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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Terror Bust; Border Insecurity; Political Climate; Ocean Pollution; Illegal Immigrants and Disease; Outsourcing Not Worth It?
Aired June 8, 2005 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everybody.
Tonight, toxic oceans. Our oceans heavily polluted. America's public health system is at risk. Americans are building more homes than ever along our coasts. We'll have a special report on "Living Dangerously".
Howard Dean faces new criticism tonight. He's already declared Republicans have never made an honest living. Now he declares the Republican Party is a white Christian party.
And the next presidential election still nearly four years away. One of the country's most highly respected columnists, Joe Klein of "Time" Magazine, is focusing on the politics of sanity and passion. He's our guest tonight.
Our top story is the arrest of four radical Islamist terrorist suspects in California. Federal authorities say they were planning to blow up U.S. hospitals and supermarkets. Prosecutors say one of the four men arrested has admitted attending an al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan. The suspect's father and two Muslim leaders also arrested in Lodi, California.
Peter Viles reports.
PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, an ongoing investigation that just broke open yesterday here in Lodi, California, a small town with a large Pakistani-American population. Four men, all Pakistani- Americans, are under arrest. Several homes also have been searched in this neighborhood. A lot of unease in this neighborhood.
To be clear, none of these people have yet been charged with anything related directly to terrorism. The charges so far somewhat minor, lying to federal officials and immigrations violations. That's not minor, but in the scheme of things, no terrorism charges here.
The FBI, however, has made very clear -- unusually clear -- in an unsealed affidavit, and then in a press conference just a couple of hours ago in Sacramento, that they believe there is a link between this community and al Qaeda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH SLOTTER, FBI: We believe through our investigation that various individuals connected to al Qaeda have been operating in the Lodi area in various capacities, including individuals who have received terrorist training abroad, with the specific intent to initiate a terrorist attack in the United States and to harm Americans and our institutions
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VILES: The man he is referring to there is Hamid Hayat, 22, born in California, but has spent a lot of his life in Pakistan. Returned to the United States last month, was questioned by the FBI, and -- according to the FBI -- admitted that he had spent six months at an al Qaeda-run paramilitary training facility where, among other things, the likeness of George Bush was used for target practice. That at that facility, the attendees there were taught how to kill Americans. And it was his goal, he tells the FBI in this affidavit, to come home to America and carry out his jihad here, including possibly attacks on hospitals and large food stores.
DOBBS: Peter Viles from Lodi, California.
Border security increasingly a primary concern in the fight against radical Islamist terrorism. Our porous borders all but wide open. Three million illegal aliens crossed our borders last year.
Tonight, an important new report about the massive increase in the number of illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico. And federal authorities seemingly powerless to deport most of those illegal aliens.
Karen Schaler reports from Washington.
KAREN SCHALER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since October, more than 800,000 illegal aliens have been caught trying to sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border. Close to 10 percent aren't originally from Mexico, creating serious homeland security concerns.
SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: We're now concerned about the potential for terrorists coming across the border because of the huge increases in other than Mexicans, people coming from abroad through Mexico, across our southern border. Our country has intelligence that tells us that al Qaeda specifically desires to bring people across our border.
SCHALER: According to new Border Patrol numbers, a record 98,000 of these other than Mexicans, OTMs, have been apprehended in the last eight months. That's up 175 percent from this same time last year.
Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar testified in the Senate on their efforts to handle OTMs.
DAVID AGUILAR, BORDER PATROL CHIEF: The officer making the detention has to be fully satisfied that there is no threat to the United States. At that point we continue the processing, and basically try and hold them for removal from the United States.
SCHALER: But because of overcrowded detention centers, 70 percent of OTMs are released, and only a small percent ever show up for their immigration hearings.
KYL: You've got an awful lot of people of great concern in our society, and we haven't been able to do anything about stopping them.
SCHALER: Senator Kyl is pushing for Border Patrol to extend its expedited removal program, where OTMs can be shipped back to their home countries within a month instead of the usual three months. Mexico will not accept any OTMs. Right now, Laredo, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona, are the only two border sectors out of 20 using expedited removal.
SCHALER: Now, the idea behind this expedited removal is to get these OTMs out of this country as fast as possible before they're just set free here. Now, in the case of someone from a country on the terrorist watch list? They're automatically guaranteed a detention bed, but only for 180 days. After that, they're just released.
DOBBS: Karen, thank you. Karen Schaler from Washington.
The White House tonight faces questions about another controversy, the role of a Bush administration official who once worked as a top lobbyist for the oil industry. The official reportedly edited government climate reports. Those climate reports were edited to play down links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. That according to another former official who recently left the government.
Suzanne Malveaux reports.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rick Piltz left the government three months ago, fed up with the Bush administration's approach to science.
RICK PILTZ, FMR. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: I've been seeing what was clearly a process of politicization of the science program in a way that was undermining its credibility and its integrity.
MALVEAUX: For the last four years, Piltz worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Now he is making public these internal documents he says show a top White House official editing government reports to downplay the scientific link between industrial emissions and global warming.
That official, Philip Cooney, is currently the chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a position that helps devise and promote the Bush administration's environmental policy. Before that, Cooney was a lobbyist for the oil industry. Some environmentalists say that industry's fingerprints are all over White House policy.
DAVID HAMILTON, SIERRA CLUB: I never saw the kind of attempt to change the facts and change the conclusions that we see now in the Bush administration.
MALVEAUX: CNN asked to speak with Cooney, but a White House spokeswoman said he would not be made available to comment on this story.
The White House says they have scientists and policymakers involved in editing their reports.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is not based on any one individual. This is an interagency review process where everybody who is involved in these issues should have input into these reports. And that's all this is.
MALVEAUX: The administration also denies downplaying the effects of climate change.
President Bush on Tuesday...
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: See, there's a lot of things we're doing in America. And I believe that not only can we solve greenhouse gas, I believe we will.
MALVEAUX: But critics say that the Bush administration is out of step with much of the rest of the world in its refusal to sign the Kyoto climate treaty, and also in its focus over the doubts or questions about global warming.
DOBBS: Well, the Kyoto treaty, of course, rejected by the U.S. Senate. There's little concern about that, that is not partisan in nature, both Democrat and Republican administrations involved. But in the case of putting an oil industry lobbyist at the head of a council on the environment, that is curious, to say the least.
How does the White House explain that?
MALVEAUX: Well the White House doesn't believe that it's curious at all. As a matter of fact, political observers, people who we talked to today, say that it is not atypical, really, if you take a look at who the Democrats put in under the Clinton administration. That you are going to have Democrats, as well as Republicans, that do this, that they actually recruit people that reflect their own interests. That it, of course, is not surprising that their conclusions would perhaps promote a certain policy or a bent, a slant that is approval, or I guess in support of the White House position.
DOBBS: So we're reporting here tonight, Suzanne, that the Clinton administration had an oil industry lobbyist in charge of its environmental council?
MALVEAUX: No. We're not reporting that at all, Lou. What we're saying here is that political analysts take a look at the Clinton administration and they say the Democrats that were in similar positions also reflected the policy of Democrats. They say it's not surprising, certainly, that Republicans in this administration, be they oil lobbyists or others, are certainly reflecting the policy of this Republican White House.
DOBBS: Suzanne Malveaux from the White House. Thank you.
Turning to the war in Iraq, four American soldiers have been killed in the latest combat. Three killed in the Tikrit area, one killed in Baghdad. So far this year, 350 of our troops have been killed in Iraq; 1,682 of our troops have been killed there since the war began two years ago.
Two American troops were killed in rocket attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan today. Eight other troops were wounded. The base is near the Afghan border with Pakistan. Radical Islamist terrorists claiming responsibility for that attack.
The American troops were unloading a Chinook helicopter. This is the deadliest attack against Americans in Afghanistan since insurgents escalated their offensive back in March.
Separately, the U.S. Army is expected to miss its recruiting goals for the month of May, despite the fact that the Army lowered its recruiting goals for the month from more than 8,000 recruits to 6,700. The Army is expected to say how many recruits it did sign on Friday. The estimate is that they missed their original target by almost 40 percent.
Still ahead here tonight, Howard Dean at the center of new controversy. He says now the Republican Party is a white Christian party. We'll have a special report.
And the presidential election campaign still nearly four years away. "Time" magazine's highly respected columnist Joe Klein, looking at the politics of sanity and passion and distinctions between liberals, conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. He's our guest tonight.
DOBBS: The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, is not altering either his strategy or his words, his outspoken words and comments about Republicans. Dean now saying the Republican Party is made up primarily of one group -- white Christians -- after just days ago saying Republicans have never made an honest living in their lives.
Bill Schneider reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): It's becoming a familiar pattern. Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean says something controversial, like this in January...
HOWARD DEAN, CHAIRMAN, DNC: I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.
SCHNEIDER: ... or this in San Francisco this week...
DEAN: The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. They pretty much -- they all behave the same and they all look the same. And they all -- you know, it's pretty much a white Christian party.
SCHNEIDER: Democrats distance.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: And I do not agree with the statement that was made by Governor Dean -- or Chairman Dean in characterizing Republicans.
SCHNEIDER: Dean explains.
DEAN: I don't hate Republicans, but I sure hate what this Republican Party is doing to America.
SCHNEIDER: And complains.
DEAN: They want to divert attention. They're trying to make me the issue.
SCHNEIDER: Which he's helping them do.
Dean's description of Republicans as a white Christian party may be technically accurate -- among all the self-described Republicans interviewed by a CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll this year, a whopping 82 percent are white Christians. But it was politically foolish, because a majority of Democrats are also white Christians, including Dean himself. Two-thirds of the American people are white Christians. It doesn't make much sense to insult them.
Dean's "us versus them" rhetoric does rally the Democratic Party's core supporters.
PELOSI: He has energized the base of the party.
SCHNEIDER: That may be a good way to raise money from small donors over the Internet. But it may not work too well with high- dollar donors who want to see a winning political strategy.
Last year, the Democratic National Committee raised more money than the Republican National Committee. Dean became chairman in February 2005. Over the next three months, the Republicans raised more than twice as much money as the Democrats.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SCHNEIDER: To be fair, the Republicans regained their fund- raising lead after President Bush was reelected last year, before Dean took over the party. But the trend has not been reversed.
And by the way, Democrats may be missing an opportunity. According to a new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll, most Americans now say President Bush is a divider, not a uniter.
A Jewish Republican congressman from Virginia said this about Howard Dean today -- quote -- "I'm disappointed that the leader of the Democrat Party finds it necessary to divide Americans by race and faith."
Dean may be coming across just as divisive as Bush.
DOBBS: I'm sure that in this highly partisan - partisan charged society of ours, there's little concern about whether he divides Republicans and Democrats. But the point is, it seems to me, Bill -- and tell me if you agree -- he's dividing Democrats.
When Senator Biden, Leader Pelosi and leading Democrats are saying basically, we want no part of your rhetoric, that looks like a major problem for Howard Dean. And it could be the beginning of a significant change at the Democratic National Committee.
SCHNEIDER: Well, he's dividing Democrats in an interesting way. A lot of Democrats may agree with Dean. They don't think it's wise for him to say so.
But Democrats like Biden and Edwards, who want to run for president, realize that they cannot win simply by rallying and energizing the Democratic Party base, even if Dean is effective in doing that. They tried it in 2004, and guess what, the Republicans had a bigger base.
They gained 12 million new votes. Democrats picked up eight million new votes. Those Democrats who want to run for president, like Biden and Edwards, realize they've got to reach out to Republicans, not turn them off.
DOBBS: And one of the things, Bill, that has been axiomatic in politics, certainly over the last -- certainly in memory, is that there is a strong relationship between each of the candidates and the leader of the Democratic National Committee. That appears to be a problem for already potentially three candidates.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. And what they've said, several of them have said Howard Dean is not the spokesman of the Democratic Party. Well, he's the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Of course he's the spokesman of the Democratic Party.
DOBBS: How much trouble is he in, Bill?
SCHNEIDER: I think he's in trouble mostly because of the fund- raising. There are a lot of people who give the party money who say, wait a minute. We don't want to have a whole lot to do with this guy.
We'll see how -- I think they'll give him some more time. But if the fund-raising drops off, he really will be in trouble.
DOBBS: Bill Schneider, thank you.
DOBBS: And tonight's quote of the day comes from House Speaker Dennis Hastert on the controversy surrounding Dean's comments. Speaker Hastert said, "Last week's scandal was Deep Throat. This week's scandal was Dean's throat. And apparently Dean likes the taste of his own foot."
That brings us to the subject of tonight's poll. We want to know your opinion of Howard Dean. Is he, A, brash; B, bold; C, outrageous; or D, effective?
Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results later here.
Another victory on Capitol Hill tonight for President Bush in his fight to win judicial nominations and confirmations. Senators voting to confirm Justice Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Democrats had delayed her nomination and confirmation for two years.
Meanwhile, Democratic senators continue to block the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador. Democrats are demanding the White House provide them with documents about Bolton's career in the State Department. And the administration has signaled strongly that it will not do so.
Coming up next, endangered in Cuba. The former home of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway just barely surviving decades of neglect from the Cuban government. How one U.S. preservation group is trying to save this important landmark.
And then, dozens of hospitals shutting down all around this country because they simply cannot afford the costs of treating illegal aliens. A leading medical attorney joins us to discuss this crisis.
DOBBS: Tonight, a stunning and genius escape from Fidel Castro's communist Cuba. A bright blue vehicle converted into a boat was spotted 20 miles off Key West, Florida. And the Coast Guard interdicting the effort to escape Cuba and to come to this shore.
The Coast Guard isn't talking about it. Several Cubans were on board. It's reminiscent of the third time -- actually, this is the third time that someone's tried to use one of those old cars and escape Cuba.
In 2003, a 1951 Chevy truck was put together. This is one of the boldest and most ingenious escape attempts that I can recall. The Coast Guard interdicted. I think many Americans were cheering them on in their drive to escape to freedom.
The Coast Guard, by the way, unfortunately -- and in my opinion, ill-advisedly -- sank this wonderful contraption that was a vehicle for freedom for these people. And ultimately, you should know that the man who put that together escaped Cuba to Mexico, crossed our border with Mexico, illegally, and is now safely in this country with his family.
I think most of us would agree that when anyone shows that kind of ingenuity and drive and determination, they would be most welcome in this country. Even illegally, yes. Fleeing a communist country, especially.
Fidel Castro's communist Cuba has let a landmark of American, indeed, world literature, fall into grave disrepair. The Cuban home of Ernest Hemingway, who wrote, among other things, "A Moveable Feast," "The Old Man and the Sea," has had that house named an endangered historic site.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation in this country is urging Cuba to take action.
Lucia Newman has the story from Havana.
LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 19th century estate on the outskirts of Havana was the first home Ernest Hemingway ever bought with his money.
GLADYS RODRIGUEZ, HEMINGWAY MUSEUM (through translator): He loved it so much that in 1940 when Paramount Pictures paid him the royalties for the film "For Whom the Bells Toll," he buys it for $18,500.
NEWMAN: Gladys Rodriguez, curator for what is now the Hemingway Museum, took us on an exclusive tour of the house where the American novelist lived from 1939 to 1960, a period in which he wrote many of his most famous works.
But Hemingway's beloved Finca Vigia, as he named it, is in danger. The ravages of time, neglect and tropical humidity threatening a cultural heritage shared by Cuba and the United States.
RODRIGUEZ (through translator): This is the room that's in the worst shape, where Hemingway used to write. You can see that the humidity has swollen the beans, cracking the floor tiles and the ceiling.
NEWMAN: The U.S. National Trust for Historic Reservation has placed Finca Vigia on its list of 11 most endangered historic sites, the only one outside of the United States. There's plenty worth preserving, from Hemingway's cherished library to the bathroom that gives insights into his obsessions.
On the wall, he scribbled his weight almost every day, with comments like "17 days off diet," "five drinking."
(on camera): The house is now closed to the public. Cuba's culture ministry have earmarked about a quarter of a million dollars to start the restoration. And while Cuba says it can do it on its own, it also admits it will be harder and take a lot longer without outside help.
(voice-over): The National Trust for Historic Preservation hopes Washington will grant it a special license to bypass the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba so that it can provide more money and expertise.
PAUL EDMONDSON, V.P., NATIONAL TRUST: It is a very unique site. It's a -- the home of an American cultural icon that has very important historical significance to the American people.
NEWMAN: A rare opportunity for cooperation between Hemingway's country of birth and the one he fell in love with at a time when only water divided the two nations.
Lucia Newman, CNN, Havana.
DOBBS: Coming up next, providing care to illegal aliens is proving catastrophic to dozens of our hospitals and emergency rooms. At the same time, illegal aliens are bringing harmful diseases into the country. The author of an alarming new report who says this is nothing less than a crisis in public health care is our guest.
Then, Americans buying up any property they can find along our nation's coastlines. But as our population explodes between the -- along the coastlines, our oceans are becoming even more dangerous than ever. We'll have a leading marine toxicologist here to tell us just how serious this crisis is becoming.
DOBBS: The United States is in the midst of nothing less than a crisis created by illegal immigration: soaring education costs; billions spent on illegal aliens in our prisons; displaced American workers. Now in the latest edition of the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons, Madeleine Cosman, a medical attorney, declares illegal aliens are responsible for the closing of dozens of emergency rooms, are constituting, now, a threat to our public health.
Madeleine Cosman joins us tonight from San Diego. Good to have you with us.
MADELEINE COSMAN, MEDICAL ATTORNEY: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.
DOBBS: Madeleine, the issue of the diseases, first, that are being brought into the country because illegal aliens obviously not going through our ports of entry or meeting national health care standards, being -- provided health care at our ports of entry.
What are the diseases that are most concerning to you?
COSMAN: Multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis is one of the most significant, and the chagas disease, dengue fever, polio, hepatitis A, B, C.
Certain diseases that we thought we had vanquished years ago are coming back. And other diseases that we've never seen or rarely seen in America, because they've always been the diseases of poverty and the Third World, are coming in now.
DOBBS: Are we -- in your judgment, are these diseases, at this point, at such a level that they constitute a threat to the national public health?
COSMAN: I think: Yes.
DOBBS: And in your judgment, what should be done?
COSMAN: Well, I actually recommend very strong medicine, and I'll give you an acronym, CRAG. C-R-A-G.
And I would recommend, first, closing the borders and deporting illegal aliens, but welcoming legal aliens.
And R, would be rescinding the citizenship of anchor babies, which your audience doubtlessly knows about.
And A, is aiding and abetting illegal aliens is a crime. We should punish it -- meaning, anyone who hires illegal aliens.
And G, grant no new amnesties.
DOBBS: The -- when you say close the borders, quite literally, you mean to say that to establish border security, obviously you would encourage legal immigration...
DOBBS: ... and continue trade across those borders, but under the control of the United States government. Imagine that, the U.S. Government actually having control of borders.
Would this be enough, in your judgment, to deal with this crisis that you see at hand?
COSMAN: It would, and it would not. That is, it would prevent the illegal aliens from coming in. But it would not actually prevent the problems that we're having with the illegal aliens who are already here, about 20 million strong.
We have a terrible, absolutely vicious, law called EMTALA: the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which is really the culprit that requires every emergency room, and every physician of an emergency room, to treat illegal aliens for free.
DOBBS: And the costs of those well-reported. The issue it seems here, as we try to wrestle with this crisis, in some ways almost a silent crisis, because our public -- elected public officials are loathe to deal with it, although that is changing. The nation, that is, people, who make this country up, are keenly aware of it.
How are doctors, physicians, public health officials, responding to your report?
COSMAN: Many are responding with great enthusiasm and gratitude that I've had the courage and the candor to tell the tale. Others have actually been surprisingly in denial.
In California, Lou, we have had 84 hospitals close because they have in essence gone bankrupt because of treating illegal aliens and others.
And 50 percent of all the treatments are unreimbursed. Even physicians in those emergency rooms don't fully get the point that by being compassionate, and generous, and gracious, they are in essence destroying their own livelihoods as well as their own hospitals.
DOBBS: Madeleine Cosman, we thank you for being here. A provocative, interesting, and important report. Thank you.
COSMAN: Thank you.
DOBBS: Evidence, tonight, is building against the so-called benefits of outsourcing. The evidence shows that sending cheap -- American jobs to cheap foreign labor markets may not be exactly what American corporate managers had originally bargained for.
Christine Romans is here tonight, and has the report for us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, outsourcing American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets -- it's not as profitable and not as easy as these companies had thought. But that's not stopping them from rushing into deals in India and eagerly looking to China.
ROMANS (voice-over): Another major study of the benefits of outsourcing finds perils. Diamond Cluster found satisfaction rates have plummeted to 62 percent, from 79 percent last year. As dissatisfaction builds, more than half of all outsourcing contracts in the past year were canceled early.
Why? The report found a proliferation of poor-quality offshore companies. And cost savings just wasn't what managers had hoped. In short, the report found the days of simple wage arbitrage are almost over.
But that's not stopping anyone. Most managers surveyed say they want to do even more offshoring, and 40 percent will outsource to China over the next three to five years. The outsourcers are betting on it. Recently, the CEO of outsourcer Satyam Computer Services called outsourcing - quote -- "A global game of market forces."
RAMALINGA RAJU, CEO, SATYAM COMPUTER SERVICES: Market forces today are operating in such a manner that it is blurring boundaries between countries, and in fact, blurring boundaries between companies as well.
ROMANS: Blurring boundaries. And he says there is virtually no job that he can't outsource, and he'll do it wherever the labor is cheapest.
DOBBS: This Satyam executive obviously putting forward publicly what is usually a silent agenda -- that is, no boundaries, no borders. It's just one big happy family and it doesn't matter to the CEOs of U.S. multi-nationals, what is happening to our middle-class working men and women in this country. To put it out there, just broadly -- baldly -- is astonishing.
Deloitte and Touche has been -- earlier this year had reported precisely the same thing: that outsourcing just isn't working.
ROMANS: Deloitte Consulting reported that 70 percent of deals were unfavorable. Yet Deloitte still is outsourcing itself -- accountants -- outsourcing to India.
DOBBS: What happened just to those call-center jobs?
ROMANS: It's everything now, Lou.
DOBBS: Yes. Christine, thank you. Christine Romans.
A bill calling for the United States to withdraw from the World Trade Organization will go before the House of Representatives tomorrow. The legislation, introduced by Congressman Bernie Sanders, of Vermont and Congressman Ron Paul, of Texas. Both have been long- time vocal critics of the World Trade Organization because of its negative impact on the American economy, and especially American workers.
Congressman Sanders and Congressman Paul -- both will be our guests here tomorrow for more on why they say the United States must withdraw soon from the WTO.
Just ahead, I'll be talking with one of this country's top journalists, "Time" magazine's highly respected columnist Joe Kline. His feature article in the magazine this week -- the decline of our leading political parties; parties that he focuses on -- two important qualities: passion and sanity. We'll sort out which is which.
And later, "Living Dangerously," our special report. The increasing threat to our coastal waters; to our nation's public health. That story, and a great deal more, still ahead here.
Please stay with us.
DOBBS: My guest tonight, a critically acclaimed journalist, a best-selling author, the lead columnist for "Time" magazine. Joe Klein has written his column in "Time" magazine this week, featured, about the politics of sanity and politics of passion and some confusion that exists between the two. In his column, he cites a political poll that pits "New York Times" columnist Tom Friedman against yours truly. I'm pleased to tell you, I'm ahead in the poll. I don't even know if I've been declared a winner.
Even though he doesn't share my views, Joe Klein is our guest tonight. I'm here to convince you that the party of passion is the correct one. Joe, good to have you here.
JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE COLUMNIST: But only if it acts in the same manner, Lou. Congratulations on your stirring 54 to 40 victory over Tom Friedman.
DOBBS: Well, you know...
KLEIN: I'm sure he's licking his wounds in Bangalore.
DOBBS: I'm sure he is, and at the same time, cheering on more outsourcing which he thinks, appropriately, has something to do with the flat Earth. I couldn't agree with him about the metaphor more. We just derive different meaning from it.
Joe, you talk about the idea that we are looking at the world both through passion and through sanity. But the bottom line I inferred from what you had written is that both parties, both ends of the spectrum politically in this country -- it's pretty easy to get confused right now.
KLEIN: Well, neither of these parties that I've invented are being represented. I mean, I think that the really shocking thing that's going on -- what caused me to write this article -- is that the people in Washington are talking about stuff that the American people aren't interested in at all.
KLEIN: I mean, you know, there's a poll by Diane Feldman, a Democrat, in which 72 percent of voters say that the people in Washington see the world differently than the way I do, or the way they do. And to me, it's striking that not only is the point of view that you represent, which is the kind of populist point of view, not being discussed in Washington, or on the campaign trail, but also the point of view that a lot of the more responsible corporate leaders, the people who really believe that we should have a universal health care system in this country because the way health care works is disastrous right now, the people who are in favor of fiscal responsibility -- those are the people I call the party of sanity. Their point of view isn't being represented either. So...
DOBBS: The working man and woman in this country is -- you know, is so poorly represented, it's scary. Our unions now are at a fraction of our total workforce, and under further pressure. It's far easier to get public employees into a union than it is private -- private labor into a union. There's no countervailing influence to the might and the absolutely unadulterated, all but unchallenged might, of U.S. multinationals, corporate America. Politically, in this country, they've never held such sway, even in the era of the robber barons.
When you talk about sanity and passion, it seems to me that anyone with clear eyes will look out and see that if we don't have a countervailing influence -- politically and socially and economically -- to corporate America and to two parties that have basically sold out, have been bought lock, stock and barrel by corporate America, then we're in a lot of trouble.
KLEIN: Well, it's not just corporate America that's bought them out. I think part of the reason that you're seeing the debates, the amount of time spent on Terri Schiavo in Washington, as opposed to illegal immigration, for example, where you and I may not be that far apart -- I think that that's a consequence of other special interests. The religious extremists have a special interest. On the Democratic side, this big fight over judicial appointees is driven by secular extremists who are furious about the possibility that abortion laws will be changed.
Those are important issues, but there are huge issues that are not being focused on in Washington.
DOBBS: You know, we have moved, in just to the past six months, Joe, from a campaign to "reform" -- quote-unquote -- Social Security at an immense cost, and estimated as much as $2 trillion over the course of 10 years. Now it is a crisis that is in quiescence, if you will. And now we're focusing on judicial nominations that have been fought by the Democratic Party on principle that are suddenly now not a matter of principle.
Meanwhile, illegal immigration -- we're exploiting illegal aliens in our labor. We're depressing wages. We're outsourcing jobs. Our public education system is being destroyed, the pride, the foundation of our middle class and everything that is good about this country. And we have -- I will be respectful -- senators and congressman and a president in Washington who are ignoring that. And I think that's -- you're exactly right in making that point.
KLEIN: Well you know what, Lou, there's a wild -- a wide open field for candidates like you. One of...
DOBBS: No, I'm not a candidate. I'm like you. I'm just a lowly journalist. But the fact is, where in the world are the candidates who will address these issues that are real to the people? You used the expression, Joe, populist. What's wrong with populist? It's all about the people, isn't it?
KLEIN: Well in the past, though, populism has been a very negative force in this country's history, throughout much of the populist era. Often it turns to a kind of nativist turning-in, away from the world. We cannot afford to do that now. We can't turn away from the fact that this is a globalized economy whether we like it or not and we cannot turn away from the war on terror.
I think, Lou, we're about to see candidates appear in this next cycle who will be in favor of nativist, protectionist, isolationist, and socially very conservative programs.
DOBBS: See, Joe, you're a terrific journalist and a terrific political watchdog, if I may say that as well, as well as writer and thinker.
KLEIN: Thanks. You're going to disagree with me.
DOBBS: No, I'm not. But I'm going to just suggest to you that people are a hell of a lot smarter than the elites give them credit for. And you know, scientifically, we've demonstrated -- it's empirical -- the fact is that when we look at markets, or whether we look at broad political issues, people come to the issues in the correct position for the benefit of the nation much quicker and more profoundly than do the so-called elites.
KLEIN: The irony here, Lou, is that there is, I think, a number of issues where the centrist elites, the establishment, and the people agree. I think that there's broad agreement on the need for fiscal responsibility.
DOBBS: Oh, absolutely.
KLEIN: I think there's broad agreement on the need for energy independence, and a real move this might be able to create manufacturing jobs toward, you know, hybrid cars.
DOBBS: Where in the world are we going to get the leadership? Because, you know, two lowly journalists like Joe Klein and Lou Dobbs sitting here talking about it aren't -- we just ain't going to get it. I hate to tell you.
KLEIN: Well, I think that, you know, we live in a democracy, and these are products that might have some viability. The Pew Foundation poll, you know, describing the American electorate, created nine different types, and by my calculation, about six of those nine have populist tendencies, and tendencies to support the kind of issues that you raise on this program, and -- if not the centrist elite issues. So, I think that there's a market for a populist product. I just hope it isn't corrupted by too much anger and too much extremism.
DOBBS: And I would agree with you on that -- in that hope. B ut the fact is that what we have right now is so corrupted by those who own all but lock and stock -- lock, stock and barrel, as I said, our political parties, both of them -- that I find myself wondering about the differences between the Democrat and Republican National Committee.
KLEIN: But even those... DOBBS: Joe, I'm out of time, partner. And I apologize. I hope you'll come back and we can talk about this some more.
KLEIN: OK, well, congratulations again on your victory, Lou.
DOBBS: Yes, thank you, Joe. Appreciate it. Joe Klein.
Just ahead, "Living Dangerously" -- our special report on the failing health of our beaches and oceans and the crisis that poses for our public health. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Massive population growth along our coastal areas is putting enormous pressure on our oceans -- oceans that are now more polluted than ever. The New England coast in particular, plagued by one of the worst outbreaks of red sea algae in more than three decades. Officials have closed shellfish beds from Maine to Cap Cod indefinitely.
Bill Tucker has the story.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Coastal living. Nature puts no value on wide stretches of sand and beaches. We do. More than half of the population of the United States now lives along the coast. And we are building more and more houses on sand.
ROB EVANS, SHORELINE SPECIALIST: The Heinz Center predicted that over the next 60 years, one house out of every four within 500 feet of the ocean is probably going to be lost. So, at some point we have to deal with the fact that, you know, we are not going to be able to stop the march of those beaches.
TUCKER: While the oceans threaten our homes, we are threatening the oceans by what we put in the air with our emissions, the fertilizers we put in the ground, and the septic systems we put in the ground.
ANN MULLIGAN, GROUND WATER HYDROLOGIST: Runoff is going to occur when it rains. So it's sort of a quick, short burst of runoff. Conversely, ground water is long-term, slow discharge, and it occurs all over the place.
TUCKER: The worst coastal conditions are off the Northeast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the damage we're inflicting comes from surprising sources. Oil spills get the headlines, but more oil runs off into the ocean every year from our cars, leaking onto the streets, than from tanker spills.
CHRISTOPHER REDDY, ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMIST: It's very easy to see an oil spill and see a dead bird who has oil on its feathers. It's much, much harder to figure out whether or not some contaminant load has changed the ecosystem so subtly that it may affect the next couple generations, but we can't see it right now. TUCKER (on camera): The science behind our oceans is complex, but what it does come down to are a couple of very basic facts -- food and money in the form of commerce and recreation.
(voice-over): We spend $44 billion in recreation at the beach. $3 trillion are committed to new coastal development on just the East Coast. There's also the question of our health. There's a recent outbreak of toxic algae bloom, or red tide as it's called, in New England's waters to remind us. Globally it's estimated that marine contamination costs $13 billion a year.
DENNIS MCGILLICUDDY, OCEANS AND HUMAN HEALTH: A healthy ocean, in my view, is fundamental to the survival of our species.
TUCKER: Bill Tucker, CNN, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
DOBBS: Last year, 1,000 -- 1,000 -- of America's beaches -- 29 percent of all of them -- were closed for at least one day because of unsafe water. My guest says the oceans are crawling with microorganisms, bacteria and viruses. People who swim, bathe or eat ocean fish are potentially vulnerable.
Here now is Daniel Baden. He is director of the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina. Good to have you with us.
DANIEL BADEN, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA: Good evening.
DOBBS: Red tide, it is worsening. It was once seasonal. It is now all but ubiquitous. What's going on?
BADEN: Well, it appears that there are a number of factors that are entering into this. First of all, there is an actual increase in the number of incidents, and we think this is partly because of global change, and also partly because we are better at recognizing these hazardous environmental events when they occur.
DOBBS: Now, our oceans, polluted as they are, people are not eating certain fish simply because they are contaminated by mercury.
How dangerous is the situation? How much of a threat is there to the public health? Can you tell us?
BADEN: Sure. Well, of course, in the case of each different kind of contaminant, and there are natural and man-made contaminants, also anthroprogenic things that get in the environment that never -- have no business being there.
In fact, as our analytical technology continues to develop, we are able to detect smaller and smaller amounts in food sources. And of course, that, for regulatory people, presents a difficult problem, because all of a sudden it's minimal contamination becomes an issue because you can't measure it.
DOBBS: The potential for human disease, the threat to public health, is rising. What can we do?
BADEN: Well, this is a very interesting question, because the federal government has begun to actually address this problem. There are two oceans and human health programs, one that is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Science Foundation together, and they fund four centers, one in Woods Hole, one in Washington State, one in Hawaii and one in Miami, Florida, at the University of Miami.
DOBBS: Daniel Baden, we thank you for being with us here.
BADEN: Thank you.
DOBBS: Appreciate it. Come back soon.
Still ahead, the results of our poll tonight. What do you think of Howard Dean? Is he being outrageous, or simply crazy like a fox? We'll take a look at what's ahead here tomorrow. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Earlier in the broadcast we carried a quote about Howard Dean that the Associated Press incorrectly associated to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The quote, in point of fact, originated from Hastert's spokesman, Ron Bonjean.
For the record, Bonjean said -- quote -- "last week's scandal was Deep Throat, this week's scandal was Dean's throat. And apparently he likes the taste of his own foot." Again, the quote from Ron Bonjean, the House Speaker's spokesman, not Dennis Hastert. But it's still a pretty good quote.
The results of our poll tonight, 12 percent say Howard Dean is brash; 26 percent say he's bold; 15 percent say he's outrageous; 47 percent of you say he's effective.
Thanks for being with us here tonight. Please join us tomorrow. Severe drought out in the West -- a governor who says the wild fire season will be historic, but there aren't enough National Guard troops now to fight those fires because they're in Iraq. He'll be our guest among others.
ANDERSON COOPER 360 is about to begin. In fact, it is going to begin right now.
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