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Winter Costs; Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Hours

Aired February 4, 2014 - 15:00   ET


SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So I think that's really important. But, really, we have to protect our own children. So, parents, get involved. Get involved.


HOSTIN: That's what I always say to you, right, Brooke?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. You know, mom, loud and clear. Sunny Hostin, thank you.

HOSTIN: Thanks.

BALDWIN: Hour two. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

We begin with this, this new report, new details just released from Washington, D.C. This predicts Obamacare will trigger a drop in the U.S. work force. A top Republican has just come out calling this report devastating. That was his word. But as we look at this report really, really close up, this is what it actually says.

Let me quote: "The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses' demand for labor."

Let's sort this thing out. Let's go to Washington to Lisa Desjardins.

And, Lisa, is this saying that the job force will drop because people either will decide to work less now that they have affordable health care coverage, or something else?

LISA DESJARDINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. It's amazing that you got that from that quote from the Congressional Budget Office. I love the CBO. I geek out on them all the time, but that was the worst government speak I think I have seen in a long time.


BALDWIN: Help us understand then.


What are they talking about? What they are saying is that they think two million Americans in the next four years will leave their jobs mostly by their own choice because of Obamacare, just like you were saying, Brooke, because, right now, they're dependent on those jobs for their health care.

A lot of folks are like this. They may have a preexisting condition. Maybe they had a bout with cancer. Maybe they have heart disease. Maybe they're older. They don't think they will be able to get insurance under the old system because they have that condition. Well, Obamacare takes away those preexisting conditions.

Now they can leave their job and still get insurance that they should be able to afford. That's the idea, anyway, under Obamacare. Two million people just in four years are expected to do that, much bigger than expected.

BALDWIN: And when we read the word devastating, if I listened to you very closely, that was that word coming from the speaker of the House, John Boehner, right? Republicans, they're jumping all over this.

DESJARDINS: Right. And I just came from where Republicans held a news conference, and I'm going to go straight to a sound bite from Missouri Senator Roy Blunt. He pretty much breaks down why Republicans see this report and why they're going after Obamacare because of it. Listen to this.


SEN. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: They can say anything they want, but this number is a lot worse than anybody thought, just like insurance costs and deductibles and access to coverage that families can afford are turning out to be a lot worse than anybody anticipated.

The one thing we all know now is the country and the Congress know a whole lot more about health care and even the media than we did in 2009. This would be a very different debate, and a more, much more consequential debate and produce a better result if the president would just give up on these policies.


DESJARDINS: Well, no surprise, Brooke, the president's not giving up on Obamacare. And the White House responded saying what they see in the CBO report is that workers will be given the choice. They will have more options with what they do with their lives and their career because of Obamacare.

But, obviously, stay tuned. This debate is going to stay hot. And I think viewers who are watching now will be glad, because this CBO report is going to keep coming up and they will know what people are talking about.

BALDWIN: Lisa Desjardins, thank you so much on Capitol Hill for us on this one today.

And, now, just one day before Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment, he went to his favorite coffee shop for a four-shot espresso. Later that night, he met up with two people for dinner at a West Village restaurant. And then later, we know that he withdrew $1,200 cash from an ATM at a supermarket near his apartment.

From what we're hearing, nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but police say those who interacted with Hoffman during the day say he appeared -- and I'm quoting one of these people -- he appeared out of it, police trying to piece together the actor's movements as they search for anyone who might be linked to the drugs that apparently killed him, including whoever may have sold them directly to him.

Let me bring in HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks, because I wanted to focus and begin with you specifically on this dragnet. You have law enforcement honing in on this West Village, Greenwich Village area and beyond trying to figure out who the dealer was. Why?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, because there's a brand, if you will, that they think might be involved in this called Ace of Spades and the Ace of Hearts.

What they will do is, New York City, NYPD narcotics, whenever they make arrests or any kind of a narcotics arrest, they will put on there usually what brand was involved with the person that they locked up. So they will go back and they will take a look at all these past reports.

And last week they had over $8 million worth of heroin seized in a raid up in the Bronx. So I'm sure they're just trying to say, OK, did that have anything to do with maybe a distribution point down in the West Village?

But while he was at the ATM withdrawing $1,200 over six different transactions, there were two guys with him...


BALDWIN: With messenger bags.

BROOKS: With messenger bags.

So I know that they're trying to find out who they are. In the West Village area, I know that area very well, around Greenwich Street, there's a lot of businesses with cameras and there's a lot of NYPD cameras in that area too. So they're going to go back, take a look, see what his movements were, see who these -- try to identify these two and maybe anybody else who he may have met up along the way.

BALDWIN: I'm curious, in all your years in law enforcement, I was talking to a former addict social worker in on the streets where heroin is bought and sold, and he was telling me that generally addicts, when they hear of overdoses, especially since we're talking about national news about this Philip Seymour Hoffman, they want to go find that strand, that brand of heroin.

BROOKS: They do.

BALDWIN: Did you know that?

BROOKS: Yes, it is, because they say, OK, well maybe I will get a better high for the same amount of money. So that's why they go and they look for maybe a certain brand that they're selling in a certain area.

BALDWIN: Because of potency.

BROOKS: Exactly. So what was his resistance to this? We know he had it in the past. And one of the other drugs he had with him was basically an opioid antagonist similar to methadone. When you're trying to get off of heroin, this is the drug you take. That's one of the other drugs they found in his apartment.

BALDWIN: A lot of drugs they found in his apartment, a lot of prescription drugs minus the prescription to him.

BROOKS: They sure did.

BALDWIN: Mike Brooks, thank you very much.

BROOKS: Right. Thank you, Brooke.

And we are -- minutes from now, the Navy is expected to reveal the details of another scandal involving the people who have their finger on the country's nuclear arsenal. You will remember it was just revealed that some 40 Air Force nuclear missile officers were accused of cheating on that proficiency exam. And some 50 others knew about it, but failed to report it. Remember that?

So, now today, senior Navy officials are to reveal in about 20 minutes the details of an investigation into "compromised test materials" involving its nuclear division, senior Navy officials. We will watch for that in 20 minutes' time.

Meantime, we have new developments today to tell you about involving last month's chemical spill in West Virginia. Nine counties, 300,000 people were affected when Freedom Industries released these chemicals into the Elk River. Some schools still only using bottled water.

Our investigative correspondent Drew Griffin is joining me.

So now, criminal investigation, yes?


BALDWIN: And you have new results from water?

GRIFFIN: We had our own independent water test. The thing is that these people are not drinking the water, even though they are being told it's safe.

We went yesterday to West Virginia, Charleston, and tested the water ourselves at a point downriver from the chemical plant that was leaking this chemical called MCHM and in two homes in Charleston on separate parts of the river. And what we found was, yes, the chemical still is in the water at very, very low levels, trace amounts, well below what the CDC says is safe. But, still, in the water in the river, as you can see there where our tests took place, and also in the homes, and, Brooke, it was in a higher level inside the homes than in the river.

BALDWIN: So coming out of people's faucets, coming out of showers.

GRIFFIN: Why? What could be the explanation? The testing company, we use Test America. They're well-respected. They say that this could literally be the chemical still flushing its way through the hundreds of miles of pipes that make up a municipal water district.

BALDWIN: And who knows how long that takes, right, to totally flush through?

GRIFFIN: Well, I think after this, we're going to find out.

But that is what we found. Again, the levels were low, trace, but they were still there.

BALDWIN: Did you talk to people, Charleston, Kanawha County? Are they at that anger phase?

GRIFFIN: They are angry. They are confused. They do not know what to do. They do not want to drink the water, even though their officials are telling them.

I said -- let me put you in their conundrum by just sharing with you a couple of sound bites.


GRIFFIN: This is from the head of the water department who said this last night about drinking the water. Take a listen to this.


TOM MCINTYRE, CEO, WEST VIRGINIA AMERICAN WATER: Our customers' concerns are paramount to us, but the water is below the one PPM health guidance provided by the CDC and that's what I have to tell customers. I can also tell you I'm using it, my wife is using it, my employees are using it. Many people I talk to are, in fact, using it.

DR. RAHUL GUPTA, KANAWHA-CHARLESTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT: It's very alarming and it's very concerning because that raises the issue of trust. When the state officials come out and say the water is safe, and now we have almost three weeks into it that people are not drinking the water, they're demanding distribution of free water, and they're feeling like the water is not safe.

QUESTION: Are you drinking the water?

GUPTA: I have drank the water. And my wife, who is also a physician, has told me I better not be drinking the water.


BALDWIN: He's not drinking it. The first guy is.



GRIFFIN: Imagine you're sitting there. Now what do you do? Are you going to use your water? Heck, no. People are not using the water no matter what they say.

BALDWIN: Stay on it for us, Drew Griffin. Thank you very much.

GRIFFIN: We will do it.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, take a look at this woman. She made national headlines when she posted a video of a phone call on YouTube.


She called a former teacher who says she sexually abused her when this woman was a student.

Well, now it turns out the woman on the other end of that call is facing charges 15 years after the alleged crime. We're "On the Case" next.


BALDWIN: Just into CNN, we were just talking about the Senate approving the $1 trillion farm bill, which includes an $8 billion cut to the food stamp program. That said, 80 percent of this bill does go to food stamps and other programs for the poor. Keep in mind, this is a compromise bill. This is a bill three years in the making. Jake Tapper will have much more on "THE LEAD" the next hour for that.

And just when you thought it could not get any worse, folks, more snow, more ice paralyzing a huge chunk of the country. The second big storm of the week is spreading misery from the Rockies to Maine. The snow started early in Oklahoma, making a mess, as you can see streets and highways. And all of this comes on the heels of a record-breaking snowfall in New York City. In fact, Central Park got eight inches of snow just yesterday. More ice and snow are on the way.



BALDWIN: Ted Rowlands knows a thing or two about being out in the cold. He's in Chicago for us, where we know it's been a mess for travelers, airlines, a lot of other folks.

So, Ted Rowlands, at least you're warm inside for the moment. How much is this costing these cities, all this weather?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's costing all of us.

Brooke, if you live in a cold weather city this year, it has been costly, and not only miserable, but, yes, it's hit the pocketbook as well. First, the obvious, municipalities that have had to shovel the snow, plow the snow and add the salt. You have got budgets just blown out by all the overtime costs for the snowplow drivers.

And there's a salt shortage, too. In many cities around Chicago, they're down. And so they have to buy it at an increased rate. It's three times as much as it would be normally. So they're getting hit. And then there's businesses, retail businesses down. On those days that are super cold or snowy, people aren't going out.

Restaurants as well -- we have talked to a bunch of restaurants today. One owner told me he's down 25 percent this year compared to last year. He blames the cold. We went down to our favorite restaurant here near the bureau in Chicago, Volare, beautiful Italian restaurant. They say they're down about 10 percent only because their delivery business is up a bit.

BALDWIN: Let's take a listen.


BENNY SIDDU, OWNER, VOLARE: I have been here for 29 years, and I tell you this is one of the coldest winters I have ever seen. Normally, it doesn't bother me, but this year I definitely felt it physically and also financially.


ROWLANDS: Yes, physically.

And, of course, for all of the rest of us, fuel costs are higher, heating costs. There's salt all over our vehicles. Potholes take out tires. It's not only uncomfortable. It costs money. It's hitting us everywhere and we can't wait for it to be over.

BALDWIN: And it's just the 4th of February, Ted Rowlands, just the 4th, just, you know, details, details. Ted, thank you very much from Chicago.

Coming up next, back to this woman. She made national headlines when she posted a video online of this phone call she made. She called a former teacher who she says sexually abused her back when she was a student. Now the woman on the other end of the call is facing 15 years after the alleged crime. We're "On the Case" next.



BALDWIN: A California woman outed her alleged childhood abuser online, and now that ex-teacher is sitting in jail.

Andrea Cardosa just surrendered to the Riverside County sheriff and is charged with felony sex crimes against children, and that is exactly what her former student wanted. That accuser now a 28-year-old mother says Cardosa molested her on and off from the ages of 12 to 18. Just a couple of weeks ago, the woman, who we are not naming, confronted Cardosa by phone and posted the conversation on YouTube.


ANDREA CARDOSA, DEFENDANT: I only -- just wanted to help you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CARDOSA: I only -- I just wanted to help you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is having a sexual relationship with a 12- year-old student helping?

CARDOSA: It wasn't anything that I intended, and I didn't know what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's completely shocking to me that you are an assistant principal. Are you doing this with other students too?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that how you help them?

CARDOSA: No, not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should be so ashamed and so disgusted with yourself.

CARDOSA: I am. I am.


CARDOSA: I regret it every day, every day.


BALDWIN: That was just a piece of the phone conversation she uploaded to YouTube. I should tell you, too, a second alleged victim has come forward. That video, by the way, has now been viewed more than 1.2 million times.

Joining me now, HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell.

And here's my question, Jane Velez-Mitchell, because you know that the accuser here thought the law would do nothing because of the statute of limitations of course running out. So, first question, how are the charges even possible?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Well, Brooke, there are so many surprises in this case. Yes, we all thought, well, the statute of limitations has passed. It turns out the fine print says if you are charged with something that carries a potential life sentence, there is no statute of limitations.

And she is charged with aggravated assault on a child under the age of 14. That carries a potential life sentence. Therefore, there is no statute of limitations, although the accused woman's attorney plans to challenge that. We will see.

BALDWIN: We will see. That's interesting.

We have -- let me just read this. This is from Andrea Cardosa's attorney. They contend this. "We are planning on following up on the case by challenging the filing against the statute of limitations. Fortunately, our justice system requires more than a YouTube video to determine the facts of a case. As we proceed, I am certain that evidence will shed new light on all charges filed."

React to that for me, her point about this is a YouTube video. That's all they have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what, Brooke? I call this YouTube justice. And I applaud this young woman for her ingenuity in carrying this off.

We live in an age where many people feel the criminal justice system is just not responsive if you're not rich, famous, powerful. This woman essentially took the matter into her own hands and conducted a sting operation, videotaped it, and then conducted a P.R. campaign for justice by posting it on YouTube.

Bravo. She got what she wanted, more than what she wanted. She thought she was going to get a public shaming. Now she's got a criminal case against the woman who she says molested her when she was a kid. Is this an open-and-shut case? I think not, even though to the average person it might sound like an outright confession on that call.

A good lawyer can take a lot of those nuances. I regret it.


Well, what exactly do you regret? Could she try to twist it, for example, to emotional abuse?

BALDWIN: OK. Jane Velez-Mitchell, we will see what happens with that statute of limitations and what they're contending. Thank you very much, JVM each and every night 7:00 HLN.


BALDWIN: We are keeping a close eye on the stock market today, of course, one day after we were watching closely, and it was sinking hearts watching it down some 300 points. This is what the Dow looks like so far this year. You can see, whoop, down, not pretty. This is just a normal maybe ebb and flow of the market, perhaps a construction from last year's huge gains. We will ask that question up next. We're coming up next.

Plus, for the very first time, we are hearing the details of the operation to take down alleged pimps at the Super Bowl? I will talk live with the FBI about how they saved teenagers.