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CNN Saturday Morning News

Obama May Make Supreme Court Choice Next Week; Magnitude 5.7 Quake Hits Mexico; Storms Drench Already Soggy Florida; Interview With Bob Woodruff

Aired May 23, 2009 - 06:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING on this Memorial Day weekend. I'm T.J. Who is this we got here?

ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning.

HOLMES: Good morning.

CHO: Good morning, everybody. I'm Alina Cho. Betty has the morning off. Thanks so much for starting your Saturday with us.

And we've got a lot going on. We have new information this morning about President Obama's search for the next Supreme Court justice. CNN has the inside track on a possible announcement.

HOLMES: Also, of course, many of you will remember ABC News anchor - still an ABC news anchor, Bob Woodruff. He was injured in 2006, a severe brain injury. Well, he's been making a comeback. He's working again and whatnot. And you need to see -- you just have to hear my interview with him and his wife, Lee.

Take a quick listen.


LEE WOODRUFF, BOB WOODRUFF'S WIFE: Many times a brain injury ultimately leads to divorce or the breakup of a family. We got so lucky with Bob's injury, and it did bring us closer together. And that's why we want...


HOLMES: Well, you have to hear these two, the comeback story. Also the campaign they have going on this weekend to raise money for injured American soldiers, again this Memorial Day weekend. That's happening (ph), things going on.

CHO: Yes, he's had a remarkable recovery, and he's just asking for a couple of dollars from each American.

Some rough weather also could affect today's planned return of the space shuttle Atlantis and its crew. There are just five windows to land today, both in Florida and in California. Will they make it? Reynolds Wolf will have a preview (ph).

HOLMES: And we just had to get this story in this morning. They're called cougars; I don't know if that's offensive or not.

CHO: No, not so much.

HOLMES: But there's a phenomenon called "the cougar." These are older women who prefer or some say prey on younger men.

CHO: Hey!

HOLMES: Some say. But that's -- some point to that example...

CHO: Nothing wrong with that.

HOLMES: ...Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher. But we will be looking at this phenomenon this morning.

CHO: And they are incredibly happy.

HOLMES: Yes, they look good.

CHO: But first, a quick look at some of the top stories we're following for you this morning.

After 100 days in a jail in Iran, an American journalist is finally back home. Roxana Saberi was accused of spying for the United States. She was convicted last month and sentenced to eight years in prison. But on appeal, a judge reduced her sentence and then suspended it.

HOLMES: Well, we'll take you now south of the border, Mexico. An earthquake rattles Mexico City. Nothing new for them; they're kind of used to this. But these are some familiar scenes we're used to seeing. Thousands of people really just seek cover out in the streets, essentially. U.S. officials say this earthquake measured 5.7 in magnitude.

No immediate reports of injuries or damage. Again, just a lot of frightened people. The epicenter was not right there, of course, in Mexico City, as often the case. It was some 85 miles away in the southeast, in Puebla.

Also, in Baghdad, a murder mystery there. An American found stabbed to death inside in the heavily guarded Green Zone. Iraqi security forces say the man was blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back. The U.S. military is not releasing his name just yet, until his family is notified.

This comes after the U.S. handed Green Zone security over to the Iraqis.

CHO: Back to our top story now, President Obama could name his nominee to the Supreme Court as early as next week. CNN has actually obtained an e-mail from an aide to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HOLMES: Yes, that e-mail advising fellow Democrats to get ready for the presidential announcer's (ph) pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter.

Our senior White House correspondent Ed Henry has our report.


ED HENRY, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: T.J., Alina, CNN has learned that a top aide to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy told fellow Democrats on Friday that they should get ready for the president's Supreme Court pick to come as early as Tuesday. This according to an e-mail obtained by CNN, significant because the Judiciary panel, of course, will handle the Senate confirmation process for whomever the president picks to replace retiring Justice David Souter.

Three senior Obama administration officials confirming to CNN that the latest thinking here at the White House is that this pick could come as early as Tuesday. Also likely later in the week, if not Tuesday, if it slips a couple of days, but these senior officials flatly said the president, as of this weekend, has not picked yet -- has not settled on who it will be, instead spending Memorial Day weekend at Camp David, where he's expected to do some reading, try to make up his mind finally.

Also, Camp David very conducive to having a final one-on-one meeting with a potential nominee, because the media does not have any access to Camp David.

Now, on the short list, there are a half dozen people that we've heard about it: Elena Kagan, who is the solicitor general; Judge Sonia Sotomayor; also Judge Diana Wood of Chicago; Jennifer Granholm, the Michigan governor. Various names bantied (ph) (sic) about, but the senior administration officials cautioned it's still possible that if the president doesn't make up his mind this weekend, it could slip to later, early-to-mid-June that he makes the announcement.

The president, however, is under some pressure to get this announcement done before June 3, when he leaves on a foreign trip to Egypt, France and Germany. He wants to get the process going because he's hoping to get these Senate confirmation hearings started in July. The Senate takes off the entire month of August. If there are any delays in this process, it could really jeopardize getting a new justice in place by the first Monday in October.

The other concern by this White House is that if these confirmation hearings drag into September, that will distract attention from the rest of the president's agenda, especially his push for health-care reform -- T.J., Alina.


CHO: Ed Henry, thank you.

If you're one of the millions of Americans drowning in debt, you may be about to get a break from skyrocketing rates and fees. On Friday, President Obama signed into law new credit-card reform legislation. Now under the new law, credit-card companies will be barred from increasing interest rates on existing balances until cardholders are more than 60 days late on a payment. Now the new rules won't take effect until February of 2010. Cardholders can face rate hikes until then.

There are more than 700 million credit cards in circulation in the United States. More than $2.5 trillion debt in this country, and that's excluding mortgages.

Now, with the drop in gas prices, more of you are hitting the roads this Memorial Day weekend. In fact, 27 million Americans will spend part of the weekend driving. That's according to AAA. And that's 2.5 percent more than last year.

Gas prices do have something to do with it. They always do. While prices are up about 30 cents from last month, that is nowhere close to what you paid last month. Remember four bucks a gallon, T.J.?

HOLMES: No, that was...

CHO: I do.

HOLMES: Yes, that's right.

CHO: I remember four bucks a gallon.

Well, today, regular unleaded will run you about $2.41 on average. I remember 99 cents a gallon.

HOLMES: That was awhile back, Alina.


CHO: That was a long time ago. But I remember it.

HOLMES: But yes, $4. Everybody seeing these prices now, we forget how bad it was for a little while.

CHO: And listen, the prices could go up -- you know, in the summer...

HOLMES: Of course.

CHO: ...they generally do. And maybe we will see four bucks again. But I certainly hope not.

HOLMES: Well, they're not driving around too much in Florida right about now, particular places. They are getting a whole lot of nasty weather, and a whole lot of rain, I should say.

These are some pictures we're -- show you out of Daytona, Florida. And I see Reynolds standing by here; he's going to chime in on this.

Reynolds, we're talking about -- what? -- 16 inches earlier this week, another four inches of rain in Daytona that we're talking about specifically. $52 million worth of damage in one of the worst-hit counties there, a thousand buildings reporting some kind of damage.

You have some kind of relief to report for us, Reynolds?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, really nothing -- nothing going.

You know, it's funny, as we're mentioning this, and you know, people are thinking, 'Hey, you know, it's Florida, a tropical state. They're supposed to get some -- some rain.' That's true, but this much rain is a little bit ridiculous.

Take a look at some of the numbers, T.J. You were talking about some places getting, you know, well over a foot. Some places even more than that. Check out Ormond Beach, where they had just this week 24.78 inches of rainfall. Daytona Beach, we showed you video moments ago, of compliments of WKMG in Orlando, Florida -- Orlando itself, right around 13.31. In Melbourne, right around 11.

And the thing is, we could see more of that rainfall today. But we're going to also be seeing the possibility of more rain moving into places like Mississippi, Alabama, even in Louisiana. The reason why is because that area of low pressure that brought those scattered showers to Florida and that heavy rainfall is now going to move. It's going to pull its way back over the Gulf of Mexico, where you have very warm water in parts of the Gulf.

Something that we really have to be concerned with is the potential of this system that we see right here possibly becoming, strengthening and becoming a tropical depression later on today. So something we're going to watch for you very carefully.

Now, at Barksdale Air Force Base, which is right on the Mississippi coat, what we're going to be seeing is they're going to take a specially configured C130 aircraft going right into the heart of this storm. They're going to drop some instrumentation and give us some readings and give us a better idea of what we can anticipate from the system as it chugs its way to the north.

One thing we do have in our favor is that this storm is very close to land. It's not going to stay out over this open water for a very long time. If it had, or if it were forming in the central Gulf, we might have a few issues.

No issues right now in parts of Atlanta other than a few scattered clouds and possibly some showers. We're going to take a look at your holiday forecast coming up in just a few moments.

Let's send it right back to you guys.

CHO: I think we're looking at a little rain, aren't we?

WOLF: I would say so, yes. Yes. Got to wipe it out of the skies. There you go.

CHO: Thanks, Reynolds.

HOLMES: All right, Reynolds. We'll talk to you shortly.

CHO: The economy, two wars -- President Obama facing a lot in these next 100 days of his presidency. And Josh Levs checking it all out on

Hey, Josh. (INAUDIBLE)


JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Alina. Welcome back to the show.

CHO: Thank you.

LEVS: As always, always good to have you around.

CHO: Nice to be here.

LEVS: All right. So check this out: Some people a hundred days is an artificial deadline. But I'll tell you something: There is a way in which this next 100 days is critical. And we will tell you what this, coming right up -- T.J.

HOLMES: All right, Josh. Thank you.

Also coming up on this Memorial Day weekend, we'll take you to a place that's called "the saddest acre in America."



SGT. 1ST CLASS CHARLES TOLIVER, U.S ARMY FROM CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS: Hello, everyone. This is 1st Class Toliver. I'm with the 1st Cavalry Division from Baghdad, Iraq. I just want to wish everyone at home a wonderful Memorial weekend. And I hope that you all enjoy everything that God has blessed you with. And once again, we just bring you greetings from Baghdad, Iraq, with the lovely 1st Cavalry Division, where we live the legend.




CAPT. MAURICE DEWITT, U.S. ARMY, FROM ENTERPRISE, ALABAMA: Hello, my name is Captain Maurice Dewitt with 425 Civil Affairs. I'd like to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day. Hello, family. And I hope to see you soon.


CHO: I always loved seeing those. HOLMES: Mm-hmm.

CHO: You know, as the country continues to honor its fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend, we take a closer look at Arlington National Cemetery, which some call "the saddest acre in America."

HOLMES: Well, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr takes us specifically to Section 60.





BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Captain Marissa Alexander brings Avery (ph) and his twin sister, Alia (ph), here, to visit the father they never knew. Staff Sergeant Leroy Alexander was killed before they were born.

This is Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. It's been called "the saddest acre in America." More than 500 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are here.

CAPT. MARISSA ALEXANDER, WIFE OF FALLEN SOLDIER: They need to know what their father was about, have that connection with him.

STARR: Marissa is trying to make Section 60 part of her children's lives.

ALEXANDER: Myself and the children came here and we released balloons to him. And we explained the story of how he passed.

STARR: Families, buddies, friends come here. They mark their visits, leaving stones, notes, pictures -- some items reminders of memories we do not know.


STARR: Angie Capra, widowed with five children, is visiting husband Tech Sergeant Tony Capra's grave.

CAPRA: I got the news that day. I had talked to him about 12:30 that day. And by 3:30 my time they were knocking on the door.

STARR: Today, a drawing and Yoda have been left. Tony was a "Star Wars" fan. With her youngest, Adriana (Ph), Angie is now part of the Section 60 family.

CAPRA: Other widows will come by and put something on for -- for me. If they don't see me out there, they'll put something. Kind of a community.

STARR: Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley just attended a funeral for a fallen soldier. He has other men buried here.

LT. GEN. BENHJAMIN FREAKLEY, U.S. ARMY: They're still standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers and sisters of ranks.

STARR: A place of grieving, but a place for young children to learn of parents they never knew.

ALEXANDER: Knowing that this place gives them a -- a happy remembrance of their father, rather than something that's so tragic and so sad, that they feel very comfortable to come here and -- and be able to have that time with him and his memory.

STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, Section 60, Arlington National Cemetery.


CHO: And for more information on how you can help veterans and the families of fallen servicemen and women, go to

HOLMES: And during these tough economic times, we have been hearing more and more about people growing their own food, having gardens and whatnot. But also people are starting to raise their own food as well.

Backyard chickens -- yes, it's a trend now.

CHO: It is? OK.

HOLMES: Not in my house yet. But...

CHO: I'll take -- I'll take your word for it.

HOLMES: All righty.

CHO: I know it's not in your house.

And hey, something I know you want to pay attention to. You know, we -- we're talking about cougars and we're not...

HOLMES: Why do I need to pay attention to this?

CHO: ...a little -- you don't need to pay attention -- you specifically do not need to pay attention.


CHO: But out there, you know -- we're not -- we're talking about cougars.


CHO: And we're not talking about the animal.

HOLMES: Not the animal.

CHO: We are talking about older women who date younger men. Can you say Demi Moore?

But what does it all mean? We'll tell you.





CHO: Welcome back, everybody.

Well, these days, with the economy being what it is, some people are turning to their...

HOLMES: It's OK. (INAUDIBLE). Just get your coffee. Let's just do it. Here, you're busted. I know you tried. It's OK.

WOLF: There's nothing wrong with it. I mean, we're all doing it.

HOLMES: It's fine.


HOLMES: Just drink the coffee.

CHO: Oh man.

HOLMES: All right. But what were you saying?

CHO: Anyway.

HOLMES: Welcome. This is how we treat our guests here. Sorry.

CHO: You know what? They just said coffee, coffee, hide it. So I was trying to hide -- I'm sorry. (INAUDIBLE)

HOLMES: But Reynolds is here, because we were talking about this -- this phenomenon of...

CHO: Hey, Reynolds.

WOLF: Hey.

HOLMES: More and more people starting to grow their own food, but also raise their own food. And you've been chasing chickens (INAUDIBLE).

WOLF: Absolutely.

CHO: And it's just fascinating!

WOLF: Not -- not like Rocky. Not like Sylvester Stallone in the movie "Rocky" chasing chickens, but you think about it. I mean, come on, KFC, Popeyes, Mrs. Winter's (ph) -- you know, it doesn't always show up in a bucket. I mean, for some people, it's actually running around in the backyard. Not the bucket, but the bird.

And this is the story to tell it -- tell you how people go from Point A to Point B with these animals, putting them on the table. Good times.



Well, with the state of the economy, the backyard-chicken movement, as we call it, has really flourished.

WOLF (voice-over): Six months ago, Jeff Miller was laid off from his job in the aviation industry. Now, he's gone into the avian industry.

MILLER: I've gone into building chicken coops pretty much full time. It's really helped out a lot.

I've actually been backlogged an average of about six to eight weeks for the past four months.

WOLF: Miller's part of a group in Atlanta started by this man.

ANDY SCHNEIDER, THE CHICKEN WHISPERER: My name is Andy Schneider and I am "the chicken whisperer."

Hey. Hey. Looks like we've gone one here.

I am the founder and organizer of the largest local meet-up group in the country regarding backyard poultry. And we have close to 600 members.

WOLF: Every month, the Atlanta-fed (ph) chicken group meets at local restaurants to talk chicken over chicken.

SCHNEIDER: There's anybody and everybody you'd ever think of that would actually keep backyard poultry. Your next-door neighbor, your -- the friend that you go to church with, your Sunday school teacher, the corporate worker. You name it.

Welcome to Backyard Poultry with the chicken whisperer.

WOLF: The group and its weekly webstream radio show have made Schneider a spokesman for backyard-chicken enthusiasts everywhere.

SCHNEIDER: A week probably doesn't go by that I don't get contacted by somebody in another city across the country either trying to change their laws...

WOLF: When a group member received a violation from the city of Roswell, Georgia, for having backyard chickens, Schneider organized the troops. SCHNEIDER: We just started contacting the council members and educating them, sending them pictures of our -- our backyard pens, our coops. We started sending them articles from papers like "USA Today," "New York Times," "The Atlanta Journal" (sic), but about all these large cities that are actually changing their laws or currently allow backyard poultry.

WOLF: Schneider also set up a chicken giveaway in his town, handing out newborn chicks to families hoping to use the homegrown eggs to save a little money.

SCHNEIDER: Here, the boom I think does have to do with people being concerned about the economy, not really knowing what the next day is going to bring.

JIM STEVENS, RAISES CHICKENS: I am an engineer. And I'm going to raise chickens


STEVENS: To a degree, I think people are looking back to a -- an earlier, simpler time. And they want a bit of it for themselves.

Taking you home today.

SCHNEIDER: And now, with the economy, they're going back to the basics and -- and planning gardens and having backyard poultry. Why backyard poultry? That's an easy way for them to, you know, provide for their family.


WOLF: You know, when it comes to chickens, a lot of people like different types. I mean they like, you know, say, Rhode Islands reds or -- or dark guineas or whatever. Personally, I like mine 350 in the oven for about 45 minutes.


WOLF: But I mean no, this is a going -- this is a coming trend. You know, people are kind of like taking a step back in the -- in the past to save money. And I mean, let -- so let's be honest, it's -- it's actually gathering food in its purest form. You don't have to be worry about the -- you know, all the additives. You don't have to worry about the chemicals.

It's there. You catch it. You get it. And you do with it as you shall. Get a plate.


HOLMES: All right. And there were right about some law. That brings up a point.

I think there was a case even here around the Atlanta area where a guy was -- people complaining because he had chickens. You can't -- you're not supposed to do that (INAUDIBLE)

WOLF: Well, I mean how -- how has it been for you? I mean, with the chickens you have in your backyard and your...

HOLMES: It's working out just fine.

WOLF: That's good to know, man.

HOLMES: All right. Reynolds, we appreciate you.


HOLMES: As always.

Well, we'll turn...

CHO: Reynolds, thanks.

HOLMES: We'll turn to President Obama now. He's spending the weekend at Camp David. Don't think he's raising chickens there. It's going to allow him to escape some of the busyness of the White House, of course.

CHO: Well, the president, of course, thinking through some of the major issues on his plate. So what are the key tasks for his second 100 days in days?

Our Josh Levs is here with a look at that.

Supreme Court pick I hear?

LEVS: Yes. Yes, we got a whole bunch of really interesting things that he's faced.

By the way, I cannot come up with a good segue out of Reynolds over to politics. I got nothing.

CHO: There's no way to do it.

LEVS: Yes, we got nothing.

But I'll tell you something. And it's (INAUDIBLE), I hadn't seen this story (ph); it's great. It's on, and it talks you through this idea of the next 100 days. We'll zoom in a little bit, and what you'll see is it focuses on -- on some of the major issues that the president's going to be facing.

And when you take a look at this, one of the first things is this analysis piece that says "What's Ahead for Obama in the Next 100 Days."

Let's go straight to a graphic, because to me, this one quote says a great deal. It talks about what's critical about these next 100 days. And guys, let put it in a full-screen graphic so everyone can see that quote. I want you to see it. It says that, "The second 100 days," which is the block of time that we're in now, "will be a critical test of Obama's power in getting key legislative priorities, such as economic recovery, health care, energy and immigration, passed."

So if you think of it from that perspective, talking about the biggest issues that there are, right? How are you going to actually get them passed? And the president facing that kind of a challenge? That's what he's looking at right now.

And when you look at this, what you see are a lot of really good interactives that talk through those major issues. For example, you can click on any of these. You can click on "economy" or "energy" or "health care" or "education." You can see what policies are currently on his plate.

Over here you can see where the American public stands in polls that have just been done in the last couple of weeks. And you can see how far he is or how close he is to maybe getting some legislation passed.

So I encourage you to check that out.

Also, this is a really fun feature: you can click on major players inside the Obama White House, learn what role they're playing, learn what their background is, in case there are some major players you haven't heard a lot about yet.

Plus, I like showing it because it looks good on TV.

All of that right there guys,

HOLMES: And there's another one they can look at as well.

LEVS: Yes.

HOLMES: Everybody's talking about Supreme Court right now. There's another interactive there as well.

LEVS: Yes, another interactive. It's great; it's the exact same idea. It links you over to there and you can learn about some of the major players who might ultimately get that slot.

And as we've been hearing, this weekend in Camp David, the president just might be thinking about that.

If you want to know a lot more about what the president's got in the next 100 days, tune in tonight, CNN tonight, "AC 360" special. Two wars, you got the broken economy, historic plans the president says just cannot wait. AC, Anderson Cooper, is going to look at just how this administration plans to tackle such extreme challenges.

"AC 360" special -- and you guys know this, is tonight, 8:00 Eastern.

CHO: Anderson, he never stops working. HOLMES: He doesn't, does he?

CHO: All right, Josh, thanks.



CHO: President Obama could make an announcement as early as Tuesday about his pick for the Supreme Court. So who could it be?

HOLMES: Yes, I'm asking our political director, do any men have a shot at being the next Supreme Court justice?

Stay here.


HOLMES: Ah, that was a beautiful live and shaky picture of Atlanta this morning. I believe that's -- that's city hall here in downtown Atlanta. It's supposed to be a little cloudy today, maybe a little...

CHO: It looks like the Capitol Rotunda, right? A little bit.


CHO: It is beautiful. I've driven by it.

HOLMES: And welcome to Atlanta. Good to have you here with us.

CHO: Thank you. It's nice to be here. Betty taking a couple of days off.


CHO: Always nice to sit next to you for a couple of hours.

Good morning, everybody. I'm Alina Cho. Thanks so much for being with us on this Saturday morning.

HOLMES: And I'm T.J. Holmes.

Up first, Memorial Day weekend, 27 million Americans expected to clog the nation's roads this weekend. Not so clogged on that one right now. And a 2.5 percent increase of people hitting the roads this year, from last year. Gas prices may be a big factor in a lot of people's decision. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.41. Well below last summer's $4 a gallon price level.

CHO: Soon there may be a vaccine for swine flu soon. The Centers for Disease Control says that it has at least two sample viruses that could be used to make a vaccine to fight that H1N1 strain, otherwise known as swine flu. Officials say they are hopeful that a test vaccine could be ready sometime next month. The CDC estimates more than 100,000 people in the United States have gotten sick from the virus.

The man convicted of killing a woman along a popular biking trail in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, two years ago has gotten the death penalty. A jury sentenced Michael Ledford to death Friday for sexually assaulting and killing Jennifer Ewing on the Silver Comet biking trail back in 2006. Ledford's attorneys say he had a long history of alcohol abuse.

HOLMES: President Obama's post Memorial Day priorities include finding a Supreme Court nominee to replace David Souter. CNN's Deputy Political Editor Paul Steinhauser joins us now with more on the announcement and the timetable, and the possibilities.

Hello there, Paul. I guess, first and foremost, when? When are we going to hear a name?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes, that's the big question, T.J. Everybody wants to know when.

This is what we are hearing from the White House on timetable, maybe as early as next week. Earlier in the week the president is out in Nevada and in California but he's coming back to D.C. by Thursday. So maybe at the end of next week, or the beginning of the following week, after that he takes off for a trip to Egypt and Europe, so there's a thought the White House would like to get this done before he takes off for that trip.

HOLMES: You know he's not just trying to pacify people by putting a name out there. He needs to do this. There's a time frame for getting somebody in place before they start their next session up in the fall.

STEINHAUSER: Yes, exactly. Because once he puts the name out, then the Senate has to get involved. They have to have confirmation hearings, and then a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, then a final vote as well. Remember the Senate takes off the month of August for a summer recess.

The president, he says, listen, I want my person on the Supreme Court, on the high court, by the time the next session of the Supreme Court begins and that is in early October.

HOLMES: OK, and do men need not apply for this job?


STEINHAUSER: Well, you could apply, T.J. I don't know your legal background but ...

HOLMES: Well, what we are hearing here, is a man has no shot. Is that the consensus, essentially?

STEINHAUSER: It is not the consensus. That's a lot of reporting that the Obama administration is leaning towards a woman, but they are not counting anybody out. But, yes, why? Because remember there used to be two high court female justices. When Sandra Day O'Conner retired in 2005 she was replaced by a man. So there's a lot of pressure by feminist groups and others to put a woman on the Supreme Court.

HOLMES: All right. This is everybody's favorite game. Just throw out a few names that we are hearing about.

STEINHAUSER: There are a lot of names out there. Three of them, let's start with Diane Wood. She is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, the 7th Circuit. How about Elena Kagan; she the first female solicitor general. That is the lawyer for the administration that argues in front of the Supreme Court. Before that she was the dean of Harvard Law School. One more name, how about not a judge? Let's go with Jennifer Granholm, she is the governor of Michigan. Before that she was the state's attorney general. So, there's three but there are plenty out there.

HOLMES: And where is the issue of abortion going to play in the whole debate?

STEINHAUSER: It will play. It may not -- it's something that normally when a president interviews these people, these potential candidates, he does not bring up actual issues. But when there is a fight over the nominee, abortion will be one of those major social issues, those culture war issues like gay marriage, abortion, that will come up. You just saw abortion become a big issue with the president's commencement address last weekend at Notre Dame. So it's out there. It is something people are talking about.

Remember, the person that this candidate will replace, David Souter, was generally considered to be part of the court that was in favor of upholding Roe V. Wade.

HOLMES: Did not really work out the way a lot of people thought he would there, that Mr. Souter.

All right. Paul Steinhauser always works out the way we want it to work out. We appreciate you sir, see you again soon.


CHO: All right. Two wars, a broken economy, and historic plans the president says simply cannot wait. CNN's Anderson Cooper looks at how the Obama administration plans to tackle such extreme challenges in an "AC 360" special. That's tonight 8:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

Memorial Day weekend finds the U.S. military still in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question this morning: How do you, the viewer, feel about troops still abroad? We'll have sine new poll numbers for you this morning.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many times a brain injury ultimately leads to divorce or the break up of a family. We got so lucky with Bob's injury. It did bring us closer together. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: That is ABC anchor Bob Woodruff on the right, and his wife, Lee, there talking about life after the brain injury he suffered while covering the war in Iraq. Plus their new campaign to raise money for injured American service members this weekend.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Major Charles Benson Adams, he's my second cousin. He fought in World War II in the Philippine Islands. He was attacking Japanese convoys on the Island of Luzon. He crashed into a mountain on the other side of the dive bombing just a few months before the end of the war.

He had gone to Texas A&M. In 1939 he won the all-around cowboy trophy at the A&M rodeo. He was well though of and highly regarded and quite a loss.



CHO: Check it out. A different kind of thunderstorm hit the White House on Friday. The Rolling Thunder veterans motorcycle group rode down the White House driveway to commemorate their annual Ride for Freedom movement to support missing troops. What an honor. Now before riding off, they talked about their meeting with President Obama. Take a listen.


GARY SCHEFFMEYER, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, ROLLING THUNDER: He's only been in a little over 100 days. So it will take more than that to determine what he will do for the American people.

He's trying. He really is. This is a tough time in this country with the recession, people losing jobs. The economy is not good. He's doing the best he can to bring everything back so America can get rolling again and be the great country it always has been.


CHO: The Rolling Thunder event includes three days of activities over the Memorial Day weekend.

HOLMES: His story is one of strength, courage and comeback. ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff was badly hurt, you may remember, when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle in late January of 2006 while he was reporting in Iraq.


BOB WOODRUFF, REPORTING FROM IRAQ: Heading up to Camp Taji (ph). This is a foot patrol.


HOLMES: As co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, he and his wife, Lee, are turning to Twitter to help raise funds for injured service members, vets and their families. His program is called Tweet To ReMIND.


HOLMES (On camera): Bob and Lee Woodruff join me now from New York.

Guys, thank you so much for being here. Bob, I just want to start with a question that a lot of people have on their minds. Quite frankly, how are you doing these days?

B. WOODRUFF: Well, you know, it's a lot better than it was a few years ago let's put it that way. But every day it's getting better. Got a slight still loss of some memories. Some vocabulary, but it's almost completely back to the way it was before. And Lee has just been amazing, you know what she's put up with all these years. She's gotten me back to normal.

HOLMES: So it is certainly fair to say that recovery continues. Is it possible to think somewhere down the line you could use the term fully recovered?

B. WOODRUFF: Well, you know, the doctors say those of us with traumatic brain injury, it's never completely back to normal but it is pretty darn close. I can't say 100 percent. But I'm completely back in journalism at ABC, doing stories constantly and traveling almost every week.

HOLMES: Let's talk about what you have going this weekend. And Lee I'll ask you -- certainly we will talk about this Tweet To ReMIND campaign you have going on. But just how invaluable are tools now like Twitter, like Facebook, some of these social networking sites to get your message out and raise money for your cause?

L. WOODRUFF: We're pretty excited to harness the power of Twitter for this particular program, or our Web site as well for people who don't Twitter.

What we are asking is a really simple question -- if somebody risked their life for you, would you give them a dollar? We're actually asking for $5.25, because 5.25 is the date of Memorial Day. We want people to think about the fact that this weekend, while they're laughing and partying and on the beach there are thousands of American troops risking their live for us in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We want to remind people that this is what Memorial Day is really about. So when you sign up at and you are twittering over the weekend. When you press a hash tag, a dollar, $5, $10, whatever you want it to be, will go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation and that money will then go to the 36 organizations around the country we support that are helping wounded veterans and their families.

B. WOODRUFF: You know we have -there are 1.65 million that are fighting in these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq right now. And this is volunteers.

L. WOODRUFF: 1.65 million.

B. WOODRUFF: 1.65 million. You know we have a 17-year-old son right now. He's not being drafted to go into the war. It's his decision ultimately to do it. So these ones that are doing this, we owe them as many things as we can. When they come back injured from these wars we need to do everything that we can to get them more attention, get them the best kind of medical help that they need.

If anything like this happens with this foundation, anybody gives some money -- and a life -- just one life is improved, then it's completely worth it.

HOLMES: Do you all -- certainly, this country has been in war the past six plus years now. But do you all foresee a day where Memorial Day in this country will be what it should be about? Nothing is wrong with people getting family and friends together, having a three-day weekend, nothing wrong with that. But still if you go out on the street, Lee, I'm sure you know, most people you talk to, if you ask them what they're going to do this weekend, they are talking about the barbecues and getting an extra day off. The last thing they do mention is war and the soldiers.

L. WOODRUFF: Well, you know, what, that's great. It should be a weekend for everybody to enjoy themselves and in doing so, really celebrate our own good fortune for so many of us here in America. And realize there are so many others who have not come out of this war so fortunately. So, I think you can do both. It is sort of like what we say about our foundation, it is not about the war. It does not matter what your politics are. It's about how we treat the warrior when he comes home. Memorial Day weekend should be a time for families to come together and celebrate, but let's just not forget that warrior.

B. WOODRUFF: And remember in your neighborhood there's probably -- likely there is not that many, because of the numbers here. If you compare it to Vietnam where there are 12 million serving in the war, now you have 1.65. So, as long as you recognize this, even if your neighborhood don't have any that have come back from the war, or you don't know anybody specifically. At least talk about it and learn what they are going through. Not only what they accomplished in the wars but also what's happened to them because some injuries sometimes are not completely visible.

HOLMES: Finally here. It's so fun and -- to watch you guys interact.


HOLMES: I just want ask you. A lot of people don't see what was going on off-camera, while I was getting ready for this interview. But you guys tell me what has the whole experience done to you guys? Done to your marriage? And now going through what you're going through with this campaign? Certainly some strains it will put on a couple, but I can imagine it would bring a couple together in ways you never imagined as well.

B. WOODRUFF: I have to say that I'm more in love with her now than I ever was before. I certainly didn't hate her before.

L. WOODRUFF: But I did pay him to say that. You know --


B. WOODRUFF: She's my caregiver. What could I do?

L. WOODRUFF: I think it cuts -- I think for so many families -- and Bob and I have gotten the opportunity to meet so many of our military families. Many times a brain injury ultimately leads to divorce or the break-up of a family. We got so lucky with Bob's injury and it did bring us closer. That is why we want to focus the attention on all these families out there that didn't get quite as lucky as we were.

We also have been married since -- I don't know, Methuselah was born. So, you know, there's no point in breaking up now.

B. WOODRUFF: We just had our 20th anniversary on 9/11, of all dates. But that's what got us through.

L. WOODRUFF: Yes. I'll hold you again, now.

B. WOODRUFF: Who would have thought we'd make 20 years?


HOLMES: Well, guys, congratulations, really, on the 20 years, first of all. But really on all the work you're doing. Bob, good to see you up and around and back at work. Look forward to watching you and that awesome reporting for years to come.

Really, guys, thank you for being here. Good luck this weekend with the campaign.

L. WOODRUFF: Thank you. Happy Memorial Day weekend.


CHO: What a great interview. What a great couple.

HOLMES: They are -- a great couple.

CHO: Great couple.

HOLMES: You don't see a lot of the interaction they had off screen. From the moment they sat in the chair -- you know Bob.

CHO: I do know Bob. I worked with him at ABC News. You know, I have to tell you, back in the day -- I know he and Lee are very much in love. But back in the day, he used to walk in the newsroom and all the girls would get very, very nervous.

But just to give people an idea of just how respected he is in the business. We were in North Korea together about a year ago. And I just remember, I did a story on my family. He leaned over the balcony after he heard me doing the story. And he said, wow, that was really great. I have to tell you, I still remember that. Hearing something like that from Bob Woodruff is really something. They're doing great stuff.

HOLMES: They are. He is still working. The site we're talking about here. The Twitter site is You can go to You can also follow them on Twitter. Also follow me, follow me and Betty as well, on Twitter and Facebook.

CHO: I have to get on that bandwagon.

HOLMES: You don't even want to get involved in this thing.

CHO: It's a whole can of worms, isn't it?

HOLMES: Later today we will post the interview on our blog,

CHO: Remember those pit bulls rescued from former Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick's home? Mistreated and malnourished? We are going to show you how they are doing.

HOLMES: Also, we'll find out what one of those new owners thinks should happen to Michael Vick now.


CHO: Welcome back. Ten minutes before the top of the hour.

Disgraced NFL star Michael Vick back home in Virginia now to serve the last two months of a 23-month sentence. You'll recall, he pleaded guilty back in 2007 to bankrolling a dog fighting operation.

HOLMES: Michael Vick was at one point the highest paid player in the NFL; signed a $130-million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Now he has a $10-an-hour job with a construction company. But his spokesman says he is hoping the NFL will take him back.

As for those dogs who were once part of that Bad News Kennels he is accused of running. Well, life a lot different for them right now as well. Here now CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Don't let those sharp teeth fool you.

KATHLEEN: Are you making a very scary face?

KAYE: That's Jhumpa, one of 51 pit bulls rescued from football great Michael Vick's dog fighting ring back in 2007. Two died of disease. Two others were put down; one for medical reasons, another too dangerous.

But the rest are thriving. They had to be socialized and house broken, even taught how to walk upstairs. But today half of them are either in permanent homes or foster homes. The rest are in an animal sanctuary in Utah. None are in shelters.

And look at Jhumpa. She was adopted by Kathleen, who didn't want us to use her last name, and now lives in New York. She has company, too; two other pit bulls, a black lab, a terrier and five cats.

KATHLEEN: One of the things that brought her out of her shell so much was the other animals. And her learning from them and watching them, watching them trust me. Learning that, you know, living in a home was actually a really good thing.

KAYE: Jhumpa lives the life of luxury. When she's not on the couch, she sleeps in her pink bed. She walks or runs about five miles a day and snacks on doggy bon bons. Her favorite, though, is cheese.

Jhumpa's owner says she is great with children and loves to be around people and other animals.

(On camera): Like the other pit bulls who were adopted by families, Jhumpa was closely evaluated to make sure it was safe for her to be around people, especially young kids. All she needed was time, Kathleen says, to understand the world was a better place than she had known before.

KATHLEEN: The real truth of the matter is that she has taught me far more than I will ever teach her about repair and trust and growth. And how, you know, how we can aspire to things that are bigger and better than we ever, ever imagined. So, I'm very, very fortunate to have her in my life.

KAYE (voice over): And just like Jhumpa, Kathleen says the man who abused her deserves a second chance, too.

KATHLEEN: I think that in spite of everything he has done to these dogs I think he deserves a second chance. I think he needs a chance to show the world that he, too, can repair. I hope that he -- ah, I hope he has the tools to do that.

KAYE: Michael Vick is already trying to make good. After his release, he'll be working with the Humane Society to help kids who have been involved in dog fighting and to prevent more from getting involved in it. No doubt Jhumpa will be happy about that.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


CHO: We will have much more on the story ahead in our 10:00 hour. Can Michael Vick transform his image? Will the NFL reinstate him? Could he ever win an endorsement deal after this? Those are all questions we will put to sports and entertainment attorney Marshawn Evans. He is going to join us live. That's at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, right here in this CNN newsroom.

HOLMES: Looking forward to hearing from her and a lot of people -- you know, that's a big debate right now. Is it a right or is it a privilege to play in the NFL? Does he deserve another chance?

CHO: Well, some people have said people have been convicted of other crimes more than once. He deserves a second chance. His lawyer says that, certainly. We'll have to see.

HOLMES: We'll have to see.

CHO: He has to reform that image first.

HOLMES: Yeah. Looking forward to hearing about that later.

Of course, it's Memorial Day weekend. A lot of people right about now gassing up.

CHO: That's right. Except for us.

HOLMES: Except for us. We are not going far.

CHO: Gas prices, though, you know, far lower than last year but they have been rising. So the big question is are they going to reach that $4 a gallon mark like last summer?


CHO: That's Madonna.

HOLMES: Madonna, "Beautiful Stranger". They had to put those up there for us because we usually don't know the songs they're playing.

CHO: Good idea.


CHO: I was wondering. I knew it sounded familiar. I like Madonna.

HOLMES: I know, "Beautiful Stranger." We are talking about women right now. Madonna, maybe she fell into this category at some point.

CHO: She did. Right now.

HOLMES: Women in their 40s and older turning to younger men for romance, or other things. It's a term that's called "cougar". That's what defines them now. There are Web sites and now reality shows out there about this phenomenon.

CHO: That's right. And now one of broadcast networks is hoping to cash in on this. But as our Carol Costello reports, some women are not exactly crazy about the idea.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Our pop culture has gone -- cougar crazy. From skits on "Saturday Night Live" to Web sites like It defines cougars as women in their 40s who smoke, drink and go to clubs to pick up young men in their 20s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the hell is that?

COSTELLO: That definition so defines ABC's new show "Cougar Town."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you like crackers with peanut butter on them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hope it's not too forward coming over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not really how I roll, OK? So, holy crap!

COSTELLO: There are some who say this kind of thing, this cougar craze is liberating.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emotion comes with maturity. Younger men don't have that. You don't want that necessarily. You probably had it, done that, want good sex. As I'm older, he's older than me, six years older. I'll just trade him in for a new model, younger version. Why not?

COSTELLO: Hey, it worked for Demi Moore, except Moore has a real relationship. Some say the type of cougarism, in reality shows like "The Cougar" is predatory and desperate. As Rebecca Traister writes on "Is it possible that women who embrace the term cougar don't know they're being laughed at?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" SKIT: After I got him an Oreo McFlurry, he told me I was 21 and I took him home. Three weeks later I found out he was 12 and a half.

LINDA KAPLAN THALER, BRANDING EXPERT: I'd like to see the word cougar be reserved for wild animals and cars.

COSTELLO: Linda Kaplan Thaler says maybe it's time women demanded the term cougar be changed to "sophisticat". That way May/December romances will become accepted for what they ought to be, loving relationships. ABC are you listening?

(On camera): ABC insiders tell me "Cougar Town" is really about Cox's character trying to decide whether she wants to be a cougar. You can decide when you watch it this fall.

Carol Costello, CNN, Washington.



CHO: It's a dilemma. HOLMES: It's a dilemma?

CHO: Sometimes.

HOLMES: What do they call the older guy who's dating a younger woman? What's that guy called?

CHO: I don't really know.

HOLMES: Just a man.

CHO: Just a man.


HOLMES: Sorry.

All right. Good morning to you all. Yes. This is how we're rolling this morning on CNN side of the morning. I'm T.J. Holmes.

Good to have you with us.

CHO: Thank you.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Alina Cho. Betty has the morning off.

We're glad you are with us on this Saturday morning. And we have a lot to get to.

Our top story this morning: word out of Washington that President Obama could name his nominee to the Supreme Court as early as Tuesday. CNN has obtained an e-mail from an aide to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and that e-mail advises fellow Democrats to get ready for the president to announce his pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter -- T.J.?

HOLMES: Billions more in loans for General Motors but the company may still have to file for Chapter 11 soon. G.M. borrowed $4 billion more from the government yesterday, which now brings the total amount to more than $19 billion. G.M. gave bondholders until Tuesday to agree on a restructuring deal. The issue is over how much issue bondholders will get.

The Obama administration set June 1st as a deadline for restructuring. If G.M. can't reach a deal by then, it will have to file for bankruptcy protection.

And this is the top story on both the and You could check out, both those Web sites for more information on this developing story.

CHO: Well, we're working, but a lot of you were driving, it's Memorial Day weekend. Of course, the unofficial start of the summer season, and you probably noticed the gas prices -- no surprise -- are climbing. AAA says the national average is up to about $2.41 a gallon.

Now, most people think it's not going to stop here. A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds -- take a look there -- nearly three- quarters of you think we're going to see $4 a gallon this summer. And more than a quarter of you, 27 percent, think $5 a gallon is a real possibility. Ouch!

Well, it's a big travel weekend, of course. Millions of Americans are on the roads, on the rails, in the air.

Reynolds Wolf has the Memorial Day weekend forecast for us.

So, what it's looking like out there?

WOLF: You know, I just clipped -- I just missed the first part of what you're saying to me. Were you asking about the shuttle?

CHO: No, I wasn't asking you about the shuttle. But we can talk about the shuttle. I mean, there's a lot of rain in Florida, right?


WOLF: Yes, they've been plenty -- they've been plenty of actually, we have plenty of scattered showers out there, plenty of rain. Some places have actually had to a foot, even two feet of rainfall in places like Ormond Beach, Florida.

We do have some news actually how that has been affecting the shuttle. The shuttle was scheduled to land around 9:16. It's actually been scrubbed. Now, they're going to try again, once again around, I think, about 10:54 this morning will be the second option. If that is scrubbed, I think the next option is going to be back towards Edwards Air Force Base out in California.

Now, here's the situation that we have. With the scattered showers we've been seeing in part of Florida, we are seeing heavy rainfall developing over parts of the gulf coast. This is that area of low pressure that brought all the heavy rain to Florida. Now, there's a chance the storm system could actually strengthen a bit more, maybe even becoming a tropical depression as we make our way later into the afternoon. So, certainly something we're going to watch very carefully.

Something else we're going to be watching is going to be -- well, some scattered showers. We could see them not only along the gulf coast but back into parts of the Tennessee Valley. Look for rain across Texas, too. Relatively dry out to the west coast. And as we get into the Great Lakes, it's going to be a mixture of sunshine and clouds.

As we look ahead to your holiday forecast for Memorial Day, it looks that rain is going to continue for much of the gulf coast. Relatively dry out in parts of the Great Lakes and into the Northeast. But then, out to the west coast, still dry for the most part. Great beach weather for you. Not a bad way for your holiday.

That is the latest we got for you. Let's send it back to you, guys.

CHO: All right, Reynolds, thank you.

WOLF: You bet.

CHO: Barbecues, parade and the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend is a chance to come together with family and friends, of course, and your colleagues.

HOLMES: Yes. Good to have you here.

CHO: In our case.

HOLMES: I'm celebrating this Memorial Day weekend with you. Also, intended as a tribute to those who serve this country -- a point President Obama drives home in his weekly address.

Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will send our servicemen and women into harm's way only when it's necessary and ensure that they have the training and equipment they need when they enter the theater of war.

That's why we are building a 21st century Department of Veterans Affairs, with the largest single-year funding increase in three decades. It's a commitment that will help us provide our veterans with the support and benefits they have earned and expand quality health care to a half a million more veterans.

That's why this week, I signed a bill that will eliminate some of the waste and inefficiency in our defense projects -- reforms that will better protect our nation, better protect our troops and save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

And that's why we're laying a new foundation for our economy, so that when our troops return home and take off the uniform, they can find a good job, provide for their families, and earn a college degree on a post-9/11 G.I. Bill that will offer them the same opportunity to live out their dreams that was afforded our greatest generation.

These are some of the ways we can, must and will honor the service of our troops and the sacrifices of their families.


HOLMES: The commander-in-chief will observe Memorial Day with the tradition of wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. As you would imagine, the military at the forefront of the president's foreign policy and national security agenda pretty much everyday.

Paul Steinhauser, CNN's deputy political director, is joining us now from Washington. Paul, good to have you here with us. Increasingly, Afghanistan is becoming this president's war. Some might say not even increasingly anymore. It is his war now. So, how are Americans now feeling about how things are going there?

STEINHAUSER: Well, we have a brand new poll out this week from CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation, T.J., a national poll.

And take a look at these numbers. We asked first -- well, how do you think things are going right now for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan? You can see not so well. Only 36 percent saying they think things are going well over there. That's a number we've seen for quite some time. Americans realize that the fighting over there is not going well.

But this is interesting. Regardless of how they think the fighting is going over there, do they support the war? Are they in favor of the war in Afghanistan? Americans seem to be split slightly more, say, they are in favor of it than against it. But it's interesting and it's very different than from what's going on in Iraq.

HOLMES: Yes, different from what's going on in Iraq. And for a long time, a lot of Americans, a lot of polls you would see, Americans thought things were going badly there in Iraq. Well, what about today -- how are people feeling about it?

STEINHAUSER: That has changed. In fact, for the first time in a while, our poll now shows -- suggests that more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say think things are going well in Iraq because -- why? The war seems to be tapering off now there in Iraq. Yes, there has been some violent incident this year -- but overall, Americans have a better feeling about how things are going over there as we reduce U.S. troops in the country.

But, just like the flip side from Afghanistan, it's like a mirror image here. Even though they think things are going well in Iraq, they still don't favor the war. About two out of three Americans still oppose the war in Iraq. And that has been consistent for a couple years.

So, it's kind of like mirror images, Iraq and Afghanistan.

HOLMES: All right. And you talk about the military here. The issue of gays in the military has come up again. It's probably not going away any time soon. But it's making some headlines here lately.

Where is the president on the issue and is he at odds with some of the, I guess, core constituency that helped him get elected?

STEINHAUSER: They would like to see more action from this administration when it comes specifically to that, "don't ask, don't tell" policy that was instituted way back during the Clinton administration. They want that gone.

And it came up this week at one of the White House briefings with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. And he was kind of asked about, is the administration doing enough? And he said that the administration is working with the Pentagon, actively working with the Pentagon to try to fix the situation, and to eventually, he hopes, get rid of "don't ask, don't tell."

I think a lot of those core constituencies -- as you say -- they would like to see quicker action than what's happened so far.

HOLMES: All right. Paul Steinhauser for us from Washington, D.C. -- always a pleasure, sir.


HOLMES: Two wars, a broken economy, and historic plans the president says simply cannot wait. CNN's Anderson Cooper looks at how the Obama administration plans to tackle such extreme challenges -- an "AC 360" special tonight, 8:00 Eastern. That's right here on CNN.

CHO: Are you having problem paying your mortgage? Does foreclosure sound like a possibility? Well, there may be a way out. I'm going to be talking to our financial expert on what a short sale is and how it may help you avoid foreclosure.

HOLMES: Also, in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING, a Mississippi city that was hotbed of racial violence in the civil rights era has elected its first black mayor.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My father was Edward "Buddy" Carter. He was a sergeant in Company E of the 60th Infantry. He was killed in Normandy, France. The picture is one of the few that I have of my father and myself. It was made in the spring of 1944.

He is one of those people I really wish I had known, not just as my father but as a person. I think I would have enjoyed knowing Edward even if it wasn't as my father.



HOLMES: News in to us, there's a bit of a slight delay for the Shuttle Atlantis. It was supposed to be coming home, they expected the first landing attempt to be around 9:16 Eastern Time this morning. Now, that's been pushed back to at least 9:45.

And that one -- Reynolds, I'd bring you in here -- would be in California. The Edwards Air Force Base out in the Mojave Desert. They were trying to come in in Florida, they always like to because it's cheaper to do that, Reynolds, down at Kennedy. But the weather there has been nasty.

WOLF: Oh, it's been terrible. I mean, they had several feet of rainfall in Ormond Beach, which is just south of the shuttle-landing facility.


WOLF: Right along the coast. And just to give you a reason why it looks so much better in Edwards is pretty simple -- I mean, just check out the national map very quickly.

Forecast is going to call for more rain in parts of Florida. You have to have those pristine conditions when the shuttle lands because, remember, it is an un-powered flight. When that thing comes in, it's like a cinder block with wings. I mean, it comes in and they have one shot at landing it, once they're committed to make the landing. With the rain possible throughout Florida, it doesn't look good.

For Edwards Air Force Base which happens to be in the high desert of California, it's going to remain relatively dry. It should be just perfect for a landing. However, as you mentioned, T.J., in terms of the budget, it doesn't really work that well.

If they do land out towards Edwards, they, of course, have to then bring it back to Cape Canaveral. They do that by putting the plane on piggy-back off on another, and they bring it all the way back. And, yes, kind of a tough expenditure to handle -- certainly nothing that I think we can handle in our budget here just among the three of us.

HOLMES: Yes. You know, they say it costs them about $2 million to have to get it from there back over to Kennedy. So, they hate doing that, but if they have to they have. We know another opportunity for Kennedy, we're being told, in Florida is at 9:54.

WOLF: Yes.

HOLMES: So, we'll continue to watch this. And, I continue to move. Reynolds, appreciate it. We'll talk to you again.


WOLF: You bet, man.

HOLMES: All right. Talk to you here soon. Alina?

CHO: If you are one of the record 342,000 to get a foreclosure notice last month, you might be tempted to try and save your property with something called a "short sale." What is it? And there are some things you need to know before you make that choice.

So, joining me now is the author of "What Had Happened Was" and housing expert, Clyde Anderson.

So, Clyde, good morning to you.


CHO: Thank you so much for joining. You know, I never heard of a short sale. A lot of people have never even said the word foreclosure until, you know, six months ago. So, tell me, what exactly is a short sale and who qualifies?

ANDERSON: Well, what a short sale is, is the banks really just allowing someone that needs to sell their house to sell that house for less than the house is actually owed, as far as what the mortgage is. So, this gives people -- maybe I can't sell in this economy right now, you know, sellers are sitting on homes -- this gives them an opportunity to go ahead and sell the house and not pay back the full note that they have on the mortgage.

CHO: Got it. So, who -- how do you know if you qualify? Because there are a lot of people in trouble, a lot of people saying to themselves, I'm having trouble paying my mortgage. It doesn't necessarily mean they're qualified to do a short sale, right?

ANDERSON: Right. Well, pretty much, what the banks used to say is that you had to be 60 days behind on the mortgage before they would consider a short sale.

CHO: Got it.

ANDERSON: Now, they're allowing people that are current on the mortgage to do a short sale.


ANDERSON: It's still a little challenging, because in the past, banks didn't want you to go the short sale. They want to go out and they now to get as much money as possible.

CHO: Sure.

ANDERSON: And now, the government is stepping in to provide an incentive, which is $1,000 for banks to help them for each loan that they do, to give them $1,000 to go ahead and do it and make that incentive possible.

CHO: So, let's talk about the pros of this.


CHO: You know, besides avoiding foreclosure ...

ANDERSON: Yes, exactly.

CHO: ... which is a big pro. What are some of the other reasons that you might want to consider doing this?

ANDERSON: Well, I think, again, you said the main one -- avoid the foreclosure, but also a foreclosure can be really harsh on your credit.

CHO: Right.

ANDERSON: Pretty much, in a sense, you locked up for about 72 months before you can actually go ahead and buy a house again with a favorable rate. CHO: With a short sale, within 24 months, you could go out and potentially get another mortgage again, right, if you are good in other areas, right?

ANDERSON: Exactly. And that's the key. Now, people say, well, what hurts more on your credit report is it the short sale or the foreclosure? It's going to hurt you about the same.

CHO: Really?

ANDERSON: Each one is going to hurt about 200 to 300 points on your credit report. So, they are going to hurt but they're going to give you opportunity -- if you do the short sale -- to go ahead and buy sooner than later.

CHO: So, give me a scenario of a homeowner right now who's in trouble, who might want to consider doing this -- because it is confusing, you know?


CHO: It can be confusing.

ANDERSON: You're right. You're right. And what would do is -- say, if you're looking to buy or sell your home. And you owe more on the house than the house is actually worth.

CHO: Right.

ANDERSON: But you really need to get out of the property. You may be an ideal candidate for a short sale.

CHO: And if you lost your job ...

ANDERSON: Exactly.

CHO: ... or something and you got to get out.

ANDERSON: Exactly.

CHO: Yes.

ANDERSON: You need to get out right now. And you want to sell the house. You don't want to go through the whole foreclosure process. You would rather have the short sale on your record than a foreclosure.

CHO: So, you sell your house, you put a little money in the bank, you keep your credit good, hopefully, for the next 24 months, and maybe -- maybe the market improves, maybe you can get back in there in a couple of years, right?

ANDERSON: Exactly.

CHO: What are the cons? And why wouldn't you want to do this?

ANDERSON: Again, it's going to hurt your credit report.

CHO: Right.

ANDERSON: Same to a foreclosure, so it's really similar to a foreclosure. But, again, you got to buy sooner. Another con is that it could be a little bracing (ph) because you now have people coming into your house, looking at your house, you know, trying to sell the property for you, but, you know, it is a pro that you are going to get out.

The con is that it's a long, tedious process. A lot of times, the banks don't want do it. So, the government is hoping that this $1,000 incentive is going to help them to want do it more.

CHO: Just very quickly because we have to wrap it up. I just want to know, is there any case where it's better to just go into foreclosure versus a short sale?

ANDERSON: Wow. I don't think ...

CHO: Probably not, right?


CHO: Yes.

ANDERSON: I think, if you can do the short sale, go with the short sale first.

CHO: It's the better alternative.

ANDERSON: Better alternative, may take time, be patient, work it out, work with the realtor, and really go through the whole process and consult an attorney. I mean, I think that's the best way to do it.


CHO: Yes, that's going to cost you some money.


CHO: Clyde Anderson, housing expert -- wow, I learn a lot today. So great to see you.

ANDERSON: It's my pleasure to be here.

CHO: Thank you so much.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

CHO: All right. T.J.?

HOLMES: All right. Everything I just told you about the new shuttle time for landing, forget everything I just said a minute ago. We got new times -- another update now for the space shuttle to land. Now, we're being told the first possibility is at 10:46 a.m. Eastern Time at Edwards Air Force base, that be out in the Mojave Desert, out in California. After that, the next possibility would be 10:54 Eastern Time at Kennedy.

The rain, the forecast right now is giving NASA all kinds of fits right now trying to land this shuttle. But the first opportunity we know of today is at 10:46. We will keep you updated. I'm sure those times are going to be changing.

Before you hit the road this holiday weekend, however, some easy ways to find the cheap gas in your area, I know you're interested in that. Josh Levs is tracking that for us.

Good morning, sir.

LEVS: Hi, good morning. Yes, you know, there are always different Web sites out there that say they give you the cheapest gas. There actually should be one that should get you whatever information you need no matter where you are in the country. But does it work?



SGT. ANDREW KILCHEMEN, U.S. ARMY, FROM FORT RILEY, KANSAS: This is Sergeant Kilchemen of 118th Infantry in Baghdad, Iraq. I want to wish a happy Memorial Day to my beautiful wife, Jamie, and my three lovely kids, Ty, Allen and Arianna. Happy Memorial Day. I love you, guys. See you soon.


CHO: That's great.

Welcome back, 22 minutes after the hour. Memorial Day, of course, is the unofficial start of summer and that means summer travel -- at least for some of us.


CHO: And gas prices are expected to go up. They usually do during the summer time. But apparently, there are some ways to avoid some of the higher prices at the pump. I'm interested in this, huh?

HOLMES: Yes. Everybody is right now. Josh Levs is explaining this one to us.

Good morning to you, again, Josh.

LEVS: Good morning to you, guys. And yes, and you guys were talking earlier in the show, right, about people thinking that gas prices are going to be super high today. I think there are some new polls we have. Anyway, they shouldn't be anywhere near where they were last summer but the fact is, these days, a lot of people are concerned about that. And they are going up -- check this out., one of the top headlines, "Summer's here. So are higher gas prices." We got a lot of clicks throughout the day yesterday and into this morning.

So, here is a key Web site to know about, Every year, we talk about lots of Web sites. But what this one does is it gives you a map of the whole country. You click on whatever state you're going to be in. And then once you go to that state, I chose Pennsylvania for an example, it gives you all these different cities and links to Web sites that show you cheap prices in whatever city you're going to be in.

So, I called up Philadelphia, and I -- took me here to And within that, it shows you individual gas stations and where you might want to go. And it also brings you to a couple of others in that city., for example, gas prices from Map Quest.

And I don't expect you to memorize all this. That's why the only one you need to know is the one on your screen right now, Anywhere you are going in the country it should do a pretty good job of getting you the information.

But here's the trick. Those things don't get updated all the time.

And our own Allan Chernoff last year went out and did a story on how some of these are good, some of them were outdated by a few days, which can be a big deal. So, we want to hear from you.

Let's go to the graphic. If I use any of these, if you're out on the road, if you're traveling, we want to hear from you what Web sites are working for you and are you finding if these actually pay off? There you go. You got, that's our blog. You got my You also go my new Twitter page,

And, Alina, I got to say. I have a feeling we're going to be wrapping you into this whole Facebook and Twitter thing pretty soon. You know, once you learn use this, it's kind of fun.

HOLMES: Don't do it, Alina. Don't do it.


CHO: I think they've signed me up in New York.

LEVS: Have they? There you go.

CHO: They just keep my name saved or something. I haven't actually gone on.

HOLMES: Gone in there, yet.

All right. Well, Josh, we always hear about these cars of the future, I guess, one way to avoid possibly high gas prices is to have a car that does not require gas. Where are we on that?

LEVS: That's right. Yes, around Earth Day, which was last month, I did an interview with an expert on green cars. And he told me that this is the car of the future. And it's going to be a flex- fuel plug-in hybrid. He says it will be around in just a couple years.

Take a look at what he told me.


DERON LOVAAS, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: It is what is called a flex-fuel plug-in hybrid vehicle. And that means that it can run on a variety of fuels, including ethanol in liquid form. And it can run on electricity, which means you squeeze more and more miles per gallon of gasoline that you use, which means you pay less at the pump and we send less money overseas.


LEVS: And you can get lots more info on that at So, hopefully, that will be around in the next couple of years. In the meantime, you are driving around with gas. So, hopefully that Web site pays off for you. We look forward to seeing what you see about that, guys.

CHO: All right.

LEVS: All right.

CHO: Josh Levs, thank you.

HOLMES: All right. Thanks, Josh.

LEVS: Thank you.

HOLMES: Well, this Memorial Day weekend, of course, we are honoring those who have fought and died for this country but we're also honoring their families as well.

CHO: That's right. I'm going to talk to two widows about a program that they started to help them get through the grief. They actually turned on the camera and they made a really compelling documentary. We're going to talk to them -- that's in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING.


HOLMES: All right. Things are changing over at NASA this morning, trying to get Atlantis back on the ground, back to earth this morning. Having to keep pushing back the time for when the shuttle will land, they had to scrub the first landing scheduled for today.

But now, we're being told at 10:46 a.m. Eastern Time is the first possibility. That would be at Edwards now. That would be out at Edwards Air Force Base in California. After that, the first chance to land in Florida, the preferred site, at the Kennedy Space Center, would be 10:54 Eastern Time.

CHO: Short windows.

HOLMES: Very short windows. And these will continue to change because of the weather situation.

CHO: That's right.

HOLME: More than likely, we're going to go live, talk to someone from NASA at the top of our 8:00 hour.

CHO: CNN team on the ground there.

I'm Alina Cho, along with T.J. Holmes -- we're back in 30 minutes. But for now, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.