This morning, "Starting Point" is live at 7am Eastern. Soledad O'Brien is back in the anchor chair this morning with our panelists, CNN contributor Will Cain, California Rep. Mary Bono Mack, and Salon.com staff writer Irin Carmon. Our panel will be talking about the following top stories:
Starting Point live blog for Monday, May 21, 2012
* Soledad also speaks with Rep. John Lewis about his new book, "Across that bridge: Life lessons and a vision for change."
Share your comments in the section below. If you're not by a TV, you can watch us here at CNN.com/Live. Let's get started.
[UPDATED 7:05am ET] Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon says that she is "saddened" by the violence between police and protesters in Chicago and concerned that the images of the clashes will form an impression about the summit. However, Simon asserts that she thinks that "for the most part those who were participating were orderly" and that the demonstrations are "an effective use of a democracy where we have to tolerate and appreciate all opinions."
[UPDATED 7:17am ET] Rep. Chris Smith says that Chen Guangcheng looked good but "very weak" when he arrived in New York on Saturday and that his family in China is still at "grave risk." Smith says that "there will need to be an extra layer of protection" for Guangcheng even in New York, and explains that chances are slim that Chen will return to China any time in the intermediate term.
[UPDATED 7:35am ET] Ben Mezrich, author of the book that inspired the movie "The Social Network," says that what's important to Mark Zuckerberg is that people want to use Facebook every day, not how much money the company makes. Mezrich also says that Zuckerberg is a "strange," "socially awkward" guy and that his "megalomania" and belief in Facebook will ultimately be good for the business.
[UPDATED 8:06am ET] Atlantic Council vice president Damon Wilson says that "the whole NATO summit is characterized by how the organization will operate in an age of austerity." Wilson also explains that many summit attendees have been pleased with the the attitude of Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai.
[UPDATED 8:25am ET] Rep. John Lewis says that meeting Martin Luther King Jr. when he was eighteen years old changed his life forever and set him on a different path. Rep. Lewis also weighs in on state laws concerning voting rights, asserting that he thinks there is a “systematic, deliberate effort to take us back to another period and make it harder and more difficult for young people, seniors, minorities and the disabled community to participate in the democratic process.”
[UPDATED 8:40am ET] Miriam Ungar, who's husband Jacob Ostreicher has been in prison in Bolivia for over eleven months with no charges or evidence brought against him, asks Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for help in freeing her husband.
[UPDATED 8:49am ET] Starting Point panelist Rep. Mary Bono Mack announces that she will be chairing the Women's Policy Committee, a new Congressional caucus with the goal of raising the profile of GOP women. Rep. Mack also calls the discussion about a war on women "pure politics."
[UPDATED 8:55am ET] CNN education contributor Steve Perry says that he opposes "gap years" for students between high school and college, asserting that "the last thing we need to do is engage kids in a lifestyle that's not school."