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Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Continue; Interview with Congressman Tom McClintock; Hillary Clinton Set to Resign as Secretary of State; Wal-Mart to Limit Gun Sales; Boy Writes Book about his Dog; Piers Morgan Interviews Barbra Streisand; Movie Critic Assesses Holiday Films

Aired December 22, 2012 - 14:00   ET


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Today in Newtown, Connecticut, more sad reminders of what happened just a week ago. Funerals are being held today for students Emilie Parker, Anna Marquez Green, Josephine Gay. Yesterday morning at 9:30, people paused to remember the loss. They held a moment of silence and in the town church bells rang 26 times.

The National Rifle Association is finally speaking out on the massacre in Newtown, but the group isn't addressing the idea of banning or limiting guns used to kill the students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. Instead they say the answer is deploying armed guards at schools.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. It the only that I can stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.


MARQUEZ: Some politicians were quick to slam their proposal.


REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, CHAIRMAN DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: The NRA, I would say that they were tone deaf, but it's beyond that. They're just deaf. I mean, they have completely ignored, don't understand, don't grasp how deeply wounded this nation was.


MARQUEZ: National correspondent Susan Candiotti joins from us New York. Susan, the NRA is adamant in its position and here we are talking about it today. So was this their game plan to change the focus of discussion from gun control to school safety?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good question. But of course, is one exclusive of the other? If you ban these types of weapons, if you restrict the size of magazine clips, for example, does that mean that you couldn't also require an armed officer in every school in the thing is, the NRA did not take any questions at all when they made their statement. They left so we're left to wonder. But we did try to sample opinions of what people are thinking. And we talked to, for example, a gun owner in Newtown, Connecticut, to see what she thought about this.


GERI TRAVIS, CONNECTICUT RESIDENT: I'm very torn at this point. I'm not happy with the NRA. I am not happy with the NRA, and I am a gun owner myself. There's just no reason for automatic weapons out there in the public and clips that discharge so many rounds of ammunition.


CANDIOTTI: And then we got the opposite side of the spectrum. We went way over to the other part of the country to Los Angeles and spoke with a retired sheriff. Listen to him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only way to fight fire is with fire. So if you've got somebody that's armed and you're not, you're part of the problem. You're not part of the solution.


CANDIOTTI: So you're right, Miguel. The debate is on.

MARQUEZ: So much so. Susan, you were one of the first reporters on the scene there, not to diminish the pain and suffering that the families that the people in the town are going through, but it is a hard story to cover. I covered the Oslo massacre in Norway and it still sticks with me today. How are you coping a week after?

CANDIOTTI: These tragedies are always so difficult but especially, of course, for the people who are going through it. And this is a town that is now -- has a new definition of what community means. They are helping each other to get through this. They will have to continue to do that as time goes by.

But here I think everyone agrees, this incident, this massacre at this school here may very well be the tipping point that will force some change. That is what everyone says, and I think that's what everyone there certainly is expecting.

MARQUEZ: Just a tough, tough story. What about the investigation, the search is obviously for a motive, have investigators been able to ascertain anything from the shooter's computer about him himself?

CANDIOTTI: You know, even if they come up with a motive, Miguel, I doubt that anyone will still be able to understand why this happened, but no, they're still working on trying to put that hard drive back together again after the shooter in this case smashed that computer. So they're trying to retrieve information.

But of course, they're not waiting for that. They're trying to talk to friends, relatives, going on the internet in some other way to find out if he left any kind of footprint to see whether he flagged his intentions to anyone. Did he play online games with people and maybe start up a conversation with them? These are some of the things they're trying to do.

MARQUEZ: Now we're hearing that Adam Lanza has not been buried with his mother. Do you know why?

CANDIOTTI: Well, mother was buried a few days ago in a private ceremony. And a family friend has said it's just too soon for that. They haven't made any decisions and might not until this spring. That's what we know.

MARQUEZ: And the family friend saying Mrs. Lanza was becoming more concerned about Adam. What do we know about that?

CANDIOTTI: Well, you know, clearly we have been unable to find anyone who was friends with this young man. He seemed to spend most of his time at the home. But concern because he's 20 years old. She was talking about maybe moving out west, perhaps enrolling him in a school out there. We don't know whether she ever had help from anyone. Was this young man getting any counseling? Was she getting help from anyone?

And, of course, we're still waiting the results of the toxicology tests to find out whether he, in fact, was taking any prescription drugs. Did he have anything in his system? There are just so many questions here to try to figure out why this was obviously a troubled young man.

MARQUEZ: Yes, clearly she was grappling with something though. Susan, thank you so very much.

Wal-Mart is changing its gun selling policy in the wake of the massacre. It centers on the brand of assault rifle used in the murders. We'll have that story in our next half hour.

It's worse than a lump of coal in the old Christmas stocking -- higher taxes. Lawmakers and President Obama have left Washington for Christmas with no deal on tax hikes and spending cuts set to go in effect after the first of the year. CNN's Brianna Keilar is live in Hawaii where the president is spending the Christmas holiday. Brianna, the president maybe a little too optimistic that a deal can be reached? And aloha, by the way.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He did say last night that he is a hopeless optimist that something can get done, but what we know, it's not going to be that big package, obviously of deficit reduction as well as dealing with these tax hikes that are set to kick in. That's not what's going to be happening, instead, he's pressing for something smaller just to a deal with stopping those tax hikes from kicking in for Americans making $250,000 per year or less and also trying to make sure that unemployment benefits are extended.

Listen to what president Obama said last night and also listen to what some of the house Republican resistance from Speaker Boehner to his sort of short-term plan here. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the next few days, I've asked leaders of Congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. That's an achievable goal that can get done in 10 days.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The president's solution of raising tax rates would still leave red ink for as far as the eye can see, and it would hurt jobs at a time when far too many of our citizens are struggling to find them.


KEILAR: But so now, Miguel, the plan is to just deal with these tax hikes, stop them from kicking in. That's what President Obama wants to do. And we're not going to be seeing any sort of big agreement that would also include long-term deficit reduction dealing with entitlement reform and spending cuts, what Republicans wanted to see. So that's something that may be dealt with sometime in the New Year, but it's just not on agenda as the president struggles to get this done here in the next few days.

MARQUEZ: And if there is no deal, are workers across the country going to see an extra little bump in the amount the government takes from their paychecks starting January 1?

KEILAR: Not starting January 1. Technically, these tax cuts would expire at the beginning of the year. So that is the truth. However, if you were looking at your paycheck and you fell certainly under seeing your taxes increase, you wouldn't see that kick in right January 1st. Processors, payroll processors would use the 2012 equation to deal with that. And until there's some certainty in exactly what's going to happen, they wouldn't use the new equation. So you wouldn't see it until perhaps the end of January, the beginning of February.

But if the country were say, hypothetically speaking to go off the cliff that to persist, ultimately somewhere into late January, you might see that affect your paycheck.

MARQUEZ: Oh, dear. The House Speaker John Boehner was dealt what seems to be a hugely embarrassing blow by his own party when they refused to vote on his plan b proposal. How bad is it for Republicans right now?

KEILAR: Well, right now, they are sitting at home in their home districts. That's what happened. Congress left town. And they are sort of in a way house Republicans have abdicated their role in this process. You know, normally if you were in their role, you want to maintain a position of trying to shape whatever legislation might go forward.

But now the ball, they've taken it out of their court. It comes down to the Senate having to do something which is democratic led but in order to push something through will require some Republican support there. So House Republicans have kind of abdicated their role in this to the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. And if perhaps he could get on board with something with Democrats in the Senate to move along, presumably that might be able to be pushed through the House. House Republicans, at least some of them, would have to vote on that in order to pass it, so they have some I guess influence in that regard. But really they've given away a lot of their -- almost all of their influence on what this package can ultimately look like.

MARQUEZ: Oh, dear, I'm not smelling a lot of hope. Aloha. Thank you very much, Brianna Keilar.

It's a wintry mess for much of the country today as Americans gear up for holiday travel. This Midwest blizzard is now ripping across the northeast. Most of the problems are from high winds as high as 40 miles per hour. AAA predicts some 93 million Americans will travel between now and New Year's. But if the roads look anything like this, you may want to stay home.


MARQUEZ: There's a 12 days of Christmas, but we're just 10 days to the fiscal cliff. Could these two men end up being the Grinches that steal Christmas? We'll talk live to Republican congressmen about what's stopping the president and the House speaker from reaching a deal.


MARQUEZ: We're just 10 days away from the country going over the so- called fiscal cliff, automatic tax increases on nearly every American and huge spending cuts to defense and social programs are set to take effect the 1st of January. That is unless the president and Congress reach a new budget deal. But most lawmakers have deserted the capitol to be home for Christmas leaving America teetering on the brink.

One of those enjoying Christmas back in California is Republican Congressman Tom McClintock joining us from Sacramento, California. Congressman, you are a Tea Partier. You're part of the Tea Party caucus, but you supported house speaker bane area "plan b," Yes?

REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK, R-CALIFORNIA: of course, I did. Again, there is no Bill before the Congress that proposes raising taxes on millionaires or anybody else for that matter. There is a law that goes into effect in ten days that raises taxes on millionaires, small businesses filing as millionaires and everybody else. Boehner's bill tried to stop that for everybody else. If a lifeguard sees 10 swimmers drowning off of his beach and can only reach nine of them to save them, it doesn't mean that he's drowned the tenth one. All in nonsense somehow Boehner was trying to raise taxes is just that, nonsense.

MARQUEZ: Your point is if you are anti-tax, vote for this bill.

MCCLINTOCK: He was trying to stop a massive tax increase, and unfortunately, some of my colleagues didn't see it that way.

MARQUEZ: How bad is it up there? Americans look at what's happening in Washington right now and want both sides to get to work. I know it can be very collegial up there but in these meetings behind closed doors, what's the atmosphere like?

MCCLINTOCK: Miguel, bad process creates bad policy. And what we're watching today is extraordinarily bad process. For example, the president is not supposed to be part of the negotiations of the legislative branch. He is a separate branch of government. The deliberative process is supposed to be contained independently within the two houses. The House and Senate are supposed to act independently of each other. In order to do so in order to deliberate, we've got to be in the same room to deliberate. Instead we're scattered across the country. I'm embarrassed to be speaking to you from my district when we should be back in Washington right now.

When each house then comes to its own independent judgment upon the course of action, then we've got a conference process that's very good at resolving the differences between the two houses. But it has not been invoked. Only then is the president brought into the process. What we've got now is a couple of legislative leaders sitting behind closed doors coming up with plans that they then drop in the laps of both houses of the Congress for a take it or leave it vote. That doesn't end well.

MARQUEZ: It's just so frustrating. How bad is it for Speaker Boehner right now? This is a guy who put up a plan and his own party couldn't get it to pass. How is that playing out? Where does that leave you guys?

MCCLINTOCK: Two years ago Speaker Boehner promised to restore that process around which our entire government was designed. And so far he has failed to fulfill that promise. I fault him for that. The plan that he produced I thought was sound. That's why I supported it. But it is -- it obviously did not command a consensus within the House of Representatives and that's because it was bad process.

We have committees that are supposed to be -- supposed to include people who have got expertise, years of experience in those fields, and that represent the diversity of opinion within the House of Representatives. They're supposed to be producing these proposals. Unfortunately they've been sidelined. The House has been sidelined, and instead this whole process has been abdicated to legislative leaders. Our system was not designed to operate that way and it invariably produces terrible public policy.

MARQUEZ: Is a deal going to get done, yes or no?

MCCLINTOCK: Well, that requires fortune telling skills and I don't have any. It has to be because the alternative is unthinkable. On January 1st, we're going to see more than a 20 percent increase in the tax burden of this country in a very brittle economy. That is going to be devastating.

Frankly, the president's insistence that we raise taxes on those very wealthy folks who make over $200,000 is disastrous because many of those very wealthy folks aren't even folks. They're 1.3 million small businesses that file under subchapter S, and 84 percent of net small business income would be hit by that tax increase. That's going to cost, according to the congressional budget office, more than 200,000 middle class jobs, 700,000 if you believe Ernst and Young. That would be devastating. There's got to be a resolution to this. I certainly hope that the president doesn't get his way, and impose massive tax increases on these small byes.

MARQUEZ: Congressman?

MCCLINTOCK: -- two-thirds of the jobs we depend on in our society.

MARQUEZ: Congressman, thank you very much. Try to have a merry Christmas.

MCCLINTOCK: Thanks for having me, Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Hillary Clinton gets ready to step down as secretary of state. But will questions about the attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libya impact her legacy?


MARQUEZ: Secretary of state Hillary Clinton says she'll implement all the changes suggested by an accountability review board in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya. The U.S. ambassador and three others were killed. The report which came out Wednesday slammed the State Department for what it called "systemic failures heading up to the attack. Four senior level state department officials took the hit. One resigned, the other three put on administrative leave.

How does this whole thing affect her legacy, especially if she decides to run for president in 2016? Allan Lichtman if professor of History at the American University joins us. Dr. Lichtman, the board did not blame the secretary but made clear there were problems high up at the state department, pretty damning. What's the impact on Secretary Clinton?

ALLAN LICHTMAN, HISTORY PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Pretty damning. To paraphrase Harry Truman, when you lead an organization like this in government, you're riding the tiger. Well, the tiger didn't quite devour her but it took quite a bite out of her. Can she recover before 2016? Absolutely yes. This is not Chappaquiddick where the blame for a death seemed to fall squarely on Senator Kennedy. And really he never could recover from that. Here the blame is spread far and wide. The commission did not pinpoint Hillary Clinton, and of course, the blame also falls on members of Congress who have been very liberal about making appropriations for war but very stingy about making appropriations for diplomacy and the department of state.

MARQUEZ: She's been such a stellar secretary of state in so many ways. The travel that she does, the connections she makes, the heft that she brings to the office, but the report does say that the ambassador turned down Ambassador Stevens' request for additional security. Did she have eyes on these individuals and Libya was such a high profile endeavor for the administration. Wasn't -- respect her fingerprints at least at a distance on this thing?

LICHTMAN: I have to agree with that. Again, Truman said, the buck stops here and the buck really does stop with her. Let me say this. She's done about as well as she can to recover. As you know, looking at the history of scandals even Watergate and the Clinton impeachment, often the cover-up is worse than the deed. And there's no cover-up at least on her part here. She's taken responsibility and she's accepted the recommendations.

But let me tell you what's really going on here about these government commissions. Take them all, you know, from the Pearl Harbor commission to the Warren commission to the 9/11 commission to this one, these official government commissions are partly designed to limit damage and to conceal as much as they reveal. What we didn't learn from this commission and we really need to know is what in the world is really going on in Libya? Who are our friends there? Who are our enemies? What's the direction of post-Gadhafi Libya? Can this kind of thing happen again? The report doesn't tell us.

MARQUEZ: Above and beyond, that's a good point. This seems like an intelligence failure, that we didn't know clearly enough that these guys were out there waiting in the wings to strike. They're always like this, yes?

LICHTMAN: That's right. You know, you can label any number of intelligence failures, you know, the horrific failure of intelligence with regard to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. The intelligence community couldn't even predict the demise of the Soviet Empire. Time and again this happens.

But let me say this. The American people have fairly short memories, and 2016 is a long way away. All this came out during the holiday season, during the time of the terrible tragedy, of course, at Sandy Hook Elementary while we're struggling not to fall over the fiscal cliff. In terms of the timing, it actually helps her. And right now, she stands like a colossus over the democratic field of candidates. It's very hard to find someone else after Hillary Clinton, particularly given that at least as of the moment she has 60 to 70 percent approval ratings.

MARQUEZ: Doctor, thank you very much, very, very happy holidays to you.

LICHTMAN: You too, Miguel.

MARQUEZ: I want to share a little nicer, lighter, maybe even an uplifting story. It's about a young author raising money to help other kids just like him. Here is Dr. Sanjay Gupta with today's "Human Factor."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Nine-year-old Evan Moss is a boy who seemingly only cares about one simple thing.

EVAN MOSS: All of these, al filled with Pokemon cards.

GUPTA: Unfortunately, his life isn't so simple.

LISA MOSS, EVAN'S MOM: When Evan was just a couple weeks old, he started having these little shaky movements. It was one arm that would just twitch a little bit. And it would last a few seconds.

GUPTA: Robert and Lisa took their son to dozens of doctors' appointments. Evan was eventually diagnosed with tuberis sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disease that causes nonmalignant tumors to grow inside the brain and on other vital organs. Evan's TSC includes one of the hallmark symptoms -- potentially life threatening seizures that can happen at any moment. Since Evan's parents can't watch over him all the time, they began to look for an extra set of eyes, ears, and a nose.

ROBERT MOSS, EVEN'S FATHER: We were also finding out that not only did these dogs respond to seizures -- [ bark ]

EVAN MOSS: Good dog.

ROBERT MOSS: But they had the capability to alert you, to tell you that the individual might have a seizure, might soon be having a seizure.

GUPTA: As you might imagine, these types of highly trained service dogs, dogs that can sniff out chemical changes in the body leading up to a seizure, don't come cheap.

LISA MOSS: A service dog generally costs anywhere from $22,000 to $25,000. They ask for each recipient family to fund-raise $13,000 of that to offset the cost. And as part of the application, they asked for something from the child receiving the dog. He said, can I write a book?

EVAN MOSS: "My Seizure Dog." My dog tells me when I will have a seizure. We will be best friends.

GUPTA: Big sister aria suggested their parents self-publish Evan's book on Amazon, where it quickly shot to the top of one of the site's best central lists. A book signing followed at a neighborhood coffee shop. The turnout was overwhelming.

LISA MOSS: We did end up raising around $45,000 and helped about seven additional children complete their fundraising.

GUPTA: Mindy rarely leaves Evan's side during the day, at school, on the bus, in the backyard. And never leaves his side at night.

EVAN MOSS: My seizure dog will sleep with me. If I have a seizure during my sleep, the seizure dog will tell my parents.

MOSS: Mindy Moss, family pet, parents' security blanket, and Evan's best friend. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


MARQUEZ: And join Sanjay Gupta at 4:30 eastern time. He'll to look closer at the mass shooting in Connecticut, in particular at the gunman, Adam Lanza. Sanjay will investigate what he did and did not have in common with gunman in other mass murders.

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer is changing its gun selling policy because of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut. We'll tell you what that means for those who want to buy guns.


MARQUEZ: The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, prompted a change in Wal-Mart's gun selling policy. It has removed the AR-15 assault rifle from its website, the same kind of rifle used in the Sandy Hook school massacre. But the company, Major Gun Seller, says it will do what the customer wants. Here's Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas the number one retailer in the world and one of the top if not the top seller of guns, including semi-automatic weapons. David Tovar is one of Wal-Mart's vice presidents.

DAVID TOVAR, WAL-MART VP OF COMMUNICATION: We've had heavy hearts this week just like everybody else has and we've had a lot of discussions around Wal-Mart.

TUCHMAN: Wal-Mart officials rarely go on camera and haven't gone on camera since the shootings. None of the guns used in the shootings were purchased there, but the sheer number of guns the company else is has always been a sensitive topic. Although Wal-Mart doesn't sell weapons on its website, it does list them there and directs customers to the stores that carry them. But after the shootings, Wal-Mart did remove one of the weapons used in Connecticut, the Bush master AR-15 from its website. It is still available for purchase in stores.

Has the decision been made to sell as many guns now as before the incident in the Connecticut?

TOVAR: We think it's important to strike the right balance between being age to serve our customers but also sell firearms in the most responsible manner possible.

TUCHMAN: So as many today as before the intercept though.

TOVAR: That's correct.

TUCHMAN: We went inside a Wal-Mart today where we did see an ample supply of semi-automatic weapons available, although the Bush master ar-15 rifle was sold out. I asked the Wal-Mart vice president what kind of discussions executives have had since the horrifying Connecticut murders?

TOVAR: This week we've had a lot of conversations. We've reached out to Mayor Bloomberg's Coalition on Responsible Firearms. We've been a charter member of that organization. We've reached out to sportsmen's groups and others.

TUCHMAN: But Wal-Mart executives ultimately decided their customers want to be able to buy these guns. So there is no plan to change anything right now.

Is there any collective guilt sometimes where you hear of a case where someone bought a weapon at Wal-Mart, a semi-automatic weapon, and committed a crime, because that has happened?

TOVAR: Unfortunately, those things do happen. And you know, we're like other people around the country where you know, we're mothers, we're fathers, we're parents and we have heavy hearts when those types of unfortunate incidents do happen. But, you know, we do know that we have a very strong from sell firearms in the most responsible manner as we can.

TUCHMAN: Wal-Mart sells guns in less than half its stores, but in 2011 did decide to expand their sale of guns to additional stores and increase inventory to some of the once already selling them. The reason? Revenue -- guns are a very good business for Wal-Mart.

When you decided in 2011 to sell more guns, is there ever any talk in the executive headquarters that maybe we shouldn't sell more? Maybe that would be considered irresponsible by the public?

TOVAR: We make a lot of decisions around merchandising based on customer feedback, and so we have a lot of discussions about that.

TUCHMAN: Customer feedback, and not politics?

TOVAR: Customer feedback. One of our sayings at Wal-Mart is the customer is number one. That's who we focus on. That's who we listen to. They guide our decisions.

TUCHMAN: But Wal-Mart could and might change its mind abruptly if one particular thing was to happen.

TOVAR: If the law were to change, we'd follow the law.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Bentonville, Arkansas.


MARQUEZ: If scenes of torture make you squeamish, you're not alone. The CIA objects to such scenes in the new film "Zero Dark Thirty" saying they're not historically accurate. And Barbra Streisand tells CNN's Piers Morgan about Marlon Brando calling her up to sing him a song.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARQUEZ: Here's what's trending online. California's new law banning conversion therapy for gay minors is now on hold. A federal appeals panel has issued an emergency injunction blocking the state ban. Conversion or so-called reparative therapy is a practice that claims to turn a gay person straight.

How does seven bucks for a gallon of milk sound to you? If Congress doesn't extend the current agriculture bill by January 1st, dairy prices could double. It's just one more thing to worry about as we wait to find out if a fiscal cliff deal will get done.

Singer and actress Barbra Streisand has a new movie called "Guilt Trip." she recently spoke with Piers Morgan about politics, acting and making peace with her mom.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: What have been the proudest moments for you with Obama? I imagine one of them is when he came out so vocally for gay rights finally.

BARBRA STREISAND, SINGER/ACTOR: Absolutely, that's great.

MORGAN: What else?

STREISAND: What else has he done are you saying?

MORGAN: Yes, that you're particularly proud of.

STREISAND: His stance for women. Women, the power of women or not allowing just for that one reason in my show I would say I'm not going to tell you, I would say I'm not going to tell you who to vote for but if you want clean air, you want good food and so forth, and if you believe that a woman has a right to choose what happens in her own body, in other words, or you think your body belongs to the state, there's a clear choice. How could you thank god that Akin and Mourdoch came out with those extremist views.

MORGAN: They were extraordinary statements.

STREISAND: Unbelievable. I thought isn't that great. Keep talking, boys.

MORGAN: When you watched the footage of those moments, neither of them had a clue they said anything remotely contentious.

STREISAND: That's scary.

MORGAN: I found that pretty unsettling. You could reach the point of potentially becoming a senator and actually have no clue what you're saying is deeply offensive to many people.

STREISAND: Right. Some men, mostly women, right?


STREISAND: Yes, it was deeply offensive.

MORGAN: Do you feel that there's any form of real equality yet in America for women?

STREISAND: We're one of the last countries to ever think of having a woman be president. But I think that's possible now, but it wasn't years ago.

MORGAN: Do you think Hillary is likely to run in 2016?

STREISAND: I don't know but I hope after a four-year rest, that she would run because she would be a great woman president.

MORGAN: Who is the greatest actor you've ever seen? I know you love acting. It's your great love, great passion. Who do you think?

STREISAND: Marlon Brando.

MORGAN: Really?

STREISAND: No question. Why, do you doubt that?

MORGAN: No, I don't actually. I think he would definitely -- although I remember interviewing Dennis hopper once and he said James Dean for him had the Brando thing, as well.

STREISAND: But Brando was first.


STREISAND: No, he was fascinating. He would call me up sometimes. He called me up once and said, sing me a song. And I said, Marlon, that's like me asking you to recite "Hamlet." To which he proceeded to recite a soliloquy from "Hamlet."


MORGAN: Did you have to sing?


MORGAN: What did you sing him?

STREISAND: I sang a song called "Nobody's Heart Belongs to Me."

MORGAN: Just on the phone to Marlon Brando?

STREISAND: And I remember sitting in my kitchen, I'll never forget, it's one of those moments you never forget. I'm going this is before they had gizmos to record things, I'm going -- to "Hamlet." So I had to sing him a song.


MORGAN: How did you feel when your mother died? Did you feel that you had reconciled things with her. STREISAND: Basically, yes. Little -- a short time before she died I remember going to her house and she had Alzheimer's. And she didn't recognize me really. But I started to sing her a melody of something she had sung when she was younger. And that she remembered. And it just shows you the power of music, doesn't it? I mean, this Alzheimer's mind but could remember the tune.

MORGAN: What was it you sang? Do you remember?

STREISAND: It was something that she made a record of when she -- when I was 13 and she took me, but it was really because she made the records and then I was able to make a record when I was 13.

MORGAN: Do you think she was proud of you?

STREISAND: You know what it was? I used to say, ma, how come you never told me I love you, you never said those words or really hugged me. She said "I didn't want you to get a swelled head."


MARQUEZ: Barbra, she's really like butta, Streisand's movie "Guilt Trip" co-stars Seth Rogen and now in theaters. Piers Morgan airs each weeknight at 9:00 p.m. eastern.

It's a popular holiday tradition going to see a movie that opens on Christmas day. Find out our critic's picks for the Christmas releases.


MARQUEZ: A new film "Zero Dark Thirty" purports to tell the story of the killing of Osama bin Laden but the CIA has taken the unusual step of criticizing the movie calling it inaccurate, in particular the agency takes issue with the scenes of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques used by CIA operatives.

When you think of Christmas, a few traditions come to mind from opening presents to singing carols, but another tradition is going to see a movie, of course, that opens on Christmas Day. Joining me to talk about some of the big Christmas releases is Grae Drake, Gray "Drama Drake," senior editor of Rotten Tomatoes. Grae, what are the topics?

GRAE DRAKE, MOVIE CRITIC: Well, the good news is that everything is good in the theaters this season like I can't think of a bad film. My top three favorites "Jack Reacher," "Les Miserables," and "Django Unchained," hands down.

MARQUEZ: Violent these films given the mood of the countries. Nice hat, by the way.

DRAKE: Thank you.

MARQUEZ: They could be tough films. What about end of the world? It's not you're still there, I'm still here but maybe you're in the mood for end of the world flicks. Any thoughts on that?

DRAKE: If you were so depressed that the world didn't yesterday and you just have to watch a film to cope which is what I do to cope with things, then I think "The Day the Earth Stood Still," the 1951 version, don't deal with the remake, just go to the original source. That movie's a great message of actual nonviolence. Another fantastic Armageddon movie and one of the best I think actually made for TV end of the world movies is called "Asteroid." And this stars Annabella Sciori, if anybody remembers that fantastic actress. She is an expert on the world and it is coming to an end because the asteroids are coming. This was made for TV, but it won an Emmy for outstanding visual effects that actually rival a lot of movies we see in theaters. I just re-watched it and I wear to you it's spectacular. And I actually just love watching major cities get destroyed in a completely fake and ridiculous way, which is what this movie is.

MARQUEZ: Anyone wearing a hat like this certainly would. But Jack Reacher, "Les Miserables," and "Django Unchained." Why these for Christmas?

DRAKE: They are a touch violent. But here's the thing, "Jack Reacher" is surprisingly funny, and Tom Cruise is once again helping us through is the holidays by hunting down the bad guys. He's a movie star, nobody does it better. And, by the way, the dude does his own stunts. I couldn't believe it when I was watching it. And I laughed through the whole thing.

Now, "Les Miserables" is, of course, account movie adaptation of the very, very popular musical, which I knew nothing about. All the critics aren't completely in love with it, but I thought it was great, with passionate performances and watching Anne Hathaway almost starving to death in front of my very eyes helped me kick start my holiday diet.

MARQUEZ: Come on, now.

DRAKE: She's magnificent. I actually think we're going to see tons of Oscar awards come out of this movie.

MARQUEZ: And Tarantino's "Django."

DRAKE: Unbelievable. Latest film from Quentin Tarantino, incredibly violent. But Jamie Foxx, Samuel Jackson giving the performances of a lifetime. Jamie Foxx is playing the main character who is a slave that becomes a bounty hunter and Christophe waltz in the film brings so much humor to a role that could have just not worked at all. This whole movie is an unexpected delight. And I really hope that Quentin Tarantino keeps making movies because they keep getting better. You've got a lot of ways to blow off steam this holiday. Go with the family, escape from the family, however you do it, the cinema is the place to be this year.

MARQUEZ: All right, Zhu Zhu's petals, if you had to get one old-time Christmas movie that you had to sort of snuggle up around the fire and watch a movie with your loved one, what film would that be? DRAKE: I got to tell you I'm a huge fan of the classics. So you can't get around watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas." But for me Bill Murray in Scrooged is absolutely the Christmas pick of the year because it's the only version of Christmas carol that you need, as far as I'm concerned. He is fantastic in it. And I love the jokes.

MARQUEZ: Yes, it's an oldie but a goodie. Thank you very, very much. Remember you can get more, we always need more of Grae Drake at

The world didn't end but the false Mayan prophecy is creating a tourism boom in one of the seven wonders of the world. We will take you there.


MARQUEZ: For some residents of a small town in Spain, Christmas came a little early. They have won the bulk of the country's annual Christmas lottery that pays out $2.2 billion. It usually goes thousands of winners. And the biggest prize was won by residents of this town near Madrid. Spaniards usually buy tickets to share and share it amongst their friends and family so the joy is spread around.

The so-called Mayan end of the world prediction has come and gone. I think we're all still here, but tourists have good reason to get a taste of Mayan history and culture in Mexico. Nick Parker gives us a look in this week's "On the Go."


NICK PARKER: I'm here in ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza where thousands of people came to mark the end of the Mayan calendar, or, sas some said, the end of the world.

Well, the world didn't end but there are still many, many good reasons to come and visit what has been described as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Chichen Itza was one confident largest cities in the Mayan empire. It stretches out about five square kilometers of ground here in the Yucatan. A lot of the architecture is still extremely imposing. This temple corresponds to the Mayan calendar. A lot of steps and panels represent months and years. And as you can see all around me, there's still a great deal of enthusiasm amongst tourists for coming to Chichen Itza.

Nick Parker, CNN, Chichen Itza, Mexico.


MARQUEZ: So what can you do to keep from getting the flu? Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be here when a sample of things you can do to keep from getting sick this season. That plus top stories straight ahead.