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Who Can Win the Latino Vote?; Disney Under Fire for Flaunting Gun Law; Georgia Man Accused of Honor Killing
Aired July 8, 2008 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE PAGLIARULO, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the candidates go courting. Obama and McCain both need the Hispanic vote to win in November. We`ll tell you who`s got the edge.
Plus, honor killing in America? A Georgia man accused of strangling his daughter because she refused to stay in an arranged marriage.
And a race to the bottom as the Christie Brinkley/Peter Cook divorce trial gets slimier. We`ll give you the latest on the trial everyone is talking about.
All this and more, tonight.
PAGLIARULO: Hello, America. I`m Joe Pagliarulo, Joe Pags, sitting in for the vacationing Glenn Beck once again. As the presidential candidates spend the week trying to sell their plans for the economy, today both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama addressed the League of United Latin-American Citizens, LULAC.
Hispanics are a key voting block this election, as they`ve been in previous elections. And neither senator has them locked up as of yet, but both candidates will head to San Diego next week to speak with an influential Hispanic rights group. That`s what they call themselves. Some call them an extremist group for the Latinos. It`s called Marasa (ph).
But you have to wonder come November, will either McCain`s or Obama`s pitch translate into votes from these very important voters?
You know, Amy Holmes joins me again. Amy Holmes is a -- is a contributor here at CNN. We love having her on. Also a former speech writer for Senator Bill Frist.
AMY HOLMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Indeed.
PAGLIARULO: When it comes to the Hispanic vote, you know that in San Antonio and in Houston, Texas, every day, huge Hispanic community, huge Latino community, which is actually what`s preferred.
George Bush did really well in the last election when it came to Latinos. So I think the assumption that Barack Obama has these voters locked up is probably a fallacy today.
HOLMES: I think you`re absolutely right. The voting block is not monolithic. Nor is it loyal to one party or the another.
HOLMES: George Bush got the highest percentage of a presidential -- presidential candidate ever. And John McCain got 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in this last reelection to the Senate in Arizona. So I think that both candidates are going to have to work hard to get those voters to look them over.
PAGLIARULO: Here`s what`s going to play into it. Barack Obama being a minority, I think, may attract other minorities. John McCain is from Arizona. Barack Obama is from Illinois. More Latinos in Arizona than there are in Illinois.
HOLMES: Right. There are all of these, you know -- all these sort of cross currents for both of these candidates. And also what`s interesting with George Bush in 2004, his Hispanic vote went up because of males.
HOLMES: Male Hispanic voters. And you have John McCain with his veterans background that could really appeal to some of those more blue- collar working class workers, including Latino workers, who would be very inspired by him.
PAGLIARULO: This is going to be a huge voting bloc. And I can`t help but use the word "pandering" when they go and speak with LULAC, which is kind of a fringe group where I`m from. La Rasa, definitely a fringe group where I`m from. They`re going there and they`re pandering.
What do you think expect that John McCain will say to La Rasa as compared to what Barack Obama might say?
HOLMES: Well, I think that`s also interesting. Will this be a bit of a Sister Souljah moment for John McCain?
PAGLIARULO: Yes. Right.
HOLMES: On the one hand, he`s reaching out to this group, based on his experience and past with comprehensive immigration reform. Being kind of the "nice" Republican on immigration.
PAGLIARULO: Look, what a concerned guy I am.
HOLMES: But he also needs to send a message, border security first.
PAGLIARULO: Because this will bite him if he doesn`t do that.
PAGLIARULO: All right. Let`s bring in today`s political panel. Liz Chadderdon is a Democratic strategist and president of the Chadderdon Group. And Ramesh Ponnuru is a "TIME" columnist and senior editor for the "National Review." We welcome both of you here.
And Liz, I want to start with you. When I bring up the Latino vote, you know, again, being a radio talk show host in San Antonio and Houston, I get to taught to the Latinos all the time. And I find that the next generation of Latinos, you know, first-generation Americans who happen to be ethnically Latino, are more on the conservative side, whereas those who are just now coming to this country as immigrants are more on the Democrat side. What do you see?
LIZ CHADDERDON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Joe, you know, it`s really interesting. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. So I`m actually pretty familiar with this voting bloc. It`s really interesting. They actually probably should be more Republican. They tend to be very conservative on social issues.
But the No. 1 issue to Latino voters is immigration, making it easier for legal immigrants to come into this country, guest worker programs. That`s what Republicans are always in trouble with Latino voters.
HOLMES: Hey, Ramesh, thanks for joining us. But what about that -- what about that issue of Hispanics being a monolithic group and immigration being the top concern? How does that play out for John McCain?
RAMESH PONNURU, COLUMNIST, "TIME": Well, I think that Hispanic voters need to know that a candidate isn`t hostile to immigrants before they`re going to listen to what he has to say on other issues. But he does have to have something to say on those other issues.
And I thought it was actually pretty shrewd of McCain to emphasize economic and bread-and-butter concerns and not just spend the entire time talking about immigration. Because Republicans make this mistake of viewing Hispanics solely through the immigration prism. And they`re complicated voters. They have a lot of concerns, just like everybody else.
HOLMES: So what issues, what policies do you think that John McCain needs to be hitting to try to get those voters to vote for him?
PONNURU: Well, I think Hispanic voters, like all voters, are very concerned right now about the affordability of the basic necessities of life. And John McCain, I think, has a good economic plan, but he has not yet made that connection with talking about affordability issues. I really think he`s got to beef up his bread-and-butter domestic platform.
PAGLIARULO: Liz, want to bring you back in here, because when it comes to conservatives like me, I`m with you. I think we should make a more streamlined way for immigrants to get into this country, much like my grandfather did from Italy back in 1928. I mean, go through a simple system, make it an easier process. Right now it`s way to hard.
Having said that, still, John McCain would do horribly for himself to go in front of La Rasa or LULAC and say, "Let`s build the fence, and let`s stop all immigrants from coming in, because between you and me, he really doesn`t feel that way. He wanted the Z-Visa. He teamed up with Ted Kennedy, so he was for immigrants` rights.
But now, to reach out to the conservatives, he`s got to say something while he`s in front of this group, getting their vote, locking them in, making them understand that he knows that they`re, by and large, Christian. They`re by and large family values people. And they should be conservative, as you said.
But still not pushing them away when he talks about what he has to say when it comes to conservative values in closing the borders. What do you think?
CHADDERDON: Joe, you`re absolutely right. I mean, that`s the fine line that John McCain has to walk here. Because social issues are important to these voters. There is no question. But they rank second and third behind this issue of immigration.
I would completely disagree that immigration doesn`t actually affect the vast majority of these voters. You know, Democrats are still thanking Pete Wilson, former governor of California, for in the early `90s passing one of the harshest immigration laws in the country. And it has been a blue state in California ever since. So don`t underestimate how these voters feel about immigration.
And he, John McCain, has to really walk a fine line, because if he`s too liberal on immigration, he`s going to lose his Republican base. But if he`s too strong on immigration, he`s going to lose his Latino voters.
PAGLIARULO: Hey, Ramesh, I want to ask you this. How about if John McCain goes in front of La Rasa and LULAC and says, "Hey, guess what? I`m pro life. Guess what? You know, socially, you and I agree on a lot of stuff."
Maybe he should get away from immigration. Does he have to talk about immigration to these groups?
PONNURU: Well, I think it would be odd if he didn`t mention it. I mean, it is absolutely a concern of these voters. But I think he can say, "Look, I`m still for earned citizenship. I always have been. But the only way we`re going to get that is if we prove to the American people that we can impose border security first." And that is, in fact, what he is saying.
HOLMES: So we`re talking a lot about John McCain`s vulnerabilities. But doesn`t Barack Obama also have vulnerabilities on this issue? We saw in the Democratic primary that he said he was for driver`s licenses for illegals. And that is deeply unpopular among the American people, and it only has about 50/50 percent support among legal Latinos here.
Doesn`t Barack Obama sort of court the problem of going too far left, particularly in front of a group like La Rasa that`s left-leaning?
CHADDERDON: Absolutely. I think he could run a real risk for going too far left. Because as you all have pointed out, both La Rasa and LULAC can be a little to the left.
PAGLIARULO: A little bit.
CHADDERDON: And he goes with them, he could absolutely hurt himself with the independent voters that he`s going after. But I think he`s smarter than that. I think he realizes that he can`t go too far to the left and these voters are still going to be with him.
PAGLIARULO: What promises does he have to make, Liz, to make sure that he gets that bloc? Does he have to make promises that "I will tighten up border security, but I will never build a wall or a fence"? Does he have to say that?
CHADDERDON: I don`t think he has to say that. But I think he definitely has to say that he`s for a guest worker program and he`s for revamping the system so that it is easier to legally immigrate to this country.
PAGLIARULO: All right, Liz, Ramesh, we appreciate it. Do me a favor. Stick around. We`re going to talk to you again in just a little while here.
It was interesting seeing these -- these -- this thing unfold, because like we said, geographically, John McCain has the advantage. Minority- wise, Barack Obama has the advantage. Values-wise, you would think the Latinos, at least first-generation Americans, second-generation American Latinos that I`ve talked to, their values are coming out more and more, which makes them seem much more conservative.
And Liz is a great strategist, but at the same time, my callers have said, who identify themselves, "I am a Latino, and I want illegals to stop coming here. I`m a Latino. I want a tighter border security. I`m a Latino. I want an American culture."
HOLMES: I think that`s right, though. And again, Hispanics are not a monolithic group. And those who got here legally, who did it the right way, who took the time, they`re resentful, too, of illegal immigrants coming in here and taking away their jobs, as well.
So I think what`s interesting about this group is how up for grabs it is, how many cross culture -- cross currents there are for both of these candidates to have to try to wade through.
PAGLIARULO: George Bush gets 40 percent in 2004. John Kerry got 53 percent. Barack Obama is a much better candidate, I think, than John Kerry was.
HOLMES: And John McCain doesn`t have to get a majority. He just has to do better than 35.
PAGLIARULO: You`ve got to wonder if he`s going to do better than 35, though. I guess with this communication ability that I talk about a lot, he might have some trouble with that. We`re going to keep an eye on it. That`s for sure.
Coming up right here, the state of Florida thinks law-abiding, gun- owning citizens should be able to carry protection with them to and from work, provided it`s locked safely away in their cars. But the state`s largest employer has found a little loophole. Find out about Disney`s Magic Kingdom decree.
Plus, a Georgia woman pleads with her father to allow her to leave an arranged marriage, and she winds up dead. The father is in court today facing murder charges, but do his actions have the markings of an honor killing?
PAGLIARULO: A 25-year-old newlywed dies over the weekend, authorities say, at the hands of her own father. She apparently wanted out of her arranged marriage, something that may have brought shame to her family. Was that the motive? Do authorities have an honor killing on their hands? The scary details are coming up.
But first right here, at the close of their recent session, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of the Second Amendment saying that Washington, D.C., residents do have an individual right to bear and keep arms. While we wait for that decision to impact gun laws across the country and the NRA to file tons of lawsuits, Florida`s gun advocates are fighting their own battle now.
After much debate, Florida passed a law allowing those with concealed weapons permits to keep their guns in their car while at work. Mickey Mouse disagrees.
Disney is Florida`s largest employer and has said, with few exceptions, quote, "This law does not apply to Walt Disney World company- owned and leased properties." Disney maintains a zero tolerance gun policy and holds that unauthorized guns on their property is grounds for termination.
And joining us now is the author of the Florida law, State Representative Greg Evers.
And Greg, we appreciate your time. What makes Disney think they can get into my car and check what I have with me when I go to work?
GREG EVERS, FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVES: Well, that`s the problem, and that`s the reason for this law, because you should not be allowed to go in anyone`s vehicle and have a search for anything, whether it`s a gun or a bible, without the due process.
HOLMES: Wait a minute, Representative. After 9/11, doesn`t Disney have an obligation to be extra careful? I mean, we know that these places could be targets for terrorists. They have real concerns.
And let`s not forget: this is private property. So can`t they say what comes on their private property and what doesn`t?
EVERS: Well, here in Florida, we passed the castle doctrine, which gives you the ability, as your car is an extension of your home.
EVERS: And anything that you have in your home, you should be allowed to have in your car. But let`s go back and remember the fact that this is a Constitution that`s granted to us the Second Amendment for us to have self-protection for our own lives. It gives us the responsibility to protect ourselves.
PAGLIARULO: And by the way, Representative, I am all for Disney or any other employer saying, "Listen, when you come into the place of employment, we can say your hair can be this long, you can`t have these tattoos and you can`t have these piercings. And you know what? Don`t bring you gun." But if you`ve got it in the car, this breaks the Fourth Amendment right for search and seizure, Second Amendment right to hold and bear arms.
And Disney, I know it`s not an arm of the government, but I think it`s overextending itself as far as what rights it can take from me just to allow me to work there.
EVERS: Absolutely. And that`s -- that`s one of the major problems. And the reason for this bill was the fact that big business was going in, searching employees without -- you know, violating their Fourth Amendment right, and then turning around and telling them that they can`t protect themselves on their way home.
We`re not giving them the ability to bring their gun into their place of employment...
EVERS: ... where they`re actually working. This is in a parking lot. And something that you have to realize, some of these parking lots are dark. This is about self-protection. This is about a person being able to protect themselves.
PAGLIARULO: And this one is three miles away, too, isn`t it?
EVERS: Absolutely. Some of these parking lots are three miles away. They`re not lit. So this is the reason for this bill, to allow persons the ability to protect themselves.
HOLMES: Representative, I still keep coming back to the point -- or you know, to the problem here that Disney is a private company. This is a parking lot they own.
So I think about like smoking bans, for example, in restaurants. I support the right of a restaurant owner to allow their patrons to smoke or to say it`s a non-smoking space. But they`re a private company, and they can set their own standards. Shouldn`t Disney be allowed that same right? This parking lot is a Disney parking lot.
EVERS: This -- this parking lot is a Disney parking lot. They allow customers to come on. Sometimes they search a customer`s car. Should they have the right to search a customer`s car when you have a family that`s coming down to Orlando to visit Disney, and then they`re turning around and they`re searching the family? And they`ve driven no telling how many miles to get here? Should they not have that right to carry that gun for protection?
PAGLIARULO: I think, unfortunately, we`re going to lose the satellite shot. Thank you so much, Representative, for taking the time today.
It`s an interesting thing that it brings up there. Here is Disney. And according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you offer public accommodation, you can`t discriminate against anybody. And certainly somebody who is using free speech, somebody who is freely worshipping their religion, somebody who freely doing their Second Amendment right to bear an arm, you can`t refuse...
HOLMES: But you have to show, yes, they are discriminating. And you just said that you support them discriminating if their employees are wearing tattoos or nose rings...
PAGLIARULO: As they go in to go to work there. Because you know what? I don`t have to take the job. I understand that. I don`t have to take the job there.
Here`s the problem. I think the representative hit on it, and I didn`t catch it until a couple of minutes later. Here`s the major problem. I work for Disney. I go there. I`ve got my .357 magnum in my glove compartment. I have the right to carry it. I`ve got the proper permits, the proper training, so on and so forth.
A bad guy shows up in that parking lot and is going to bring his gun that`s not registered and use it to go shoot people. I can`t defend myself? I think I should be able to.
HOLMES: We also have a fear of people going postal. And that refers to employees who go to work with the intent of harming their fellow colleagues.
PAGLIARULO: They usually go postal with guns that aren`t registered and aren`t -- they don`t even have a concealed carrying perfect.
HOLMES: That may be, but Disney certainly, you can see where they might be concerned, that they want to keep these guns out of the workplace.
HOLMES: They don`t want some disgruntled employee driving into the parking lot and gunning everyone down.
PAGLIARULO: Here`s my point. If, in fact, you can have a society that has no guns, I`m with you. Get rid of every gun. You can`t. Just like the guy at Virginia Tech. There was a zero tolerance policy for guns and no guns -- a gun-free zone. And what happened? The bad guy showed up and shot 32 people.
HOLMES: We were talking about this before the show. Say in your own house, we were talking about you can do whatever you want in your own house.
HOLMES: What if your cousin Billy wants to come over with his gun, and he wants to park his car in your driveway?
HOLMES: And you don`t like guns near your house or around it.
HOLMES: Don`t you have the right to say, "Cousin Billy, keep your gun at home"?
PAGLIARULO: No, I have a right not to invite Cousin Billy over. And if Cousin Billy wants to bring his gun into my house, I have the right to tell him, "No guns here."
HOLMES: I think that`s what Disney was doing by firing this guy.
PAGLIARULO: Not at all. I`ve got to tell you something. This is not their house. The parking lot is not their house. It`s three miles away.
And what if -- just what if this gun-toting, you know, very good citizen, not a criminal, somebody who has it legally, is on the way home at a stoplight and somebody tries to carjack them? What do you say, "Hey, I work for Disney. Hold on. Follow me home. Let me go get my gun that I own legally"?
PAGLIARULO: "I`ll go grab it out of the closet or whatever. Let me unlock it and take the gun lock. Now let`s do this whole carjack thing."
Listen, either we have the right to the Second Amendment or we don`t. Either take it away or let us have it. And again, going to the business, you and I agree, in my car, get out of my car.
HOLMES: But we do know that there are restrictions.
PAGLIARULO: There are restrictions.
PAGLIARULO: Get out of my car.
HOLMES: Get out of my car.
PAGLIARULO: Coming up right here, listen, has there been an honor killing in Georgia? Authorities continue to investigate the murder of a 25-year-old woman there. Police say her father was upset because she wanted to leave an arranged marriage. Angry enough to kill her.
Then, the market gets rockier on the news that mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be in a bit of hot water. What does that mean to you? Find out in just a bit.
PAGLIARULO: According to Georgia law enforcement officials, a young woman has been killed by her own father in a tragic crime that has all the trappings of an Islamic extremist honor killing.
Chaudhry Rashid is from Pakistan and has been charged with murder for strangling his daughter with a bungee cord after she apparently wanted out of her arranged marriage.
Zuhdi Jasser is from the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
Zuhdi -- Zuhdi, thank you so much for joining us. I`m just perplexed by this. I`ve got three daughters. They`re 16, 15, and 8 years old. And my God, wouldn`t it be easier to live your life with a daughter who`s divorced than to live your life with the stain of having killed her?
ZUHDI JASSER, AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY: Well, this is -- you know, you`re trying to understand the pathology of a Neanderthal that basically comes out of the mountains of Pakistan and has a pre-Islamic mentality of -- where the sexuality of his family and the purity of his daughter is much more important to him than actually murdering her and her life.
And this is -- actually, it has nothing to do with Islam. This is a tribal, medieval mentality that is seen in tribes in Pakistan and India, and often is not even seen in Islamic communities. It`s basically part of the ignorance of the tribal community.
HOLMES: Now, you say that it`s pre-Islamic. And I remember after 9/11 President Bush said that Islam is a religion of peace. But why is it that we do we see it sort of concentrated amongst this particular religious group? We don`t see this problem in Eastern European Jews, for example, or Hispanic Catholics coming up from Mexico and Central American. Why does it seem to be concentrated in this particular group?
JASSER: You`re right, in that, right now, certainly, my family, I was taught equality of women and the equal rights for them.
But the problem is that much of the Islamic world has been under dictatorship, has a large illiteracy rate, and you`ll see a lot of these behaviors, the misogynistic characteristic of tribal behaviors, not being affected by Islam, but being affected by a culture that has now hijacked the religion and twisted a lot of the Sharia and a lot of the laws that pretend to be Islam over the past 500, 700 years.
JASSER: And made them into Islam, which is what many of us moderate Muslims need to start reforming and fixing our faith.
PAGLIARULO: Zuhdi, I`ve got to ask you, though. We talked about the 19 hijackers on 9/11. They perverted the religion. You talk about al Qaeda. They`re perverting the religion. You talk about the Taliban. They`re perverting the religion.
If you ask this man who`s standing trial right now for the murder of his own daughter because she wanted to get a divorce, I guarantee you he would say he`s a Muslim.
So what do Muslim leaders have to do here to stop these people from doing this? Because they -- isn`t there a provision in the Koran that says when you go to another culture, you have to follow the laws of that culture? Our laws, last I check, say you can`t kill your daughter.
JASSER: Islam clearly forbids such a thing and actually gives women the rights to a prenuptial agreement at their wedding and preserves a lot of these things that are being completely missed by these Neanderthals.
And you`re right. Muslims need to stand up. I`m not going to say he`s not a Muslim. We don`t have a church that communicates or excommunicates people. What I am going to do is start a movement of Muslims that will stand up and say this is not only wrong; he should get the capital punishment. And we should start to have formal processes to protect daughters and children like his, so that when Muslims stand up and speak up -- I don`t know if you heard the Pakistani community that stood up in Atlanta recently, in Georgia, and basically said that well, the family is depressed. Well, you know, they should stand up and say this is completely wrong, and immoral, and not Islam.
HOLMES: I would love to get into this more, and I really appreciate what you`re saying. I only wish that more moderate Muslims were standing up and saying the same thing.
PAGLIARULO: Yes, we appreciate that. Zuhdi, thank you very much for your time today.
Coming up right here, the candidates were talking about the economy all week. But is it more sizzle than steak? Now I`m hungry. Back in a bit.
PAGLIARULO: Welcome aboard.
Proceedings of supermodel Christie Brinkley and super cad Peter Cook grind on. On the line: kids, homes, money, Web cams. But evidently not dignity. The latest details, whether you want them or not, are coming up.
But first, today the Federal Reserve announced that it`s considering extending its emergency loan guarantees to cash-strapped Wall Street firms. Now, if you`re an investment bank on the brink of financial collapse, that`s great news. If you`re a hard-working regular Joe, not so much.
Those who support the Fed`s decision feel it`s necessarily to prevent another bank failure like Bear Stearns, a shock to domestic and international financial markets that`s still being felt today. Critics say it`s nothing more than a public bailout of a private industry, and that`s just not good.
The one thing everyone can agree on is that this is the broadest use of Fed`s lending powers since the 1930s.
Amy Holmes is here with me. She`s a CNN political contributor, as well as a former speechwriter for Senator Bill Frist.
And Bob O`Brien is the stocks editor for Barron`s Online.
Bob, welcome to you.
BOB O`BRIEN, BARRON`S ONLINE: Thanks very much.
PAGLIARULO: OK. So we were debating this vote before the show today, as I was hanging out in Glenn`s office -- thanks, Glenn.
The bottom line for me was, why do we keep on bailing people out? And by that, I mean when somebody defaults on their mortgage that they signed a contract that said they`d pay, we`re now going to go bail them out and refinance everything?
Bear Stearns, that collapse says, OK, maybe we should help out some other investment banks before they fold. But you know what? If you`re stupid in your business, your business fails, and then you have to go back and flip burgers until you can make it back up to that level again.
Am I simplifying it too much?
O`BRIEN: No, you`re not. And in fact, what the Fed is doing today is simply perpetuating some of the problems that were in place.
Look, we got into this situation because investment banks did a poor job of managing their risks. They took on too much risks, they weren`t aware of what they were doing. And they got themselves in trouble.
Fine, we needed to step in. We needed the Fed to take action at that juncture.
What you want to do though is then set up sort of a structure for those banks to begin to thrive on their own. What the Fed is doing today is effectively saying, you haven`t learned your lessons from the past, so here are the keys to the car, once again, teenager.
HOLMES: But Bob, what about the argument that even these banks go down, they`re taking hundreds of billions of dollars with them, and the little guy? This doesn`t just hurt the bankers and their stock investors. This hurts public pension funds, for example.
The California public pension fund, that`s $285 billion. And just last year, they had $90 million invested in Bear Stearns. So there`s actually a little guy who is protected by the federal government stepping in and keeping these banks from going under, correct?
O`BRIEN: Well, there is -- you know, certainly there`s a scenario in which one of these financial institutions would fail, we would see such an unraveling of the entire financial infrastructure, that the effects would be devastating. We would see something like a one-quarter loss in gross domestic product here in the United States. You would see scenario of unemployment reaching the mid-teens levels like we saw back in the 1930s.
So, it`s clear that some steps have to be taken. My issue with what the Fed is doing here is simply that the Fed is continuing to bail out some of these investment banks that apparently haven`t learned their lesson and aren`t being forced to learn their lesson. Yes, it`s true there`s some structural needs that need to be addressed.
PAGLIARULO: Sure. Hey, Bob, the question I have is, I remember "The K-cars are coming. The K-cars are coming."
You remember Chrysler and Lee Iacoca...
PAGLIARULO: ... you know, he got to bail out. And they paid him back in record time because it was a good company with a good leader that was going to fix the wrong here.
Do we have that with these big investment bankers, or do we in fact have people saying, holy mackerel, they just opened the candy store, and we can fail over and over, because we`re too big to fail and the federal government will never let us go down like that, let`s do whatever we want, almost like an Enron?
O`BRIEN: And that`s exactly what they`re doing. In fact, there are indications that some of the funds that are taking advantage of the Fed`s largess here are simply taking this money and buying more of these distressed asset securities that got them in trouble in the first place. So, yes, it`s throwing out the candy store window and saying Uncle Fed is going to be much too generous to let us bail at this point.
HOLMES: There`s certainly that problem of moral hazard, but you`re dammed if you do, but you`re damned if you don`t. So what is your tough love strategy here to try to get these banks to be making more healthy loans and investments?
O`BRIEN: Well, make everything contingent upon -- don`t simply offer them the loans. Make it contingent upon the banks themselves, evidencing that they are practicing good conduct here, that they`re not turning around and taking on more of these risky assets with the money that the Fed is providing. That instead, they`re providing some sort of stability to the marketplace.
They`re providing liquidity to markets right now. And they`re not just simply turning around and repeating the same wrongs that they made earlier this year.
PAGLIARULO: Bob, very good information. Thank you much for that.
PAGLIARULO: I had no idea you could say the word "damn" on air. I`m going to use that now.
HOLMES: Well, we said it last time as well.
PAGLIARULO: Did we? All right.
HOLMES: We did.
PAGLIARULO: Now let`s look at the political ramifications of today`s Fed news with our returning panel of Liz Chadderdon, a Democratic strategist and president of The Chadderdon Group, and Ramesh Ponnuru, a "TIME" columnist and senior editor for "The National Review."
Ramesh, let`s start with you.
President McCain handles this how? Do you have to bail out this investment bank, or is there another way around this?
PONNURU: Well, I think that a lot of McCain`s advisers would be very skeptical about bailing out these investment banks because one of the things that people who have been around D.C. for a while know is that, if these firms start taking taxpayer money, even implicitly, they`re going to start getting government regulation as well. And do we really want a more government-regulated, government-subsidized investment banking firm?
HOLMES: But Liz, when you look at the public that you have public employees, public unions that have invested billions and billions and billions of dollars through these banks, through hedge funds, through mutual funds, what does Barack Obama say to those people who might see that their pensions collapse?
CHADDERDON: Amy, you`re exactly right. What Barack Obama says is that your government is not going to let you go down with this big sinking ship that wasn`t your fault.
I mean, the bottom line here is almost every American is invested in the stock market in some way or another. So we are, as you pointed out, not just talking about the ultra rich. We`re talking about men and women from across this country who have worked hard, whose retirement pension, whose life savings...
HOLMES: Teachers, police officers, firemen.
CHADDERDON: Exactly, whose life savings are invested. And it`s not their fault that some really bad apples up in New York, pardon the pun, you know, wasted their money and find themselves in this problem.
PAGLIARULO: That was mean.
CHADDERDON: Hey, what can I say?
PAGLIARULO: I`ve got to throw this at you, because, yes, those people who have their pensions are all very, very important. They believe that they would be there when they retire. And there are a lot of guarantees on that money already. It`s not fully guaranteed.
But I`m just saying, if you bail out -- and Liz, I want to stay with you here. If you bail out these investment banks without any ramifications, without any recourse, without sort of what they did with Lee Iacoca and Chrysler, look, you better pay us back, or there are going to be stiff penalties and big problems, you can`t bail them out and give them carte blanche and say here is the federal credit card because the federal government is not paying it, Liz. We are, you and I are.
CHADDERDON: No, Joe, you`re absolutely right. And I don`t think Senator Obama or Senator McCain is saying that, you know, they can have anything they want, it`s going to be open season, credit cards galore.
I think they`re saying that this is going to be a one-time thing. Let`s try to get past this. Let`s make sure that the little guys aren`t hurt. And then let`s make sure that it never happens again.
HOLMES: So Ramesh, isn`t there also another lesson to be learned here, and that is that you don`t want, say, billions of dollars of the federal government, say, with Social Security being invested? That you can`t trust it all with one person putting it into the market? That`s why you want, say, private retirement accounts that allows the individual to manage that risk.
PONNURU: Well, yes, I mean, if you`re going to have a buildup of Social Security funds, you definitely want individuals investing that. You don`t want those decisions being made in Washington.
PAGLIARULO: I`ve got to ask you this, Ramesh. If you get a President McCain or a President Obama, who is going to be better for the stock market? The day after the election, what does the stock market do if President Obama is on the way to being inaugurated in January? What if it`s President McCain?
PONNURU: Well, I think it`s going to depend on which President Obama you have. If you have the...
PAGLIARULO: Nice line. Nice line.
PONNURU: I think that the markets will react favorably to the fact that John McCain is going to keep taxes on investment low and is going to keep working towards liberalized trade and energy production.
HOLMES: So of course, Liz, I have to let you make your pitch for your candidate. Why do you think Barack Obama would be better for the stock market?
CHADDERDON: Because for the last eight years the Republicans have been in charge, and look where we are. I actually think the stock market is going to really rally when we`re looking at a January inauguration for President Obama.
PAGLIARULO: Hey, Liz, are you going to vote for McCain -- or actually, no, I shouldn`t say that. Are you going to vote for Republicans come November when it comes to the midterms here? Because, you know, the Democrats have had it for two years now, and the gas prices have doubled. I mean, you`re clearly going to vote for Obama, but you`re going to give the conservatives back the House and the Senate, right?
CHADDERDON: Oh, right, Joe. That`s exactly -- that`s at the very top of my list, is let`s make sure the Republicans take back Congress. No, I don`t think so.
PAGLIARULO: All right. We`ll see what happens.
Ramesh, Liz, thank you so very much.
You know, it`s interesting, because we hear the two sides of the economic plain, and I think you could make a good argument for both candidates flip-flopping all over the place when it comes to what they`re going to do. You k now, Barack Obama, as you said yesterday very wisely, is moving to the right. John McCain moving even further to the right.
They`re both talking to left-leaning Hispanic groups today, and the economy is going to be a major issue when it comes to Latinos, too, because like it or not, 12 million to 20 million illegals are here doing jobs. So economically they matter a lot. The stock market matters a lot.
I know that my wallet didn`t get any smaller today because...
PAGLIARULO: ... you know, there was a decision made about bailing out an investment banker. I`m confused about it. And I consider myself reasonably intelligent.
I don`t know what these guys stand for.
HOLMES: And -- well, and as Republicans point out, as conservatives point out over and over, that the little guy has more and more invested in the stock market as a part of their retirement strategy. So you want the candidate, whether it`s a Democrat or Republican, to be addressing that, because it`s not just about the fat cats and the rich guys. It`s about people like you and me and how are we going to live when we`re in our retirement days?
PAGLIARULO: Well, you said that line up in Glenn`s office. You said, "Too big to fail." And that`s a major problem.
That could be the one fallacy that I see in free enterprise and capitalism.
PAGLIARULO: Because if you let a bank get so big and so invested, and tentacles into everything...
PAGLIARULO: ... at some point you can`t let them fail. And if somebody can`t fail, they have carte blanche to do whatever they want.
HOLMES: That`s exactly right. And that is the problem, the moral hazard problem. You`re damned if you do, you`re damned if you don`t.
So we`re stuck in this mess. Somebody is going to have to bail somebody out, whether it`s done across the board by the federal government or it`s the banks that fall and then the dominos just fall right after.
PAGLIARULO: This conversation is going to continue way past November.
HOLMES: I think it will.
PAGLIARULO: All right. Up next right here, what do you get when you mix a supermodel with a cheating husband, Internet porn, and millions of dollars? The perfect tabloid storm.
Details when we return.
PAGLIARULO: It has been a rough week for attractive rich people. Yesterday, I told you about New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez`s wife filing for divorce after he was allegedly caught over the border line with Madonna.
I thought you were going to sing.
And of course you have former supermodel Christie Brinkley`s divorce trial from husband Peter Cook. According to "The New York Post," Brinkley says she wants out because she just can`t handle her estranged husband`s self-destructive obsession with sex, gossip and exhibitionism.
Can`t we all just get along?
Lisa Bloom is an anchor for TruTV.
Lisa, it`s always a pleasure to have you on.
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, TRUTV: My pleasure.
PAGLIARULO: You know, as a lawyer, you have got to look at this case, and you have got to be just champing at the bit here, right? I mean, there`s so much money. The sordid details are out. It`s an open court?
Let`s star there. Why is this an open court? Why did Christie Brinkley want all these details out there to the public?
BLOOM: You`re right. She wanted it open. He wanted it closed. The attorney for the kids wanted it closed. And the judge agreed with Christie, this was going to be open.
I mean, look, we have the First Amendment in this country. Trials are presumed to be open.
I think she wanted it opened because she wanted the world to know what he did to her, that she -- you know, he did her wrong. And she wanted everybody to see and hear all this explicit stuff.
HOLMES: It certainly looks like she`s trying to ruin her reputation, and she`s succeeding.
But I have a question about Peter Cook. Now, why did he then decide to go to court once he knew it was going to be open and people were going to find out about his dillydallying with a Web cam? Why didn`t he just settle and keep this all hush-hush?
BLOOM: Well, they may not have had any reasonable settlement on the table. Look, he wants custody of the kids, he wants a substantial amount of money. And that`s what they`re fighting over.
And you know, we always say, if there`s no settlement, one party is being unreasonable. Is that him, is that her? I mean, that`s for the courts to decide.
She has a $30 million estate in the Hamptons that`s hers from before the marriage. Both sides agree that she gets to keep that. So they`re fighting over boats, they`re fighting over other properties. But right now, they`re fighting over custody of the kids. That`s the big issue.
PAGLIARULO: Well, how exactly does he expect to get custody of the kids if, you know, all these deals about Web cams and $3,000-a-month porn habits and $300,000 to pay off his mistress. Is this guy on crack? He thinks he has a chance?
BLOOM: Well, you really put your finger right on it. But look, here`s how the judge is going to look at it -- this guy did not do anything illegal. I mean, the girl was 18. She was barely legal, but she was legal.
Internet porn, not illegal. And the question is, once all of the dust settles from these salacious allegations, how did it affect the children?
There was one incident of the kid Jack, 13 years old, apparently seeing some of the naked pictures of women online. But other than that, the kids didn`t know about that. It really didn`t affect them.
And the judge may say, look, he has a problem. He`s getting treatment. He`s remorseful. We`re not going to cut him of from his own children. Judges are really reluctant to do that.
HOLMES: So I have another legal question for you. With all of these sordid details -- and it turns out that apparently he did use his son Jack`s username when he was going online for some of his sex habits -- but with all this information, does this influence the money outcome? I could see how it could influence custody, but what about that $30 million house?
BLOOM: You know, that`s a great question. And most people think, jeez, if he really cheated on her multiple times, as she alleges, and there`s more women apparently who are going to come forward, and he`s doing all this porn online and he`s a sex addict, is that going to affect the money? The answer is no.
Judges are used to people having affairs, for better or worse. Judges are used to guys looking at porn online. This comes up in a lot of divorces.
The law regarding the financial division of property is very clear, that property gained during the marriage is considered marital property. It`s usually divided 50/50, unless there`s a prenup.
PAGLIARULO: I love talking about the legalities of it and what`s legal, what`s not legal, what`s against the law, what`s not against the law. Let`s talk about the personal and sort of -- maybe even the moral here.
As a lawyer, tell me about his body language. He gets out of the car, he`s -- hey, you doing? Hey, how`s it going? Fixing his hair.
Shouldn`t this guy be hanging his head. Shouldn`t he be embarrassed a little bit, Lisa?
BLOOM: Well, you know, that`s a great point, too, because in the courtroom, remember, when he testified about the porn and about the affair with the 18-year-old girl, he was crying. He seemed to be very remorseful in front of the judge.
Outside of the courtroom, he`s got a completely different persona. And judges aren`t immune from any of that. Judges are allowed to watch TV, this kind of commentary. And they may be well aware of that.
Christie Brinkley has had the same calm, straightforward demeanor both inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom. That`s surely going to help her.
HOLMES: She has, but let`s also face it, this is her fourth divorce. I mean, some people might say, Christie, you need to look before you leap here.
BLOOM: Yes, but you know, in Hollywood, she`s just getting started. She`s just getting started, four divorces.
And you know, look, she`s entitled to have the law apply to her whether it`s number four, whether it`s number 40. She says he cheated on her, she wants the property, she wants the kids. I think she`s going to win this one.
PAGLIARULO: Lisa, great stuff. Thank you so much, as always.
BLOOM: Thank you.
PAGLIARULO: Time now for tonight`s "Real America," brought to you by CSX.
Being able to play a game of basketball with your friends is a summertime staple for most kids. But for kids with special needs, it`s not always easy to find a pickup game.
So one mom in Staten Island, New York, took matters into her own hands.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice over): It`s the kind of thing that most parents take for granted -- watching your son or daughter play ball. But for parents of a special needs child, something so simple is too often inconceivable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh! Nice work. Nice work.
BECK: Not here. Every Friday at Fastbreak Basketball Center in Staten Island, New York, a group of 27 children with autism get together and, like any other kid in America, they play basketball.
CHRISTINE DUNN, ORGANIZED AUTISTIC BASKETBALL PROGRAM: They can have their limitations, but at the same time, they can build their self-esteem and try their hardest. And they`re with kids just like them, so it makes it a lot nicer and easier on the parents. Easier on them because they don`t have to feel the pressure to be like, you know, everyone else.
BECK: Christine Dunn came up with the idea to start the program when her son Joseph expressed an interest in sports. There was just no place where her autistic son could join a team, so she started her own. Christine merely hoped Joseph would learn to play. It turns out he learned a whole lot more.
DUNN: Go, Joe, go!
This started, I`ve noticed, tremendous socialization. He talks about his friends at basketball. He names names and he wants to see them and he wants to play.
I notice that he`s actually getting good at it. He`s, you know, getting the ball in the net occasionally. He`s running, which is sometimes difficult for him, but he`s running as fast as he can. And he`s trying and he`s happy. And to me that`s, you know, the most important thing.
BECK: There`s no fear of teasing here, no worries about keeping up with other kids or being picked last for the team. It`s just about kids playing ball and parents watching proudly.
And it`s Joseph`s sister, Sarafina (ph), that puts it best.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like Friday. He usually, like, is watching TV or something. But on Friday he`s usually now playing with everybody. And it`s very nice.
PAGLIARULO: For my money, there`s nothing better on planet Earth than seeing a kid smile. Great story.
Tonight`s "Real America" sponsored by CSX, how tomorrow moves.
PAGLIARULO: You ever have one of those headaches that feels like someone is driving a spike right through your skull? Well, this next story is about a man who felt the same way, and for good reason.
Nicole Vandeputte from KOAA in Colorado Springs has the details.
NICOLE VANDEPUTTE, REPORTER, KOAA (voice over): Chris Clear`s (ph) unbelievable story starts in April.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s changed his life because of what happened to him.
VANDEPUTTE: As a volunteer firefighter in Penrose, his free time was spent saving lives. Until the accident. He was helping a friend move a rototiller when something snapped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At first it just felt like a rock hit me in the face. It didn`t feel like anything actually went into my head. It just -- like a rock hit me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "Do you think, you know, that it`s bad?" And I said, "Yeah, it looks bad." I said, "I think your nose is broke."
VANDEPUTTE: Chris (ph) went to St. Thomas More Hospital in Canyon City. He says he had unbearable pain in his neck. So that`s where the first x-ray focused.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just sent him home, said it was a cervical sprain.
VANDEPUTTE: But the pain got worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hurt real bad to turn my head either direction or lean it back or lean it forward. If I looked down it hurt real bad, or if I leaned back real far it made the pain worse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he went forward, then the pin would come forward. If he would lay down, then the pin would sink back down.
VANDEPUTTE: That`s right. A large metal spike from the rototiller was lodged in his brain. It was that, not a rock, that hit him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The blunt part of the pin actually hit me first, and it hit me right next to the nose and it came back and traveled all the way to the back of my head, and it ended up back here. It stopped by hitting the back of my skull.
VANDEPUTTE: Twenty-four hours after the spike pierced his brain, another x-ray and a second trip to the hospital finally found it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "You need to sit down." And he said -- he said, "Chris (ph) has a metal pin in his brain." My knees buckled and I just hit the floor.
VANDEPUTTE: An ambulance rushed Chris (ph) and his mom, Dawn (ph), to a Denver hospital.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Death was the number one, which that -- we knew going into it, that he would not come out of the surgery. And then of course the ones after that, paralysis, mobility, speech.
VANDEPUTTE: Luckily, that pin just missed several major arteries. And after nine hours of surgery...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like we were in a movie. That double door opened up and there the doctor was holding this pin, you know, like this.
VANDEPUTTE: Two months later, Chris (ph) is working again as a volunteer and training to be an EMT.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s the second miracle.
VANDEPUTTE: He says he feels fine. There`s not even a scar. Just the pin.
PAGLIARULO: OK. So to commemorate the whole experience, he`s going to get a haircut. He`s going to get it spiked.
Get it, spiked.
PAGLIARULO: The spike went through his nose.
HOLMES: Terrible. That was terrible.
PAGLIARULO: I`m Joe Pagliarulo.
HOLMES: I`m Amy Holmes.
PAGLIARULO: That`s going to do it for tonight.
HOLMES: Good night.
PAGLIARULO: From New York, we`re out of here.