyone wants to know, do you have the president's e-mail address? Is your e-mail address in the President's spy phone? We'll have more on that.

Also, it's a huge hit from the '80s and unless your phone number happens to be 8675309, maybe you love it. Maybe you'll love the song that the endless ringing in your household. Find out what it's like having rock's most famous digits and also what those digits could be worth. It's 37 minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. First talk of a super secret presidential spy phone had all of Washington talking. Mr. Obama actually ended up keeping his well-protected Blackberry. So now the buzz inside the beltway is all about who has the president's super secret e-mail and whether or not your e-mail is on the president's spy phone.

Our Carol Costello has more from Washington. Safe to say, neither one of us. We don't have it. And he doesn't have ours.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. That's true. He does not have ours although I would give it to President Obama if he wanted it. Do you know what it's like in Washington though, Kiran? It's sort of like when you're in high school and everyone wants to be connected to the most popular kid in school, except they can't be.


COSTELLO (voice-over): Washington is abuzz. You can almost hear the incredible incredulous, awful, electronic messages flying. Oh, my god. You have the president of the United States' e-mail? Sadly for many the message back is, are you kidding?

Truth is not many have president Obama's super secret e-mail address and that's got Washington in a frenzy.

GARRETT GRAFF, WASHINTONIAN.COM: There's a big class of people in Washington who are people who would like to think they should be on e-mail terms with the president and for them probably it's the most frustrating part of this, is not knowing who among their group has access to the president.

COSTELLO: So whoever has that golden address has the president's ear and in Washington that means you are someone. That's why reporters yearn for it too.

MATT LAUER, NBC HOST: You're not going to hook me up, are you?

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES: Matt, do you want one?

LAUER: I won't ask what's your e-mail address? I'd like to communicate with you during the game.

OBAMA: I like your son. I might give it to him. I'm not going to give it to you.

COSTELLO: And don't forget lobbyists. They really want it. Or at least want to know who has it.

GRAFF: You want to know whether the person who says they can talk to the president for you can actually do that.

COSTELLO: Right now we know there are just a handful of people who have the president's e-mail address. He hinted on NBC that Malia and Sasha have it and we can presume that Mrs. Obama has it too. It's been widely reported the president's closest advisers have it. Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs.

Still, Washington insiders are frustrated knowing there must be more names in the president's inbox. Lamenting it was so much simpler to know who was someone in administration's past. For example, if you were an FOB, you were invited to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom, and FOG, you cut brush in the ranch in Crawford.

Heck, during those May day parades in the old Soviet Union, if you sat near Stalin, you were an FOS.


COSTELLO: You know, Kiran, as soon as Obama starts hosting basketball game at the White House, people will be very attentive to who's playing with the president because they may have his e-mail address.

CHETRY: Oh, absolutely. Do you think Rush Limbaugh, by the way, has his e-mail address or vice versa?

COSTELLO: No, I don't think so. I don't think they're friends.

CHETRY: Well, I asked you because I was reading through some of the rush transcripts and he thinks that you are - that Carol Costello's beat on AMERICAN MORNING is the Rush Limbaugh beat.

COSTELLO: Well in true nonpartisan spirit I like it because as a reporter I was able to be objective and bring all views. So I guess I'm honored.

Because I'm fair to him. That's our goal.

CHETRY: That's right. He did think that we were fair to him because we played his entire "not just the I hope he fails" so he was happy. You don't want him as your enemy. All right. Carol, thanks.


ROBERTS: And Michelle Obama making her first solo appearance as First Lady. We'll take a look at where she went and what it can tell us about her role in the White House.


ROBERTS: This just in to CNN. Some troubling information on the number of attacks in Afghanistan. This comes as President Obama gets his first briefing from Defense Secretary Robert Gates about plans to send an additional 15,000 troops to Afghanistan. CNN's Barbara Starr joins us now live from the Pentagon. What are these troubling statistics telling us today, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, CNN has obtained these exclusive statistics from NATO about just how bad things are in Afghanistan, sometimes the numbers tell the story.

Let's get right to it. According to NATO in 2008 overall attacks in the country up more than 30 percent. IEDs, up more than 30 percent.

Now, the top killer of U.S. troops. Kidnappings, assassinations up nearly 50 percent. Other categories shoulder-fired weapons up 87 percent. Rockets and mortars up nearly 30 percent %. But as well, John, civilian casualties in Afghanistan up nearly 60 percent, most of that due to insurgent activity according to NATO, but that is the top concern for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He knows Afghans are getting very troubled by that number in particular.

ROBERTS: Yes. As he said recently that if America is seen as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution, then everything is lost. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon for us today. Barbara, thanks of that.

STARR: Sure.

CHETRY: Michelle Obama making one of her first official trips out of the White House. We're going to take a look at what it might suggest about her plans as First Lady. It's 47 minutes after the hour.



CHETRY: Isn't that the song that once you get it in your head? I know you're mad at us today because it's going to be in your head all day long. If you have an '80s play list on your ipod there's a good chance that includes that song but when it comes to the Tommy two-tone classic, it isn't Jenny but her phone number that people still remember.

Our Alina Cho found out what it's like to have the most famous digits in music history. When we were younger this was the stuff of urban legend. Someone said 8675309 is their number. ALINA CHO, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big question is there really a Jenny? We're going to answer that question in a minute, Kiran, good morning. Good morning, everybody. Now who doesn't know the song "876-5309/jenny" It is the 80s gift that keeps on giving if you will. Well it turns out that a 28-year-old DJ snagged as his own number five years ago and now he is giving someone else the chance to own a little piece of 80s history by selling it on ebay.




CHO (voice-over): He's not calling for just any Jenny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jenny I got your number.

CHO: This jenny has the most famous phone number in the world.


CHO: The 1982 Tommy two time tone hit is making a comeback. Not the song. The actual phone number. This is crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hasn't stopped ringing.

CHO: Spencer Potter acquired the famous number five years ago as a marketing gimmick for his deejay business. 867-5309

CHO: It worked. He gets about 10,000 calls a year. Give me the laundry list of the more interesting calls that you've received over the year. Right, it's ringing again.

SPENCER POTTER, AUCTIONING FAMOUS PHONE NUMBER: We get people, all sorts of '80s fanatics calling and just singing the song and belting out, you know, belting out like they are on "American Idol" and this is terrible.

CHO: Now Potter is ready to pass on the torch. He's listed the number along with his business on ebay.

POTTER: I figured, what the heck, let's see how much this thing is worth.

CHO: It turns out a lot.

POTTER: It's pretty much the last piece of the '80s other than the mullet that is still around today.



CHO: And what does the man behind the song think about this? TOMMY "TUTONE" HEATH, LEAD SINGER, TOMMY TUTONE: I just have to laugh about it. Maybe someday somebody will send me some of that money.

CHO: Did we mention the phone rings off the hook? Gosh! I can't imagine -- it's ringing again!

POTTER: Over here.

CHO: It's ringing again! And what about Jenny?

HEATH: Yes, there actually is a Jenny. On the other hand, I have somewhat a hold on reality. So in my reality, she exists.

CHO: She exists in the minds of millions of fans, too.

POTTER: If you have other questions, you can call me at any time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got your number.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to make you mine. Jenny, don't change your number 867-5309.


CHO: He never gets tired of the practical jokes either and he still loves the song. So now, exactly how much is the number 867-5309 worth? Let me give you an idea. At about this time yesterday, the bidding was at about $5,100. There were 43 bids. By last night about 77 bids, $150,000 is the top one. This morning, Kiran, 123 bids and the top bid is $365,100 and the auction, it's a 10-day auction and it does not end until Monday.

Now when I asked Spencer what he was going to do with that money he was hoping to get about $50,000 at the time. I couldn't believe it. He said you know I hope I can maybe take my parents to Hawaii, give some money to charity and maybe go backpacking to Europe. If he is goes to Europe, he's not taking a backpack anymore, not with that kind of money.

CHETRY: So area code by the way, 201 for him but it could transfer anywhere?

CHO: That's right. 201 for New Jersey but he can transfer it anywhere because it's an internet phone. So that is part of the allure, just the greatest asset of his deejay business and as you can see, people want the number.

CHETRY: All right. If you want your phone to ringing off the hook, just get the telemarketers to call, forget the number.

CHO: He says that you got to have a sense of humor about it. You got to keep the ringer off most of the time

CHETRY: Exactly. Alina, thanks. CHO: You bet.


CHETRY (voice-over): Michelle Obama's new role.

MICHELL OBAMA, WIFE OF PRES. OBAMA: Am a product of your work.

CHETRY: The First Lady focusing on schools and her first event outside the White House.

Plus, the thought police. A new documentary examines the spy business and the government's top secret plan to read your mind by tracking your every move. You're watching the most news in the morning.




MICHELLE OBAMA, : I am committed as well as my husband to ensuring that more kids like us and kids around this country regardless of their race, their income, their status, the property values in their neighborhood, get an access to an outstanding education.


CHETRY: First lady Michelle Obama praising the nation's civil servants while speaking at the Department of Education. Yesterday, was here first major public event outside of the White House since inauguration day? So what did the trip say about this future rule of the fist lady.

Well, joining us now has first lady historian Karl Spearaza Anthony. And he joins me from Los Angeles this morning.

Karl, thanks for being with us.


CHETRY: So Michelle Obama as first lady is touring these government departments, sort of promoting her husband's agenda. What did you make of making the Department of Education here first stop.

ANTHORNY: Well, of course, that's very important. With education reform as a part of the administration of agenda, but it says a couple of things. First of all, it actually is almost old- fashioned. Back to the days of Lincoln and Cleveland in the 19th century presidents when the government work force was actually a little smaller but there was more of a sense of a connection actually between the White House, between the family and the White House and what they thought of as the extended family of people in Washington who worked for the government. Oftentimes, it was a lifetime career. And, really, it's not been since World War II that you've actually seen a first lady reach out to people in the government with a promise that she would be visiting the other departments, but the other important thing is - and this very much like, again, like Mrs. Roosevelt during World War II. This is a role of the eyes and ears for the president.

This is a role where a First Lady can go out, meet people, she is much more accessible. There is less security around her, and also people are usually a little bit more open to sharing with a first lady any problems or issues that they might see that they might not do with a president. So this is a very important role, although I think it's just going to be one of several components to her public role as First Lady.

CHETRY: So let's listen to a little bit about what she said. And she actually spoke about both herself and Barack Obama being the product of a public school education. Let's listen.


MICHELLE OBAMA: I'm a product of people who were investing every day in the education of regular kids who have grown up on the south side of Chicago, kids on the north side, folks in the south and the west. Young people who oftentimes come into these systems not knowing their own power and their own potential.


CHETRY: So she is talking about, yet, at the same time, she is sending Sasha and Malia to a private school. Sidwell Friends, not the D.C. public school system. How important is it for her to show that she gets it and she understands the difficulties every day Americans face when it comes to making sure their children get the best education?

CARL SFERRAZZA ANTHONY, FIRST LADY HISTORIAN: Well, that's very, very important, especially right now. And as far as the children went to private school, that's a reality that she is so -- she is so articulate, and she hits the ground running in this one particular area that is, you know, a trait that's valuable to a First Lady, which is an ease of public speaking.

I think she can easily explain that there are issues and concerns that, you know, involve with president's children. A certain reality that make life easier for them and the children they go to school with. But as far as herself and what her message is, is it is saying we are accessible to you, to people who may be hurting. We know where you've come from. That's a very -- particularly in a time of economic uncertainty, that sense of shared burden, if you will, that sense of being able to really empathize from the gut is a really important and valuable role for a First Lady to have with the people of the nation. You know, in many ways, the First Lady is thought of as a mother of the nation.

CHETRY: That's right. And she talks about being mom and chief, as well as focusing on military families, work family balance and also voluntarism. She has a lot on her plate, and I'm sure the Department of Education was thrilled that she made her first public stop there. Carl Sferrazza Anthony, First Lady historian, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

ANTHONY: Thank you.