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Worldwide, Stock Markets Rally; Obama & McCain Prep for to Final Debate; Firefighters Continue Battling Southern California Blaze; Voter Irregularities, Possible Fraud Reported

Aired October 14, 2008 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Ringing in a rally. Stocks surge out of the gates, but where are they now?

Plus, your 401(k). Your college savings. Your stock. What's the government doing for you?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I recognize that the action leaders are taking here in Washington and in European capitals can seem distant from those concerns.

PHILLIPS: When will the global bailout bail you out?

STARR: No more fan mail. Thank you, thank you.

PHILLIPS: His fans say hello. He says good-bye. Ringo gets by with a lot less from his friends.


PHILLIPS: Hello everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, and you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Well, it seems like we've been bringing you grim economic news for ages now. But finally, we're seeing some rally, some renewed hope and some revelations about the massive U.S. bailout plan backed by $700 billion of your money.

New details today on how the plan will play out from President Bush and his top economic advisers. They plan to use up to $250 billion to pour money into struggling banks. The government will initially buy stock in nine major U.S. banks. Then those banks will buy the stocks back once the market stabilizes. Eventually, the plan will include banks of all sizes.

Let's take a look at big board. Right now, the reaction on Wall Street, well, Dow industrials up 25 points right now. Don't forget, yesterday the Dow soared more than 930 points, its biggest one-day point gain ever. That's good news.

And most Asian and Pacific markets are also up. Japan's Nikkei surged to a one-day record gain. And markets in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Sydney, Australia, are also higher. European markets, London, Frankfort, Paris, also rallying for a second straight day. More good news there. The gains follow worldwide efforts to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into ailing banks.

Let's get back to Wall Street for more action right here at home. Susan Lisovicz is at New York Stock Exchange with a quick hit on the numbers.

Susan, how do they look?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, we have a pulse here, Kyra. The Dow jumped at the open up nearly -- actually over 400 at the high. Couldn't hold it.

You know, could be buyer's remorse. After all, yesterday's session was, as so many sessions are these days, something we have never seen before. There was some life, after all, in the market, and buyers finally swooped in.

Today's more of a -- I think more participants, Kyra. Because yesterday was a banking holiday. Big volume, but in a word, adjusting to the new order here.

Banks certainly on the up side. Bank of America and Citigroup, each up at least 14 percent on details of the plan. Obviously, they'll be beneficiaries. But we're seeing the NASDAQ under pressure most of the session. It's down 1.5 percent. Intel is down about 5 percent. It reports earnings after the bell. And we get a lot of information on the corporate earnings front.

Remember, this could help the financials. The greater economy is still something that is questionable, at the very least -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Susan, thanks.

Three weeks and counting. Voters across America will be flocking to the polls just 21 days from now. For John McCain, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, it's another day of handshaking and campaign speeches.

Barack Obama is off the trail today. He's in Ohio, prepping for tomorrow night's third and final debate with McCain.

Now, whoever makes it to the Oval Office will inherit quite a financial mess. CNN's Ed Henry joins me now from Hempstead, New York, the site of tomorrow night's debate.

Hey, Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, you're absolutely right. The stakes are very high for John McCain, of course. For Barack Obama as the front-runner, he has to avoid some sort of a miscue, some sort of a flub. But if he emerges unscathed, Barack Obama obviously will be in a pretty strong position for the final three weeks.

For John McCain, he went through the first debate, which was on national security. That was widely seen as a draw, at best, for McCain. That was supposed to be his strong suit. Didn't quite get it done. The second one, you'll remember, a very friendly format for John McCain. A town-hall-style format. Again, CNN's post-game poll, you'll remember, showed Barack Obama as a clear winner among viewers who had seen the debate.

So now the third one, the stakes obviously very, very high for McCain. This may be one of his final opportunities to really shake up this race. When you look at those key battleground states from Ohio, Michigan, down to Florida, it's very clear that Barack Obama has been surging ahead because of what you mentioned, the economy, the financial crisis. That is going to be the front and center issue tomorrow night, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: What's this inside scoop you got about the preps? You're always getting some sort of tidbit of behind the scenes.

HENRY: Well, I just talked to Hofstra's president, Stuart Rabinowitz, and he was telling me about some of the very interesting demands that both campaigns make.

For example, Hofstra has had to go through the scoops (ph), where basically both candidates demanded that they have a vent over their heads and there's enough air conditioning. Neither one want to have that 5 p.m. shadow, that Richard Nixon sweat from 1960.

Also, both campaigns demanded that they get the drinking glass. Either the exact drinking glass or a replica, so that they knew exactly how big it is, how thick it is, so they're trying to get their hands around it, I guess, it's not slipping out or anything like that.

They want to make sure that every last detail is figured out beforehand. This is obviously high stakes, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: OK. What's wrong with the vent? Ed Henry, you know I always have to have them adjust the vent above me and have the air blowing on me. Because it gets so -- there is it, right there. Thank you, Scotty. That's a live shot of the vent on the floor.

B.J.'s (ph) always have to take this big, huge you know, broomstick, and they have to maneuver it so I have a lot of air!

HENRY: Well, they're just making sure you stay pretty. And that's important. We all know that.

And like Ringo Starr, you probably are tired of all the fan mail, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Ed Henry. You always know how to come back at me. Great to see you.

HENRY: It's good to see you.

PHILLIPS: Well, debate night in America. We've got it all covered for you, all the fan mail, too. You won't want to miss a minute of the action. Stay with CNN tomorrow night for the best coverage from the best political team on television, and that includes our fantastic Ed Henry.

Well, the presidential race is in the home stretch. And some key states are still toss-ups. From now until election day, we're zeroing in on those states where the fight between John McCain and Barack Obama will be decided.

And today we're focusing on one of the biggest, most important battlegrounds of all, the state of Ohio. Twenty electoral votes are at stake there on November 4. The state's gone with the winner in the last 11 presidential elections, by the way, and no Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.

Now, people may not want to admit it, but Barack Obama's skin color is an issue in the race for the White House. Yes, we're still talking about this. The Democratic candidate's supporters are confronting it as they stump for votes in Ohio.

The AFL-CIO is trying to change some minds with a massive campaign now. It includes 70 million phone calls, 25 million pieces of mail, targeted at union households in key battlegrounds, including Ohio.


GERALD MCENTEE, PRESIDENT, AFSCME: We went out and were told (ph), "I can't vote for him, because he's a black man. He's not weren't of us."

Well, sisters and brothers, when you hear that, you know what you ought to say? This is what I say: "That is (EXPLETIVE DELETED). that is total, absolute (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!"


PHILLIPS: And we're going to talk more about the election and that bleep and the race issue with Gerry McEntee just a bit later this hour. Our Mary Snow also will have a live report on the race in Ohio.

Now, McEntee's not the only one talking about race. A lot of voters have been telling us how it's playing a role in this election. So here's what some of you told our reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One lady I went to told me that the reason why she had the issue was because of how she was raised. She said her father is still alive, and he's 85, and he couldn't see himself voting for a black man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's an undercurrent. I think it's sad, but I think it's still an undercurrent here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People starting to get a little scared. "It could really happen. We could really have a black president. The boogeyman could lead the country!" That's what they're saying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody said to me, "Well, what do you object about him?"

I said, "Well, truthfully, I -- our colors are different."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Black people always -- have always known there's a divide. I don't think we ever live in a false sense of we're always accepted.


PHILLIPS: All right. So we want to hear what you have to say. Why would you not vote for an African-American man? Send us an e- mail:

Three wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds roar through Southern California. Two people are dead, and dozens of homes are destroyed. Thousands of people have been evacuated to San Fernando Valley now and a state of emergency is in effect in two counties. Authorities fear that the winds could return this afternoon.

The latest, let's get to our Ted Rowlands. He's live in Los Angeles -- Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, the winds continue to blow here as these fires continue to burn, giving firefighters trouble trying to contain them.

We're at the Porter Ranch Fire, the largest of the fires burning in Southern California right now. This is sort of the leading edge of it. Aren't a lot of structures on this side that are in danger. But if you pan over, you see that there are a number of homes, and that's where the majority of the water drops have been going on over the past few hours.

Forecasters say that the Santa Ana wind event, is what they call it, should subside over the next few hours. That will give firefighters a much-needed break and possibly the upper hand.

Over the last hour, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the region. He basically said that what happened here over the last few days was the perfect storm because of these winds.


GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: The Santa Ana winds are very strong. They continue to blow up to 60 miles an hour, and this is, of course, what makes this so dangerous right now, because we are basically gaining the perfect storm, which means very strong winds. We have low humidity, and you have heat. So those are the three elements that create, of course, these kind of fires and makes them sometimes get out of control.


ROWLANDS: And as you mentioned, two deaths, 10,000 acres burned, at least on this fire. Another 5,000 on the other major fire here in Los Angeles County. And dozens of homes lost. But I tell what you, Kyra: the firefighters in this region have been at it nonstop since Sunday at about 2 a.m. And they have saved dozens and dozens of homes. And hopefully, these winds were subside over the next few hours and give them a break and also give them the upper hand.

PHILLIPS: Amen. We'll keep tracking it with you, Ted. Thanks so much.

Blocking the vote. Just weeks before the election, more claims of voter registration shadiness, and it goes way beyond the ACORN Thing.

And frightening footage from Phoenix: an out-of-control car plowing into people waiting at a bus stop.


PHILLIPS: Well, a judge in Lake County, Indiana, has ordered election officials to open up early polling places in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago immediately. But another court in the same county is having a separate hearing today that could keep some of those centers from opening.

Republicans had gotten a restraining order last week. They claimed the centers in the mostly Democratic county could be vulnerable to voter fraud. Now the secretary of state of Indiana says he found credible evidence of voter fraud in that county, and he wants a wide-ranging investigation.

The issue springs from 5,000 newly registered voter applications handled in by the liberal -- or handed in, rather, by the liberal activist group ACORN. Election officials say that many of them are bogus. And that group's voter registration drives are under scrutiny now in other states, too, including the battleground state of Ohio.

Now around the country, there are other allegation of potential voting irregularities. A "New York Times" report said that some states may be breaking the law.

CNN's Josh Levs is here to talk us through all that.

Josh, what did you find?

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'll tell you, this one's getting a lot of attention. You know. In the last few weeks before the election, as you're saying there, we're hearing a lot more about this topic.

Well, this right here is the story that "New York Times" published last week, and it says here states' actions to block voters appear illegal. Now I made a graphic out of what they're leading with. I want you to take a look at this here.

This is what they say: tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law.

The "Times" is basing this on its own review of state records and also on Social Security data.

I want to show you something else here that they say. I'm going to close in on the screen, to be fair. It says, "The actions do not seem to be coordinated by one party or the other. Nor do they appear to be the result of election officials intentionally breaking rules but apparently the result of mistakes in the handling of the registration and voter files."

Now, I've got a summary for you of a couple examples this article is giving. Let's take a look at these. It says Michigan and Colorado are improperly removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election. It also says Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio seem to be improperly using Social Security data to verify registration applicants for new voters.

And the "Times" says the Social Security administration is now looking into this.

I'll also tell you that after this came out, the Associated Press reported this. Let's take a look at that. They're saying election officials after that lined up to defend their registration procedures and said that they had done nothing wrong.

But Kyra, as I'm telling you here, we're seeing more and more examples of people concerned about possible fraud.

I'll let everyone know if you're hearing something you can get more information right here at the CNN political ticker. They have a separate page now that focuses specifically on election irregularities. You can also report what you're seeing at We're going to keep a close eye on this every day through the election and potentially beyond, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Especially if it ends up being even tighter than it already is. I mean, everybody wants to make sure that their vote is -- is fair and it gets counted and it's not -- there's no fraud involved.

LEVS: Yes. No fraud, no mess. No hanging chads. I mean, which can really run the whole gamut. None of us wants to see that every again. So let's keep a close eye there.

PHILLIPS: Josh, thanks.

LEVS: You got it.

PHILLIPS: We can't mention this enough. It's your money that's going in the U.S. bailout plan, so when will you see the results? We're going to ask's Paul La Monica, straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: Well, the Supreme Court won't intervene in the execution of a Georgia man convicted of killing a police officer.

Justices today declining to hold a hearing in the case of Troy Davis, who was seeking a new trial in the 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis has always proclaimed his innocence, and since his trial, seven of nine key witnesses have recanted their testimony.

Last month a Supreme Court issued a stay two hours before Davis' scheduled execution. A new death date expected to be handed down in the next few weeks.

Ohio authorities moved quickly and execute a condemned man after the Supreme Court rejects his unusual claim. Richard Couey said he gained so much weight behind bars that the lethal injection wouldn't work humanely. Well, the court didn't buy it, and Couey was put to death about three hours ago. No problems reported by prison officials, by the way.

Couey was convicted of murdering two female college students in 1986.

No warning and no chance to get out of the way. Three people waiting for a Phoenix bus were rammed by a speeding car yesterday, all of it caught on video. Two of them were pinned. A male victim actually managed to free himself. But a woman was trapped until a bystander could push the car off her. Emergency officials called their injuries serious. Police are investigating why that driver ran off the road.

Earlier, CNN's Ted Rowlands showed us how parts of Southern California are at mercy of those powerful Santa Ana winds that can turn brushfires into firestorms. Live pictures right now from our affiliate, KCAL.

Chad Myers, how's everything looking at this point?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the winds haven't picked up quite yet to where they were yesterday, where we had winds to 70 miles per hour. But you can see how close some of those flames are. And if you can smell smoke, that's the issue right now. If you smell smoke, you have the threat of some of those sparks being blown over to you because, well, the smoke's being blown over to you. It's just farther away.

Very dry air coming across California. The smoke plume from yesterday going all the way offshore, an awful lot of smoke there, across Malibu. We got some wind gusts on Malibu, just -- they were tremendous yesterday, almost 70 to 80 miles per hour.

Mount Wilson, 87 miles per hour. Malibu through the hills, 79- mile-per-hour gusts. Can you imagine trying to be a firefighter and having a 79 mile-per-hour gust just blowing all of that at you? And that's what they're seeing now. Windy conditions all the way across those areas, and it will be windy for the rest of the day.

One more thing, though, to get windy, too, Tropical Storm Omar. This going to be a storm that's going to roll over the British Virgin Islands, maybe Puerto Rico, maybe all the way over towards Saint Bart's and then this thing down here, Tropical Depression No. 16. So here we go now. Another name out of the way.

One of my favorite places in the world, the BVI, going to get hit with a tropical storm or maybe a Category 1 hurricane. Another spot that I've been diving, Rolatan (ph). You guys are going to get it, too. Maybe this is just bad luck day for me. Forty-five to 50 miles per hour, though, and the areas there can handle it. Mountains there, though, we'll really see the rain.

Someplace that could really see the rain, love to see the rain, is California. Here are some iReports I want to get. Joanie Franz got these reports yesterday. She was only out there in the smoke for about 30 minutes, said she could barely breathe, and coughing and hoarse. The back of her throat was sore.

And these are horses and ponies getting evacuated out of the way in the Topanga Canyon area there around 116, and they were getting them all out of the way. Horses were tied up everywhere. They had tractor trailers with horse trailer on the back of them, getting these horses and ponies out of the way. All successful, thanks to SAFE (ph) -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Thanks to you, Chad.

Well, the race factor. Will Barack Obama's skin color really matter when voters head to the polls? It's an issue in some of the big battleground states. And we'll have a live report from Ohio.


PHILLIPS: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. You're live at the CNN NEWSROOM.

1:28 Eastern time. Here are some of the stories we're working on right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.

An early arrival at the White House with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. After a meeting on the financial bailout, Paulson gave details on the latest step.

The government will invest $125 billion in nine big U.S. banks to start. The goal: boost lender and consumer confidence.

Now Governor Sarah Palin is venturing into Joe Biden's backyard. The Republican VP hopeful holds a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this afternoon. That's where her Democratic rival grew up and the site of a Biden/Clinton event just two days ago.

There's a Bush/Clinton event today. Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton visiting Galveston, Texas. They want to see the damage from Hurricane Ike firsthand. The two have teamed up for the Coastal Recovery Fund to help the area get back on its feet.

Just 21 days to go until the race for the White House. From now until election day, we're taking an in-depth look at the states where the fight between John McCain and Barack Obama will be decided.

Today we're focusing on one of the biggest, most important battlegrounds of all: the state of Ohio. Twenty electoral votes are at stake there on November 4. The state's gone with the winner in the last 11 presidential elections, by the way, and no Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio.

Now, racism on the campaign trail. There's growing speculation that some voters won't support Senator Barack Obama because he's African-American. It's an issue in some of the big battlegrounds states, including Ohio. CNN's Mary Snow joins us now live from Cincinnati with more.

Mary, tell us how it's all playing out.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Kyra, we're here in Cincinnati. This city's population, half of it is approximately African-American. We talked to several people who say that they feel the past week has been a turning point in the fact that the issue of race has become much more publicly talked about.


LINCOLN WARE, WDBZ AM RADIO HOST: People are starting to get a little scared. It can really happen. We could really have a black president! The Boogeyman could lead the country! That's what they're saying.

SNOW (voice-over): Radio host Lincoln Ware of WDBZ AM who supports Barack Obama, wasted no time taking on the issue of race among his mostly black audience in Cincinnati. But, not all of his listeners are black.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; You're right. It does scare me.

WARE: Why does it scare you? Why does a black man as president scare you, Charles?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we had the first black in sports, first black here, the first black there --

SNOW: Another caller, a black Republican calls in to take aim at Democratic Congressman John Lewis for bringing up the issue of race over the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, look at Lewis. Lewis had to comment. What's Lewis want? A racial war?

SNOW: Lewis, a civil rights leader, accused John McCain and Sarah Palin of stoking hatred. And compared the political atmosphere to that to George Wallace, the former Alabama governor who was a segregationist. McCain called it a shocking character attack that goes beyond the pale.

WARE: George Wallace may have been stretching it a bit. But, even Goerge Wallace changed near the end of his lifetime. SNOW: Bobby Hilton, a Cincinnati minister, does not think Lewis went too far.

REV. BOBBY HILTON, WORLD OF DELIVERANCE MINISTER: It was kind of like we needed that confirmation. We'd been feeling that. That there were racial undertones, things spread, things being allowed to go forth in the campaign rallies. To say, terrorist, terrorist, off with his head, killing. That stuff should not be allowed. So, we were glad to see that John Lewis came out and made that statement.

SNOW: Critics of McCain credit the Republican presidential candidate with stopping a woman at a town hall meeting who said he was scared of Obama because she thought he was an Arab, which McCain denounced.


SNOW: Others though say there are undercurrents of a racial tone.

KATHLEEN O'NEILL, CINCINNATI RESIDENT: They've been playing the he's unknown, he's different.

SNOW: Rosemary Williams isn't surprise.

ROSEMARY WILLIAMS, CINCINNATI RESIDENT: It's expected. You know? Because it's so under cover that people didn't know racism still existed in the United States, let alone in Ohio.


SNOW: So the question is, how will the issue of race play out in Ohio? We talked to one prominent pollster here in the state, Kyra, who said that yes, there will be some who show up voting against Barack Obama because of race. But he says there are also polls suggesting there will be people who will vote against John McCain because of his age. And he suggests that the two may offset each other -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Mary Snow, live from Cincinnati. Thanks so much.

Well, Democrats aren't taking any chances on race being an issue. They're on the offensive mailing out glossy testimonials about Barack Obama that look just like this and making millions of phone calls. One Democratic labor leader is just offering some plain, straight talk.


MCENTEE: It doesn't come out in code. It comes out like this: I can't vote for him because he's a black man. He's not one of us. Well, sisters and brothers, when you hear that you know what you ought to say? This is what I say, that is (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! That is total, absolute (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!


PHILLIPS: Gerry McEntee. Known as -- to not mince words. He's president of the American Federal of State and County Municipal Employees. He joins us live now.

Gerry, good to see you.

MCENTEE: Thank you. Good to be here.

PHILLIPS: Well, it's great have you. You know, you don't beat around the bush. You laid it out right when you were talking to folks.

Tell me why this has got you so frustrated.

MCENTEE: Well, it's because I do want to beat around the bush. I want to beat around George Bush. But, you know, they have -- the other political party and its right-winged leadership has conned us any number of times with code words, guns and gods and gays. And this particular year this season, it's been well, be careful. He's a Muslim. Or, be careful, he's a black man.

I've actually experienced it myself out knocking on doors and at meetings. It's a particular demographic of older, white union members. Americans, whether they be men or women. And it really behooves us as leaders of the Union, not just myself, but all throughout the unions, to get out there and educate our members. I mean --

PHILLIPS: So, Gerry, well, let me ask you.


PHILLIPS: What makes -- I mean, you're an older, white gentleman. I mean, what makes you so different? Why aren't you like the rest of these older white guys saying, whew, I cannot vote for a black man?

MCENTEE: Well, I think probably because I've been educated. And our job is to educate those kind of folks.

I mean, Social Security is a big issue. And McCain wants to privatize it. Our folks out there that are within this age group are now receiving Social Security. Health care is tremendously important to these kinds of folks. I know about the issue. But we have to educate our own folks in this demographic on these particular issues. And kind of focus them, if we can, on the issues as opposed to this kind of, this kind of little code game that they're playing.

PHILLIPS: Well, what's the reasoning? When voters say to you, Gerry, I'm sorry, I can't vote for him. He's black. What's the reasoning? Is it because they've had racist relatives and an upbringing their entire life? Is it because they're afraid a black president will only care about the black people?

I mean, what are the excuses they give you? MCENTEE: I don't think they're racist. But I think it's, for many of them -- many of them -- it's a brand new experience. They've never really voted for an African-American, a black man or woman, in terms of a governor's seat. They certainly have not voted for a black man or woman for president of the United States. And it's kind of an anxiety that sits out there. It's a brand new experience for them and it has to be overcome by education.

PHILLIPS: But isn't that racist? I mean, we've had anxiety about other people running for office before. But these are folks saying, well, he's black. I mean, that sounds pretty racist to me.

MCENTEE: Well, I don't think that it's racist. But, I think it is a brand new experience that has to be overcome.

I felt very good over the fact that now McCain has, as you well know harks moved out of Michigan. Michigan was a big concern because of this particular situation in Michigan, particularly in Macomb County. But now he's moved out. That's a very, very positive sign and I think it comes about because of education. Because people start -- and the closer we get, start to focus in on the issues that are important to them.

Does it really matter if he's black? I mean if you're in a Foxhole or you were in Iraq, or you were, you know, in Vietnam or Korea, in a Foxhole and the person beside you bass black you didn't even know it. I mean, you just wanted that person close to you so that you could buddy up and hopefully save both of yourselves. That's what people are starting to feel, in my judgment.

PHILLIPS: Well, you know, and now Union households are getting these glossy mailings. You were looking at them just a moment ago. And it's the white, working families offering testimonies to Obama.

Is that working? Are these mailings working?

MCENTEE: I think the whole package, if we will, is working. The mailings, the phone banks, the meetings. The most important folks in this endeavor -- in the whole endeavor are the local Union president, the stewards that are right there, whether it's in a plant, whether it's in a school. Wherever it happens to be. And if they're out there one-on-one, and they're out there knocking on doors, one-on-one, and they're talking and focusing in, on issues that are important to the people, the economy your wallet, your pocketbook, jobs.

I mean, Hillary Clinton said it yesterday. It's not drill, baby, drill. I mean, it's jobs, baby, jobs. And as long as they're focused in on that, rather than these code words, rather than this kind of emotion that other people want to pump into this campaign, then I think Obama will be OK.

PHILLIPS: Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees. Always interesting to talk to you, Gerry.

Thanks so much for your time. MCENTEE: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Well, we definitely want to hear what you have to say. Why would you not vote for an African-American man? Send us your e- mails at Matter of fact, we're already getting a number of e-mail. I'll read you two real quickly.

This one is coming Syran (ph) in Texas: "From what I understand, Obama's mother was white and his father was black. That makes him 50 percent white, 50 percent black. Why is he not referred to as a white man on 50 percent of the time? I do not see him as white or black but as the next American who's going to be our next president. George Bush is 100 percent white man and has been president for the last eight years. Look where we are now."

We'll continue to read through the e-mails as they come across throughout the next hour and a half.

It's their plan, it's your money. We're finally hearing where a big chunks of the $700 billion tax payer funded bailout package will go. President Bush and his big economic guns announced new details today. They plan to use up to $250 billion to buy stock in ailing banks. The major bank stocks surged on the news. But when will you see the results?


BUSH: I know Americans are deeply concerned about the stress in our financial markets. And the impact it is having on their retirement accounts and 401(k)s, and college savings, and other investments. I recognize that the action leaders are taking here in Washington and in European capitals can seem distant from those concerns. But these efforts are designed to directly benefit the American people. By stabilizing our overall financial system and helping our economy recover.


PHILLIPS: Well, average Americans are demanding something, too. Results that directly affect them. But if you and I are not going to see them now. Then when?

Help us out here, Paul La Monica from

PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY.COM: How's it going, Kyra?


Give us some advice.

LA MONICA: Yes. I think really what we've seen in the past two days in the stock market seems to be somewhat encouraging. And also with the credit markets, what we are seeing is that slowly but surely the credit markets seem to be thawing. And that is good for the average consumer, because if bank are willing to lend more freely to businesses and consumers, that's clearly a good sign for the economy. Since lending is you know, one of the key parts of the economy that's so vital.

PHILLIPS: All right. Well, it's looking like it's going to be a little easier for feel get loans for cars and things like that.

But what about the people who are already in trouble with, for example, their home loans?

LA MONICA: Yes. What's interesting there is, that's an area of the bailout that hasn't really been addressed as much. And some people are concerned that, you know, that the Treasury Department might be, you know, falling sleep at the wheel there.

A person I spoke to, a former Federal Reserve vice chairman, he mentioned that what still needs to be done is probably buying up individual mortgages from banks and trying to work with borrowers to refinance them so that people can stay in their homes. We don't need more foreclosures right now. That would add to the glut of homes on the market and keep prices falling.

PHILLIPS: Paul La Monica, thanks.

LA MONICA: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Straight ahead. And a name at changing the world. How one man battling racial stereotype us may not even know you have.


PHILLIPS: Love versus hate. Terrorism versus peace. Where do you stand? And do you stereotype? Tough questions to hear, right? Well, I want to show you two very different clips right now, starting with this one.


PHILLIPS: Well, that was a clip from the film "Obsession." How did it make you feel? Did it make you feel uncomfortable?

Now, take a look at this video.


PHILLIPS: Pretty different, right? How did that one make you feel? Well, author and founder of Interfaith Youth Core hopes that videos like this one will help change our faith in each other.

Welcome Eboo Patel. Good to see you.

EBOO PATEL, FOUNDER, INTERFAITH YOUTH CORE: Thanks, Kyra, it's great to be with you.

PHILLIPS: Well, is it working? Are these videos working?

PATEL: We have to make it work, make sure that vast majority of humanity who are religious are making their religion be sources of hope and light in the world. And as an American-Muslim, I know that my background as an American, and as a Muslim, are sources that inspire me to serve others. We have to be putting those stories out there. Especially to our young people. And the clip that you just saw, your audience can see -- at -- they can see the whole film of that. And it's young people who made this film about their friendships from different backgrounds.

PHILLIPS: So, what's been the most inspiring part of this? Is it the conversations? The debate? Is it the friendships that are being made?

What stands out to you?

PATEL: It's young people saying, I want to be an interfaith leader. You know, 100 years ago, the environmental movement started. 60 years ago, the human rights movement started. Today we need an interfaith movement that's saying people from different religious backgrounds have to come together to build understanding and to serve others.

And the Interfaith Youth Corps is all about promoting youth leadership. And all around the world we're seeing young people say, this is who I am and this is what my faith is about. And so, I think in the next 20 years, Kyra, we're going to see a really powerful interfaith youth movement that's building bridges and making peace.

PHILLIPS: Well, a relationship that stood out to me. Sean and Tyrique (ph).

Let's take a look at a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's another world outside of the block that you live in and the church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first day, back then, when (INAUDIBLE) a Muslim, was, I was helping bin Laden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I first met him, honestly, I was like, you don't look like some damn piano prodigy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My pride and joy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gangster music.


PHILLIPS: Now, looking at that, it's so interesting to see how they totally stereotyped each other at beginning. And so, is it relationships like this? Is it a youth movement like this, that will prevent another 9/11 and a hatred overseas?

Will it prevent -- get people more comfortable with a possible black president? PATEL: It not only is it going to prevent that, it's going move us in a positive direction.

We have to not just be about avoiding pitfalls. We have to be about building peace, about building the world that we all believe in. That so many get of us get the image from our faith traditions.

You know, in Islam, there's a beautiful line for my holy book, the holy Koran, that God made us different nations and tribes. That we may come to know one another. And I'm so happy and proud to be in America, where I feel like I can may that Koranic vision a reality. And that's what my organization's all about -- the Interfaith Youth Core. We're making reality the vision. That God made us different nations and tribes, that we can build bridges.

PHILLIPS: All right. You know what's interesting is I grew up going to inner city schools. And I remember being on diversity councils. But you were talking about black, white, Hispanic, Asian. Faith never came up. It was never about religion.

So, did 9/11, all of a sudden change that conversation among students stepping out of just color, and now moving it into color and religion because of 9/11?

PATEL: Well, you know, we, at the Interfaith Youth Corps figured this out before 9/11. Right? That if we're not having a positive conversation about religion, we're forfeiting the terrain to people who are going have a destructive conversation about religion.

If we're not saying, hey, your Muslim neighbor can be somebody who you're friends with, can be somebody you serve in little league with and the PTA with. Is somebody that you can do service projects with. We let the folks who started the film "Obsession," come around and say, your Muslim neighbor could be a terrorist. And that's just false.

So, we have to make sure we're having a positive conversation about religious diversity. I think that's what America is about. Is positive conversations about people's different backgrounds so that we can be a united country.

PHILLIPS: Once again, it's And anybody can get their kids involved --

PATEL: That's it. Come to We have a training team. We'll send it to your church, your campus, your city. We'll train you to be interfaith leaders. We've got the films of hope of We want to see you there. We need this interfaith youth movement, and we need you to be a part of it.

PHILLIPS: Love it. Eboo Patel, thanks so much.

PATEL: Thanks, Kyra. Great to be with you.

PHILLIPS: All right, likewise. Can you really laugh your cares away? We have some tips for beating the financial stress through -- yes -- laughter. And it is free.


PHILLIPS: Well, are you stressing over the economy, your investments, your 401(k)? Well, you're not alone. Dealing with it could be as simple as having a good laugh, having sex, or meditating. Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, here to talk about all three.

Maybe we should start --


PHILLIPS: Because I was just -- well, it may be lack of a few.

Meditation, let's start there.

COHEN: Meditation, interesting --


PHILLIPS: That, I do do.

COHEN: That's wonderful. Two out of three ain't bad.

Interesting study that looked at something called compassion meditation. That's what the Dalai Lama does. You sit, you meditate and you think good thoughts about people you don't like. He says it helps him. When college students did this, it brought stress hormone levels down and these kids scored lower on distress tests. It's where they give them a test and they figure out how stressed out they are.

So look at that. It actually does seem to work.

And then we also mentioned laughter. Laughter is a wonderful thing. Studies have shown that it actually can lower your levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and it can also up your endorphins. Always good to up endorphins.

PHILLIPS: Yes, it is.

How do we move into the sex theory from there?

COHEN: Stress -- sex does the same thing -- endorphins go up, cortisol down. And it's interesting -- the studies don't say whether you have to actually like the person you're having sex with, so don't worry too much about that. Just having sex seems to work.

PHILLIPS: So I think we need to have a whole ethical discussion now. Every parent at home is going, why is Elizabeth Cohen --


COHEN: Consenting adults, all right? Consenting adults.

PHILLIPS: OK. There we go.

COHEN: Consenting adults.

PHILLIPS: All right. So we have three tips here. We've got laughing, we've got meditation and we have more sex, and then we're all good to go.

COHEN: And we have more.

PHILLIPS: We have --

COHEN: No we have more.

PHILLIPS: There's more?

COHEN: There's more. If you go to, you will see a blog that I wrote that has links to things like tranquil music that you can listen to at work, exercises you can do right at your desk to help you lower your stress levels, how to keep a stress diary to figure out what triggers your stress. It is all there.

See that poor guy. He needs to read the blog he's next, that's what he needs to do. And he'll feel much better.

PHILLIPS: Thank you, Counselor.

COHEN: You're welcome.

PHILLIPS: Appreciate it.

Well next hour we're going to take a look at another issue that impact your well being -- voter fatigue. After months of heated campaign rhetoric, how can a voter get a little relief?

And now, a news bulletin from the artist formerly known as Richard Starkey.


RICHARD STARKEY, KNOWN AS RINGO STARR, MUSICIAN: This is a serious message to everybody watching my update right now. Peace and love. Peace and love.


PHILLIPS: Peace and love, yes, fan mail, no. Ringo's deadline -- coming up soon.


PHILLIPS: Ringo Starr saying let me be, please. Check out this news bulletin from his Web site, all done in the spirit of peace and love of course, but mostly peace.


STARKEY: Please, after the 20th of October, do not send fan mail to any address that you have. Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October. If that has the date on the envelope, it's going to be tossed. I am warning you with peace and love, but I have too much to do. So no more fan mail.

Thank you. Thank you.


PHILLIPS: Yes, yes, yes. He still loves you, but he is just busy. Here is an idea, after the 20th send all your fan mail to Pete Best.